Do Women Spend As Much on First Dates As Men?

So according to you, the only women worth paying for are gorgeous model types? What if they’re a horrible date? Wow, makeup-haters-woman-split-face-1011-440x310well I think that says a lot about your attitude toward women. For myself, it’s not about “just wanting a free meal”. It’s about seeing how generous he is with his resources. I’m a cheap date anyway so the way I see it, if all a guy can afford is to buy me a coffee then that’s fine with me. Even though I make very little money, I can pay my own way but it’s not about that. I want a man who WANTS to take care of me, because it shows me he has the instinct to provide and is generally a generous, chivalrous person. It’s also about showing me how much he appreciates my company, since I strive to be as pleasant and fun as possible. Plus, it takes a lot of effort for a woman to look good enough so that a man will even consider asking her for a date. Do you think we just roll out of bed looking good? Just the other day I went on a coffee date and it took me two full hours to get ready, not to mention that the outfit I was wearing consisted of two new pieces which cost me $80. The date turned into a dinner date and of course, the guy didn’t pay for me. All that time, effort and money I spent and the guy couldn’t even be bothered to pay for a lousy $12 dinner. Granted, dating is expensive for both sexes but I think in terms of dollars and cents, women have it way worse. We not only have to keep ourselves trim enough to be considered attractive to men, we also have to spend all kinds of time and money getting ourselves primped. For the typical woman, hair highlights alone cost about $100. Then there’s mani-pedi’s, facials, body waxing, teeth bleaching, etc. New clothes, new shoes, makeup, perfume, lotions, scrubs, face creams, at-home pore masks, shaving, tweezing, hair curling/flat-ironing, it all adds up to a lot of time and money spent trying to get dates! What does a guy do? Spray some cologne, throw on a clean shirt, muss his hair with some gel and he’s done. – J. 


This is another flimsy rationalization women like to use to defend why they expect men to pay for dates. You want to see if he’s generous with his resources? How is that any different than saying you want to know if he’s going to spend money on you? It has nothing to do with his generosity or chivalry. You want him to pay for you so you can feel pretty and so you can say he paid for you. That’s it. He didn’t pay for you because, despite all of your effort, he wasn’t attracted to you. That’s the bottom line. And that’s what truly bugs you.

All of the lotions and potions and creams and tweezing and waxing that women say they do for a date isn’t just for a date. They’d likely be doing those things anyway. The money they spend on primping and new clothes isn’t a waste. Those shoes or clothes or that haircut can be re-purposed. Not so for the guy who pays for a first date. There’s no guarantee that his money is an investment.

Next up is the time involved with preparing for a first date. While I might space out the pre-date preparing throughout the day, if I were to do it all at once it might take me an hour. Might. I will never ever spend more time getting ready for a date than I will actually spend on the date. Again, that’s our choice. We’re the ones who have convinced ourselves that things like hair highlights and brow threading and mani-pedis are things men care about or even pay attention to. They barely notice these things. I think that if men had their way, they’d request that women wear very little make-up and perfume and spend less time applying all these concoctions to their face.. To most men, make up is just a mask used to hide flaws. They know that, once the relationship settles in, they will probably see the woman without any cosmetics on her face just as frequently if not more often than with them. Men like to see what they’re getting. Blush and highlights cover all that stuff up and do nothing but distract.

Many will disagree with this, but I think men and women identify beauty quite differently. While there are certainly some men who have watched too much porn or hit up far too many douchey roof top bars where they’re surrounded by shallow and looks obsessed people, I think most guys think natural or close to natural is what’s truly beautiful.

All the upkeep most women do is to gain approval from other women. Not men. But you’ll never hear that on most beauty or female-oriented website.  It’s all about how men expect us to look like Barbies. Sure, maybe the Derek Zoolanders or crabby Red Pill types like to yap about waist to hip ratio and space between breasts and saggy boobs and size of your forehead. Believe it or not, most guys don’t really notice those things. Do you hear anybody critiquing Kerry Washington’s forehead? Nope. Most men don’t dress or prepare for other men. They barely do it for women. They just don’t care about this stuff. In fact, a woman who is too put together is often perceived by a man as high maintenance.

While I tend to agree with you that our time is better spent keeping fit, what men truly look for or notice is a woman who looks healthy. That can come in various body types. They want to meet a woman who pays attention to her looks, but not so much that she’s obsessed with them.  What is important to them is that they meet someone who is not going to stop caring about how she looks. Men are far more forgiving of some extra weight or wrinkles than women think. That’s not what bothers them. What causes men concern is when women seem to stop caring about whether or not he’s still attracted to her.

According to many lady-blogs, men are just supposed to suck it up and accept when a woman no longer makes attraction a priority. I disagree. I think part of being in a relationship means doing what you can to maintain the desire you and your partner have for each other. I’m getting really, really tired of the brainwashing that is being done by a lot of women’s lifestyle blogs. They’re presenting one side of the argument and dumping on any woman who dares to choose not to let herself get overweight or who wants to stay attractive to her partner. God forbid you admit that you lost weight so you could be more desirable to men. I actually wrote an article about this very topic, admitting to the fact that a big reason why I lost weight was to make dating easier and to attract more men. The editor made me take that out and re-write the piece so that the focus was self-improvement, saying she refused to publish it with that admission included in the essay.

I’ll just leave you with this. Nobody forces us to devote hours to getting all dolled up for a date. We choose to do that. Men can tell when a great deal of prep work is involved with our date face. Believe it or not, that actually works against us. What most men want to see before them is a woman who is comfortable with her looks and body. The more at ease she is with how she looks, the less she will require constant compliments and affirmation and validation.

