Of course American dating and courtship activities employ money and tangible items by nature, and is practically impossible without it. Couples bombard restaurants, movie theaters, comedy clubs, and local bars/lounges frequently and nightly on a quest for love. But unfortunately its not free and somebody has to cover the expenses that comes along with it. So, WHO SHOULD PAY? The man right? Well, it’s not always black and white. The fact of the matter is, we all come from different economical backgrounds, and our financial portfolios vary. Men also struggle financially and are forced to budget their money wisely in 2014. That’s reality, and understanding this, it’s not realistic nor fair to place the financial burden of dating on a man all the time. That being said, women are NOT totally exempt from paying. Furthermore, women very often and conveniently bark about equality in America so why not consider it as it applies to dating? So especially in today’s society, the question is no longer WHO SHOULD PAY but WHEN SHOULD WOMEN PAY?

Anatomically speaking, women were created to receive and men were built to give. So I believe that men should be the dominant giver. Where I don’t feel its necessary to keep a scorecard while dating, an understood principle should be regarded. Ladies, be attentive to a 3:1 or at least a 4:1 ratio. For every 3, no more than 4 dates, pick up the bill. Or at least dutch on ocasions. Unless you are a prostitute, it shouldn’t ALWAYS cost him to spend time with you while dating. Be sensitive to his finances.

Two additional principles to consider are:
1. Never assume he is going to pay—This mindset will save you disappointment, embarrassment and controversy. So when he say’s “Two checks please” to the waiter/waitress, don’t be surprised. It’s an indicator men sometimes use to measure your character and morals. If you cheerfully pay your portion of the bill, the act will be received very warmly, and he will be more inclined to take you out to more elaborate venues. Moreover, if you are the one to initiate the date, then you definitely should be willing to pay at least your part of the bill. It’s just the right thing to do. Don’t bring up things to do and places to solicit if you are NOT willing and/or prepared to pay.

2. Be cognizant of indirect messages—In early dating stages, men are not inclined to verbally reveal to their financial inadequacies. However they will give you indirect messages which you should take heed to.
A. He invites you over to his home—Now instinctively as a woman you may be thinking that he is trying to sleep with you. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s an indicator that he takes delight in your presence but does not have the finances to go out. So consider his offer with caution. If you feel he is harmless, then visit him. Besides, it’s also a great way for you to determine his true intentions early on. When you go over to his place, and he makes sexual advances, at least you now know his sole purpose and you can now save time and headaches by removing yourself from the companionship.
B. He asks to meet up at a park or starbucks,etc.—This is also another message that although he enjoys seeing you, he doesn’t want to spend money. Venues that are free or very cheap will often be brought up as an idea for connecting.
Indirect messages like these are even more of a reason why you should regard the general principle ratio of 3:1. Dating and Relationships are about give and take, and it is very acceptable and fair to exercise the law of reciprocity, especially when you initiate dates/ideas.

After surveying 78 women, all between ages of 28-45, surprisingly many of them agree that there are times when they should pay, and as it pertains to the scenario below, this is one of them.

Chris, 33, and a blue collar employee working for Dell Computer as an inventory clerk for $14 per hour, contacted Loretta via blackpeoplem…eet.com. A trust fund baby and an HR Manager for a fortune 500 company, Loretta, 32, consistently brings home over 80k annually. They conversed frequently via instant messenger as they learned and became more acquainted with one another. After a few weeks, Chris took the courageous approach to ask her out to dinner. Loretta agreed~~~Enjoying a meal at Pappadeaux, the vibe was harmonious as they were exchanging laughs and smiles. Of course, Chris being a gentlemen assumed the bill. After finishing their meals, Loretta sporadically brought up the idea to go catch a movie. Instinctively, Chris agrees. He is delighted to be in her presence thus far. They approach the ticket counter at the theater and reality suddenly kicks in for Chris…He only budgeted $50 for dinner and the bill from their meal was $64.23. So he already spent beyond his initial budget.

Given that it was “Loretta’s idea” to go see a movie, should she pay? Or do you feel Chris should still pay?

A. Chris should pay—-20
B. Loretta should pay—-42
C. They should dutch.—-3
D. Cancel movie plans.—-13

So fellas, don’t be afraid to establish a healthy balance and definition into a dating relationship. Most women are willing to be flexible and share the financial responsibility. Perhaps you cover the dinner and she takes care of the drinks. And if she is a decent woman, she will and should pick up the check from time to time. It’s a sign of respect towards you and a statement of independence for herself. But regardless of the financial grounds you two establish, just make wise, strategic choices to maintain an equitable relationship.

Twitter: @AuthorDeeHarris
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