The Finances of Dating

not to generalize, but women typically put in a lot more time, money and effort to get ready for that first date. I’m talking manicure, sometimes pedicure and getting hair done!  That costs money and on top of it, we put more effort into having a great outfit, looking pretty, etc….i realize its expensive, but please recognize that they put in money, time and effort to look nice for you! – Alexa


Alexa – Are you kidding me? Lets run down the bill for my date in NYC.

Hair Cut – $75
Transport – $10
Dinner – $85
Wine Bar – $40

If a girl spends more than half that (for the date itself) I would be surprised. And this wasnt even an expensive date. And, again, you really think the guy just throws on jeans and a sweater and thinks he is ready? Get over yourself. – Neal


Without letting this devolve in to a “who should pay on a first date” debate, I’m curious to hear what everyone spends – both in terms of time and money –  for a first date.

When I was deciding on whether or not I wanted to meet someone from an online site, I most definitely figured in how much I would spend for said “date” and weighed that against what the possible return on investment would be.

I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that certain expenditures are made “for a date.” Come on. A haircut or manicure? Date or no date, you’d be getting these things done. Clothes? Those can be re-purposed and worn any time. Waxing? Well, I think most women wax/shave fairly regularly even when they’re not dating or having sex regularly.

When I was setting up my budget in my Droid, I realized I had to actually create a whole section for dating. I could have listed most of these things under “Entertainment” but it wouldn’t be accurate. Plus, when I’m cutting corners, I like to have an accurate breakout of how things are spent and what can go.

The expenses listed under Dating in my budget are (and this is monthly):

$60 for cabs

$160 – $40 per date for tip/round of drinks/appetizer per date (3-4 dates)

I usually come in under and roughly spend about $175 of the allotted $220.

I am adverse to paying for an online dating site at this point. I typically do my own hair (except for trimming) , waxing, shaving etc. I highly doubt whether guys can tell the difference. I sometimes pay for a pedicure, but usually do it on my own. I rarely pay for a manicure since I typically ruin whatever the manicurist does within hours or a day from banging on a keyboard. I occasionally make a Victoria’s Secret run. I don’t buy make up specifically for dates. I’ve never been an accessories girl, so I have maybe 5 pairs of earrings that I never wear.  My shoes are always kept simple because of having flat feet and having been hit by a car in college and done a number on my back, so really high heels are out of the question for me and not worn often.

Now that I write this out, I think I want to expand this beyond dating. How much money do you all spend on keeping yourself up? I’m talking skin care, gym memberships, cosmetic treatments, hair, manicures, medical check ups, etc? Do you buy high end products from department stores? Go to expensive salons? Or are you an over the counter, do it yourself person? What products do you like?

For years I have used the Olay Regenerist line for my skin care routine. I can not say enough good things about this line and what it does for my skin. That and tons of water and regular exercise.  I use their creme cleanser, exfoliant, peel, masque and moisturizer. That runs me roughly $60 every six weeks. My hair/roots I do myself. That costs me about $12 every six weeks. I shop for clothes MAYBE every two months and spend about $150. The Gap, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic have great pieces that last and always have some sort of sale going on. Sometimes I’ll blow the whole $150 on a pair of pants or a dress because they’ll last for a few seasons. I’m pissed because I bought two pairs of cargo pants back in April and they are now falling off me because I’ve dropped a size down. I’ve never worn much make up at all, rarely wear foundation because I don’t like clogging my pores.I might spend about $50 every 2 months on cosmetics, usually lip liner and gloss. I’m a Loreal/Sephora girl. I honestly don’t see the difference between Sephora and Sak’s. Finally, I got a free gym membership in exchange for advertising. FYI…many gyms offer outreach programs to people who are willing to manage raffles at events or participate in street promotions. Ask your gym if they have something like that and you can save $80 – $150 per month.

So what’s your dating budget? What are your splurges or must haves? Where do you cut corners and how?

And…who do you think spends more money on first dates…men or women?

Get More Online Dates! – Profile Review & Advice Session

Do you re-write your online dating profile every week? Are you not getting the responses you’d like, or only hearing from people that aren’t your type? Do you keep meeting people who aren’t looking for more than a free meal or a one night stand? And what’s up with having 1, 2, 3 great dates and hearing that the other person doesn’t think you’re a good match???


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245 Responses to “The Finances of Dating”

  1. Ellie #1 Says:

    I think the real problem here is Neal paying $75 for a haircut. Well, unless he has a typically female haircut, I suppose.

    • Neil Says:

      Totally…WTF Neal…you going to The Grooming Lounge? Go to a barber, its $17.

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        A $17 dollar haircut will look like crap.

        Here in the midwest, a good haircut costs $70.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          Creativity and style cost money. OTOH, men can get away with the same style for decades. I got one expensive haircut, which was a radical departure from what I (er, my parents) had been getting before but got rave reviews from friends and coworkers. I immediately went back to my dad’s barber, showed him what I wanted, and he had no problem duplicating it next time for his usual $15. When I moved, I had him write down exactly what to do and others (even the monkeys at SuperCuts) had no problem duplicating it either. I have a regular stylist I go to now, and she bitches a bit that it’s the most difficult and most time-consuming cut she does for a guy, but even she says it’s worth it because it looks so good. No need to pay $100+ every time.

    • Andrew Says:

      The only money being spent on the date is the money being spent at the date. What one spends to get ready, does not qualify. Guys spend money and time at the gym too. Some guys have expensive wardrobes. Have anyone really looked at the price of a well fitted custom suit; its starts at like a thousand bucks. Most men who can afford it go to great expense over their wardrobe and appearance. So men would love to spend heavily on themselves too before a date. Most men don’t, because they can’t afford it, and also the actual date itself.

      I have been hearing this nonsense about having to spend money on one’s hair all my life. The spending before the date is just the typical exsuse women give for an obvious imbalance in the new realities of the post feminist age. Its really hard to think of oneself as a user, so one has to find palatable resons to let oneself off the hook. Women really need to stop going on dates with guys they don’t like that much. And women know within a few minute of meeting a guy what his chance are. So stop playing the innocent role. That is old news.


      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Correct, the human mind naturally seeks to resolve cognitive dissonance. This is just a very good example of it – but it’s not just women. For example, a man may justify buying expensive suits because, for example, he “earned it” when, in reality, he just inherited wealth from his parents while there are people who work much harder than he does that that make much less. Part of the fun of this blog is watching people try to justify transparently contradictory behavior and thinking they’re successful.

  2. Kim Hess Divorce Guru Says:

    I believe men spend more money on the date and women spend more time for a date. Gotta agree w/ Moxie that most of the things women spend money on, we would’ve done it anyway (makeup, mani/pedi, new outfit etc.)

    Being a single mom, my date budget is super low…most of the time I do my own nails, wear an outfit already in my closet etc. But once again the things I would do normally for me I don’t count as date budget (facials, hair, shoes etc.)

    I also have noticed lately that a few of the guys I’ve dated have mentioned getting a fresh haircut, new shirt or new pair of jeans. Imagine that, men want to look nice for us too!

    Dating is expensive if you go the traditional route, so everyone should be appreciative of the effort that their date goes through whether monetary or prep work. I know I do as a nice date will end up being well over $100 bucks just for dinner and drinks (I’m in San Francisco).

    • Andrew Says:

      Re. your comment. “I believe men spend more money on the date and women spend more time for a date.” That is cognitive dissonance at its very best.

      Especially curious as you yourself later on in your piece make the statement about men getting a new haircut, shirt or jeans. Also most importantly, men have to think about the date, budget properly, plan the reservations and the ultimate execution of the date. Why do women feel the need to justify the financial imbalance with such poor arguments. I suppose dealing with guilt is hard!

      • Paula Says:

        I think all she meant was that most women spend more time grooming and dressing for a date than most men. That’s a generalization, of course, but one that tends to be true. I’m a low maintenance kind of gal, compared to most women, but it still takes me longer to get ready to leave the house than any guy I’ve been with, as I blow dry and style my hair and apply makeup, which the men I was with did not do (not saying that guys never blow dry and style their hair, but the ones I know all have wash & wear cuts (assuming they have hair) and don’t use product. Then, when you tack on all the manis, pedis, and waxing that W07 says we should all be doing ourselves, then that takes even more time.

        And if planning the reservations takes too much time, use Open Table — that shouldn’t take over a few minutes, at most. You’re also assuming that women don’t think about the date, budget properly or have anything to do with the date’s execution, like planning transportation to get there, which has not been my experience.

        • Andrew Says:

          I am not assuming anything. I am simply asking women to not assume guys spend little time getting ready for the date. If you go back and read my piece you will see that I make no mention of the time women spend on dates because in the end I don’t know. I am simply asking women to do the same. Make no presumptions about the trime guys spend getting ready for a date because you really don’t know.

          The time issue is also a distraction from the main thrust of this discussion which was supposed to be about finances. My point was exactly that. The very idea of providing a distraction from the main issue is an attempt to minimize and obfuscate the seriousness of this issue regarding finances.

          • Paula Says:

            I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting ready in the same household as guys, so I have a pretty good sense of that, and I imagine you’ve lived with a woman at some point in your life, whether it’s s sister, mother or girlfriend.

            The first line of the OPs comment references both time and money, and as the saying goes, “time is money.” As a busy professional, my time is just as valuable to me, and in some cases more so, than my money. If I curtail my work early to prepare for a date, it literally is equivalent to money, given the nature of my work. So it’s hardly irrelevant to the discussion.

            • Andrew Says:

              Paula, tell you what. Do a switch. You spend the money , Your date spends the time getting ready. Are you fine with that? I don’t think so. Then there is an imbalance. People are amazing with their insistence at justifying something in which they have a vested interest.

              • Paula Says:

                I’m fine with that, actually. I make more money than most of my dates do, and usually pay half unless he won’t let me or seems to be bent out of shape about it. I’ve done a lot of dating in the past year, and I don’t think a date has ever spent more than $25 on me.

                I had a couple of dates where I was with guys who were students or who I knew don’t make much money, and I picked up their share too. That may not fly with some women, but I’m completely fine with it. Save your “vested interest” for someone else — that simply isn’t true here.

                And if I’m with a guy who expects a girl who’s mani-ed, pedi-ed, waxed and plucked, I’d gladly pay for the date — even at Per Se — rather than have to go through that.

  3. CuriousintheChi Says:

    I’m in Chicago, the city with the highest sales tax in the land at a whopping 10.55%.

    •I have a gym membership I got on sale that runs me $6/week.
    •I haven’t bought new clothes in over a year, because they still look good/great on me.
    •Hair care products, I shave with disposable Mach 3s, and I make them last. $20/year.

    On a date, I don’t spend anything more than I’m willing to burn into the void. It keeps me from feeling like I’ve been cheated or treated like a meal ticket. First dates are always dutch, unless I REALLY like this girl, and even then, it’s under $10/per person. The most expensive first date I’ll ever do is $10/person. And it works for me. Even when it doesn’t, I find out good information. Like this little gem of a text message conversation I had with a SECOND date last weekend:

    Me: Do you have some time to get together tonight?
    Her: Sure, what’d you have in mind?
    Me: I want Ice Cream! XYZ place.
    Her: Lol! Yes me too.

    We arrange the details. 10 minutes before the predetermined time she texts me:

    Her: Oh yes, are you treating?
    Me: Well, I hadn’t planned on it, but I can smuggle us in some almonds to go on our ice cream.
    Her: Hmmmm….
    Her: You should plan on it. Ice cream is like 5 bucks. Tops. (I know this place, it wasn’t. Nowhere in this city can you get a sundae for $5.)
    Me: Are you telling me to pay for you?
    Her: Yes I am.
    Me: Sigh. Don’t worry about it. I can find other women who don’t tell me what to do.

    I posted this golden little exchange to show that my attitude of not paying for women on dates doesn’t always work. But I learned something about that girl. Every girl I’ve dated who was interested in me–Just ME–didn’t mind paying her share, or didn’t mind going someplace wildly inexpensive. I’m saying this to everyone out there. Date within your means and your budget. It’s possible to go someplace inexpensive and go dutch and STILL HAVE A GREAT TIME. I say, keep that foremost in your mind, and you should find good success.

    (Just for the record, I don’t regret losing out on that girl in the absolute slightest. She proved to me that there are other, far better women.)

    • dimplz Says:

      Apparently she has some big balls. But, at least she was honest. She didn’t pretend like it was ok and then resent you silently. Still, she was a little flip about it. But, you did ask. Toss up. *shrug*

      • blueeyes Says:

        Excuse me. You asked her out, which means you pay. Stop asking people to join you if you don’t intend to treat. I think she is tired of being surprised at the end so she asked you. Personally, I wouldn’t have asked…I would have paid it. But I wouldn’t have given you a second date.

        • AnotherDay Says:

          You invited her, you pay. If you can’t afford two sundaes then don’t ask women out. If you’re short on cash, maybe you can make a little extra cutting Neal’s hair.

          For the record, she sounds like a total dingbat by asking if you were paying. If you had suggested a wildly expensive date and were ambiguous about whether she would be paying half, then fine. But ironing out who pays for sprinkles in advance is ridiculous.

        • myself Says:

          OMG are you from 1950? do you work? yes? pay for yourself!!! seriously, wtf with women these days (and I am a woman!), no wonder men are so frigging cynical!

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Okay, one? Bringing your own almonds? Seriously? That screams cheap. If you meant that as a joke, something got lost in translation. Two, you asked her out. Last minute no, less. And you expected her to pay for your ice cream? If the gender roles in this exchange were reversed, the woman would be called an entitled princess. Sorry, you blew it. Not her. I’d have bailed, too. You have no idea WHY she was adverse to paying. Maybe ti was because you were basically ordering her to do it. No guy tells me how to spend my money. I would run far away from any guy who showed this kind of aggressive behavior.

      • chuckock Says:

        read it again. he didn’t ask her to pay for him, just for herself.

        I found the almonds comment funny, so it wasn’t lost in translation to someone with a decent sense of humor. There is nothing ‘aggressive’ about his behavior here.

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          He asked her out and chose the place. He should have planned on paying. And until you know someone fairly well, it’s unwise to rely on texting to convey humor. Funny how she’s expected to get his humor, but he’s not expected to get hers. He says: Are you telling me to pay for you? She says: Yes I am. How did he know she wasn’t being cute?

          Sorry, this guy totally set this girl up with a stupid test and he failed.

          • chuckock Says:

            I do the majority of conversing with women over text/bbm and I don’t think it is incredibly difficult to convey humor. I have a pretty sarcastic sense of humor and I am pretty certain it always comes across correctly. Was she being cute? I guess that is a possibility but given the rest of the info we know, I tend to doubt.

            Look, I don’t disagree that he should have planned on paying. I just disagreed with you regarding the joke and whether he was being aggressive or not.

          • WO7 Says:

            How did he test her? He set up a date. 10 minutes before the date, she checked in with him to make sure she was getting a free ride. I’ve never had a girl check in with me to make sure that I was “paying her way” before the date started. I smell princess.

            We’ve talked about the whole “asked her out and chose the place thing”. If guys didn’t do the asking, then they’d go on like 1 date a year. Guys HAVE to do the asking out. It is exceedingly rare for a woman to ask a man out, and even more rare for a woman who asks you out to be on your level and not just shooting out of her league.

            Also, as discussed in a previous post…if the guy doesn’t pick the place then he’s considered to have “no plan”. So the guy HAS to pick the place as well.

            So if the guy has no choice but to ask the girl out and pick the place…then why does that also imply that he should have to pay? It’s an absurd argument frankly.

            He was certainly respectful in his place choice. You can’t argue that he picked a place without thought for the amount of money she would spend.

            To be clear, in this situation, I would have paid. Not because it’s right or fair. But because I know it’s what maximizes my chances in the dating game. Frankly, I don’t feel like going through the awkward conversation that he did over $5-$10.

            But how can you honestly argue that it’s not fair for them to go dutch? Just because he chose the place? You know that’s a cop out.

            • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

              He asks her out last minute. She checks with him just before they meet that he’s treating since he asked her out. Now, maybe it’s me, but maybe she was checking to see if he was treating because she was broke. We’ll never know what her intention was because the conversation spiraled out the minute she asked the question. She could have just shown up, said nothing, not brought any money and stared at him blankly until he whipped out that twenty to cover those sundaes.