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82 Responses to “Do Women Spend As Much on First Dates As Men?”

  1. Sarah Says:

    There’s some validity to both sides, here. There IS an income gap, but that’s never prevented me from getting highlights (which always cost more than $100, so I’m going to need the name of your stylist, J).

    Anyway, for me, the level of primping has always corresponded with my perception of and/or level of interest jn gentlemen in question. I thought that’s how we were all playing the game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  2. Andy Says:

    As a guy who does a good bit of dating, I can say you’re absolutely right. Two things I notice in women, are they cute and are they fun. I’m going to be dating a girl for months before I start caring about much else. Hell, I know guys who were married before it occurred to them that other things might be important.

    For the most part, I couldn’t tell you if a woman had her eyebrows threaded, beaded, burnt or any other such thing. If you don’t believe me that guys are blind to these things, next time you’re on a date in a date bar, ask the guy to pick out which girls in the bar had a nose job or have hair extensions or any other plastic surgery. Maybe it was just my experience when the girl I was dating suggested this game, but I was dumbfounded and she inventoried enhancements like a teacher reading a chalkboard.

    Also, if there are women’s blogs who are saying guys will have to suck it up that women don’t make attractiveness a priority, they are crazy. A guy burns a lot of calories to ask a woman out. Call me a pig, but if I don’t think a girl is cute enough, I’m just not going to burn those calories.

    And, if for any reason, women wonder what the next criteria a guy has is, it’s “will she embarrass me in front of my friends.” I’m not sure where I got it from, but I believe, in order, the top three things guys care about when it comes to first or any future dates are:
    1. Is she cute enough?
    2. Is she fun?
    3. Will she embarrass me?


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    • CoolDude Says:

      Not really sure why any one would give this a thumbs down. Question 3 is so crucial (and probably is something both sexes ask).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

      • fuzzilla Says:

        It seemed reasonable to me. I ask myself question #3 and interpret it as “does he have decent manners and play well with others? Does he ‘click’ and fit in with my life and the people important to me? Does he not wear T-shirts that advertise his anti-depressant usage to parties?” Not so much “is he hot, rich, and impressive enough to make them jealous?”

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

        • CoolDude Says:

          “Does he not wear T-shirts that advertise his anti-depressant usage to parties?” I’m…..not sure what you’re getting at here. Otherwise, agreed.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. fuzzilla Says:

    I think it’s perfectly fine to say you want to lose weight to feel more confident and attractive to your preferred sex. In fact, I think it’s disingenuous to pretend that’s not a reason. I do think it shouldn’t be the *only* reason, though, that feeling better and having more energy and all that rah rah really should be the main focus. Otherwise you’ll feel cheated and confused if your life isn’t instantly awesome along with your smaller clothes size.

    I tend more toward the natural look/minimal makeup myself. If another woman has different aesthetic tastes and likes to play around with make-up, that’s cool, but then why do it if you’re gonna resent the effort made? If you’re doing it because it makes you happy, then cool, but if you’re doing it *only* to reel in men and feel angry and resentful when it doesn’t work, then it’s kinda like the weight thing I mentioned above.

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    • Belle Vierge Says:

      I agree entirely. I usually wear little to no make-up, and the “full make-up” routine I did for dating and do for weddings/special occasions still only takes me ten minutes. Maybe fifteen if I feel like blending eye shadows for funsies. Most of the stuff the OP mentioned is totally optional. The “required” stuff, IMHO, is the same sort of routine/effort you’d do for a business meeting. Shower, fix your hair, apply a touch of make-up, and wear an appropriate outfit. Highlights, nails, waxing, etc. is all OPTIONAL, so don’t whine about the cost of it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • D'Alias Says:

        If a woman wants to be attractive and comply with western social norms:

        -Waxing isn’t optional if you have a mustache or chin hair.

        -Highlights (or dye) aren’t optional if your hair is greying.

        -Make up isn’t optional if you have imperfect skin.

        -Extensions/Straightening/Blowouts aren’t optional if your natural hair is unflattering despite your best efforts to style it.

        Let’s stop pretending most women don’t HAVE to do at least some of these things to look “normal.” Of course some guys can’t tell we do these things; but they’d sure notice if we DIDN’T. And would probably reject us for our flaws cuz theyd think we were gross or abnormal. They just don’t realize how common these flaws are and how much we spend to correct them.

        Anything worth doing takes effort – I am so sick of men crying that they have to actually spend money on a date. RED FLAG. Relationships take work, if a guy is crying over thirty dollars what is he going to do when real problems surface?

        Women spend more money to look pretty for the date. Men spend more money for the activities on the date. This isn’t complicated & only losers whine on and on about it. The socially adjusted are busy trying to actually date despite their financial problems and female beards.

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        • John Says:

          Mustache? Chin hair?

          Reminds me of Eddie Murphy’s stand up routine :

          Mother says to child: “Kiss your Aunt Bunny hello”
          Child to mother (crying): “But she has a mustache!”

          Interesting rationale that a guy should pay for all dates to offset the cost of the girl not looking like Aunt Bunny. That’s a new one.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

          • D'Alias Says:

            I never said that a man HAS to pay b/c of this. Not at all. He just shouldn’t cry about paying. And she shouldn’t cry about waxing/primping.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        • Belle Vierge Says:

          1) Facial waxing isn’t that expensive. I work part-time in a JCP salon, which sets prices nationwide. It’s $6 for a chin wax, $6 for upper lip, and $12 for brows. Doing it at home is even cheaper.

