Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Money, Money, Money + an Update or Two

I’m front-loading this post with apologies galore.  I’m totally ignoring my editorial calendar again. I’m just not in the mood for a list post.  I promise to return to regularly scheduled programming sometime soon.

Now, before I get to the topic at hand, I wanted to give you all a couple of updates on my dating life.  I know I usually do that in a separate post but I’m breaking that rule, too.   Last weekend I took advantage of a trial membership on .com.  I was very disappointed with how that went overall.  I was flooded with messages by inappropriate men and the .com system doesn’t allow you to easily send polite no thank you messages to a bulk group.  Instead you have to go to each message and respond.  It’s very time consuming to be polite there.  Anyway, I did meet one guy who seems interesting and we’ve been emailing each other all week.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we got together this weekend.  I closed the account before the end of the trial period.

There’s been some other dating activity, but nothing I’m ready/willing to write about.  Not yet.

And now for today’s real topic – money and how it affects dating and relationships.  Dammit this topic won’t go away.  I was out with my friends Lostplum and Mirthful last week and they were talking about something they’d read (I tried to find it but couldn’t.  Sorry. You know how I like to give credit.) about how men should never pay for dates and women should stop expecting them to.  None of us really loved that concept, although we saw the basic logic of it.

And then last night, I was out at an event and it came up again.  A woman was telling me and Lostplum of a bad first date.  A guy had invited her out and asked her to pick a place.  She did and they went out and had a pleasant enough time and then when the bill came he made a fuss and said, “the place was outside of his price range” (we all thought he could have found a better way to ask her to pay for half).  When he called her for a second date she said no.

I wrote a pretty long post about money and dating and the who pays situation in my life (not suggesting in any way that others follow my lead) a while back.  Here it is.

For me, like with most things in relation to dating, it’s all situational.  I have no set rules.  And I can’t imagine attempting to live by any set rules.  It’s seems insane to me to say that there’s no difference between going out with a guy who earns high six figures a year and a broke adjunct professor.  I don’t care how much a guy earns, but how much my date/boyfriend earns will affect how much I contribute financially. It just will.  I’m not going to let someone who is struggling financially spend money on me.  I will, however, let a guy who’s loaded take me out to ridiculously expensive restaurants (if that’s his choice) and pick up the tab.

Anyway, I thought it would be helpful to share some other opinions here.

Should I Pay or Should I Go Now, from Dating and Mating in America

Do Girls Pay for Dates from Ask Matt and Tamsen

How Can She Be Independent If a Man Always Pays? from Naked With Socks On


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7 to “Money, Money, Money + an Update or Two”


  1. Jonsi says:

    As a broke grad student who might soon be that broke adjunct professor, I agree with you completely: it is situational. I try to plan dates within my budget, and if a woman wants to go to a “nicer” place, that’s fine if she can pay her half and it is within my budget for ONE. For example, $50 for TWO PEOPLE is really pushing my Friday night budget and in that case, I’d expect her to go dutch (or her pay for the drinks and dessert or offer to buy the drinks at the lounge afterward). I’ve been told by women “if you don’t have enough money to occasionally pay for a nice restaurant (aside from special occasions), you shouldn’t be dating.” I think that is RIDICULOUS. There are plenty of cheap, fun, amazing dates in any city. When I worked and made more money, I was willing to pay for more, more of the time, but I was still sensitive to the woman’s investment. For example, if I pay for the parking and the baseball tickets on the 3rd date, I pretty much expect the woman to offer to buy the beers, or I won’t be asking her for a 4th date. She needs to demonstrate an investment in me, and $$ is really the only way to demonstrate that early in the relationship. It’s absolutely not about the $ value, it’s about the investment being balanced.

  2. bbbex says:

    I always offer to pay my share, but usually the guy declines. I think men appreciate the effort. If I invite someone, be it a friend or date, I always pay because it was my idea. That’s just manners.

