True or False: How Much He Pays = How Much He Cares

I don’t judge men by how much money they make (I can take care of myself just fine), but I’ve learned through many years of dating that men paying for things is a pretty reliable predictor of how well they’re going to treat you in general and how much of a priority you will be for them.Anonymous


True or False, folks?


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46 Responses to “True or False: How Much He Pays = How Much He Cares”

  1. Deen Says:

    I totally agree. Sometimes men, especially wealthier men, express themselves, and the way they feel about a woman through their wallets.

    • Howard Says:

      This question has to be the dumbest zombie question of dating blogs. It just rears its head all the time; it never dies. We see the same well worn endorsements and objections. I am sure as hell not changing my mind on my views about this, and I don’t think anyone else is. There really is enough to go around from both genders believing that, so there is no need to villainize the guys that don’t buy it.

  2. Marshmallow Says:

    I disagree. I’ve never been out with a guy who let me pay and unfortunately some turned out not to be good guys.Sometimes they pay because it is their culture or they are traditional. Or maybe they had too many stare downs over the check and didn’t want to go through that again.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      Or they’ve just learned that throwing a lot of money at women is a reasonably successful strategy for getting laid because, as the question posed above implies, many women think a man only does so because he’s romantically interested in them.

  3. nathan Says:

    False. The quality of attention and care given is much more important. That might include paying for dinners, movies, and whatnot, but it certainly isn’t a requirement.

    Part of the player handbook is footing the bill to get women into bed. It’s easy to mistake money spent for serious interest, when the reality is that it’s really not a clear indicator at all.

    • The D-man Says:

      Actually, most of the PUA types are anti-paying. They argue that a quality guy should not have to pay for a woman’s attention.

      • Selena Says:

        This reminds me of the kind of guy who will buy a woman a drink at a bar (if the drinks are on “special” that nite), but who’s idea of a date is going to her place.

    • The Private Man Says:

      “Part of the player handbook is footing the bill to get women into bed.”

      Snort, chuckle, guffaw. Sure, back in the 20th century.

      Nowadays, no.

      The player (PUA) handbook states very specifically that a man should avoid paying, especially when first meeting a girl.

      Girl: “Aren’t you going to buy me a drink?”

      PUA: “No, but I’ll let you buy me one.”

      Paying for dates, gifts, and even paying compliments are all strongly counseled against when practicing PUA. Knowing these things can really help women avoid the PUA types.

      • nathan Says:

        When I said “player,” it was in a broader sense. I wasn’t really speaking about the PUA handbook. I doubt the majority of men know much of anything about PUA, despite it’s popularity.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        The PUA handbook is giving pretty bad advice then, as any man of means will tell you. Maybe the advice is useful for a “regular guy” or broke guy who needs to turn his actual inability to pay into some sort of witty banter that makes him intriguing. But rich men? Don’t need to bother with this step. Or, even mystery. They can just buy women.

        No one can seriously deny that rich guys have access to more attractive women, and the reason is because those guys shell out cash (and, more than likely, don’t even care about doing so)

        That is, of course, the fallacy of equating spending with caring – rich guys can spend without caring. Its a misleading indicator.

        • The D-man Says:

          Yes & no. Didn’t this very blog link to an article about pretty young thing who goes out with rich guys just for the nice meals?

          Also, the PUA stuff is about investment and reciprocity. It’s okay to buy a drink or dinner or whatever, but (supposedly) not until you’re sure she’s truly attracted to you and has shown a willingness to reciprocate.

          Me? I always pay because some women do judge men for that.

  4. Maximus Says:

    While sometimes spending money is a sign of caring, I would say cooking a meal, taking them for a walk or finding out to get you that book you really wanted but never had the time to buy it’s a much greater indicator of caring than money spent. I always felt that those people that needed money to be with me were quite dispensable as in…well….I got a couple of dinners, now that we are on the third date gotta get something else….after I am done…perhaps I should go and buy someone new?


  5. Roxy Says:

    False… it’s not how they’re gonna treat you… it’s how they’re gonna trap you.

  6. fuzzilla Says:

    It’s not as black and white as “pays/spends a lot on a woman = good guy who is interested.” Equating money with a person’s quality is rather grotesque. The guy with money could just be showing off; doesn’t mean he gives a flying fuck about you. The not-so-well-off guy who plans a modest date could be attentive and caring and fun and show you a fantastic time. It’s not the money spent, it’s the attitude. If he’s cheap and seems resentful about paying for stuff – THAT is a huge turnoff. It makes me feel like he sees me as a burden and is having a bad time. (I *always* offer to chip in on expenses, BTW. Sometimes several times. “No, really? Are you sure? Are you sure?”). We’ve heard the song about the entitlement of “dinner whores” 50000000 times. Guess what, guys? Resentful bitterness is just as much a turnoff.

  7. Kurt Says:

    I disagree and a lot of women think less of a man if he pays for too many things and assume he is needy or is trying to buy their affection. I have learned that being too generous makes a man look like a chump.