          2) If you’re old enough to have noticeably gray hair, you’re a) old enough to be dating men with noticeably gray hair b) you’re old enough to be comfortable in your own skin c) you’re old enough to have a good enough job that pays for hair color d) you’re old enough to have the experience to color your hair at home.

          3) I didn’t say make-up was optional, although I will add that there are hundreds if not thousands of beauty blogs that tell you the best drugstore versions of expensive make-up brands. Expensive make-up is optional.

          4) Very few women have hair so horrible they NEED $300+ extensions. (Again, I work part-time in a salon; I’ve seen it all). You can curl or straighten your hair at home. Also, even an average stylist can help you choose a flattering cut for both your hair type and your facial structure. If your hair is so horrible you need it professionally styled before a first date, then you’re probably one of those people who insists on having it cut in such a way that doesn’t match your hair/face.

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  4. Mary Says:

    I am old fashion about the man paying for the girl on a date, but after my 3 year shitty relationship that I paid most of time due to his financial mess…I am confused on this issue now.
    Bottom line shouldn’t be how you look as much as how you are inside? Are you kind, caring, and a nice person, or a good looking bitch? I do care what I look like for myself, and exercise, watch what I eat, and use wrinkle cream, but the mirror and time is the reality of what happens with age and life.

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    • Eliza Says:

      I fully agree with Mary. About the mirror of time…and that impact men also. I actually enjoy workout out, trying different types of classes, and being active outdoors–and while at the gym–I can tell you this–men do workout hard (usually by the free weight area! LO:L) – and why? To compete with other men – for women. And the same holds true for single women. Women (especially very feminine – girly girl types) – will take very good care of themselves (grooming) and exercising, as a means to meet a partner. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that concept. Face it – for both genders – initially – it’s quite visual…especially for men…and then it’s all about humor, personality, feeling at ease with someone and just natural attraction, ease of conversation, etc. And yes, the hands of time makes it difficult for both men and women to fight either crow’s feet or love handles. That’s life. Which is why finding someone who accepts us with every little fault (inside) and out – wrinkles or not is the key foundation here. Personally, if I meet a man that I end up liking and we are going out exclusively, I do enjoy treating him out – doesn’t have to be dinner. It can be a sporting event, some show, or a day of mini golf or a nice home-cooked meal. When you care about someone — you don’t feel there is some scoreboard – about who’s paying for what – and how much. You just feel inclined to do for them and surprise them.

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      • fuzzilla Says:

        >When you care about someone — you don’t feel there is some scoreboard – about who’s paying for what – and how much. You just feel inclined to do for them and surprise them.<

        I agree. I think most people are talking about expectations for a first date/first meet when you don't really know them, though. Since you don't really know them, it can't be based on much genuine feeling, but you should still bring a pleasant, "good, giving, and game" attitude and hope for the best.

        Side note: I think Roger Sterling/John Slattery on "Mad Men" is attractive. I dig the older man/silver fox thing. If you ever see him on another show, though (bit parts on "30 Rock" and the new "Arrested Development") he just looks like a grizzly old man. I saw that and truly appreciated as never before the power of a good haircut/clothes/grooming. (I think they tried to make him look like a doofus on the other shows, but still).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  5. ISOf16 Says:

    Right on about the “This is another flimsy rationalization women like to use to defend why they expect men to pay for dates. You want to see if he’s generous with his resources?” I have found too many women who want to continue to see you be generous… Another words…. women who think men should keep paying and paying…. and those same women will not add anything to the relationship….. Most times, I am happy to meet a lady that even looks like her profile photo… why should they go so far overboard to look “wonderful” for me, a stranger. Yes, I think women dress and get all made up for other women. Last of all… about losing weight ….. I have met a couple of ladies that were working hard to lose weight, but dropped all of that effort as soon as we were dating steady and in a relationship. So lose weight because you want to do it….not for some guy that will probably be out of your life in a month or two.

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    • POV Says:

      “Generous with his resources” is of course a euphemism for “will he pay for my company.” Those who use this line aren’t looking to find out whether the guy donates to charity or whether he helps his parents out with finances.

      Men deal with a lot of rejection and spend thousands of dollars on dates that go nowhere. Not sure why some women think that it should be different for them.

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    • ameru Says:

      I do take care of myself- for me and my man. We’re together for 2 years and I keep taking care of myself: gym, beauty appointments, hair, clothes, shoes, make-up, diets/detox… all of the above!!!!
      Ans yes – I do it for my man and of course I do it for myself. It feels great when you shower and your sponge goes up/down smooth without stopping cause of crazy love handles on the sides or a be;l;y that is sticking out… ewwww….. for me personally – it does not look sexy/pretty, or that dress that you bought yesterday/a year ago – fits perfectly and you feel like a lady! And a lady has to look like a lady – she has to take care of her health and the beauty she got from parents/God! in addition – sex is much better when you feel better about yourself and when you’re slimmer. I am not sure if it’s because you feel more relaxed since you know that you look better or it goes back to the healthy me – but the big O!s are so much better and sweeter!
      Yes – in some way it might be for other women. Not so sure about it really tho. I think for me it is more to feel better myself. But I do not agree that that is a main reason. Not for me at least!
      A woman has to love herself and her body and take care of it! Your body can not be that trash box where you put in all of the junk and expect it to look perfect. Don’t get me wrong – I love junk food – sometimes, when I really want it – I eat it – but when I eat healthy – I look much better – slim and skin is perfectly smooth, and hair shine.. all of the good stuff.