              • CuriousintheChi Says:

                Wow, so much hate!

                I will say, Moxie, that I HAVE been on that date you just described:

                “She could have just shown up, said nothing, not brought any money and stared at him blankly until he whipped out that twenty to cover those sundaes.”

                I’ve been there. That very same date by showing up with a girl who had not a dime to her name. I will never put myself through that nonsense ever again. I had the money, so we weren’t stuck washing dishes, but what I hated was the passive “I’m helpless, help me!” act. Who in their right mind shows up to a date with no money?!

                Now, I’m actually surprised at you, Moxie. You preach to women up and down about needing to get with the times, and how they need to change their dating habits [to avoid things that don’t work] and change their attitude of the various sex roles, but you are still married to this idea that the person who asks out (the man 99.999% of the time) should pay. I would have expected a little more flexibility and openness from you. I date like this, and it works for me. I’ve met all sorts of kind and wonderful women who don’t mind paying their share. What I’m saying to the guys is that it can work for them too.

                One of the posters said that NYC is a competitive town, and if you don’t pony up right away, she’s going to get swept up by the investment banker who doesn’t mind shelling out the cash. I say, if a woman drops you for the BBD (Bigger Better Deal), then she’s not really for you. The best women I’ve ever met weren’t uptight about who paid. I paid often, but I never paid much, we went dutch OFTEN, and that was O.K.

                Now, Ladies & Gentlemen, the context that none of you had:

                I asked that girl out to ice cream because I thought it would be fun. On our first date I told her that I’m dating, but being vary careful of commitment right now. I’ve committed to “steady” relationships to women much too soon before, and now, for the first time in my life, I’m doing alright with women, and I’m trying dating people without any pretense of exclusivity. On our first date, she asked what I was looking for and I told her. When I told her, she bristled, and later on she told me (in not so many words) that it made her really uncomfortable the idea of me seeing her one night and “not knowing where I might be” the following night.

                My instincts told me that she might start looking for ways of “gaining assurance” that I wasn’t doing things with other women, like calling me often during “dating hours” or not being open to doing things dutch. I bought her drinks on our first date because I was happy to be there with her, and I felt like it. Not because of the social construct. On the second date, I wanted her to go, and I might have paid for her food, but never in all my life has someone COMMANDED me BEFORE the date to pay. ESPECIALLY after a date when I did pay, and she thanked me several times for the $2 drink she wanted.

                • Vox Says:

                  You bought her a $2 drink? No wonder you didn’t want to spend 5 bucks (whoops, you’ve clarified that it would have been SIX bucks) on this gold digging whore. I officially retract my earlier thumbs down, a man can only spend so much!

                  • Andrew Says:

                    Ladies I agree with you. This guy comes off badly. However, your attempts to make fun of the money amounts are not helping you. It shows you in a light that is not very flattering. That dirty “Materialistic” word is starting to show up in my head about you. The guy just did not do this very well and that is all there is to it.

                • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                  I would have expected a little more flexibility and openness from you. I date like this, and it works for me. I’ve met all sorts of kind and wonderful women who don’t mind paying their share.

                  It has nothing to do with gender roles. It’s basic manners. You want the flexibility to contact this woman last minute and ask her to meet up at a place you pick and you expect her to pay? And instead of just answering her question like an adult, you deflect and make a joke (dear lord in heaven I hope it was a joke) over text. Gee, could you expect this girl to do anything more for you? You were lucky she didn’t tell you to go fuck yourself for texting her last minute. Which she could have done. But she didn’t. You want her to make all the concessions. For what? So you can choose her when you have no other options? You want women to be accepting of your terms, but you’ll be damned if you accept any of theirs.

                  On the second date, I wanted her to go, and I might have paid for her food, but never in all my life has someone COMMANDED me BEFORE the date to pay.

                  Do you know for a fact why she asked if you were treating? Or were you doing what it sounds like a lot of men around here do and blaming her for every other women who blew you off in a bar? I mean, you were joking about the almonds. So isn’t it possible she was being coy when she said she expected you to pay? I mean, doesn’t she have a right to ask something of you when you were asking something of her? Or are you the only one allowed to do that? You don’t even see how you created the outcome of that scenario.

                  On a date, I don’t spend anything more than I’m willing to burn into the void. It keeps me from feeling like I’ve been cheated or treated like a meal ticket. First dates are always dutch, unless I REALLY like this girl, and even then, it’s under $10/per person.

                  Let me tell you something. We women know when we’re dealing with a guy like you. A guy laying out little tests to see if we pass or fail because he’s been burned one too many times. You were testing her. You just admitted it above. You said you have your little litmus tests to see how a woman reacts or behaves that you use to determine what kind of woman they are.

                  SPECIALLY after a date when I did pay, and she thanked me several times for the $2 drink she wanted.

                  So, on top of being flexible, she was gracious and appreciative too? Good call . She would have sucked the life out ya, brah.

                  • CuriousintheChi Says:

                    What? I never said anything about litmus tests! For pete’s sake, if I ask you out at the last minute, and it’s inconvenient for you, for heaven’s sake, just say no!

                    Oh, and I’m nobody’s “brah”.

            • nathan Says:

              Yep, the whole the person that asks out pays story is just an easy way for women to maintain having men pay for multiple dates. It’s tiresome to keep hearing that tripe get pulled out as justification.

              I think it’s a nice gesture to offer to pay for a first dinner date, especially if I’m also choosing the place to go. But that’s different that expecting a guy to pay, and telling him he better do so.

              Note, it was a second date being talking about here, not the first. Which makes me wonder when would she ever offer to pay, even for part of the bill?

              • Andrew Says:

                Nathan you have some valid arguments here, but it’s still what it is. I can’t invite you to a dinner at my house then tell you that you have to pay $50 to be there. The good part about this, is that the person doing the inviting out gets to pick the venue. Any attempt to control the venue by the invited party, should be interpretted as willingness for the invited party to pay her or his half.

                I will say this though, that by the time we get to third dates, much of what you say applies. No one should be trying to take advantage of another person and expect good Karma out of it. I really think guys do underhand things to women eventually because of built up resentments, a childish thing I must say, but Karma is a bitch. Men have to recognize bad behavior, get past their testosterone, and move on when they sense manipulative behavior. Also qualifying is important. I try to avoid the over the top restaurant as a first date. It really is the worst possible first date one can have. People should be trying to communicate with each other this early or share some common passion. A man shouldn’t have to try to over-impress a woman.

                • nathan Says:

                  Andrew, the only issue I have with your statement here is that men do 95% of the asking on first dates, and probably the large majority of second dates. So, there seems to be an implicit expectation that we have to pay for all these outings, and that going dutch or a woman paying (gasp) is simply unacceptable. And I just don’t buy that.

                  I totally agree with your point above that Curious handled the situation poorly – he even admitted that himself somewhere in this mess of comments.

                  • Andrew Says:

                    I feel for you Nathan. My advice is avoid expensive first dates. Activity dates can be very good. One of the best dates I ever had was a bottle of wine and a snack spread on top of the highest hill overlooking Boston in the Arboreteum.

                    Other good ones were: a day trip to Governor’s island in NYC; A bike ride with packed snacks and frozen beverages; a drive through scenic country and stopping at the little touristy spots; A hike up to a beautiful Waterfall with packed frozen beverages and snacks; Tango Dancing out at the seaport; Taking someone sailing in Boston Harbor in a small two person skiff; going to an amusement park; going to the beach; going paintball fighting; going bowling; going to the pool room; going to a comedy club; just meeting at starbucks; a walk in the park. I found those situations much better at getting to know a person and letting a person discover you. So you really have better choices than you think.

                    Just be clear to define what you plan on doing in advance. If a girl pulls a switcheroo on you, like I am hungry, then she gives you the opening to say, “I had not planned on that and as such had not budgeted for it, maybe we can do cheap eats or split on that.”

    • dimplz Says:

      On 2nd thought, Moxie is right. She asked if you were treating, to which she was more than entitled to ask. Maybe she’d have to stop and get $$ or maybe she didn’t have money. So, you ask someone on a date but you don’t have the funds to pay? How does that work? Perhaps you should have gone out for the ice cream alone.

      • WO7 Says:

        I have never had a woman ask this of me. Doesn’t asking the question beg the answer? If you ask a guy if he’s paying, then you’re implying that you expect him to pay.

        I find that very presumptuous. Now I understand it’s only $5-$10, and I wouldn’t have done what this guy did. But that doesn’t change the fact that I think it was rude of her to ask if he was paying.

        Maybe she’d have to stop and get $’s? Well I would think that a woman should come to a date with enough money to pay her fair share. Without having to ask. Otherwise she is just assuming that the man will pay.

        • dimplz Says:

          He chose an expensive place for ice cream by his own admission. She asked a simple question and it wasn’t rude, but his final response was. There’s a difference between being direct and being rude. Just because a woman asserts herself doesn’t mean she’s rude. She just wanted to know if she had to pay for herself, which someone downthread alluded to maybe the check thing has been awkward in their previous dates and she wanted to avoid the awkwardness by asking up front.

          • nathan Says:

            Tell me this. If a guy says he’s not paying your share after asking a question like that, what would you think? Would you really be ok with it, because somehow I doubt it.

            • dimplz Says:

              That’s exactly what happened here, and no, I wouldn’t be ok with it. So what? That automatically makes me a bad person? I don’t think so. I didn’t say Curious was bad for offering not to pay, but there is a better way to handle it, and not automatically jump to a response of “you’re not telling me what to do.” Wtf, are they married already?

              • nathan Says:

                I’m not saying he responded all that well. He didn’t.

                My point is that above you said “she just wants to know if she has to pay for herself,” but now you’re saying that it’s not ok if she has to pay for herself.

                Do you see how that question is a trap for the guy? If he doesn’t say yes, he’s screwed.

                • dimplz Says:

                  First, I don’t ask trick questions, so I don’t know what was going through her mind. All I know is, he didn’t respond well to it. He didn’t answer her question directly and instead tried to make a joke. When she asserted herself, he came up with a rude response and dismissed her. If you’re going to be confident that what you are doing is perfectly acceptable, you would just answer directly, “No, I’m not treating, but I’d still like your company.” God, it’s so hard to be polite and honest.

                • dimplz Says:

                  And while I wouldn’t have liked the response, I probably would have gone, paid for myself, and then not done it again. Not because I have to pay for myself, but if someone you’re dating doesn’t know how to handle awkward situations, it’s bound to permeate in other areas of their life, and I don’t want to spend my time apologizing for someone who doesn’t know how to craft a composed response through text message, where you have lots of time to think about how to respond.

                  • nathan Says:

                    So, you expect someone you barely know to not be awkward around an issue – money – that many longtime married people, never mind near strangers – struggle mightily with?


                    The fact that this post is lit up with comments just demonstrates how confused most of us are around dealing with money and finances. So, it doesn’t surprise me at all that the guy didn’t handle her question very well.

                    Oh, and the fact that you would have gone, but then probably “not done it again” speaks volumes. That kind of question she laid on him is a trap. End of story.

                    • dimplz Says:

                      Yeah, it speaks volumes, as I already explained in my prior comment. Stop being a troll.

                    • dimplz Says:

                      And like I already said, before, because obviously you’re not reading the comments, had he been polite about it, I would have gone and probably another date would have ensued, because I know where I stand with him. But for him to come out with a response that was first avoidance, and then when she pushed for clarification, he freaked, then that would have annoyed me. If you’re going to be dating, best to sack up and deal with awkward (GASP!) situations. You can’t figure out if a girl you like is worth $20? Fair enough. Call me when you reach puberty.

                    • nathan Says:

                      “You can’t figure out if a girl you like is worth $20? Fair enough. Call me when you reach puberty.”

                      Your attitude here speaks all the volume in the world.

                    • dimplz Says:

                      As does yours. You sound like you can’t take attitude. Good luck with that.

                  • CuriousintheChi Says:

                    Dimplz, I guess the humor of my almonds comment (which I would have totally made good on, I have 5# of almonds at home) fell flat. Let me just say that she did not sound like she was joking at all. And no, I didn’t take her comment well. Why?

                    1. Nobody has ever asked me in advance IN THAT FASHION if I had to pay. More likely a better way would have been to say, “How much is this place going to set me back?” And I would have said, “$6, but I can cover it.”
                    2. I know her better than you, and I was reading attitude there. Take a look at my other comment. I gave a little more context.

                    • dimplz Says:

                      I saw that, and it does allow more insight to this girl. My question is: Why did you ask her out again? Clearly, you didn’t seem to be on the same path as far as what you’re looking for.

                    • Paula Says:

                      The almonds thing just came across as cheap — most places, extra toppings are $.75 – $1.00 at most, and it’s like the movies, you’re not allowed to bring in food from outside to save a buck or two.

                      If I was with someone who was sneaking in food to save money, I wouldn’t be with them very long. If you can’t afford a topping on a sundae, then buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and make it yourself at home — don’t go to a place whose purpose is to sell you food and then refuse to buy it.

                      If it was a joke that fell flat (via text or otherwise), then fine, it happens, but don’t talk about making good on it and expect us to still believe it was a joke and that it didn’t indicate something about your attitude around money.

          • WO7 Says:

            I simply do not see how a woman asking if she’s paying for her share before a date starts is appropriate.

            In 2011, a woman SHOULD be coming to a date with her share of the money. I don’t care who asks who what. If she cannot afford to pay her share of the place being suggested, then she should be trying to direct the date to a less expensive place. I find it highly unlikely that she was worried about her ability to afford her fair share of an ice cream!

            This doesn’t mean the woman will end up paying in the end…but if she has to clarify ahead of the date whether she’s paying or not…then something is wrong.

            Honestly, I agree with the ideal that CuriousintheChi is aspiring to. However, in order to maximize my chances of finding the person I will be happy with, I am flexible with my ideals, and bend to “the game” in order to achieve the best results. I say this with the assumption that just because a woman is stuck in a certain old fashioned mind set, does not mean she’s not the right girl for me. Sometimes societal pressures produce behaviors that are not indicative of the person’s actual character.

            • Selena Says:

              WO7: “but if she has to clarify ahead of the date whether she’s paying or not…then something is wrong.”

              I think the “something wrong” was Curious told her on their first date his dating casually means going dutch strategy. Asking him if he was going to treat was a teasing way of gageing his interest. Oh well.

              Seriously though, would a man really call a woman up on short notice, invite her for a scoop of ice cream and expect her to pay for it? Even in 2011?

              • WO7 Says:

                Knowing how the dating scene works..I wouldn’t, personally. But that’s because I have no intention of trying to change the way dating in NYC works at the expense of my own dating life. I confine my efforts of changing perception to blogs and hypothetical discussions.

                But really, how can you argue that a man shouldn’t expect a woman to pay her share of a date? There is really no way to argue that each person paying their share isn’t the fair way to do things. You’re both out there checking each other out and trying to decide if you’re interested or not. No one person is doing the other person a favor by being there. And if you think you are, then you must think you’re above the other person’s level. And if that’s the case, then why are you out with him? The only reason our society insists on having the man pay for the date is because of cultural ties from the past. There is no logical reason why this should be the way things work.

                As for it being last minute…what’s the point? If she was busy she can say no. Is no one allowed to be spontaneous now a days? Does being spontaneous mean you have to pay for everything?

              • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                “I think the “something wrong” was Curious told her on their first date his dating casually means going dutch strategy. Asking him if he was going to treat was a teasing way of gauging his interest.”

                Is this what happened? If so, this is probably the correct explanation. I have been honestly trying to figure out in what universe it is remotely appropriate or acceptable to ask someone to treat you, let alone demand it. (I am the biggest sucker of anyone, but that line would have been the end of our conversation without explanation.) But, this comment puts it into a context where I can see she may have actually been expressing interest and “playing along.” Good call.

      • Andrew Says:

        I am tired of the bait and switch women. We are going to club and dancing. She shows up and says I am hungry. And even has the audacity to tell me where she wants to eat. People are amazing. I let her eat, tell her I am not hungry. Then I her she’s paying. This is always so funny to watch the look on her face. She said she was not. I call the waitress over and told her this girl don’t want to pay for the food she ate. I told the waitress I was leaving she could call the cops. Date quickly puilled out a credit card.

