This archived article was written by: CJ Evans
I realize that those of you who take the time out of your busy life to humor me and read this article would rather hear my witty remarks and observations on life in general instead of some recent events in my life, but for the sake of the article, I hope that you will bear with me.
The day was Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, and I was about to have my first ever Valentine’s Day date. Everything was just right, I had the female, the restaurant, even my hair was looking better than usual. Dinner had gone better than expected and despite the scent of soy sauce on my breath, I was fairly positive that I would be able to end the night with a kiss. When the check finally came around, I was in the process of paying when she proceeded to take money from her purse and place it next to our bill. At this point, I started to have mixed emotions. On one hand, I was flattered that she liked me enough to want to pay for me, while on the other, I was slightly insulted that she thought it necessary to do so.
Of course she wasn’t intending to offend me, she was just trying to be nice and do something that she has always done in the past. Personally I was shocked to learn this, I mean, three and a half years of serious dating and not once has she had a guy pay for her? That was appalling to me, but it did get me thinking. It is 2012, year of the Aztec calendar, the decades of female empowerment have come and left their mark. My goal in this was to determine just how much of an oddity I was in insisting that I always pay, regardless of situation.
By polling students at different times and places, I determined just how students at USU Eastern felt about the subject and the results were pleasantly surprising. Several male students explained how they had never allowed a female to pay for even the smallest date. While others explained how they would sometimes “go Dutch” and allow the female to pay for her own meal due to their financial situation. Fewer still had allowed females to pay for the entirety of the date and even then, they explained how an extenuating circumstance had allowed them no other alternative. One student in particular explained that he felt it was his duty as a male to pay for it. In his own words, “Paying for a date helps me know that I’m doing may part in the relationship.” While paying for a date may not be all that a male has to do in order to keep a relationship alive, it certainly does help.
If paying for a date has traditionally been the male’s responsibility, why would so many females voice their support in paying for a date? It may not be because of some mislead feminist movement; rather it might be the fact that without the male ego to hold them back, they realize that college is a trying time. Not only do students have to deal with schoolwork, they also have the added difficulty of managing a social life, financing themselves, family matters and whatever mishaps life decides to throw their way on a weekly basis. It may just be that females feel the same way about the male they date, that is they enjoy the company and enjoy spending time with each other and see it as an easy way to lessen the stress of life.
I’m not saying one way is obviously better than the other, but what I am saying is there can be a healthy alternative. Females, when you insist on paying for yourself or covering the entire date then it sends a message to us males, and that message is something along the lines of: “This was a complete waste of time, I would have been better off coming alone”. We know you may not mean it, but it’s the odd thing about actions speaking louder than words. Males, when you reject their offers at every turn without a moment’s hesitation, you send a message that, while probably not as harsh as theirs, can still be rather devastating. Your refusal to accept their help can be seen as a refusal to allow them to grow or maybe even a refusal to allow the relationship to evolve.
So what’s the solution? Simply talk it out. Make an arrangement that both of you can agree on. If one of you is in a bad spot financially, it may be a good idea to let the other pay for a while, or even better, would be an agreement that not everything fun has a price tag attached to it. If neither of those works for you, there’s always the arrangement that you switch off every other date.
Just remember, you’re dating this person because you genuinely like them, or at least your trying to find out if that’s an option. It may not be in your best interest to start off on the wrong foot either way.