      As for men preferring women fit and taken care off – of course they care about it!!! it is BS if a man says that he doesn’t care how his lady looks like! Men love with their eyes (even after a months/year of relationship). Women – love with their ears! so if a man tells me that he doesn’t give a shit how I look like – I laugh – cause it is BS – if I was fat and didn’t take care of myself – they wouldn’t even come up to me to say hi. It costs for a woman to look the way she looks – and a man should be covering the food/dining most of the time. however – i always offer to pay for dinner a few times a month or I cook at home something. It evens out.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  6. myself Says:

    And THAT is why I never spent all my time making myself beautiful for dates. They just don’t care. I met my partner when I frankly was exhausted and looked like crap. And in his words, it wasn’t what I looked like that attracted him to me, if was me (and apparently my singing talent at karaoke). Amazingly enough. Oh, I’m sure the size of my boobs wasn’t a deterrent, but seriously, spending hours and hours before a date is either for yourself, or for other women as stated above. For the most part, men aren’t that concerned.

    So that being said, bloody well pay for yourself sometimes and stop being so damned entitled.

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  7. Jeremy Says:

    Call me old fashioned, but I think a guy should pay for a first date assuming the guy asked the woman to go out with him. I’m divorced now, but when I got married we paid for all the tux rentals and all the bridesmaid dresses. When you think about it, it’s kind of shitty to ask people to be in your wedding and then expect them to pay several hundred dollars to be a part of it. Likewise, if the guy plans the date and decides on $5 at the coffee shop or a $100 steak dinner, the man should be paying if he asks a woman out.

    As far as preparation goes, the best part about running a 5k or 10k in my opinion is the women. They all roll out of bed in the morning, throw on some workout clothes, and show up for the race with all the makeup, jewelry, etc. that society tells them makes them “pretty”. Women like confident men and there is nothing sexier than a confident woman that doesn’t have to touch up her makeup to get the mail.

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    • WO7 Says:

      Ahh, the old “the person who asks should pay” line. That’s convenient when you’re the sex who always gets asked instead of the sex that always does the asking.

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      • Eliza Says:

        WRONG! I have been the one to ask a guy on a date…and guess what – I Paid! Why? Because I suggested the place. And it would be presumptuous on my part – to pick a venue – and then expect him to pay for it. It’s courtesy. In today’s society, woman approach men more and more. So there should be a double standard here. Again, I would suggest coffee at starbuck’s – eventhough many men do – which is not impressive. But again, I could care less, because it’s just explorative at that stage. They just don’t want to invest anything – by suggesting a coffee date. Lame, and lack of creativity. But good enough to get to know each other–if truly a blind date scenario.

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        • Eliza Says:

          Meant to say – there should NOT be a dble. standard. oops

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

        • Vandellish Says:

          ‘In today’s society, woman approach men more and more.’


          I don’t know about your culture/city but as a black man (who is typically considered very handsome) in Chicago this just doesn’t happen…not even indirectly. I wish more women were like you.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

          • Eliza Says:

            Vandellish – perhaps you should relocate to NYC – women are more proactive here perhaps. But then again, it depends how attractive a man is to the opposite gender. If he comes across as cool, and easy to approach yet has charisma and is a good looking man, sure women will step up to you, and not ugly women. I have seen this many times.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

        • Chester Says:

          HA HA.

          Vend, It’s not happening to us white guys in NYC either.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

          • Eliza Says:

            Chester–not sure why it’s not happening to you. But I go out with friends, co-workers and see it all the time. Women do approach SOME men. yes, whites – in NYC. Not a rarity.
            And moreso than in the past. Women are more direct and aggressive.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

            • mindstar Says:

              Women WILL approach a very good looking man and/or a man who appears to be successful and weathy. They do not approach the average looking man.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Eliza Says:

      Jeremy – provided the women who “roll out of bed” – don’t NEED makeup – and look naturally beautiful. Sorry – some women do need a little intervention there. Women in the 20’s can roll out of bed, drink the night before, and still don a 6-pack without a care in the world. The hands of time does take a toll – on all of us. I don’t feel a woman should feel overwhelmed and feel as though she needs to buy a new outfit to go on a first date. Absurd. Especially, a 1st date at some coffee shop to some stranger off the internet. A bit over the top. Just dress casually. If a person finds you attractive, they just will – no amount of makeup or highlighting technique is going to change that. As for a man paying for the first date–I agree only if the man actually asks the woman out – and suggests a particular place. As for a coffee shop – I wouldn’t expect anyone to spring for coffee…I would just buy my own. I wouldn’t even consider that a date. It’s merely a get together to see if there is any spark at all tha would constitute keeping in touch.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  8. Ken Besig Says:

    I agree with you. For me, I wanted a woman who was happy, healthy, had a nice figure, and who shared most of the life goals I had. And I always paid for the first dates, and usually the one’s after, although most of them were light dinners and a movie which at the time was not a big deal. A happy and sweet woman is what most men really desire, if you have that, every thing else will fall into place, if you don’t, nothing else matters.

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  9. Chester Says:

    OP is not looking at the man’s investments…

    Financially… in NYC, men need to pay for own flat where women can get away with cutting costs with roommates. (Keep in mind average women makes 17% more than man in NYC) Outside NYC, men need a car that reflects success while women can get away with a Sentra. Costs of makeup and hair pale in comparison.

    Men need to stay fit too. And that consists of both keeping the fat off and keeping some muscle tone…so it is twice the work as women keeping fit.