        That is really the only way to treat users!

        • Dimplz Says:

          You take a date to a club? Do you bring sand to the beach, too?

          • Andrew Says:

            Yes, that happens when someone tells you that she really likes dancing, and you also like dancing. The date actually said she really wanted to go this particular hot dance club. By the way, How dare you do question where I go on a date?

            • Dimplz Says:

              It’s an expression and a joke. I don’t care where you go.

              • Andrew Says:

                Typical respone when faced with logic. Its more like: I got no logical response for what you just hit me with, so I am gonna resort to the cop out “Just an expression or a joke”

                And please don’t come back with any other fallacious arguments, like ad hominen attacks et al.

                • dimplz Says:

                  When you have your own blog, you can make your own rules. In the meantime, you’ll have to deal with comments based on your stories. That’s the way it works on this site.

    • Charlie Says:

      “•Hair care products, I shave with disposable Mach 3s, and I make them last. $20/year.”

      Not sure I want to touch the rest of the post, but this can’t be good for your skin. Take a look at “safety straight razors” on amazon. Handles are expensive, but blades are about 15 cents per if you buy a 100 pack of Astras or Sharks (and they’re double sided). I’ve had a lot less razor burn since switching and changing blades more often.

    • Selena Says:

      Since first dates are always Dutch for you, I think it was pretty cool the girl asked if you were paying before meeting on a second date with you. You call last minute. You suggest the place. It’s ice cream for God’s sake! Most women would just assume you were going to treat under the circumstances. This chick was really on the ball to check first lol!

      Do women ask if you will be treating very often when you ask them out? I bet you enjoy the surprise on the faces of those who don’t ask when you tell them what their share of the bill is, don’t you?

      Whatever works, right Chi?

      • CuriousintheChi Says:

        It depends. If it’s a cheap date, I might get it. If it’s more expensive, I’ll ask to split. No problems usually. I can count the “looks of surprise” I’ve gotten on one hand.

    • Paula Says:

      Sorry, Curious, you don’t get off scot free here. When someone asks me out, and suggests something in particular, I assume he’s paying for it (even though I am willing to and often do pay my share). And when you suggest something that’s less than a full meal, and generally less than $10, if not less than $5 (knowing most women, she would have ordered a single scoop, not a sundae to eat in front of you), then you should also be prepared to front it, even if she picks up a drink or tip for you the next time. Even “wildly expensive” ice cream is not wildly expensive, even with the hefty Chicago sales tax.

      She was a little demanding, certainly, but I imagine it stems from some perceived cheapness she picked up on your first date.

      • dimplz Says:

        Agreed. My bf is super generous and wouldn’t even let me buy him coffee on our first date. His exact words were, “If I can’t afford to buy you a cup of coffee, I have a problem.” And this was after a seafood dinner and a movie. However, all of these were HIS suggestions, so if he made the plans, I would expect he planned for everything, including how it would be paid.

        It’s been over a year, and still he will try to give me money when I treat. We fight in front of the employees, throwing money at each other (it’s not violent, I swear) and it’s a show for everyone around. I had to leave the money on the counter and say, “Ok, it’s for the next lucky person to find,” so he could finally pick it up. He’s a good guy, and when I joked with him in the beginning about ordering lobster on our first date, he said the same thing he said above. Of course, he wasn’t going on tons of dates and trying to get laid at every pass. He was looking for a serious gal and a serious relationship, so YMMV.

    • Vox Says:

      So you only pay when you REALLY like the girl, so obviously you didn’t like her all that much. Seems to me the woman lucked out by your cheapness. Why should she have to tap dance on a date with you to prove she’s worth of five bucks? Why not spare the women on Chicago by limiting your dates to women you REALLY like? Then the five bucks won’t sting you so much, and you won’t be wasting the time of a woman you don’t even like.

      • CuriousintheChi Says:

        Unfortunately, it takes me a few dates with a girl to decide if I “REALLY” like her. You never know what a person is like until after they get comfortable with you. You never know what a person was going through on the day of their first date before they met you. There could be debilitating nerves, a death in the family, a freak accident (all of which I have seen and gotten on first dates, let me say) or anything. You gotta establish a baseline. Until I know who I’m dealing with–dutch. (Unless I want to, and it’s not more than I want to spend.) Selfish, a little bit. But don’t tell me it’s not fair.

        • dimplz Says:

          That’s your call, but I don’t think you should hold it against a woman or get defensive about it. No one should tell you what to do with your money, I agree, but there are different personalities out there. If your ideas about dating don’t match, then your ideas about relationships and marriage won’t either. Better to cut your losses and be with a girl who’s more than happy to go dutch.

          • CuriousintheChi Says:

            I guess the thing is that I was stunned that she would go ape-shit on me for asking that we split it. Maybe she was under the impression that I wanted HER to pay. That’s beyond ridiculous however! You can’t ask someone out AND ask them to pay. Impossible. If she was thinking that, then gosh, that’s just a big, steaming pile of miscommunication there. And if so, it’s too bad. She had a great rack. Great rack.

        • Vox Says:

          Dutch on a $6 ice cream? Ridiculous. Why not put forth a little effort and think of free events instead of splitting something so absurdly cheap? Here in NYC there are tons of fun, free summer events in parks, art shows, concerts. You seem cheap and lazy to me.

          • longarm Says:

            Yes, dutch on a $6 ice cream (which you know is never $6 in ColdStone, Red Mango,etc). You “women of entitlement” kill me. If I ask you to go out with me, I MUST pay??

            dimplz says, “He chose an expensive place for ice cream by his own admission”. No, he never said “expensive”, he said the ice cream wouldn’t be $5 and nowhere in his city can you find $5 ice cream.

            Moxie says, “He asked her out at the last minute”. No he didn’t, they confirmed details 10 minutes before meeting.

            Put me in the cheap category if you want but a woman’s money is just as good as mine. So I’m supposed to be on the bandwagon for equality in all phases of life, especially earning power and then subject myself to a different standard when I ask you out.

            Ladies, figure out if you want to live in the 50s again. I, for one, wouldn’t mind going back there with you. If not, “man up” and pay your fair share. Let ME decide when I’ll treat and I’ll sit and hold my breath waiting for you to reciprocate.

            • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

              Me: Do you have some time to get together tonight?
              Her: Sure, what’d you have in mind?

              Asking her out the same day as when he wants to meet? That’s considered last minute.

              • CuriousintheChi Says:

                For goodness sake!

                If it’s inconvenient to go out last minute, just say no!!! Don’t say yes, then hold it against me!! That BELLOWS passive aggressive. I hope you wouldn’t act that way Moxie. I know how much you hate to see your readers acting passive aggressive, right?

              • M Says:

                Its just ice cream! My guess is this “date” lasts 15 minutes, 30 tops. ANything beyond that and they arent there for ice cream, its because they want to be with each other and the ice cream is irrelevant. For something this small and insignificant, whats the problem with asking the same day?

            • dimplz Says:

              I’m not that entitled. I cook at my house too, and that incurs costs that my bf never sees.

              These posts always kill me. They are always full of men making all kind of judgments about women and how they are trying to be princesses, and then there’s always the post that we should go back to the ’50s, where women stayed home and didn’t go to work and make money. First off, women have ALWAYS worked. They just haven’t always made money, and they still don’t make the same as men. I find the comments equating feminism to paying on dates the most laughable, and the most ignorant, as a former English major, where I know it is much more profound than the Encyclopedia Britannica definitions I read here.

              • WO7 Says:

                Dimplz, why are you pointing out the behavior of you and your bf and comparing it to people talking about dating that has not yet gotten serious? The issue being discussed (as always), is the entitlement of women who have no reason to be entitled. You’re someone’s gf. I would hope that entitles you to something (and him as well). But I also hope you don’t go into a 1st or 2nd date with the same feelings of entitlement.

                The dynamics completely change once you are in a serious and committed relationship. Most healthy relationships should involve a lot of 50/50 give and take. So comparing what you and your bf do and don’t due in a relationship would give us little incite into how people who are just getting to know each other should act.

                I find it hard to believe, that as someone who studied feminism (if not a feminist yourself), that you don’t think going dutch is a measure of equality. The act of a man paying is just one of many gender roles that is still present from the past. The reason the 50’s comes up, is because there are many other gender roles from that era that have been deemed inappropriate. Women have spent a lot of effort getting rid (or lessening) the gender roles that negatively impact them. Yet they seem to want to hold on to the ones that unfairly shift the balance in their favor. A man paying is just one of the few that hasn’t gotten the axe yet. Most likely because women have no motivation to get rid of it (it’s a free perk for them), and men are reluctant to fight it because it feeds into their genetic need to be a provider.

                • Dimplz Says:

                  So I’m not a feminist if I choose to acknowledge that there are gender roles, and am perfectly happy with remaining myself? Before we went on our first date, J told me that he was old-fashioned. He went out with a girl who insisted on paying for herself, and he was perfectly fine with paying because he was the guy and he believed the guy should pay. So luckily, we didn’t have an awkward text exchange
                  Now, he’s not the 1st guy I’ve encountered who is that way. I know many men who agree with that sentiment. You guys can continue to debate this and call anyone who doesn’t agree a princess, and the women can keep calling the guys assholes. All I know is, I wanted a man who was a Christian, matched my family values, is kind, patient, funny, wants marriage and children. The fact that he was generous was just a bonus.

                  • WO7 Says:

                    You are talking about the “gender roles” that YOU and YOUR bf apply to YOUR specific relationship.

                    I have absolutely no problem with you two enjoying that arrangement if it works for you.

                    The debate here, is if a woman should be flabbergasted by the idea of paying for her fair share on a 1st or 2nd date, or if she should not be.

                    A committed relationship is a whole different ballgame. In that scenario, there are a million different factors that come into play. One is probably who makes more money. If I make more than the woman, then it obviously makes more sense for me to chip in more often than she does. If she makes more than me, then how does it make sense for me to pay for every date we have? That’s just absurd.

                    I find it silly that you are using the term “generous” to describe paying for every woman you go out on a date with. Generosity should be used in conjunction with people you care about or people in greater need than yourself. A woman going on a first date with you is neither someone you yet care about, nor someone in greater need than you. So paying for her does not make you generous. It just makes you a conformist to gender roles.

                    • Dimplz Says:

                      Actually, that’s not the discussion. It’s just a thread that was hijacked, and because Moxie already explained we are going off topic, I’m going to respect that and not discuss it further.

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      this topic iss fine. Its not OT. Thank you, though :)

                    • Dimplz Says:

                      I’m not dumb enough to think he’s generous just bc he conforms to gender roles. He’s generous bc he is. With. Everyone.

                      Just because I’m in a serious relationship now doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about. We did start out with a 1st date. DMN mentioned the other day, it takes time to know someone. We also have to do things we wouldn’t want to do all the time regarding looking good, being pleasant when you feel like crap, and going out when you’d rather be home vegging. Nowhere did I write that the man should always pay. I thought curious overreacted to his dates comment, which could mean one of two things: 1-he knows she had a point or 2- she was way out of line. I personally think it was a little of both. I think she asserted herself because she sensed she was being played, and she was. He admitted if he liked her more, his rules for going Dutch would be out the door. So that shows you how fickle his values are and it has nothing to do with feminism and dating in the digital age.

                    • WO7 Says:

                      You keep using current examples from your serious relationship to compare to 1st and 2nd date behaviors. I’m sure you did start out with a first date, but stick to details from how you and him behaved on your first and second date. How you behave now is not relevant to any discussion other than a discussion about how people act with one another once they’re serious.

                      You are claiming you never wrote that a man should always pay, and then you go on to imply that this woman was being “played” simply because he wanted her to pay for HER share of the date. That seems like a contradiction to me.

                      While he did say that his rules for going dutch disappear once he knows he likes a woman; he also said that he can’t possible know he likes a woman for several dates. He is only on date two with this woman. Therefore, he does not yet know if he truly likes her. Therefore, his rules for going dutch are not yet out the window.

                      And all this is his psyche…not actual facts of the story. She has no idea of any of this stuff that is going through his head.

                      The actual facts of the story are that he asked the girl out, she asked him if he was treating, and then clarified that she expected him to.

                      While I think there are many men here who think it’s cheap that he wouldn’t pay for the date, I think every man here can also agree that it’s BS that this woman feels entitled to be paid for. It’s not something she’s thankful for. She expects it.

                      Do you see perhaps why a man would not want to be “generous” and “give” something to a woman that they have absolutely no appreciation for?

                    • Dimplz Says:

                      I talked about our behavior prior to the 1st date. You must have missed that. But it’s cool. I’m not commenting further on it. Frankly, the topic is just being beat to death.

                • dimplz Says:

                  I’m not sure if you were reading here around March, but I spent a good 4-5 weeks in my bf’s office almost daily, doing GL entries for his clients because it was tax season. I went to bed sometimes at 1-2 a.m. only to get up at 6:30 a.m. for my full-time job. He wanted to pay me, and I refused several times. He always says that more than made up for any dinner he’s taken me out on, and I would gladly do it again, because on top of being my boyfriend, he’s my friend, and if I can help out a friend who’s up to their eyeballs in work, I will. I’d apply the same vigor to my marriage. I wouldn’t just sit around and expect the checks to roll in. I’d pay half and continue working unless we had children and the dynamic changed. My mother was the breadwinner in my house, because my father was a heroin addict.
                  Although it feels weird to let him pay sometimes, my bf has very little expenses. He still lives at home, so he doesn’t pay rent or help out with the mortgage like I do with my mom. He has a much larger amount of disposable income, so while he’s offering to treat, I’m not turning it down. That doesn’t mean I go around trying to purchase things so he can offer. We go shopping and I always pay for myself. Sometimes I will even get something for him, but if he’s there, he won’t let me do sometimes, so I just go on my own and get him something.

    • mrcrassic Says:

      Sorry, man, but you blew this one. Ice cream *is* cheap, and your responses made you look cheap. Then again, we don’t know what came before that; maybe that’s just the way you guys were with each other.

      • Alan Says:

        so funny. I don’t see either party as winning or losing. The girl wanted to be treated. She directly asked, he said no (in kind of a jerky way I thought but both parties were clear about what they wanted) and they each went their separate ways in accordance with their preferences. No harm no foul in my opinion. I thought the almond thing was a joke myself. And personally I thought the entire exchange was kind of flirtatious until he decided she was “telling him what to do.”

        Personally I would have said “I understand and you are definitely worth $5 and I’ll even spring for almonds” but I’m me and not him. If he is happy with the outcome (and I definitely think she is) what is the loss?

      • CuriousintheChi Says:

        I don’t mind blowing her. She was nice at first, but I’m not interested in a woman who tells me what to do like that. Casualty.

    • Emma Says:

      You can’t treat a woman to ice cream? Wow. I don’t care if its the first date or the 10th, that screams super cheap. Also, women know when they’re getting tested….good luck w/dating, you’ll need it with your approach.

      • CuriousintheChi Says:

        It wasn’t a test. I don’t see it as being cheap, but she surely did. Just like you do. Grow some empathy. The woman I’m looking for is more understanding than most of the girls who, earlier today, hated at my post on this message board. If I meet a friend last minute, it doesn’t matter that it’s last minute. We’re still doing dutch. With the girls I date casually, it’s the same thing. And sadly, for her, I told her this on the first date. There should have been no surprise.

        • dimplz Says:

          I have to say, for a while, until you said you asked girls out just a few posts ago, I thought you were a woman. You have a lot of rules! Way more than anyone I have known, like, ever.

        • Selena Says:

          Curiouschi: “If I meet a friend last minute, it doesn’t matter that it’s last minute. We’re still doing dutch. With the girls I date casually, it’s the same thing.”

          This right here, is the reason many women choose not to go out with guys who want to split the check. They don’t want “Mr. Casual’s”. Wannabe F*** buddies. Men who are willing to pick up the check without whining about it are perceived as more interested, masculine, serious, and romantic. You even said you are willing to pick up the check for a woman you are really interested in.

          Being asked/expected to split the check becomes a weed out factor for women.

          Nice to see a man acknowledge it too.

          • CuriousintheChi Says:

            “Men who are willing to pick up the check without whining about it are perceived as more interested, masculine, serious, and romantic. ”


            Sure, you may think that, but that’s no guarantee; I’ve been on the other end of that stick. I’m not a player, but that nonsense is just the kind of attitude that will keep a woman like you open to getting played.