  8. DowntownAngel Says:

    Well it’s the other way around. If a guy DOESN’T pay – that is a good indicator of future (poor) behavior. The opposite is not always true.

  9. Selena Says:

    In my experience the men who make you a priority do so through spending their time with you. They also spend within their means on dates. Unless the guy is wealthy, overspending is often a sign of poor budgeting skills. Those who don’t want to spend much time or any money treating you on dates are “Mr. Casual”.

  10. garvan Says:

    The only time I’ve paid, were the times I knew I never wanted to see the girl again.

    As Mr. Charlie Sheen says,

    “I don’t pay them for sex. I pay them to leave.”

    • The D-man Says:

      Why would you do that? If you never want to see her again, presumably you don’t care if she thinks you’re cheap.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        The Sheen reference is from an interview (long before his recent craziness) in which he was asked why he pays for prostitutes when there is no shortage of women who would have sex with him for free.

  11. LaLa Says:

    I don’t necessarily think the two are inter-connected, but I do think a guy who is very stingy or cheap with his money can sometimes indicate that he is also stingy in other areas. Basically, a generous guy is usually generous in all areas (emotionally, physically, time-wise). The same goes with woman though. A generous person isn’t going to be super tight with their money (unless obviously they’re really broke or in-between jobs or something). As much as guys want to complain, it’s still custom for the guy to pick up the check in the beginning and pay most of the time. If you don’t like it, find a woman who has the same views as you. Traditional men should date traditional women and more modern-viewed men should date more modern-viewed women. I don’t see why people bitch about the paying thing. Just find someone who lines up with your views.

    • Craig Says:

      As much as guys want to complain, it’s still custom for the guy to pick up the check in the beginning and pay most of the time. If you don’t like it, find a woman who has the same views as you.

      I find such blatant self-serving advice amusing. I assure you that if there were enough women to go around who shared the same views as us men, the rest of you would currently be on the brink of extinction along with the american bald eagle.

      • nathan Says:

        What interesting is that some women are only “traditional” when it benefits them. I haven’t met all that many women who truly want a relationship structured like, say their grandparents had.

      • LaLa Says:

        There are plenty of women who don’t mind splitting the check or taking turns. I do pay too, or I do other things like cooking, bringing him lunch, etc, that keeps things balanced. I’ve had boyfriends where I’ve offered to pay and plenty of times they refuse. Some men just like taking care of their woman in that way like I like taking care of my boyfriend in other ways domestically.

        Nathan- I am very traditional so I can fully support my views. I have no problem letting the man be the head of the household, taking care of the house, and taking on a more supportive and non-leader role. I actually prefer it. I get what you’re saying though.

        • LaLa Says:

          Plus, I live in Texas now. Men down here are extremely different than NY (I grew up in NY…have been here 2 1/2 years). Many men down here are more traditional.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          Some men just like taking care of their woman in that way like I like taking care of my boyfriend in other ways domestically.
          That may be true once you’re “his” woman, but it’s definitely not true on the first few dates while he’s still figuring out if he even wants you.

      • DowntownAngel Says:

        Dutch is for couples

        • Selena Says:

          Couples reciprocate – not necessarily by going Dutch. Dutch is for buddies.

          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            I usually alternate paying with friends as well. Splitting the tab is reserved for larger groups or for people I don’t expect to see again.

    • dimplz Says:

      Lala, there is no magic formula. My boyfriend is cheap with himself and always looks for the best deals when shopping. When he takes me out, he tells me I can have whatever I want and splurges on gifts for me. In his daily life, he doesn’t spend much, only on the occasional guitar, which is not even an annual purchase. However, I overheard him tell one of his clients that I was low-maintenance. He has also said that he pays because the guy has to, and obviously he took me out and spent more in the beginning because that’s what the guy is supposed to do (his words, not mine). I do, however, agree with the men in that if you’re going to expect, expect to swallow (for lack of a better word) the other traditional ideas the man brings to the table. Since I don’t take issue with tradition, although I work and support myself, it doesn’t bother me. But that kind of cognitive dissonance is the reason a lot of women find themselves going on less than 3 dates with the same man. Men look for consistency – if you don’t have it, either in your actions or ideas, the sensible, smart man will book on you.

      • LaLa Says:

        Yea, and you say he’s generous with you right? He’s not cheap with you. That’s what my point was. And I agree with the traditional thing. If you expect to be traditional in the whole paying thing, you should also follow other traditional views. I do.

        • dimplz Says:

          Then again, my sister had a boyfriend like that too, and when they got married, he was very irresponsible with money and filed for bankruptcy for the 2nd time, so even finding a man who is generous doesn’t mean he’s a “good” partner if in the long run, they will be your financial ruin. That’s what I mean by it not being an indicator of much, but just the fact that they pay. They could pay because they are prideful, irresponsible, or nice. You won’t know until you get to know them better.

          • LaLa Says:

            That’s true. I fully agree that it’s important that a man lives within his means and a red flag if he doesn’t.