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    • Eliza Says:

      Oh geez….we are going to knickle and dime here. How silly. If you want to start doing that – in terms of fitness – women have more body fat in general. That’s a fact. And due to child bearing reasons. Both genders usually benefit from being tone and fit. What is offputting is a man that knickles and dimes everything…an auditor on a date, taking note of everything spent – and how much is being reciprocated.
      And then whining that they didn’t get this or that in return, or she didn’t spend on the next date. If every dollar spent is such a concern, get creative, and think of a fun activity you can both do during the daytime. A date doesn’t have to be limited to some barstool or restaurant.

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      • CoolDude Says:

        I think “Chester” was being sarcastic (well at least I hope so).

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        • CoolDude Says:

          Ha, I guess he wasn’t. I really need to get my own flat and sweet car now.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

        • Chester Says:

          What I am saying is the OP feels there is pressure for her to spend money on her looks because men want attractive women. By the same token, women who want successful men….some women judge the man by the car he drives or they won’t date a guy with roommates.

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          • CoolDude Says:

            “or they won’t date a guy with roommates.”

            Ha, you mean like the author/curator of this site?

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  10. Speedy Says:

    This is a very good column, its because Moxie actually likes men of course (a rare thing in dating blogs).

    I do find things like this quite amusing though. Look at the things women want from men and look at what men want from women. OK, lets imagine you do “have” to spend $80 and 2 hours. Lets say he is secretly gay and notices all that stuff.

    Great. And what do you expect from him: successful, financially secure, well educated, socially dominant, well connected, etc?. So you’re trading 2 hours and 80 dollars for 25+ years of 60 hour weeks and probably a million or so dollars. In Jane Austen’s time as well as looking pretty and having a good personality you’d better be good at managing servants, playing the pianoforte and ideally singing or reciting poetry but that doesn’t matter so much now, you’re good to go.

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  11. Hard ache Says:

    Rock on moxie!!

    I recently had to finally dump someone I really really liked because even after downgrading the relationship to friendship and no sex she still nonchalantly expected me to foot the bill every single time – her excuse “I don’t make a lot of money!”

    Evidently her merely showing up was my reward enough. I’m still awaiting a response to my rejoinder – you could still have just packed a sandwich for us once in a while! Meanwhile I had to sit through repeated lectures on the value of generosity!!!

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    • GI_JANE Says:

      And what exactly did you “really really” like about her?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    • Belle Vierge Says:

      I have several good guy friends who would buy me drinks when we went out. I never asked, and I never expected it. I always thanked them profusely, and then, whenever possible, I would buy the next round. I hated the entitlement some of my girlfriends felt towards free alcohol just for being women. When I go on “friend dates” with my guy friends, I always insist on buying my own drink/meal as well. The only time this would ever change would be if one of us made significantly more money than the other. Right now, most of us are young and on tight budgets, so it just makes sense to pay your own way!

      Disclosure: My boyfriend literally earns 4x as much money as I do, and I work two jobs. When we visit each other, we do cook a lot to save money, but overall, he pays for the majority of our dates. We just did a weekend getaway for my birthday, and I intentionally chose inexpensive activities for us to do, plus I bought and packed lunches for us to cut down on eating out expenses. The one “expensive” activity (a pro baseball game), I bought our tickets in advance. He likes to treat me to things, but I’m very independent and endeavor not to take advantage of his generosity.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. Chester Says:

    “It’s also about showing me how much he appreciates my company, since I strive to be as pleasant and fun as possible.””

    This captures the essence of entitlement that some women have. What do she bring to the relationship? being fun and pleasant.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

    • Hard ache Says:

      This is the most perfect summarization of the whole thing! :-)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    • mindstar Says:

      Hell after some Internet dates I’d be happy with “pleasant and fun”. I had one where the woman spent an hour+ berating bankers, lawyers (my profession), the Republican Party and the Catholic Church notwithstanding my various attempts to steering the conversation to more laidback topics. She did say thanks after I paid so that was a plus.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  13. Mickey Says:

    Get over it! If you’re spending all this money to primp, what’s another $12 for the date? People do coffee/lunch dates to curb cost, in case things don’t work out. Do the same when it comes to getting ready; you don’t need a new outfit, recycle the old one, nor you do need a new pair of heels or highlights for that specific date. We dress to impress other women, we want to look better, skinnier, tanner, healthies, more ‘ideal’ than they do; guys get the residual benefits of this. The newest fashion, colorful make-up, and highlighted hair, it’s all for other women. Stop investing so much in and on the first few dates.

    Guys consistently say they love the jeans and t-shirt look, they’re just not that into what we wear. My boyfriend is more complimentary when I’m wearing something simple. Whether its a pair of jeans and Toms or a sheath dress and flats, I get more compliments from him than when ive dressed for other women. For a birthday dinner last year, I had professional hair and make-up, a pair of shoes that cost almost as much as my mortgage and a dress that accentuated my curves. But it was the basic black dress (and flip flops!) I wore to brunch the next day that he couldn’t stop talking about; it’s still his favorite outfit.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    • Eliza Says:

      Agreed. If you are attractive, healthy looking…you are good to go. Doesn’t matter – if you are out of shape – or perhaps you are, and for whatever reason, you are not the other person’s cup of tea…it won’t matter if you have the cutest outfit, or hottest trendy pair of Jimmy Choo shoes and Frederic Fekkai coif going…he “doesn’t” care – unless he walks the runway himself and can apply makeup better than a Sephora employee! Then he is most likely gay – and your next BFF! Most men are simple creatures–they like what they like…even the men I have met who claim to like “girly girls” – they want natural beauty – what they themselves perceive that to be – varies. It’s in the eyes of the beholder. Go figure.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • Chester Says:

        That reminds me of the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”. Where the woman was originally fashion-ignorant who later dresses with fashion. But as a guy, she looked just a good in the sweater in the first scene. The movie made it out like she became more beautiful, but I thought she looked just the same. trendier yes, but not better looking.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        • Eliza Says:

          No–the movie made a point at showing the before and after effect – of her working at a top notch magazine – where she became more fashion conscious and fashion forward and was then perceived differently by her peers and her boss. She just has a more fashionable look to her–she wasn’t anymore or less attractive. Just a trendier wardrobe and hairstyle. That movie was just emphasizing how focused that industry is on appearances.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

        • Speedy Says:

          We’ve known this since Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  14. Maria Says:

    The OP just sounds like an entitled princess. But, by the way she talks, I’m going to guess that she’s attractive enough to pull it off. OP, if you want to continue to be entitled, I’d suggest dating a few leagues below yourself, because that’s the only way a guy would put up with that attitude.

    I think it’s crazy to say that men don’t notice when women groom. Can they pick out a woman who’s had her eyebrows done? No, but I’m pretty sure they’ll pick out the one who is walking around with a unibrow or 2 inch thick eyebrows. Do they notice highlights and haircuts? No, but they’d probably notice a streak of gray hair or a poofball of frizz. Hip to waist ratio? They may not know numbers, but they know if our waists are smaller than our butts and boobs. And a lot of guys like the natural look, but natural women usually are still wearing some sort of makeup, just not overdoing it (granted, some people look just fine without, but that’s the minority).

    Women definitely dress up for other women, mainly because we’re more critical, but men still want a women who looks good. Maybe at a grocery store a man would meet a women with no makeup and be wowed. But a date is a different venue and most people have an expectation that their date will put in some effort on the looks and grooming front (men and women).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    • POV Says:

      She’s not attractive enough to pull it off, that’s why she spends all that time and effort on her appearance for a first date (if she’s to be believed).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      a lot of guys like the natural look, but natural women usually are still wearing some sort of makeup, just not overdoing it
      My mother told my sisters that the goal of wearing makeup was to make it look like they weren’t wearing any. That’s still what I consider ideal. Yes, I know that (most) women don’t look perfect without a little something here or there, but I should still be able to recognize (and be attracted to) them the next morning when it’s gone.

      If a woman has enough makeup on that I notice it, I wonder what’s so horrible about her that she feels the need to do that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. D. Says:

    I read the OP’s letter and all I could think was “Oh please.” Look, the guy she went out with turned out to be a disappointment. Such is dating. Some dates are duds. It happens to guys, too. And yeah, some people show up not exactly bringing what one might consider “their A-game.” Again, such is dating. Don’t like it? Don’t go out with them again. But spare me all the “I spent so much money to look good” argument.

    You bought a new outfit that cost you $80? Well, I guess now that you’ve worn it on this lame date, you’ll just have to burn it or throw it away, huh? You spent money on clothes. Big deal. Guess what — unless the dude showed up naked, he probably spent money on clothes, too. Shall we set that off in the “dating ledger” against your purchases? If he spent more than you, do you owe him the difference? No? Then why the hell are we even talking about this?

    Which brings me to the real issue I see here. The OP’s letter is all about how women have it sooo much harder than men in dating and spend so much more money. This is just as stupid a line of thinking as the guys who bitch about having spent money on dinner and only gotten a peck on the cheek goodnight. Dress it up all you want, it’s a sense of entitlement in either case, and it sucks.

    Look, dating’s hard for everyone sometimes. Not every expenditure leads to the outcome you’re looking for. But hey, that’s how it goes. Ya pays your money and ya takes your chances, and that goes for both men and women. For every unfair aspect of dating that one sex can bring up, the other can say “Oh YEAH? Well what about…” and bring up something they have to deal with too. So let’s just drop the “Who’s Got It Tougher” Olympics bit, ok? Everyone has it tough at times. You’re annoyed at the guy who wouldn’t spend $12 on dinner? I was annoyed at the girl who showed up in a pink tutu-like dress, jeans underneath, and Doc Martins, looking considerably worse than her photos did. Life’s full of little disappointments, but we soldier on.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  16. locke_stocke Says:

    The most pleasant women to date are the women who have no expectations that a man will pay for them. They truly appreciate when the man pays. Women who believe, as the OP does, that a man “should” pay for the date(s) never seem to be able to show appreciation (and I don’t mean sex, here), because they don’t view paying as generosity. I can afford to pay for every date. But any woman who wants to be an equal in every other area of her relationship cannot expect to have the man pay for everything. They wouldn’t do that to their girlfriends (whom they profess to love). They probably wouldn’t do that to a stranger. They would be more than generous in other settings. So what makes a date with a man different? Moxie has it exactly right. The woman views the man paying as a validation of her looks/company, etc. She doesn’t see that in such a scenario, the only real way she has to validate the man in return is through sex.

    We do live in a culture in which the man generally pays, especially on the first date. Any man who can’t suck that up and pay probably is socially clueless. But by the third date, (and it really should be the second) if the woman hasn’t insisted on paying she is also socially clueless. These are the women who write in and say “We had three wonderful dates and then I didn’t hear from him again! I just don’t get men!”