            Nice guy: being up front about what he wants and how he wants to deal with money situations.
            Player: telling you what you want to hear, and showing you what you want to see until he gets what he’s after, then “Thank’s ma’am. It was nice.”

            Not my style.

            • Selena Says:

              Nope. In my experience the men who asked and paid for dates WERE the ones who were most interested, masculine, serious, romantic. AND wanted to have a life together.

              Players can also be the guys who hope to get laid as cheaply as possible. As in paying for $2 drinks. Balking at $6 ice cream.

              • nathan Says:


                I have commented with you back and forth about this whole paying business. I know you don’t agree with a lot my views on this particular thing, but I’ll just say that the whole equation of not footing bills with being Mr. Casual is really stereotypical.

                I often pay for first dinner dates, because although I think it’s an outdated expectation, I figure it’s a nice gesture and I’d rather not demonstrate risk demonstrating cheapness right off the bat. In any case, dinner tends to be the second date anyway, since I usually opt for drinks or coffee on a first meeting.

                Beyond this, expecting that I, or any man, should keep paying for dinners, ice cream, drinks, etc. is entitled. If a given man wants to keep paying, that’s fine. And if a woman offers to help pay, and he doesn’t want her to, that’s fine as well. But suggesting that the rest of us are game players and not interested in committed relationships just because we won’t keep ponying up is absolutely foul.

                There are many ways to demonstrate your desire for someone, and you’re willingness to commit to someone.

                And there are plenty of men out there who lavish women with fancy dinners and gifts in order to get them into bed, and/or guilt them into hanging around for something causal.

                • Selena Says:

                  I know you take offense at the notion men who pay are interested, men who split are casual. And you are right, it is a stereotype. A stereotype that exists and persists thanks to men like Curiousinthechi – men who will pay for dates with women they” REALLY like”, but insist on going dutch if they are just dating “casually”.

                  You don’t have to take this personally, YOU know why YOU don’t like “financing the relationship” as you put it. And I know why many women prefer men pay for dates – there is often the sense it “separates the men from the boys”.

                  It may take time, but we all end finding someone who fits.

                  • WO7 Says:

                    Selena…where did you come up with this ridiculous theory?

                    I don’t know a single player who doesn’t pay for everything. That’s the whole shtick of being a player…

                    • Selena Says:

                      Where did I come up with it? From having a few partnerships with dating in between. Years in fact.

                      Players by nature don’t stick around long, so their paying for “everything” doesn’t amount to much does it?

                    • nathan Says:

                      “Players by nature don’t stick around long, so their paying for “everything” doesn’t amount to much does it? Right, and in the beginning, it’s not going to be money spent that separates players from seriously interested guys. If both sets of men are spending a lot of money, it’s going to be other cues that determine the intentions of the men in question.

                    • nathan Says:

                      “A stereotype that exists and persists thanks to men like Curiousinthechi – men who will pay for dates with women they” REALLY like”, but insist on going dutch if they are just dating “casually”.”

                      Yes, I agree with this. The whole causal thing makes me less sympathetic to Curious’ situation.

                      However, it does sound like he told her his views about wanting a casual thing up front, so I don’t know what she expected, knowing that information.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            “Men who are willing to pick up the check without whining about it are perceived as more interested, masculine, serious, and romantic.”

            Ha, yeah, I have some bad news for you…..

    • M Says:

      One thing I havent seen anyone mention yet that I think really needs to be said is this (pay attention ladies):

      Its not about the money, it’s the principle.

      Im sure either person could afford to pay for themselves, and probably for both. However, I can tell you that as a guy, I am tired of going out with girls, paying for them on our date, and then never having any reciprocation. Hell, a good number of you wont even talk to us after the date. We both go out, I pay, I call to ask you out, and not only do you not answer the phone, you dont return calls. You reach a point where you want to see the other party put equal [financial] effort into it, and thats what this guy is doing. In every other area of life, women demand equality, but now, in this area where equality would hurt women, you suddenly want it the way it was in 1950? I dont think so – it doesnt work that way. If I have to lose out on promotions to women with inferior qualifications because they are, in fact, women, then you have to help shell out for dates. I dont care if its $5 or $5000 – I want to know that you dont see me as a cash cow, someone who will buy you shit and entertain you, all with little to no cost to yourself. You complain about how guys sometimes use women for sex, well, this is how women use men. You see how we have a problem with this?

  4. Paula Says:

    Wow. Just wow. I’ve been dating a ton in the last several months, and I haven’t spent anything like this. Maybe I haven’t been successful because they’re expecting someone more “girly.”

    I budget enough for my half of the date (which I generally pay, and occasionally pick up the tab for all of it if I’ve seen someone a few times and we’re to the alternating stage). I try to suggest a happy hour place where we can get inexpensive drinks and maybe an appetizer without breaking the bank. Not living in NYC, I don’t have to budget cabs, and I live close enough that driving and parking usually isn’t too much of a hassle (if it’s going to be, I take public transportation).

    As for the rest, I don’t buy new outfits just for dates — I buy them if I need them, and so I don’t consider them a dating-related expense. Manis and pedis would be useless, now that I’m in training for my local sporting endeavor. I got a great “deal-a-day site” deal on laser hair-removal treatment, so I’m currently in the midst of that, but that’s something I’ve been planning to do for a while. I had back surgery as a teenager, so I’ve never work significant heels. I keep my hair cut and colored, but through a local chain of salons that is much less expensive than the high-end salons, and since I wear it long, I only have to go when the roots get unbearable. I wear makeup, but I’ve worn that since 5th grade and consider it part of my daily routine.

    I think as long as you satisfy basic hygiene and grooming standards, a guy who asks you out is probably not going to know the difference in terms of how much you spend (time and money) to get ready for a date. If they already thought you look good and are attracted to you, spending an extra hour and/or mucho dinero to get ready isn’t going to make that much of a difference, if any. And most of the guys I date (who don’t tend to be the metrosexual type) wouldn’t know the difference anyway.

    • Paula Says:

      I work with a personal trainer ($250/mo) and maintain a gym membership ($80/mo), but that’s for me. Not for dating. If you go into improving your physical fitness with the mindset that you’re doing it for anyone but yourself, you will not stick with it. Been there, done that.

      I hope that cost is offset by the additional Social Security I will collect before my death and reduced medical bills in my old age (or even now.)

  5. Vox Says:

    In the world according to me, men spend more on first dates. I typically spend $0 on first dates, the only exception being transportation. Actually, now that I think about it, I did spend $70 on my first date with the new guy. That was a ere exception, because our “let’s meet for a drink” date turned into 8 hours. Hitting it off so well, I was happy to pick up a portion of the evening.

    As for general personal expenses, my hair is the most expensive ($200-$350 depending on what I’m doing.) I’m not much for make up since I get around a lot by bike so that’s negligible. (I do like Sephora too; will do make up for nights out. My gym is $42 a month, thanks to switching from NYSC to a muscle head gym. Works for me since I do not take zumba, yoga etc and I like free weights. Clothes, I can fit many samples so I tend to shop the showrooms where I get cool clothes for very cheap. I do have facials done regularly, so that’s $100.

  6. dimplz Says:

    My hair is the most expensive, but it still only amounts to about $120-125 for my highlights (including tip). I like to shop a lot, but I have curbed that to maybe 1-3 new items a month, and I shop anywhere that’s cheap. Also, my sister works for a major label so I get invited to sample sales, although now I’m kind of tired of them. I buy makeup from e.l.f., they have dollar items and $5 lipstick and since I like variety, I like having cheap options. I buy cheap accessories at forever 21, and for now, I’m all set. I use coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond at Harmon stores where I get my toiletries and I may go on a run like that every few months and spend between $20-50, and I use Oil of Olay on my face daily. I love it. I give myself (and my boyfriend) manicures, but for pedicures, I will go to a local nail place, and even then, it can cost about $20-25 every couple of weeks.

    My bf is always saying how good I look, so I must be doing something right, and I’m really not spending a lot to do so either. :-)

    • dimplz Says:

      Oh and my gym – Lucille Roberts, $20 a month, and I do get to take Zumba with that and visit all the gyms in my area. Not the best gym I’ve ever belonged to, but it’s all women and the classes are fun.

  7. AP Says:

    I don’t mean to be cocky, but as a relatively attractive woman in NYC, dating is very economical for me in NYC. I’m generally well-groomed and have a good fashion style which doesn’t translate to spending a lot of $$ actually. There are plenty of Asian salons to get waxed, manicured/pedicured and lots of cute small street stores as well as larger chains like Strawberry and Forever21 to buy trendy clothing. Perhaps the only area where I do have to drop some cash is with the gym, fitness classes and eating relatively healthy food to stay in shape…but I would do this anyway, because it’s part of the active lifestyle I enjoy, and has nothing to do with needing to be attractive for a guy.

    Anyway, if you take good care of yourself generally, there are no costs that come into a first date as a woman here. The only downfall is that sometimes guys feel some pressure to show you a particularly good time or impress you because you come off as having that expectation or looking “high maintenance” (Moxie knows who I am….I’m sure). I get taken out to very nice dinners or wine bars for first dates. For my part, regardless of the quality of the guy, I try to remain polite, friendly and make good conversation. When the check comes and the moment is appropriate, I do usually offer to put something down but so far no one has taken me up on it. It doesn’t mean I haven’t had my share of bad dates or assholes, but as far as the first date logistics go, they have all been enjoyable and cost-free for me.

    • AP Says:

      I should add I have had guys fork out up to $500 on a first date…which I never planned for or asked for…and does make me uncomfortable. I’d say the average first date I go on is between $100-$200, and includes dinner. Even if it is just drinks, that usually works out to $80 here in Manhattan with 2 rounds each plus tip. I do agree, in this particular city, it’s not easy being a guy and dating… humble opinion

    • Craig Says:

      Finally, a woman who admits the truth – her dating costs are really $0. AP, your honesty about the reality for all to see is appreciated. And she’s in NYC, the most competitive dating market in America. You go girl. As a guy here I can tell you that the competition for hot chicks is usually against dudes with a lot of money. The competition is too fierce to get away with asking a woman to contribute during a date. Most men here would never dream of attempting it because after your attempt to go dutch, the investment banker is going to swoop in to wine and dine her and you’ll be done.

      • AP Says:

        Phew… thanks :-) I thought I was going to get bulldozed for this post….but I’m glad to see honesty is appreciated in this forum. Your last statements are all absolutely true, fortunately or unfortunately, and is very reflective of the dating scene in NYC.

        I will be posting more in these forums. I’ve been a reader for ages, but perhaps the time has finally come for me to start commenting.

    • WO7 Says:

      Bravo! I agree with Craig. It’s refreshing to see a woman on this forum admit that women really don’t have to spend a dollar in this city to have an active and healthy dating life.

      It’s also refreshing to hear her acknowledge that it’s not easy being a guy and dating in NYC.

      She sounds appreciative of her experiences, and not just expectant of them the way the other posters on here do.

      I wish more woman were like her.

      As Craig mentions. We know we’re out there competing with everyone else. This is why we try to play the game to the best of our abilities, and sometimes it necessitates working around any limitations our budget might pose in order to not be out of the running before we start.

      • dimplz Says:

        I don’t mind if people disagree with me, but I resent the comments about the female posters and how we come off and the insinuation that we aren’t appreciative. You don’t know any of us personally.

        This site is for discussion; it’s not your personal soapbox.

        • nathan Says:

          I haven’t experienced dating many women who have the kinds of expectations some of you on here seem to have around men and finances. Perhaps my experience is different from W07 and Craig, but most of the women I have gone on dates with – and all the women I have been in relationships with – had reasonable views around financing dates. I often pay for the first dinner date, but not always. And generally, from there, we’ve figured out things as we went along. The times I have felt an expectation from a woman that I need to keep paying for everything, it’s been a sign that we were a bad match anyway.

          • dimplz Says:

            Again, making assumptions about what I expect. You don’t know me dear, so you don’t know what I expect.

        • WO7 Says:

          If you don’t want to be categorized as such, then don’t make a bunch of posts suggesting that that’s how you should be categorized.

          Look at your posts above. You are insulted at the idea that you would have to pay for an ice cream on a date. You “expect” that it is to be paid for. If you don’t think that’s being unappreciative and entitled, then you have some brushing up to do in Webster’s.

  8. Red dog Says:

    This is a very interesting topic. Normally I don’t post on sites because I find it a waste of time. I’d rather bs out there m

  9. Craig Says:

    “I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that certain expenditures are made “for a date.” Come on. A haircut or manicure? Date or no date, you’d be getting these things done. Clothes? Those can be re-purposed and worn any time. Waxing? Well, I think most women wax/shave fairly regularly even when they’re not dating or having sex regularly.” – Moxie

    Precisely. It’s ludicrous when women include the costs of their clothes and grooming as dating costs. These are expenses that would be incurred even if not on a date and can be re-purposed beyond that evening. True dating costs are costs for services or items that are incurred for that specific outing only and once the outing is over, what that money paid for is not resusable. Food, drinks, transportation, and admission tickets to events or activities are dating costs. What I spent on my clothes or a haircut doesn’t count because they will be put to use over and over again beyond one date. I would have incurred those expenses with or without a pending date.

    When I was dating, my max budget was $100 for a first date (that doesn’t buy a lot in Manhattan). My must-have was to take a lady to a reasonably nice place – I’m not into the loud dive type places. I cut corners by avoiding weekend outtings and limiting the time spent with the person and choosing a place that didn’t serve food. If I went to a place where drinks are $10-$15 a person, it would be a 2 hour date mid-week after work to limit how many rounds I had to buy and eliminate the expectation of eating a meal. If we assume the guy is paying for everything during the date, I don’t see how any woman could spend more. Her only expense useable solely for that specific outing would be her transportation costs. Her clothes, makeup, and Brazilian wax would be enjoyed by her next guy long after she’s stopped returning your calls.

  10. Charlie Says:

    Maybe it’s because I come from a smaller city, but spending $100+ on a first date seems kind of alien to me. Nor does a fancy dinner date with a near stranger sound fun as my impression has been that they tend to come off as essentially job interviews. You could easily do something like bowling and both have fun and get to know a person. Or walk in a park, go to an art museum, or dozens of other things.

    • WO7 Says:

      Exactly Charlie. A dinner date on a first date is NOT fun. Women in NYC love the dinner date though. So it takes effort to avoid going on any first date dinner dates here in NYC.

      All of your ideas sound much better to me.

      • nathan Says:

        Occasionally, I’ll do the dinner thing, but I tend to opt for coffee or drinks as a first date. I’ve done a few walks around a lake for first dates as well. And museums are good first date places too!

        I also live in a smaller city, where I run into less of this “men better buy me fancy dinners and prove their interest” crap.

        Although I also wonder why so many women think dinner is a great first date option. I mean, how many stories have you heard women tell about miserable first dates that went on too long because they had to sit through a meal with some guy they really disliked? I know I have had a few of those kind of dinner dates myself. It just seems smarter to opt for something that either has an easier escape – like coffee or drinks – or which provides something to talk about if you don’t have much of a connection (like an art museum or going on a hike).

        • Mel Says:

          I hate dinner as a first date… except sometimes in needed

          My most recent first date was after work. As i work until 830pm, i was starving. He asked where we should go and i said i wanted pancakes…so we went to IHOP. sounds crazy but it was one of the better first dates i have had. Cheap, didn’t have to worry about sitting around for a while, not pretentious at all.

          generally I am very low key to dates… i personally am not one of those girls who want to get dolled up and go out to fancy places. I hate make-up, my hair is usually in a ponytail, and i work 6 days a week. you get what you get with me.

          and i ALWAYS offer to go dutch. some take me up on it, some don’t. if they don’t then i always offer to at least tip. i don’t hold EITHER against him.

