Should men still pay for first dates?

Dec 4, 2014, 12:19 AM | Updated: 12:19 am

A recent survey by NerdWallet shows that 77 percent of people in a relationship think that men should pay for the first date.

But many argue that this tradition is outdated. Consider the title of this recent Atlantic piece, “It's 2014: Why Are Men Still Paying for First Dates?” or an article in the Huffington Post: “Men Still Paying for First Dates … and Women Are Partly Responsible.” As Suzannah Ramsdale of Marie Claire argues, “Feminism. It's always anyone has been able to talk about for most of 2014. So why, then, do most people believe men should pick up the cheque on the first date?”

In fact, one study implies that women might be hurting themselves by letting men pay for the dates, sacrificing future gender equality for the short-term benefit of saving a little money at the movies.

However, I disagree. Yes, we live in a world where women have big ambitions, but when a man pays for the date, he is saying that he is willing to provide for his future wife and children. His date might be smoking him in their chemistry class and snagging all of the summer intern interviews, but that's not the point. The point is that he's willing to provide.

He knows that his wife will have to bear risks that he won't have to bear. Only she will have to deal with the exhaustion, the pain and the anxiety of delivering a child. No matter how much he is willing to do for her, he can't take on her morning sickness for even one day.

And while men have come a long way in helping raise the children, studies show that working women feel more torn between their families and their jobs than their husbands do. Only 37 percent of working women want to work full-time while 79 percent of working men say they prefer to work full-time.

The reality is that people who have not yet had children don't really know yet how they are going to want to divide the breadwinning and child-rearing responsibilities. They haven't had to deal with sleepless nights and a crying baby or grapple with postpartum depression. They don't know what it's like to have twins or what it's like to raise a child with special needs. While having children can be a great joy, there are also challenges, and it may provide a woman great peace of mind if she knows that the man she is dating is willing to shoulder the greater financial responsibility in the marriage.

I'm not surprised that 77 percent of the people polled still think that guys should pay for the first date. While a woman may not want to marry a man who insists she stay home, she might also not want to marry a man who insists that she work.

What do you think? Do you think men should pay for the first date?

Contact Becky at beckyblackburnwrites@gmail.com.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Better Man Movement

Tyler Bassett

We’re doing youth soccer wrong: The pitfalls of tryouts

American soccer coaches shouldn't be worrying about players' size when factoring who plays and who doesn't.
7 years ago
Tyler Bassett

The most important thing to teach your child

In this edition of LIFEadvice Coach Kim shares some of her most popular advice on teaching children to be kind.
7 years ago
Tyler Bassett

Dads, listen up! 5 tips to prevent dad burnout

Fatherhood is a tough job. Men and fathers alike know that it's important to take care of your family, your job, and other duties, but it's also necessary to avoid responsibility burnout. Luckily, these five tips can help do just that.
7 years ago
...
Tyler Bassett

3 reasons you should take your family camping this summer

Summer is here! If you're planning a family get-away, here's why camping is the best way to go.
7 years ago
...
Arizona Sports

When parents become personal trainers: How to help a young child lose weight

Childhood obesity is on the rise in America. How can parents help a young person get back on the path to long, healthy life?
7 years ago
Tyler Bassett

Staying best friends with your spouse

Here's how to be BFF with your spouse.
7 years ago
Should men still pay for first dates?