    The women who both want to “take it slow” when it comes to sex, while having the man pay for everything? I don’t know anyone who would date her.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

    • Eliza Says:

      And for women – the most pleasant men to date – are men who are true gentleman and don’t nickel and dime everything and expect to get sexual – just because they went on ONE date – to a very nice venue (which they themselves suggested). And feel they are entitled to some “return on their investment”.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

      • CoolDude Says:

        Of all the guys I know, none of us really feel entitled to anything. Taking a girl out to a nice dinner/drinks and expecting sex because of it is nothing more than socialized prostitution. Some men, myself included, feel that maybe on date 2-3, if we still are paying for everything it shows a sense of entitlement and also portrays a lack of awareness on the female’s part. I’m more than happy to pay for a 1st date, hell, even a 2nd or 3rd date. The girls I am most impressed by are the ones who might pick up a round of drinks here or there. It illustrates a lot about their personality and entitlement is one of my biggest turn-offs.

        I always make it a point to pay for someone if I asked them out. In fact, women have asked me out and I still pay. However, I don’t blame men who feel it’s not responsible to pay a bunch of $ on a total stranger they don’t know from the internet. 1st dates that stem from online dating are sort of like job interviews (depressing, I know).

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  17. Brad Says:

    “For the typical woman, hair highlights alone cost about $100. Then there’s mani-pedi’s, facials, body waxing, teeth bleaching, etc. New clothes, new shoes, makeup, perfume, lotions, scrubs, face creams, at-home pore masks, shaving, tweezing, hair curling/flat-ironing, it all adds up to a lot of time and money spent trying to get dates!”

    Stop doing all of this.

    If you stopped, the *quantity* of your dates would go down while the *quality* of your dates would go up.

    Except for the body waxing. Keep doing that.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  18. Kurt Says:

    Men have learned the hard way that most women think that they are weak or supplicating if they pay for too much on a first date. First of all, how exactly did a “coffee date” turn into a “dinner date”? If the man wasn’t willing to pay, then I bet it was because the OP is the one who started ordering food and the man with her didn’t want to be taken advantage of by paying for it because he wasn’t completely certainly whether she was into him. I have had this happen before where a woman who wasn’t interested in me turned a drink date into dinner and I ended up paying even though we never went out again, but I am not foolish enough to ever let that happen again!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

    • Eliza Says:

      Oh please. Stop generalizing – based on your specific experience. Not ALL women are this insensitive – just like NOT all men have that sense of entitlement. Only men who are not gentlemen feel like that. And ONLY women who act and believe they are “princesses” have that sense of entitlement going. And by the way – Maria has stated – that the OP may be “good looking enough pull that off”. well, woman OR man is that great looking where they should have that entitlement going – that characteristic in my view makes someone very unappealing. Courtesy does go a long way – with me. Good looking men and woman are actually a dime a dozen. That fades. Don’t need to be taken advantage of by anyone. And actually I myself have been invited to a “coffee date” – which is fine…I went. Just had 1 cup of coffee (which I paid for myself) – and the man actually asked “so, do you want to grab a bite?” – and yes, it was sometime around 5/6pm – so I guess it could be construed as an early dinner. Again, I declined–having had plans later that evening. Not in dire need of a “free meal” – as others stated (which is a cliche)–but nonetheless, not all women date for freebies – drinks, food. There are always exceptions to every rule. Actually it can happen. Maybe the guy that was with the OP wanted to extend time spent with her-and did find her attractive, and therefore suggested dinner. One can’t presume what she did – since you weren’t there. By the way, I don’t view a man “weak” merely because he paid above the norm for a date. How absurd. I view him as a generous man, or perhaps a man with more financial means that others. Why overanalyze someone’s intentions/generosity? Geez.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

      • CoolDude Says:

        IS anyone else curious as to where they went to eat? A $12 tab (really? that’s the total?) sounds like they grabbed hamburgers at Wendy’s.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

        • Eliza Says:

          Perhaps it was truly a “cheap” date. I recently met someone – from OKC at a very simple, modest coffee shop–where there was seating…and upon meeting there – the guy actually suggested we leave – and where did we end up? Starbucks. OK, I figured perhaps he wasn’t that interested – and didn’t want to spend much time.

          Nope. It was obvious he wanted to be stingy. Because he suggested sitting somewhere outside — and he didn’t rush the time we spent chatting. I actually was the one who had to end our conversation. Since it was a weeknight.

          When a man “downgrades” – from a $5.00 cup of coffee – cafe…it screams “Cheap”!

          Nothing more unattractive than being with someone that is afflicted with “Cheapitis”.

          Geez…I would have purchased my own coffee there. $5.00 would not have broken my bank.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

          • POV Says:

            Seems like what the guy spends is a big deal to you, you comment on it all the time. I guess women aren’t too worried about appearing cheap. Then again, men don’t act entitled to a free meal. At best women volunteer to pay their half, it is rare when they pay the whole thing.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            • Eliza Says:

              POV – if you learned how to read and/or at the very least decipher other people’s posts…yhou will see that I have suggested and stated that there are plenty of fun activities to do that don’t even require money. When a man is making a big deal over a $5.00 cup of coffee, it IS a turnoff. Especially – a $5 cup of coffee I would have just paid for myself. Not a huge financial burden on me. What free meal…I go out with my friends (both men and women) – and pay for myself as should be…I never suggested dinner. I actually suggested a weeknight get together for coffee – because I never met him in person.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

              • John Says:

                Eliza says :
                “POV – if you learned how to read and/or at the very least decipher other people’s posts…yhou will see that I have suggested and stated that there are plenty of fun activities to do that don’t even require money”

                Could it be that maybe POV missed your comment that you suggested free dates because it got lost in the 25 other posts you made on this thread?

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

          • fuzzilla Says:

            Switching from a coffee place to another coffee place seems like kind of a lateral move and doesn’t sound like that big a deal to me. He could’ve simply preferred that Starbuck’s for the outdoor seating. Seems like kind of a silly reason to reject him, unless other things turned you off. Did you say you wanted to stay where you were?