  11. Red dog Says:

    This is a very interesting topic. I felt compelled to share my experiences.
    – since I am the guy I pay for the first date. I actually pay for the second one too. If she really wants to pay she can pay for the third. Am I old fashioned, yep! I still believe in male / female, ying / yang dynamics. How can you see if she’ll accept you as the man in the relationship unless you act like one?
    – my first and second date is usually inexpensive. $20 bucs top and a little more if I really like her. The goal is to find out of we are comparable with MUTUAL emotional and physical interest. It’s not to see if I can feed her at an expensive restaurant. Let some other sap do that. First we either do happy hour, or star bucs, or something else very casual and low key. Next date is a bit more active to see how she responds to different situations.
    – fellas, I think it may be wise for you to adopt this attitude too. This way you can be the man, and go on many dates without blowing the bank, and let some other poor fool buy her an expensive dinner while she goes home and calls the guy she really likes. If you dont pay anything on the first date you come off as super cheap. If I were a woman and you couldn’t even pay for ice cream you’d never hear from me again. On the other hand she had no business asking if you were going to pay. Just show up and see how it flies.

    • Joe Says:

      I agree with $20 top for a first date (unless we already know each other, in which case the first date has an entirely different dynamic.) This has another advantage; I’m a frugal guy on a budget (I’m frugal anyway, but due to alimony and child support, I’m barely breaking even and I make a decent salary.) I’m not interested in high maintenance women at all. I don’t like women who wear lots of makeup and who are so vain as to dress up to go to a simple coffee shop, restauarant or some other fun thing.

      I’m not remotely interested in a woman who measures her worth in how much men spend on her. There are several words for that, none of them flattering.

      • anon Says:

        I’ve never been on a date that costs only 20 bucks. This is the first time I’m hearing of such a thing. I don’t think I’m high maintenance but going out for coffee is not a date to me. For a first date I expect the guy to pay and I don’t offer. If we begin dating regularly then, I will pay for some dates. I usually go to dinner and do an activity on a date.

        • Joe Says:

          Live where I do and it’s not dificult. There’s also a thing call creativity. A simple picnic lunch can cost $20.

          • Vox Says:

            I agree on the picnic date, but that is never what these guys are talking about on this thread. The complainers are never creative enough to suggest a picnic date, or they simply don’t care enough to bother, Instead they ask you to meet them at Starbucks… which is a hell no for me. I can remember a great date I had that cost the guy $2, and I loved it. But Starbucks? Nope, I’ll just go home.

            • chuckock Says:

              What difference does the location make? Isn’t the point to get to know each other? You can do that in any setting. I’m all for creative dates, but not first dates where I am just looking to get to know her.

              • dimplz Says:

                It matters to a degree. If you pick a place that’s too loud, you can’t hear each other. If you pick a place that’s too quiet, everyone can hear you. I think a picnic is a great idea. I love walks and stopping for ice cream or coffee in between and continuing to walk. When I was in Manhattan, this was a lot easier to accomplish.

                • chuckock Says:

                  I don’t disagree with that at all, but I didn’t mean location in an ambiance sense. You can have a perfectly nice conversation at the bar at an applebees or on the couches of a starbucks.

                  • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                    This topic has been covered. Commments are getting cluttered. Plese stick to the topic.

                    • chuckock Says:

                      seriously, that was the first time that topic had been discussed. Why do you always pick my comments to stay stuff like that on? There are several others repeatedly saying the same things over and over; i go and react to something Vox says and try and move the conversation along and suddenly i am the one off topic????

                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      The comment wasn’t just replying to you. You just happened to be the last commenter in the string. I’ve had to sit and sift through comments for the last forty five minutes and delete ones that were unnecessary, because people are emailing me and telling me the page isn’t loading in their mobile devices or browsers.

                  • dimplz Says:

                    I think a coffee shop or Starbucks works. Nothing sadder than a drunk 1st date.

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              I’ve tried being “creative” for first dates, but they all backfired and I’m simply not a very creative person in the first place–especially with complete strangers. There’s a reason I went into engineering. Simply put, most women seem to expect a free meal and drinks when a guy asks them out, so that’s what I do. Once we’ve gotten to know each other, I’ll try something different, and then we’ll be able to laugh together about what a failure it was instead of simply never hearing from her again.

      • Selena Says:

        Joe: “I agree with $20 top for a first date (unless we already know each other, in which case the first date has an entirely different dynamic.) ”

        This sounds ideal to me. An inexpensive lunch or drink if it’s a first meeting – a dinner date somewhere within your budget if you already know each other.

        The men who don’t want to pay for dates period seem to be the ones screaming about paying ALOT of money. Dating doesn’t have to involve spending alot of money, it can involve mostly spending time.

  12. tall girl Says:

    I never go on a date without expecting to pay for at least myself. So when deciding where to go, if I feel he’s chosen a very pricey place, I try to steer away from that or just meet for a cocktail or two at said fancy place. There have been many times a guy has gone forward to pay, but I always offer – unless for some reason I feel like I’m going to make it really awkward by offering. Oddly, I try to pick up the entire tab on really bad dates – I don’t want to feel like I’m in anyway owing someone that I never want to see again. I live in brooklyn and work in the city, which means I meet most dates after work – so factor in a cab home if it’s really good date, and that’s an additional $20-$30 – again, I try to steer dates downtown so getting home is easier but that’s not always possible.

    As for monthly upkeep – I have my hair cut every six weeks, and right now I’ve decided to sport a difficult to maintain asymmetrical cut, that’s $120 every 6 weeks. I’m lucky in that my mother makes amazing facial scrubs, so that’s free. The other facial care I use is expensive, but I generally get for free (work perk),but would otherwise cost $200+ every 6 months. Shampoo & conditioner is about $50 (I have a lot of soft fine hair and I find this just isn’t a place I can skimp, unfortunately). I buy all my clothes and shoes on sale, mostly at Nordstrom Rack, Century 21, DSW, and a lot online – Most months I may spend $50-$75 on one or two good items, and others $200. I don’t look good in trendy clothing. I’m tall and curvy, not heavy, but clothing that isn’t at least slightly tailored seems to make me look lumpy. I’ve amassed a large collection of heels by buying things off season (at places like TJ maxx or again, online end of season sales) and holding onto them. I probably get a mani pedi every 6 weeks or so, about $30, and I’m terrible about regularly maintaining this. I spend $20 on eyeliner every six weeks, and about $300-$400 yearly on makeup – In addition to my day job, I teach & perform folkloric dance (and I wear a lot of makeup when I perform). Razors, soap, and other incidentals seem to run between $30-$40 a month. Like Moxie, I don’t really wear accessories. They few pieces I have, I’ve had for ages and go mostly unused. I spend $55 a month on a great gym (I scored a deal through work, again).

    For me the greatest cost in dating seems to be time. Putting on makeup and picking the right clothes, making sure I’ve packed what I need before leaving work. I think there’s a hidden cost in terms of time for women – sure we shower and shave/wax regularly. But before a date we generally go do all these things AGAIN, so we can be as pristinely lovely as possible – which is kind of stressful, more than costly.

    • Vox Says:

      I’m curious about women who “steer” dates to the venue of their choice. It seems very common with women who pay (or expect to pay). I am reminded of a discussion we had here about wine bars over pubs – same deal, women who expect to pay feel ok about rejecting a pub suggestion and steering towards a wine bar. I also recall a Moxie post about attempting to change an eveing cocktail date into brunch. How do men feel about this? Anyone care to chime in? I accept invites as-is or I decline; I never try to change the invitation, because I am a guest and it’s his money. What is the general consensus on this?

      • chuckock Says:

        I think it depends on how she does it and where she steers it to. I don’t mind a suggestion of a local change at all if the change falls within the basic frame of the original invite. Like if i suggested drinks at chili’s for a first date and she requested we instead meet at a a more local place- it would be fine. If she couldn’t make the time I suggested and requested a different day/time I would actually like that because then I know she didn’t say no because she didn’t want to go out with me but because she couldn’t make it.

        The only time it annoyed me when, for a second date, I had looked into local decent date spots located around where she was fun and she said no to both my first and second restaurant suggestions. I then requested that she pick a place and she choose the most expensive restaurant around. She showed herself to be high maintenance. The places I had picked out were not ‘good enough’ for her.

        • dimplz Says:

          I personally don’t like Chili’s, but I like Fridays. They are in the same range and Fridays has a 3 for $12.99 or $16.99 thing that I love. My bf doesn’t really like Fridays so we hardly go. We like Cheesecake Factory but I do try to steer him to more local places rather than chains. Right now, I’m doing a juice fast, so we aren’t going out to eat. I will cook as well though. Last week I made an almond crusted tilapia, with stir-fry veggies, and garlic asparagus with olive oil. Hmm, I’m thinking maybe this post belongs in coffee talk, but there are ways to save if you are spending a lot on dates and you are already past the safety concerns.

        • Vox Says:

          To me the food is inedible at all of those chains, Fridays, Chilis, Applebees… I hate them all. Too much sugar, preservatives and chemicals. In NYC no one would suggest such a place because there are more convenient local establishment. If I lived outside of NYC, I’d accept an invite to a chain, and I’d choke down a 1500 calorie salad.

          • chuckock Says:

            The food there is usually pretty good, better than most give them credit for….but I usually suggest such a place for a first date because people have a comfort level when they go to a place they know already and most everyone has been to those sorts of places. Besides, for a first date – it isn’t for dinner but for drinks and appetizers.

            I agree about the NYC part though. It is definitely harder to find a place out here in long island. Especially if i am trying to find a place which is local to where she is from and not going to make her come to me.

            • Vox Says:

              Chemicals, rancid oils, hormone laden meats and lots of sugar – that’s what is served at those chains. Look around and note how fat the average patron is. It’s really terrible food. I’m not talking about taste, which is subjective. I’m talking about quality, which is quite bad for you. But apologies to all, I’m getting off topic.

        • tall girl Says:

          In other words, Vox, your curious about “women like me” – hahahha almost sounds like I got lumped into a category there. :)

          Well… I can’t speak for the category, but in NYC there are a ton of options that are similar, and sometimes just changing the neighborhood changes the cost, but not the style. So for example, let’s say he says he’d like to meet at Death & Co. My response might be “I love Death & Co., but have tried Ward III or Summit bar? You might really like either of them if you like death & Co” – and there’s a $5 difference per drink, perhaps, with similar ambiance. Ultimately, if there’s a polite invitation and he’s adamant we go to that place, and I’m interested in him, I’ll go to that particular place. It’s an invitation and all steering I do is relegated to polite suggestions. I’m lucky that my budget is not so tight that I have freedom there. But honestly, most guys I’ve met come up with a handful of options and we’ve generally figured it out together for first date.

          All that being said, I’m just now getting back into the dating world so maybe I’m way off base. So far this seems to be totally acceptable.

          But no, it doesn’t have to be a question of wine (or cocktail) bar v. pub. I realize that being in NYC, we’re all a bit spoiled that way.

          • Vox Says:

            I just don’t understand why you can’t just meet at Death & Co if that is the invitation that was extended to you. Maybe it’s my upbringing – I live in NYC but was raised elsewhere, in a place where I was taught it is gracious to accept invitations as is unless there are extenuating circumstances (such as dietary needs). Again, I don’t pay for first dates, so I wondered if the fact that you are willing to pay makes you more comfortable with supplanting a man’s suggestion with making changes prior to a first date. It smells like entitlement to me… But then again I’m not a man.

            • tall girl Says:

              I was also raised elsewhere – many elsewheres, before ending up in NYC. Both of my parents are self made successful career people, we started out flat broke when I was a child and were far from that by the time I graduated. My entire family is kind & assertive – and I was raised with the expectation that I should be a fully self sufficient adult. For me, being able to and willing to pay for myself or for a round or everything on a date is the opposite of entitlement. That’s my personal opinion. But I can say that my intentions are NOT from a place of entitlement. Maybe it reads that way? I don’t agree but I respect what you are saying. I spent most of my childhood, despite being girly, in the company of my brother and all his friends. I find making conversation with guys to be generally easy, and not about power or ‘supplanting’ anything.

              I think each date is unique, and when possible – yes, if a location appears up for discussion, or the guy seems unsure of a location, I will suggest places that are comparable and less expensive in a conversational manner. But I have also accepted direct invitations.

              Here are two real life examples from last week.

              Date #1 and I agree we should meet via dating website. He asks what area is convenient for me, and suggests 2 places. I respond I like the 2nd place, and add that there is also place x he might like. We settle on his 2nd suggestion. Date goes well after the first hour, and we move to a second location. I paid the tab at the second location. This was not awkward at all, and he seemed to appreciate it. He and I made loose plans to meet later this week.

              Date #2 and I agree we should meet, again, via dating website. He asks if I’m comfortable meeting him in x neighborhood at x time. I say yes. He say’s he follow up with location the next day. I say great. He sends location, best train to take, and time. I reply great, see you there! Date #2 clearly felt comfortable at a particular location and was very direct in making a formal invitation, which I accepted. He handed the waitress his card before the bill hit the table, and on the way out made a specific date with me this week at a specific time. Offering to suggest a place or pay seemed like it might make this guy uncomfortable. If we continue to date and I it hits a point where I can pay though, I will.

              If I think it’s acceptable to offer suggestions, then I don’t hesitate. If it’s clear that there’s a formal invitation, then I accept if I’m game. Now, if I’ve come off as false to you, fine. We’re just going to have to agree to disagree.

            • Angeline Says:

              If tall girl was suggesting more expensive places, that would hint at entitlement, but I the sense I got from her comment was that she’s suggesting *less* expensive places that have a similar feel to them. If I’m expecting to pay for my share, I would certainly ask to switch up to a less expensive place, especially for a first date. Also, I’d really like getting the advantage of someone else’s familiarity with what might turn out to be a new favorite place. I don’t get at all how that’s entitled.

      • WO7 Says:

        Seems she was talking more a change in location then venue. I often ask a date for advice to pick a location that is convenient for the both of us. Usually I have no idea if they’re coming from work or home, and where each place is. Once I am given a location to work with, I do my research on what place I want to go to.

        As I’ve said before, I usually try to be in control of the actual place. Just to prevent ending up at a place I find surprising.

        The only time I would be resistant to a change in location, is if the date was clearly skewing things to be convenient to her and not at all to me. I was going to meet up with this girl from Astoria. I wanted to meet in the city, but she wanted me to come all the way to Astoria. That seemed inconsiderate of her to me. Depending on the girl, I may or may not go through with it anyway.

        • tall girl Says:

          At WO7 – yes, that is it exactly. So for example, if he lives on 145 street in manhattan and I live in brooklyn, and we talk about where to meet, the issue of transportation is pretty natural here. So I might say, anywhere below 59th street off ___ express lines would be convenient, and then ask “would that work for you?”

          I’m not a militant – I’m just trying to find a happy medium for both parties.

          • Vox Says:

            You do realize that 3 minutes ago, your changes had nothing to do with location, and had everything to do with personal tastes, right? I know W07 just gave you a better answer; I guess you should have read more before posting.

            • tall girl Says:

              If that’s what I communicated about ‘taste’ then, I made an honest mistake and communicated poorly, or you misread. I’m really not very picky in terms of ‘taste’. I’ll elaborate on your other response above.

              I’m not sure why you seem to be in attack mode. But it’d be nice if you dialed it back a wee bit.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “I never try to change the invitation, because I am a guest and it’s his money. What is the general consensus on this?” I don’t know about consensus because I’ve never heard/seen it discussed before, but I think it’s acceptable to suggest alternate plans if you don’t find the invitation acceptable. It’s certainly better than declining entirely. Personally, I’ll take all the help I can get; if you know a great place to meet near you, I’d be happy to try it, as long as it’s in the general price range of what I suggested. It’s the “upgrading” that will set me and most other guys running.

        • Angeline Says:

          One of my first dates with my current guy, I think maybe it was the 2nd official date, which he asked me on, I asked if it would be OK to go to the pub I was familiar with. It is located near where I used to work, and my coworkers and I kept the place afloat. So I knew it well, they knew me, and I knew we’d get great service and have ample opportunity to talk, play darts, and smoke without having to go outside in the cold (we both smoke). He gave every appearance of being delighted by the suggestion, and we ended up being there for hours, which flew by like minutes. Because I knew the place so well I could gauge how he’d like it. It’s his new favorite pub, and he calls it my bar. “Let’s go to your pub. I love that place, and they treat you like gold there!”