  12. JS Says:

    me too ( I’m a woman) When I pay, it’s because I never, ever want to see the man again or I just want to be his friend b/c I find him unattractive.

    Letting a man pay is saying, “hey I’m interested in being more than just platonic friends.”

    When I insist on paying my share or for the entire date, my actions are saying: “let’s just be friends OR I am going to make you wait a loooong time before going to bed w/ you and I dont want to be accused of using you for dinner.”

    • Selena Says:

      And then there are the men who claim how unfair it is for them to be expected to pay for dates, but say they will if they REALLY like the woman. Many women know this, which is why they decline any further dates with “splitters”.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        In that case, the guys are paying because they know other guys will too, so they don’t want to put themselves at a competitive disadvantage with a woman they’re seriously interested in. There are other reasons guys might pay or split, though, so it’s not a reliable indicator of his interest level.

    • The D-man Says:

      LOL at “letting” a man pay. You do realize there are many women who “let” men pay and then blow them off, right?

  13. Mark Says:

    True or false?

    False. A big one at that.

    What is appropriate to the situation is what’s important. It also avoids the sense of …well, lets say of confusion. Especially in the early stages where you are trying to judge whether the person opposite you is a good fit.

    Alternative considerations: women don’t like to be in the position that the guy is owed something for being a big spender (I don’t need to spell that out…). Nor should they. Men don’t want to be in the position of shelling out for something that is going absolutely nowhere and feel that they are being taken advantage of in some fashion.

    I think I read someplace there was a woman who bragged that she lined up expensive dates because she could not afford do eat out at some of the better places that she liked so much. She found men who were willing to do it although she had no intention of pursuing any real sort of relationship. It was in the popular press and received much commentary.

    So either demanding that someone spend big or a guy offering to spend big might be counter productive if something long term is in issue.

    If it is more of a short term nature, sorry, all bets are off.

    My .02

  14. Marshmallow Says:

    I have a question for the guys especially. I always offer to pay and like I mentioned, no one ever took me up on it. In fact, a few were offended. One said “don’t embarrass me by offering” and one intercepted the waitress before she got to the table with the check. Is there a way to do this so it is less awkward for the guy if he is traditional? Also, would you be annoyed if I offered to pay on subsequent dates even if you kept saying no?

    • Selena Says:

      I’m not a guy, but why do you feel compelled to make a traditional guy let you pay? If you keep dating each other, why not reciprocate in other ways? Get pre-paid tickets to a movie/concert/event you want to go to and ask him to join you. Invite him to accompany you to a party, a picnic, an outdoorsy activity that doesn’t involved much cash. Invite him over for a meal – home cooked or take-out, and watch a movie. There are all kinds of ways to spend time together besides sitting across from each other in a restaurant.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      I always offer to pay and … no one ever took me up on it. In fact, a few were offended.
      Savvy men won’t accept, unless they don’t want to see you again, because they know doing so puts them at a competitive disadvantage. As to being offended, some men will take the woman offering to pay is a polite signal that she doesn’t want to see him again–and doesn’t want to be seen as taking advantage of him.

      Is there a way to do this so it is less awkward for the guy if he is traditional?
      Not really, unfortunately. This is one reason why I advocate women offering to treat on the next date rather than offering to split the check. Miss Manners would tell you that kindness is better repaid in kind than repaid in cash.

      would you be annoyed if I offered to pay on subsequent dates even if you kept saying no?
      Once the guy has made it clear he won’t accept, it is rude to continue insisting. A battle over who can be more polite is, somewhat ironically, rather impolite. If you find yourself in that situation, I would suggest trying to find other ways to contribute to the budding relationship that don’t directly involve money. For the traditional guys you referenced, this is probably best done by demonstrating your domestic skills–something they are much more interested in than your income.

      • Marshmallow Says:

        Thanks! I do cook a meal for them or reciprocate in other ways but I don’t want him to think I’m taking advantage of him so that’s why I was wondering if I should continue to offer after the first date turn down.

      • Jamie Says:

        Yeah… I’ve realized while reading all these debates on this site about who pays — and lately, I’ve been offering and insisting more due to the men’s comments — that my previous reluctance to pay for anything in public, and to keep my contributions to the cooking-for-him-at-home variety is a fear that other people will think that I’m desperate… like, look at her, she’s so unappealing that she can’t get a date unless she pays for it… or they will think that the man I’m with is less of a man because he can’t/won’t pay for the date.

        I guess this is what happens from growing up in the 70s, and being raised by religious parents who grew up in the 40s, and being married and out of the dating pool since the 80s. The rules of etiquette change, and things don’t mean what they used to.

        Not that it should matter what other people think, but those people whose voices got stuck in our heads when we were growing up can be hard to change or evict.

  15. bill Says:

    As a guy I do not mind paying because I expect you to be primped, with makeup, hair nicely done, and looking nice –> looking nice for women cost more time money and energy vs a man so it is okay

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