            Downgrading from dinner or drinks to coffee does kinda piss me off, though. To me it sends a message that they’re not that invested/don’t see the date going anywhere before we’ve even met.

            My FWB usually does pay for lunch or dinner (he makes more than me), but sometimes I’ll cook or order delivery food to even things out. He always says no if I offer to chip in.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

            • Eliza Says:

              No–initially, he left it up to me to decide where to meet–he had no clue. I suggested meeting for a drink – at a very modest bar. He turned that down. I then suggested a nice little cafe – where this is seating…a cup of coffee goes for under $5.00 (I could have paid for myself)…not a big deal. He shows up – to say “mind if we go somewhere else”? Not sure why – since there was seating there. We go to Starbuck next door – and there were no free tables…so he suggested we sit at some outdoor bench, and have a Taster’s Choice moment there! lol. Ridiculous – why make such a big deal – if it’s merely coffee. He then proceeded to complain that on a prior date – a woman ordered all this from the menu – (apparently he paid) and SHE never called him back. So I guess now he is traumatized to spend more than $5.00?? I earn enough to pay my own way–a “so called free meal” isn’t important to me. It’s my time that’s important. Want to at least have great conversation and be around someone that is positive, and not complaining about the opposite gender. Or complaining about how expensive things are. Very offputting.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

          • fuzzilla Says:

            Now that I think of it, I might be a bit annoyed by an abrupt decision to change venues without checking in with me. I’d be annoyed ‘cuz it’s a bit self-absorbed, not because it’s cheap.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • POV Says:

        That’s why he said MOST women, and not ALL women. RIF.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • LostSailor Says:

        Sounds like this got under somebody’s skin. Maybe some women are like that…

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      • Kurt Says:

        Obviously not all women are like this, but enough are that men have learned not to do this!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  19. LostSailor Says:

    I’m not interested in another boring debate on who pays, but the entitlement in the OP is titanic. From the dating-to-check-out-if-he’ll-let-me-sponge-off-him to the livid anger, this is one mercenary woman.

    It’s the “I spent a lot of money on me, why shouldn’t he spend a lot of money on me?” syndrome. After all she is pleasant on dates.

    Moxie is quite right in her response: women buy outfits, shoes (lots of shoes), get expensive highlights and blowouts, teeth bleaching, etc. (I really don’t want to know about the “body waxing”–geez, just how hirsute are you, lady?) for themselves. Do you expect your employer to toss you a cash bonus because you spent money to look your best on the job? Do you expect a government check just because you put effort into not walking the streets like some hairy ogre with blackened teeth? Of course not. So why does all of that effort and expense fall on the head of a guy you date such that you complain he doesn’t go to similar efforts?

    And if you have to spend two hours getting ready for a coffee date, you’re hiding something. Moxie’s right about that, too. A women who shows up to a first date coffee/drink looking like she just stepped out of the salon and dressed to the nines is most likely to be taken as high maintenance and trying way too hard. If a woman has to “put her face on” for hours before stepping outside, it’s a red flag. Men want to date real women, not the female version of Dorian Gray.

    Perhaps she should have paid for the date to compensate him for his pricey gym membership and new Armani suit…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

    • Jeff Says:

      You sound petty & cheap, I suspect you’re the person who goes out to dinner with a group & then dissects the bill instead of splitting it by the number of people at the table. Have you considered a real job that will allow you to less petty in the future? Secure that and you might get your boat in the water, not be marooned high & dry, be it the dating or nautical world.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

      • fuzzilla Says:

        >I suspect you’re the person who goes out to dinner with a group & then dissects the bill instead of splitting it by the number of people at the table.<

        I think it's rude to divide a dinner check evenly amongst a group if some people only had hummus and others had a full dinner, dessert, and three cocktails (and where did that even come from, anyway?).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

        • Belle Vierge Says:

          Ditto. This has burned me on a few occasions, when I had carefully budgeted for a night out with friends. I didn’t order alcohol or dessert, but then I had to help pay for everyone else? Don’t shame someone for not being well-off financially and for trying to stick to a budget.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • LostSailor Says:

        Jeff, you are so off the mark, you’ve hit the shoals. How you got to how one splits a check from a comment about women’s pre-date routines defies logic. RIF, son, RIF.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  20. Jesse Says:

    Well, I was recently broken up with because I paid for my share of the dates. He said it was too ‘masculine’ and ‘emasculating’ and that he wanted someone more traditional and feminine.

    So, while paying your own way is great in theory, there are many guys out there who take this as a slight and will think you’re uninterested.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

    • John Says:

      I guess it never occurred to you that the excuse he gave (you paying for some dates) was not the real reason for dumping you.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    • Kurt Says:

      I don’t understand the “female logic” here. Most guys would probably think it is a good thing because they don’t have to spend as much money on the dates and they know that the woman isn’t simply taking monetary advantage of them.

      He may have given you that reason, but he probably thought you were “masculine” for reasons other than paying your way.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  21. GI_JANE Says:

    Last time I said I was losing weight to have more dating prospects I was flamed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  22. colin Says:

    Even though a guy pays, most women say that the amount of effort for a first date is equal — having to dress up, do their hair, and spend their time, etc. To me, this is a simply excuse to absolve themselves of guilt for justifying wanting a free meal. This is precisely why I never take a woman to dinner on a first date unless we agree to go dutch. Drinks, yes. Lunch maybe. The way I see it, if she’s truly interested in me, the amount of money spent on a first date wont matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

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