          Because the place was a little pricier than his suggestion, I’d already planned to pay. At the end of the night, we had a flurry of cash and credit cards flying in the air sort of like dimplz descibes her dates with her bf, but because I knew the place and knew the staff, I’d already arranged to pay early on in the evening, and they weren’t about to go against it. He paid the tip. Neither one of us makes much money, but he’d insisted on paying for everything up to that point, so that was the only way I could arrange to pay for ANYTHING.

          Yeah, I’d resent the hell out of someone attempting to upgrade the invite as well, but luckily for me, he didn’t suspect it was more expensive because I described it as ‘my favorite dive bar’. I said I was going to pay, but he brushed that off, so if he’d known it was more expensive, it might have put him off.

  13. mrcrassic Says:

    I don’t see the point of spending more than $100 on a first date. Why do I need to have an expensive session of dinner, drinks and activities just to start knowing a woman? That seems much more appropriate after the relationship’s set in place. (I think makes even less sense if you’re looking for a quick lay…)

    I also don’t understand the concept “budgeting” for dating outside of the date itself. I would think that grooming and fitness, for example, are things people do for themselves instead of maintaining good first impressions.

    Then again, maybe I”m 23 and just don’t get it yet. (Most of the woman I’ve took out on dates have had no problems paying for stuff, but I always offer to pay everything up front on the first date. Not doing so is cheap.)

    • mrcrassic Says:

      Forgot to mention (for completeness, of course): I usually start my dates with breakfast (<$30 usually), coffee (<$10 usually) or some event we agreed to check out beforehand (last time I did this, the event was free, but I paid for dinner afterward); everything after that is improvised.

    • nathan Says:

      No, you’re right on. Initial dates shouldn’t be about trying to impress the hell out of someone by spending piles of money. And I have never considered the idea of budgeting for dating. Even when I go on a dinner date and pay for it, it’s never been a whole lot of money.

      I’m 35 years old, have been in long term relationships, and I can count on one hand the number of women who I have been on dates with that seemed to be fixated on me paying for fancy things. With everyone else, it seemed just fine that we had a cup of coffee, a drink, or a simple, inexpensive dinner together.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “Initial dates shouldn’t be about trying to impress the hell out of someone by spending piles of money.” I agree that it shouldn’t, but I’m in competition with millions of men who think it is, so I have to do like they do (and as women expect) to have any hope of success.

        • nathan Says:

          Even if it means that I end up staying single, I’m not going to view dating as a competition. Nor am I going to follow along with what other men are doing just because they are doing it. For better or worse, I want women to see how I genuinely act and think, regardless of whether it’s the norm or not.

  14. Grace Says:


    I soo appreciate your honesty. Dating is really a competition, and it is rare that a man will talk about this competition as honestly as you have. In all the years of dating I have gone dutch on a first date only once. I ALWAYS offer to pay my share, but men actually seem to take offense to it. One guy actually said to me, “don’t ever do that again.” LOL!

    I have no budget for dating because I don’t date. I would really like to meet someone, but right now I feel like I would need to make some changes in my appearance to attract the type of man I want to date. This may sound shallow, but I don’t wish to date any Tom, Dick or Harry. Been there done that and it just wasn’t worth the headache.

    Anyway, good post Moxie!

    • Joe Says:

      Well, Grace, if you’re ever in Utah, I’ll go on a date with you and let you pay your half. :)

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “I ALWAYS offer to pay my share, but men actually seem to take offense to it.” For some men, it’s an insult to their machismo to suggest they can’t afford to take care of a woman. For others, you are rejecting their attempt to buy their way into your panties. For yet others, it’s simply taken as a sign that you’re not interested and don’t want to take advantage of him.

      • Paula Says:

        See, and that’s how we’re “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” I recognize that you guys are in the same situation, in that you’re either spending a lot of money on women you’ll never see again or being perceived as cheap.

        Why won’t both sides recognize that until societal equality and the institution of dating evolves a little more, that this particular indicator is simply a no win for both sides, and that all of us should be looking to something other than “who pays” to determine character and attitudes about money?

        • chuckrock Says:

          That is kind of easy to say for the side of the equation that doesn’t pay (not meaning you paula – we know that you will offer to pay), but doesn’t help the guy who winds up paying.

          This topic is starting to get boring though. I’d rather talk about ways we might try and actually initiate change in society.

  15. Lexie Says:

    I’ve always followed the most popular rule of thumb – whoever works up the nerve to ask out the other first, should at least be prepared to treat. However, since I’m used to being asked out first (as I suspect most women are), then I find that most guys already come prepaped to treat. Of course, if we start seeing each other regularly, then I don’t want the guy to always be the one to pay. I used to insist on going dutch for first dates, but found that some men actually resent when you block their attempts to be generous. But I still bring along enough money to cover myself – since there are a few guys out there who will invite you to a restaurant, then only throw down enough money to cover themselves. I’ll pay for my own meal, but his lack of kindness will speak volumes.

    Also, if a guy asks me out and he just doesn’t have a lot of money, then why not pick a low-cost or free event? In NYC, there are plenty of those. A free movie at Bryant Park, anyone? My treat! But a guy doesn’t have to spend his grocery money and eat macaroni and ketchup all week just to impress me. Then I’d just feel guilty.

    But when it comes to preparing for a date, I believe you don’t have to spend money on a haircut, new clothes etc., unless you needed these things anyway. Even then, you don’t need to spend $75 on a haircut just because it’s done by a guy named “Jacques”. Bob cuts hair just fine too. So the bottom line is, you want to look your best, but looking clean and not smelling like goat cheese can be good enough!

  16. chuckock Says:

    To the original column post. I don’t spend any money in a lead up to a date, but I also don’t buy that women do either. Any grooming I may do has nothing to do with dating but to do with being a professional guy who wants a functioning role in today’s society. So hair products (really like $5 a month on shampoo and conditioner), cologne (i use axe so pretty cheap too), hair cuts (i cut my own hair and have since college), gym ($25 bucks a month but that is because I am a member of the chamber of commerce), and clothes (i maybe go clothes shopping 4 times a year) are done to just be me, and not to impress any date. On LI you pretty much have to drive so any transportation costs are just gas tank related.

    I usually try and budget about $50 for a first date, but sometimes will go over if we have extra rounds of drinks or something. That will be balanced along with the occasional coffee date that costs $5 bucks. I can’t see going higher than that on a first or second date. After that I will spend as the date/activity calls for and usually by then she is paying for at least part of the tab. This is part of my general ‘social life’ part of my budget though.

  17. Brad Says:

    I think the people of this board are too reasonable. On the lunatic fringe, here are 80 women that think Per Se is a reasonable request for a first date:

  18. WO7 Says:

    All of these costs women are attributing to dating…not only should they not be…but they often involve a woman pampering herself.

    Going to get a wax? That’s like me going to a professional shave before a date. That’s a luxury for me…not for my date. It is not fair to claim that hiring someone else to do work that you could do yourself is a “cost of dating”.

    Haircuts? These occur once every 6 weeks, like most women on this blog are pointing out. How can this be attributed as a cost relative to one date? Would these women not get haircuts if they weren’t dating? Do they not need to maintain their appearance for work? And if they’re just going in for a styling…well then that’s another example of them paying someone else to do something they should be able to do themselves.

    Manicures and pedicures? All this can be done yourself. If you’re going to a place to do this, then it’s because you’re pampering yourself. Not because you’re “preparing for a date”.

    Also, taking a taxi. The woman is choosing to take a taxi home. She could just as easily take the subway or the bus. That does not balance out against the actual money the man MUST pay for himself and the woman.

    As for my personal expense? I’m not going to contribute any of my grooming expenses to dating. I choose to look good for myself, work, and friends as much as I am looking good for dating.

    • Mandy Says:

      “Going to get a wax? That’s like me going to a professional shave before a date. That’s a luxury for me…not for my date. It is not fair to claim that hiring someone else to do work that you could do yourself is a “cost of dating”.”

      Apparently you’ve never tried to wax yourself? Not only are there some areas that are virtually impossible to reach, but personally, I don’t have the masochism necessary to pull off strips of wax from certain areas. I am physically unable to pull that strip. No problems with getting it done, though!

      And yes, she could take the subway or bus. And she doesn’t have to wear makeup. Or heels. Or a dress. Or shave/wax anything. They are all choices. Just like you can choose to pay or not pay, or how much you want to spend. If you want a woman who meets the modern definition of femininity, then you can’t say that these things are optional on her part. Heels=taxis, not the bus.

      • WO7 Says:

        Why do you have to wax? Why can’t you just shave? Almost all of the girls I have been with are shavers and not waxers. I have been with a few women who would not shave and would only wax. It was always because of the convenience of doing it less often, and to avoid any itch (which goes away when you do it regularly enough).

        I could wax my face you know…but I don’t, I shave it.

        As for the rest, your comparisons are not apples to apples. Makeup, heels, dress. Those are all things women wear for a variety of occasions. Not just dates. As for your “heels=taxi” BS. Women wear heels to work, and they’re not all taking the taxi to and from work! Taking a taxi is a luxury. If you want to do it, fine. But on the same token, I can take the taxi home too. So it is NOT a cost of dating that is only on one side of the equation. You think a woman can’t look sexy in a nice pair of flats? We’re not talking gym sneakers here…

        I was specifically speaking about the things people mentioned. Going to a hair salon (only necessary once every 6 weeks unless you’re choosing the luxury of having someone style your hair over you styling it) or going to get a manicure or pedicure (can be done at home unless you want the luxury of someone else doing it and giving you a massage to boot). I mean, some of these prices for getting your hair done…really? I don’t give a crap if you dye your hair blonde. I probably find you more attractive as a brunette. But I’m the one benefiting from your $200 highlights?

        The issue here is that women should not categorize certain things as a “cost of dating” that really has nothing to do with the cost of dating.

        • Angeline Says:

          W07, I’m with you on all except the waxing. No, the itching doesn’t go away, no matter how regularly you shave, it still itches like crazy as the stubble grows back. You shave too soon, and you can get a ferocious razor burn – think on that for a minute. Waxing causes way less of that, because the hair coming back in is much finer (due to being ripped out roots and all).

          None of the other expenses is justifiable to me as a dating expense, I agree with you on that, as you pointed out, several are even pampering, feel-good items, or at least a health choice (gym memberships). But waxing or shaving my entire pubic area and vulva bare and smooth is in no way done for me, it is done purely for him. There is nothing remotely pleasurable, or even neutral, about either one. So, that ought to legitimately factor as a dating expense.

          • ReallyRosie Says:

            Guess I am the only woman here who actually shaves everything herself. Everyday. And if you do it everyday it’s just like shaving anything else. The body gets used to it.

    • Paula Says:

      Whenever I go to get a waxing, believe me, it’s either for a guy, or very occasionally for a professional conference where I will have to be in the pool with colleagues. There is no way I would ever torture myself voluntarily that way. Don’t even compare it to shaving your face — there is no comparison between a part of your body that everyone sees daily, and a part that no one but your lovers see.

      Guys watch so much porn these days that they expect perfect landscaping, and some even think “bare down there” is sexy (instead of prepubescent and unnatural looking). I’m currently getting a laser treatment because I got a great deal and I’m sick of dealing with it (plus waxing makes me break out), but yes, I’m doing it for *your* benefit, not my own.

      I don’t do it for a first date, though — I’m not automatically assuming that it will happen on a first date, and I figure if it does, he should be grateful enough that he shouldn’t be freaking out about my lack of preparation in that arena. Otherwise, I’m hoping that it will be amortized, if you know what I’m saying.

      • WO7 Says:

        If you’re doing it for me, then shaving is just fine. I have no need for the minimally extra smoothness that a wax provides. So it sounds like you’re doing it for you and not me.

        “Prepubescent and unnatural looking”. I would love for you to explain to me why a shaved pussy is prepubescent and unnatural looking, and shaved legs and armpits are not.

        I am into women. I like the way the vagina looks. I can’t see the thing if it’s covered in hair. I also don’t enjoy giving a woman oral sex with a bunch of hair in my mouth. It’s absolutely gross. I love giving oral sex, but I will not do it regularly if a woman doesn’t keep it bare.

        I imagine women feel the same, so I either shave or keep a very tight trim.

        All that hair down there just traps odors. It’s nasty.

        And yeah, anyone claiming they HAVE to shave for a first date…that’s BS. If things go all the way on the first date, people probably aren’t too concerned about things being perfect down there. Plenty of time to worry about it for the next time.

        • Vox Says:

          I also don’t enjoy giving a woman oral sex with a bunch of hair in my mouth. It’s absolutely gross.

          All that hair down there just traps odors. It’s nasty.

          Are you actually a high school student?

          • WO7 Says:

            Ah Vox. I bet your parents tell you you’re funny. Keep trying.

            • Vox Says:

              I’m not trying to be funny. Your views on the female anatomy really are that backwards and immature. I find it hard to believe that a grown man would say such things.

              • WO7 Says:

                So let me get this straight…you find it “immature and backwards” that I have a personal preference for oral sex without hair as opposed to with hair? And that I find that hair in the area contributes to increased odors?

                Wow, alert the press! Adults are not allowed to have a personal preference about these types of things, and if they do…they should keep it to themselves!!!

                Sounds to me like you’re just uncomfortable with your sexuality, and are too much of a prude to be able to have discourse about it without deeming it “immature and backwards”.

                You’re also not fooling anyone if you’re trying to convince us that you weren’t trying to come across as witty with your “high school” comment. So you were trying to be funny. I’m sorry you failed at it.

                • Vox Says:

                  Teenage boys refer to pubic hair as being “nasty” and “gross.” Grown men have preferences and are able to express them in a mature manner.

        • Paula Says:

          “Prepubescent and unnatural looking”. I would love for you to explain to me why a shaved pussy is prepubescent and unnatural looking, and shaved legs and armpits are not.

          Because legs and armpits are not genital areas, and are visible to the general public on a regular basis, especially in the summer. And because not shaving legs and armpits has become a feminist statement, and while I’m proud to be a feminist, that particular statement is not one I choose to make.

          Another good reason for me personally: because some of us have ingrown hairs and break out when we wax or shave that area, and I’d rather you deal with a little hair than think I have an STI that I don’t have. I’m happy to neatly trim, and prefer you do so as well, but I’m not going to create a perpetually uncomfortable and unsightly situation for myself just to honor your purely aesthetic preferences.

          • WO7 Says:

            So it’s not OK to subject the general public to armpit and leg hair, but it is OK to subject your partner to public hair? That logic makes no sense.

            I don’t understand the relevance of pointing out that some women consider not shaving an exercise in feminism, or the relevance of you pointing out that you don’t agree with them. I’m not arguing against someone having a personal preference of how they like to groom themselves.

            Also, you completely ignored the prepubescent part. Why is removing hair in one part of the body considered a return to looking “prepubescent”, and removing it in other parts of the body is considered “normal”? Do you think that all women who remove their public hair are trying to look prepubescent?

            I’m glad you have personal reasons for not wanting to shave. I have no problem with your personal preferences. But I think it is odd that you feel the need to insult other people’s personal preferences by calling them “prepubescent” or “unnatural”.

            It’s just hair…people get all kinds of haircuts. This includes shaving their head. Perhaps you watched the show The Voice. If you did, you’d have seen a finalist that shaves her head. I thought she looked very attractive. Is she “prepubescent” or “unnatural”?

            • Paula Says:

              I did address it. Prepubescent girls have hair on their legs. They do not have hair on their genital area. Therefore, no hair on the genital area is a prepubescent look that only little girls have naturally, unless it has been altered (rendering it no longer natural).

              As for the feminism part…many people feel that not shaving your armpits or legs is making a feminist statement about male oppression and being forced to conform to a male-driven standard of beauty, and isn’t just about not shaving. Therefore, people who see you assume that you’re making that statement, rather than just going “oh, she doesn’t shave.” Although I would ask all the men who expect shaved pussies whether they completely shave their armpits, genital area, legs and chest? Why not? Odor certainly gathers there. If your partner didn’t like hairy guys and expected you to shave all your body hair off, would you?

              And we subject our partners to all kinds of things that we don’t subject the general public — if you plan to live with someone for the rest of your natural lifetime, then you’re hoping they don’t have a problem with all that makes you you, like morning breath, your face without makeup (if you wear it in public), and the body odor that occurs before you’ve had a chance to shower. All part of being human….