  3. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    What bothers me is not that there are no rules for who pays how much anymore but that people seem to hold it against each other if they’re not playing by the same rules even though they KNOW there are no rules! It’s like, people, please, TALK to each other about your expectations! Don’t expect someone else to read your mind!

    Anyway, I go dutch on dates till I’m sure that I’m interested in the guy because I don’t think it’s right for a man to have to shell out all the money for someone who’s not even a romantic prospect. Also, I don’t want to give a guy any ideas about what he can expect from me later because he bought me dinner. However, once I know I’m interested, I take my cue from our respective financial situations, much like you do.

    There does seem to be a backlash from men who don’t want to pick up the tab at all, ever. I hope those guys are able to find women to suit them. As for me, I don’t want to run a relationship like a business partnership. Very little in a relationship is 50-50. It’s more about each partner bringing his or her own strengths to the table, and wealth is not going to be it for everyone.

  4. Asian Girl says:

    For me, it would be better to go on dutch when it comes to dating with someone who catches your fancy or with someone admires so that if the date would not turn out great you won’t be blamed or blamed your date. Just insists to pay the bill if you have extra cash and not just for the sake of impressing your date because life is so difficult nowadays.

  5. lostplum says:

    The part that really got me about her story was he knew how much the price range was, he asked if she wanted another drink (they had about 3 each) and he insisted on getting an appetizers. And yes, he could have asked or brought it up in a warmer manner and she would have been happy to pay for her half. It’s all in the way the bill comes up.

  6. Dating is My Hobby says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately too. Its tough in the land of feminism and an economic downturn. I’ve dated 2 guys in the last year who were unemployed and looking for their dream jobs, so it seemed unfair to suggest nights out, and it makes me cringe a bit if they go to pay because I know I’m working and should offer, but then is that affecting their manliness? I dated a guy with a high paying job, and I have to say I appreciated going out to $100 dinners with him too. I’d much rather split an evening (ex: movie tickets one person buys, and dinner the other) versus splitting the check at dinner, which feels much more awkward. Currently I try and get around the money issue by offering to cook dinner at my place, which I get enjoyment out of, would do for myself anyway, and then we still get to spend time together without the wallet coming out.

  7. Simone Grant says:

    -Jonsi
    Ugh, I can’t stand hearing about women who make statements like that. I remember a while back reading a post of a blog by a woman ranting that a guy better be willing to spend “real money” on a first date to show he was a good prospect. It gave me the shivers. I’ve fine going out for coffee. Or going for a walk in the park. Walks are free.
    -bbbex
    I know a lot of women who say “men appreciate the effort” but then become enraged when men accept the offer. Like I said, I don’t like dutch. And while I’m fine for paying half, I think the game that some women play, offering with no intent of actually following through, is beyond lame.
    -Singletude
    I understand your frustration. And I would very much appreciate it if a guy wants to go dutch for him to tell me up front. I’d never take offense or think less of him.

    I don’t really get the whole, ‘If a guy pays he might be expecting something in return’, logic. I hear a lot of women say that and yet I’ve never once been on a date where I’ve felt like the guy thought there was some kind of quid pro quo(dinner for sex) going on. And I rarely go dutch and have been on dates with hundreds of men.
    -Asian Girl
    It seems like a lot of people are with you one that. Perhaps going dutch is more popular outside of NYC or with younger people?
    -lostplum
    Yes, I think we were all struck by the guys complete cluelessness. He could have looked up the menu online prior to the date. He could have looked at the prices on the menu as they were ordering. He could have mentioned early in the evening that he felt most comfortable splitting checks until later in a relationship. But instead he contributed to the running up of the bill and then acted surprised when it came and insisted she pay half. Not a way to win a woman over, especially not a woman over 35 (this is definitely one of those areas where age matters).
    -Dating is My Hobby
    So it sounds like you deal with it case by case, person by person, which to me sounds responsible and sane. And I also like to invite guys over for a home cooked meal. For the same reasons you do.