  19. Selena Says:

    Whenever I read forums where the topic of paying comes up, the majority seem to favor of men paying for the major part, women paying a smaller portion (tips, after dinner drinks, dessert, etc.).

    Agree or disagree?

    For those who prefer to share the costs of dates as equally as possible – how old are you? I’m curious to see if there is a demographic difference.

    • dimplz Says:

      And it’s always a heavily-commented thread. I am 37 and my bf is 36. We both come from families and backgrounds with gender-roles, and both of us are cognizant of them and happy with our roles. I don’t think it’s about age; I think it’s about cultural constructs. Best to date someone with matching ideals, instead of trying to make them understand or accept yours.

      • Selena Says:


        I very much agree it’s best to date someone with matching ideals. And I do believe people with matching ideals find each other – eventually. It seems to be a struggle though to shuffle through so many that don’t share one’s ideals first. Which makes me curious if ideals may be linked to demographics or other factors.

        Is dating in NYC different than the rest of the country?
        Is it customary for men to pay for dates if they are over 40? Less so if they are younger?
        How do men feel about women paying for the smaller portions of the date?
        Do women really want to pay for those smaller portions?
        Are the people who prefer the cost of dating to be split finding they have more options? Or less?

        What bemused me about CuriousChi’s post, was that the issue of who pays got worked out BEFORE a second date ever happened. What a time saver! :)

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “Is dating in NYC different than the rest of the country?” It seems to be, based on what I read here. I’m from the South, and some of the comments and attitudes here are just mind-boggling to me.

          “Is it customary for men to pay for dates if they are over 40? Less so if they are younger?” I’ve only dated one woman in my life that didn’t expect me to pay if things went well, and I’m under 40; at the time, I was around 25. And she was from Boston, not my usual dating pool.

          “How do men feel about women paying for the smaller portions of the date?” I personally find it somewhere between confusing and insulting for a woman to offer to pay but not her full share. IMHO, it would be better to graciously accept him paying this time and offer to treat next time–at a much cheaper place if necessary for your budget.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “I don’t think it’s about age; I think it’s about cultural constructs.” I agree that gender roles are cultural constructs, but culture changes over time, and different generations are well-known to have different cultural standards. Most cultural change happens through cohort replacement rather than through individuals changing during their lifetime.

    • nathan Says:

      On the first date – yes, it seems men usually are expected to pay. Beyond that, I don’t think there is as much of a consensus. I’m 35 by the way.

  20. joe Says:

    When have men become such cheapskates? Some of you feel happy saving a few dollars on ice cream rather than meeting someone. Do you feel manly staying home while your girlfriend works to pay the bills? Personally, I always pay for the first date.

    I spend what I feel comfortable with. For me, that is around $100 a week in NYC. If I already spent $90 on other dates then it is coffee. I have even gone to White Castle because I haven’t had their burgers in a while.

    As for competition for beautiful women in NYC, that is a myth created by high maintenance women. Let these women meet the equally high maintenance investment bankers. I am a wiser financier and choose my woman carefully. I know many beautiful women who are looking for good guys. When they are not modeling, they are at churches, community service centers and/or running errands.

    I think my girlfriend is the most beautiful woman in the world and I tell her that every day. While you might not agree with me, you would probably think she is beautiful inside. For our first date, I spent $20 for Eileen’s tiramusu cake because both she and I love tiramusu. For our anniversary, I offered to take her to Per Se but she pushes for the $45 Bouley lunch special. We have stayed around the $100 weekly budget with she and I picking up the tab an equal amount of checks. She cooks and makes me lunch boxes so I can save money.

    I am about to break the $100 weekly budget. I have my eyes set on a $90,000 Tiffany ring that will look perfect on her finger.

    • dimplz Says:

      It’s great that you met such a wonderful woman. Good for you!
      As for the ring, it must be lovely. Congratulations.

    • ReallyRosie Says:

      WOW, I definitely live in a different world and not NYC. I enjoyed everything about this post until the $90K ring. Excuse me? That would pay off my mortgage. Anything more than single digits for an engagement ring I couldn’t fathom or justify.

  21. BILL Says:

    Women including moxie has called him cheap skate. Imagine if he asked, are you going to put out? what kind of feelings would you have? If you do not like guys asking you that than you shouldn’t be asking guys are you going to pay? Women failed to realize it is the point, $5 in NYC is nothing. Imagine if you really like the guy you imagine a future with him, how would you feel on your first date he said “are you going to put out?

    • dimplz Says:

      “Imagine if you really like the guy you imagine a future with him, how would you feel on your first date he said “are you going to put out?”

      Any girl who felt like that BEFORE a first date is a stage-5 clinger, and the man should run.

    • Vox Says:

      I would love for a man to ask “are you going to put out” if that is what he is thinking. I now know his expectations and can act accordingly.

  22. BILL Says:

    Also the reality if a girl asked that of a guy she is not that interested in the first place because she would not risk offending a man at that level if she was crazy about him. Similar to a guy would not ask that of a girl “are you going to put out?” to some girl he was crazy about.

    The reality many men have stop paying for first dates or investing $ in first dates because the reward system is negative. If first dates/few dates are postive than men would pay more. It is part of the reward system.

    Realistically instead of thinking of a guy is too cheap you should be thinking is he living above his means. I see so many men who have spend above there means to impress a girl. Before you know it the girl is in love and the next thing you realize two people are married. With lots of debt, and both indviduals want to spend to impress others they go into deeper debt than divorce.

    • dimplz Says:

      Well, then the guy should be honest with himself and his woman about his finances. People like that have a juvenile perception of love – I really like her, we have fun together, I’m happy, let’s get married. If only it were that simple. Real life brings real problems, and you need a partner with a realistic outlook on money, career, lifestyle, and commitment. Someone who can weather the storm and not cower in the corner.

      My bf lives well within his means and so do I. We use coupons, and as I matter of fact I went hunting for one on our 3rd date for guess what? Ice cream! Sadly, the coupons weren’t any good. :(
      People who go all out on initial dates are probably insecure and think they can’t get by solely by their personality and an average venue. Too bad for them.

      • longarm Says:

        Dimplz, the woman in the OP’s post was not “his woman”. That’s the difference. Her insistence on being treated to the $5 ice cream (as in, “Oh he really cares about me because he never lets me pay”) showed her “juvenile perception of love”.

        • Dimplz Says:

          I don’t think it’s cheap. It’s honest. I’d rather my bf tell me we have to slow down than pretending he can afford it. Luckily, my bfs biggest expenses are guitars, which he buys occasionally. He really doesn’t mind paying. In fact, on my bday he paid for me and my family’s dinner. They all fought over it and he insisted and threw the money back. He is like this with his friends too. It’s just who he is. Luckily he makes food money and is able to afford it.

  23. Ellie #1 Says:

    I always offer to pay my half on a first date. Moreover, I refuse to do dinner on a first date, not because of money, but because first dates tend to be awkward and drinks are both quicker and can ease the awkwardness quite a bit.

    If I don’t like the guy, I’ll usually force him to take my half, but if I do like him, I am happy to let him pay.

    As a feminist, I often struggle with the idea of men paying my way, even though I tend to like it. I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff? In the end, I’ve sort of settled on it being OK for men to be expected to pay, as they make 25% more than women, just by virtue of being men. They should be spreading the wealth a bit!

    • nathan Says:

      Ellie, I appreciate your answer. As a feminist man, I’ve been trying to strike a balance in all my views around relationships, and with money, it really seems to be difficult. And I totally agree about skipping dinner on first dates. I occasionally do it, but usually opt not to.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “I’ve sort of settled on it being OK for men to be expected to pay, as they make 25% more than women, just by virtue of being men.” That stat is grossly misleading. Once you adjust for all the relevant factors (age, experience, education, unreported income, etc.) women get paid roughly the same as men for the same work. Plus, many women have additional income sources (child support, alimony, gov’t benefits and tax credits/exemptions for single parents, etc.) that are generally unavailable to men.

      • Ellie #1 Says:

        No, they don’t. Men make 25% more AFTER those adjustments. Men make 25% more for doing the exact same jobs. And I’d say the vast majority of women are not getting alimony or child support. Moreover the ones who are getting child support use it to, you know, support their children. Also, I don’t know what sort of dream world you think you live in, but single moms are given no benefits that are not extended to single dads, and those benefits are, in a word, shit.

        • Craig Says:

          Actually Ellie, your statistics are somewhat skewed. The stats you rely on are misleading because they reflect a very generalized view of the workforce instead of specific individual situations. Looking at the population overall, women will appear to earn less because of such factors as taking time off for maternity leave, or sacrificing their career for childrearing, etc. – which slows their stastistical ascent up the career ladder. But if you examine more specific statistics, such as a professional woman with the exact education and experience as a male counterpart who took no time off for maternity leave or childrearing, you’ll find she earns the same as the male. In fact, with female college and professional school graduates now outnumbering males, you can eventually expect to see women pull ahead in income compared to males. Most women match up dollar for dollar with males in terms of income with all things being equal – until they have children. That’s when they start falling behind and they never catch up.

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            Another major factor is those men over 50 earn the most of their careers, pulling our average up, but most women over 50 have never worked at all or were limited to low-income professions such as nursing or teaching, pulling women’s average down. Give it another 20 years and the gap will narrow quite a bit–but it’ll never be equal due to maternity leave and those stubbornly clinging to traditional gender roles.

          • Ellie #1 Says:

            The U.S. Census’s report on the wage gap reported “When we account for difference between male and female work patterns as well as other key factors, women earned, on average, 80 percent of what men earned in 2000… Even after accounting for key factors that affect earnings, our model could not explain all of the differences in earnings between men and women.”

            • Craig Says:

              That Census statement is vague and I’m sure I could find the fault in its results if I had further info. For example: what specifically where the “different work patterns” and “other “key factors” they accounted for? And how exactly did they adjust their methodology to account for them? I know what everyone makes where I work and every female with the same experience and job title earns the same as her male counterpart. I’ve dated women who were professionals such as doctors, as well as those who are also lawyers like me, and we had conversations about this topic. They all earned the same as their male counterparts with the same experience.

              I can’t speak for all situations, but certainly in the NYC professional ranks (which is typically the circles in which I date) the feedback I’ve gotten from women is they are doing just as well as men financially. The fact that females have different work patterns that the Census Bureau was able to identify clearly illustrates why there can at times be differences in income between men and women. But when all things are equal, there is no disparity.

              • Ellie #1 Says:

                I’m glad your personal experience trumps the wealth of data on the subject, which, of course, you could find fault with, anyway. Thanks for mansplaining it to me.

                There wouldn’t be an issue if you, as a lawyer, were making more than a woman who was a teacher. The problem is that when all things are equal, there is STILL a disparity. I’m not full of facts and figures, but there is a wealth of information out there on the topic. Please check it out, before applying your personal experience* to all situations.

                *I find it extremely unlikely that you know how much all of your colleagues make, and if you actually do, I assume it’s self-reported, which is probably as inaccurate as if you were just guessing. If you have actual numbers on them, I’d question the integrity and propriety of your organization. That is unless you were in HR, of course. But, I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re not, because if you were, you’d be a lot more familiar with gender salary discrepancies.

                • chuckrock Says:

                  I am not saying I agree or disagree with whether there is a wage gap caused by gender (because frankly i don’t know), but i will say this: Studies that claim to prove the wage-gap theory can never isolate gender as the only variable that accounts for the difference in income. Therefore, you don’t really have any proof of your claim.

                  • Ellie #1 Says:

                    You win. There’s no wage gap. And while we’re at it, racism is dead and all people on welfare are lazy! The world is a magical and happy place. Thank you both for showing me the light!

                    Your privilege astounds me! Well, the privilege doesn’t astound me, your complete inability to recognize it does.

                    • chuckrock Says:

                      1. That was uncalled for.

                      2. The idea that you can not see the flaw in the ‘proof’ you provided just tells me that you must never have taken a science or social science class in which experimentation was done and outside variables were limited. There is no mathematical model in which you can limit or erase the numerous other factors at play when discussing a wage gap theory.

                      This whole line of thinking has really just proven you to be someone who will use anything at their disposal to try and justify obnoxious behavior because they can’t come up with an actual logical reason for it. So sad.

  24. Paula Says:

    Is there any way to have this conversation without it devolving into “who pays?” and all the guys getting pissed about having to pay on first dates and all the gals straddling the fence between tradition and modernity? It seems like we go there every time, and with nearly a hundred comments already, it’s more of the same.

    The cultural institution of dating has some catching up to do, to accommodate online dating, texting and email, and the evolution of sexual mores. So it’s not surprising that no one really knows what to do when the bill comes.

  25. Robyn Says:

    It’s not that I get manicures, pedicures, waxes etc. because of a date – I do these things anyway – but I have found that I will get them more often if I’m actively dating.

    Since physical appearance is such a big deal on first dates/meetings, you pretty much have to go the extra mile to look as best you can. Which means getting the nails done etc. this week instead of putting it off to next week, and sometimes buying something to wear that is more date-ish than what you’d usually wear if out with friends.

    Guys like to see girls in a dress/skirt (or so I have been told) and I mostly wear pants (in winter) or capris/shorts (in summer). So I did have to invest in some dresses & skirts when I started actively dating (after being off the market for 7 years).

    So “dating” does cost me more than “not dating”, but most men I have met are gentlemanly enough to pick up the whole tab on first & second dates, so money-wise it all balances out in the end I think.

    But I find that TIME and EFFORT are the biggest “costs” of dating that I incur. Even if you’re meeting some one for 1-2 hrs for coffee/cocktail/icecream, you still have to get ready, get there, get home afterwards – it’s a minimum of a 4 hour investment. That’s half a working day. And since I travel 4 days a week, that’s one sixth of my available time / days @ home.

    No offence, if I’m prepared to take the time and effort (and forgo other activities that I could be doing during that time) to meet some one in response to their invitation, the least they can do is pick up the tab for coffee/icecream/one decent glass of wine. I don’t expect a full-blown dinner (nor do I want one) on a first date.

    I firmly believe that whoever issues the invitation is the host of the event/outing, and the host should pay. And I will more than willingly reciprocate on a subsequent outing in return.

    • chuckock Says:

      No offence, if I’m prepared to take the time and effort (and forgo other activities that I could be doing during that time) to meet some one in response to their invitation, the least they can do is pick up the tab for coffee/icecream/one decent glass of wine.

      I’m sorry, but are you serious with this? Why is your time and effort more valuable than mine? Can’t i say thing about you? I spent the time and effort to meet you…..why don’t you pick up the tab? sound ridiculous doesn’t it? It sounds equally as ridiculous coming from you.

    • WO7 Says:

      I repeat…why do you have to pay for a mani or pedi when you could paint your nails yourself?

      I know why you women do it…it’s to pamper yourself. It’s for the relaxation of it. It’s for the massage that comes with it. But you’re not being honest with us. You’re pretending that you’re doing it for us. I don’t even care for painted nails. Give me a clear coat any day of the week. Or perhaps go french style and add the white strip at the top!!! You’re not fooling us in trying to convince us that the money you spend on mani and pedi is for us.

      Your argument about clothing is no different then a guy could make. I would spend all summer in shorts and a t-shirt if I could. But I wouldn’t be caught dead in this outfit on a first date. I’m going to wear slacks and a button up shirt. You think this doesn’t cost money for me?

      As for the time and effort. Your time and effort invested is no different then what I have to invest. It takes an equal amount of time for us each to get to and from the date. You can argue that it takes more time to get ready, but then I would argue that it took me a lot more work to get to the point where we’re even going on a date.

      Robyn, be realistic. How often are you ever asking a man out??? Are you really buying this? You know full well that as a woman you just sit back and wait for men to approach you. So it is disingenuous to pretend that the whole “host” dynamic can and should be applied to the situation.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “You’re pretending that you’re doing it for us. I don’t even care for painted nails. Give me a clear coat any day of the week.” Exactly. I think painted nails look rather silly; if a woman can’t bear to be seen in public with untreated nails, just trim them nicely and put something clear on. Anything more is for other women, not for men. I feel similarly about makeup; if I can tell a woman’s wearing it, it’s excessive and makes me wonder what kind of monster I’ll wake up next to when the mask is gone. Granted, I’d like to know they’re capable of accompanying me to a formal or black-tie event without embarrassing me, but in general I’d rather meet right after work and see what they look like every day, since that is, at best, what I’m going to end up with in the long run if we get together.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “TIME and EFFORT are the biggest “costs” of dating that I incur. Even if you’re meeting some one for 1-2 hrs for coffee/cocktail/icecream, you still have to get ready, get there, get home afterwards – it’s a minimum of a 4 hour investment.” You think men don’t have to spend time and effort doing those things? We may spend a little less time getting ready, but that should be offset by spending more time traveling to/from a location that is convenient for the woman, so it balances out.

      “No offence, if I’m prepared to take the time and effort (and forgo other activities that I could be doing during that time) to meet some one in response to their invitation, the least they can do is pick up the tab for coffee/icecream/one decent glass of wine.” No offence, if I’m prepared to take the time and effort (and forgo other activities that I could be doing during that time) to invite someone out and meet them, the least they can do is pick up the tab for coffee/icecream/one decent glass of wine.

      You’re just making excuses to justify getting what you want and pretend it is somehow “equal”.

  26. bree Says:

    I don’t spend a lot of money on hair and make-up because I don’t need to.
    I don’t go many places because I’m not from here and have no family here and in DC everybody has this busy career thing and has kids, church, life etc etc etc……..I’m single with no kids so rarely do the friends I do have make a lot of time to hang out…they have other priorities.
    I do my own hair and sometimes go get it done at the hair cuttery. Don’t really wear make-up unless I’m going out…the most expensive make-up I wear is MAC lipglass and my foundation….I wear whatever eyeshadow colors I like….doesn’t matter much the brand.
    I buy nice clothes but they last me a long time..I take care of them. Some things I get dry-cleaned occassionally.
    For a date I don’t really spend any xtra money….I use what I have…I will sometimes buy a new outfit if I’m going out with my girlfriends…but other than that I don’t buy a new outfit to wear for someone I don’t know yet….what I have is just fine.
    I do carry xtra money with me when I go out on dates….. like 30 or 40 bucks at least…just in case….even when the man insists on paying. I was taught to always have your own money just in case because u never know…….thats about it.
    I think that men should not spend a lot of money on the very first date……it’s the first date….if it sucks then ur pissed that u spent your money on it and feel like u wasted not just ur time but ur money….
    Ladies why r u spending so much to impress a man u don’t really know??……he could be as fine as a model and be rude, obnoxious, ill-mannered, an azzhole, or someone you don’t really click with as well as u thought you would….jmo but it makes no sense.
    If anything u go all out to impress people u really really like……how do u know how well u will like someone on every level on the first date????? The main thing u know is that u find them attractive physically…(unless it’s a situation where u work with them or know them thru friends and this is someone you have a crush on and you know about them from being around them or people they know)
    But for someone u just meet online, in the street, in a bar/club, market who is basically a total stranger……not worth it to overspend…
    Granted you should make a good first impression and look and smell good but the more impnt thing is selling your personality and yourself……jmo

  27. bree Says:

    I also think first dates should be kept simple and light…not much more than meeting and drinks somewhere nice….
    The first date should be about conversation and getting to know about each other….not necessarily what u do and/or where you go…that stuff can be saved for the 2nd 3rd 4th date etc etc etc if things go that far……..

    • Mark Says:

      Wow. This topic seems to be a hot button for many people. OK . If it is, then it is.

      Sorry, I didn’t read all of the responses so I only skimmed them.

      For this very reason I am inclined to agree with Bree on this.

      It also highlights that people seem to invest too little in a first meet (the Ice cream or whatever from above) or too much on the other end of the spectrum.

      Sure, I undersnd that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. So guys might want to think about the possibility that a woman goes through a lot to go on that date. Gals might want to tone down things a notch or two about expectations. Propotionallity and perspective – they really do count for a lot ya’ know.

      It should be fun…but with a serious side.

      Just saying….

  28. nathan Says:

    “Ladies why r u spending so much to impress a man u don’t really know??……he could be as fine as a model and be rude, obnoxious, ill-mannered, an azzhole, or someone you don’t really click with as well as u thought you would….jmo but it makes no sense.
    If anything u go all out to impress people u really really like…”

    Great question. It’s something I have never understood either. I’d choose to pay for a surprise vacation for a woman I’m totally into and have been dating awhile, rather than shell out a pile of money for a first date with a woman I don’t know at all anyway.

  29. chuckock Says:

    I find it interesting that many women on here state that the person who does the inviting should do the paying and from the other side of their mouth will also say that they will never or rarely as a guy out….thus implying that the guy should always pay.

  30. 2 cents Says:

    Turns should be taken. Men shouldn’t have to pay every single time whether or not they ask the woman out. I think it’s a welcome surprise for men if the woman pays now and then, and it would also show the woman’s interest.

    As for these $500 dinner dates, it’s just unacceptable for food. I get this is because of NYC, but damn can’t you have an entree and a glass of wine for under $40? Where I’m from, this is not an issue.

    I say go where you can afford. If you end up complaining about it never spend that much in the first place or order modestly so you won’t have eater’s remorse.

    $75 a haircut is a woman’s price. Thats a perm and a wash put together for me.

    That whole ice cream bit: This is when speaking on the phone instead of texting is key when planning dates. Inflection could’ve been discerned and maybe neither of you would have seemed assholish.

  31. Selena Says:

    Nathan: “in the beginning, it’s not going to be money spent that separates players from seriously interested guys. If both sets of men are spending a lot of money, it’s going to be other cues that determine the intentions of the men in question.”

    LOL! Yes, there are always other cues. The main being, seriously interested guys STICK AROUND to go on and pay for dates. :)

    And dating doesn’t necessarily mean spending A LOT of money -that’s just your own peeve Nathan.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “seriously interested guys STICK AROUND to go on and pay for dates.” Only if they think you’re at least as interested as they are, and due to all the fakers, the only reliable means we have to measure that is sex–the exact same thing the players are looking for. And don’t kid yourself that the former are willing to wait longer than the latter; we’re not.

  32. Selena Says:

    Not all the male commenters are agreeing dating has to mean spending A LOT of money. Nice dinners can be had for well under $100.

    Also, some of the male commenters have agreed that being unwilling to pay for ice cream for your date when you asked her out IS cheap. Honestly, I think most 12 yr. boys would agree.

    • chuckock Says:

      It’s less about being willing to pay for it and more about her feeling entitled to be paid for. I don’t think he is cheap at all.

      • Vox Says:

        That’s because he is the narrator, and has spun the story in his favor. I’m sure that if we read the tale of “why the ice cream date didn’t happen” as written by his prospective date on another website, you’d change your views. Most of us probably would.

        • chuckock Says:

          True, but I don’t know her side…only his. I am not willing to make up my own facts to fit my point of view. Instead I will take him at his word and analyze what he is saying as the truth. God knows that he really has no reason to lie to an internet blog.

        • CuriousintheChi Says:

          Wow. I had no idea this would get such an impassioned response.

          Damnit, I gave you all the text message verbatim. I didn’t spin the story in my favor. I don’t give a damn what you think, Vox, Dimplz, Selena.

          I only even mentioned that story because it was an incredible story. Seriously, would you do that? Would you really be so much of a skeez that you would ask the guy BEFORE THE DATE if he was paying? Screw social constructs. That’s just rude.

          No one should shell out money until you believe you’re going to get a return on your investment. That chick who I rejected was being sassy/entitled/whatever–a bunch of stuff I didn’t want, and she showed me that I needed to can her. Seriously, would my “perfect woman” do that? No. Of course not!

          I am a generous person with a person I care about, who I know, but I don’t like being treated like a wallet when the other person can just up and leave after they’ve gotten their free meal.

          Probably the best thing I learned from posting is hearing from the commenters what sort of attitudes are out here. Good lord.

          • WO7 Says:

            Don’t worry about the haters Curious. I totally agree that the woman was out of line and rude for asking if you were treating before the date began. It was like she was letting you know that you treating was a condition of the date. It also showed that she expected to be paid for. And while I am still a slave to the practice of men paying for women on dates…there is nothing I find more unattractive then a woman who expects it.

            I admit, that I would not have taken the stand you did (simply because I am not trying to make the dating game any harder for myself then it already is), but I respect that you are standing by your principles no matter the consequences.

            No matter what any of the women on this blog say to the contrary, there is no logical reason why a woman and a man shouldn’t split the bill on the first couple of dates.

            The only reason men still pay is because they know women expect it (and perhaps some men feel more like “a man” when they pay). I don’t have to explain why women allow this practice to continue. Who wouldn’t want to be treated to free dinner and drinks all week long? Heck, if I could do it and get away with it I would jump at the chance.

            • CuriousintheChi Says:

              Thanks, man. I just talked to my ex on the phone (still good friends) and we had this conversation about a year ago, and she still admits that she doesn’t have a legitimate explanation why a man should pay. She’s great. Why aren’t we together, you ask? Religious reasons. Short of that, she was a great catch who understood that there are more important things than giving a shit about who pays.

              • Paula Says:

                The only legitimate explanation why a man should pay is if he plans the date without any input from the woman. If she has no control over how much her share is, and he picks a place to “impress” her, then he’s not going to impress her unless he pays all of it. (That doesn’t impress me anyway, but if he thinks he needs to compete to win her over, then he should be all in, as his competitors will be.)

                But…if he lets her go dutch, he also has to give up some of the assumptions that CR mentioned above: that it’s some insult to his machismo; that he’s spending money to get her to put out in return; or that it’s her signal that it’s a platonic date.

                The last one in particular is a problem, in that I’ve had guys who I was interested in romantically come back to me after a date and say they only got a platonic vibe from me. I’m not great at flirting, and I find conventional dates awkward, so the last thing I want to do is send things further in the platonic direction, but I understand that some perceive it that way when I offer to pay.

          • Selena Says:

            No I would never text a date asking if he was paying.

            It would never occur to me the man wouldn’t be paying for the ice cream . I date grownups.

            • chuckock Says:

              So you basically just said that all women who don’t pay are not grownups. Nice.

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              So, your idea of a “grownup” man is one who pays for all your treats and trinkets like daddy did? What does that make you?

          • amazingg0477 Says:

            So what kind of return where you expecting back for your $20 or less “investment.” If you believe that this is a business transaction, don’t get mad when you get what you pay for.

  33. myself Says:

    Nothing. I put on the clothing I already own, have a shower & dry my hair as I normally would, same for the makeup. I am me, I’m not a show dog. Only $$ I’ll spend is the gas to get wherever and the $$ to pay for my coffee/drink/food. That’s it, that’s all. No dog & pony show. Not on your life.

  34. Selena Says:

    It appears everyone on this blog is having success with their dating style be it paying, someone else paying, splitting, professional extra grooming, no extra grooming. So it all works, yes? :)

  35. pistola Says:

    Wow! this thread! all the places it went! Amazing!

    keeping myself up:

    skin care/makeup–Origins, not too expensive and only a few products

    gym membership–none. Sauconys are about $80 a pair online. The TRX was maybe $250 and the exercise ball $30. The rest is just time and hard-azz work put in. I do take dance classes a couple of times a week too.

    cosmetic treatments/manicures–none. I don’t like strangers touching my face or nails. DIY if at all.

    medical check ups–a general physical every 3 years

    hair–a good ($100) haircut every 3-4 months, totally worth it in my case.

    Dating budget/splurges/must haves:

    I have to admit I’m amazed to learn in this thread how much some people spend on dating. My thing is this: I don’t drink much. Very rarely. I’m a pretty active person on the move. So I like dating someone who doesn’t drink a lot who is a fairly active person.

    What this has translated to in real life is that I generally never went on drink dates. Instead I’d suggest something active we could do: walk, attend a party or music event, swimming (yes I’ve actually met guys for the first time in a bathing suit. I have no problem doing this at all and it’s $3 to get into the pools). I love coffee so coffee dates at good coffee shops (i.e. not Starbucks but independent places with good hand pulled macchiatos) are actually a draw for me, and inexpensive to boot.

    I don’t care for dinner dates until I know a guy better. I’d rather do coffee or lunch or something of that sort. As I recall my current boyfriend and I never went out to dinner until something like a month after we started seeing one another. It never occurred to me to think of it. I was much more interested in whether he’d go to a little film screening or a music event or a walk with me, all free, because it’s really important to me that we share interests. I guess I never had a dating budget because I never dated the “usual” way.

    • ReallyRosie Says:

      You sound a lot more like me. I understand this blog is NYC-based but I still cannot fathom some of the costs. While I would never consider these “dating” costs (I did the same thing when I was married) my “upkeep” is relatively minimal, yet I still look nice.

      Hair: waist length so I just pull it to the front and trim it when needed, free. I dye it myself, less than $10 a month. Have used Mane and Tail shampoo for 20 years.

      Clothes: I’ve always worked at night (computer field) so rarely need suits or dresses. Classic styles like jeans, khakis, sweaters (I look GREAT in sweaters), all by names you’ve at least heard of (Ann Taylor, etc.) bought from Goodwill. If I spend $200 a year I’d be amazed. And unless doing something athletic I will usually wear heels. I admit to being a shoe snob in that heels have to be leather and not plastic but I have an amazing collection of designer heels from Goodwill as well. Of course I donate back as much as I buy. :)

      Makeup/nails/shaving: I’ve been wearing Cover Girl since the early 80s. Shave daily instead of wax. The only time I paid for a manicure was for my wedding.

      No gym membership; I just walk a lot. (I’m 5’1″ and wear size 4 so I am height/weight proportionate.)

      I am new to dating again as I am divorced; last time I dated was last century. ;-p Because I work at night I have been trying the online dating thing and have gone on 5 first dates since April. One (the oldest) offered and bought lunch, one (the youngest) offered and bought ice cream. The three others I met at the park/greenway to walk and talk, of those two came back to my house for a drink (so I supplied the wine) and more talking and one offered and bought sushi. I cheerfully offered to pay my share on the ones that involved eating but was always turned down nicely.

      While I thought we were enjoying ourselves (we’re talking hours here) I only heard from the older/lunch guy again and that only lasted about a week. No huge outlay of money on either side as I viewed these dates as “getting to know you” to check compatibility/attraction, not to be impressed by how much either of us spends. Guess I have a lot to learn.

  36. Selena Says:

    If those of you who prefer to go dutch are so successful in dating, why do you keep complaining about those who don’t? Why do you care other men pay for dates, and other women accept?

  37. nathan Says:

    Curious. I’m totally with you and W07 about this whole social construct business. The old roles might work just fine for some folks, but not for everyone. And frankly, it’s disappointing, but not surprising, how often those of us who question these roles are treated with rounds of insults and false accusations.

    That said, I do wonder about this statement you made:

    “No one should shell out money until you believe you’re going to get a return on your investment.” Perhaps it’s just a nice turn of phrase, man, but if not, you might want to rethink your relationship views. Seeing relationships in a business-model framework, including how you choose to spend or not spend your money, is a road to misery from my experience.

    It’s one thing to keep the spending reigned in early on because you’re maintaining a budget, and don’t know the person you’re dating. It’s another to think of your date as not currently worthy of an investment. The money spent might be exactly the same, but the thinking impacts how you treat someone. Any woman I go on a date with I consider a person first and foremost, and because of that, someone who I will my time and attention to on that date, even if we aren’t a match.

    I’m saying this in part because what I see in some of the comments from the women on her is a direct response to how you’re wording things. And a statement like that probably doesn’t come off well, just as the joke in your text message didn’t come off well.

  38. Horace Says:

    Ah, I love women who still try to rationalize why, in 2011, it’s still a man’s job to pay for a date. You know you guys can vote now, right?

    I date a lot, and I assume I’m paying for them. I don’t have the sexual desperation I had in my 20s, so I don’t expect her to “put out” for it (the notion actually sounds kind of silly to me). However, if the check comes and my date doesn’t try to contribute to the bill, she loses serious points. I’m not your father. I’m not here to just pay your way.

  39. Mr Big Says:

    What some people seem to to forget is the time and cost spent to get to the stage of being, ‘employed, attractive, educated and engaging’. Even if that is just usually unquestioned social conditioning, it is extremely difficult to swim against the stream. While in the later years a woman may realise those things are somewhat arbitrary to varying degrees as to why they stayed with a man, not having those things that other people dictate to woman can significantly reduce woman wanting to date you in the first place.

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