Here Is Why Paying For The Date Is Not About The Money

So, you’ve spotted this woman at your local Starbucks, or grocery store, or tagged in a friend’s Facebook photo. You’ve started up a conversation, and she has agreed to spend some time with you. Let’s keep it simple and say you go to dinner.

Fantastic! You pick her up, open the door, and are a perfect gentleman all night. Then, the bill comes.

The next thing out of your mouth is “So, should we split it?”

And then, her face:


In my opinion, the man should always pay for dates, at least in the beginning stages of a relationship. But, why? She makes her own money, maybe even more than you. Shouldn’t she split it? Or, maybe even pay for it?

No. And this is why:

Dating is about courtship. Traditionally, men have been the ones to do the pursuing when it came to dating. They had to prove to a woman (and probably her family) that he was serious about getting to know her and being part of her life. This required effort. Planning the date, and yes, even paying for it. But more than that, being creative. Being thoughtful. Paying attention to what she likes and enjoys, and working that in to the equation. All of these things draw the line between just dating and courting. 

Courting has a purpose, a purpose that our generations easily lose sight of because they are caught up in the dating game and don’t understand how beautiful it is to actually form a connection with someone.

She doesn’t need you to pay for her dinner, and she might even offer to split it. But damn it you fool, don’t you ever take her up on that offer. She wants to be swept off of her feet, to be romanced, to be valued and appreciated. To be pursued. That is why you pay for the date. It’s symbolic. It’s symbolic like wanting you to kill the spider. To open the door. To slay the dragon.

Many men will then say “But it is about the money, why does the woman always get a free ride?” Well first of all, if you are taking a woman out who is only spending time with you for a free meal, then your instincts may have to be re-calibrated so you don’t spend any more time or money on people like that.


Secondly, dating is not exactly a free ride for a woman. A 2011 survey uncovered the following statistics:

– 53% of women said they spend money in advance on new outfits and pre-date grooming.

– 65% of women spend more than $50 on preparing for the date.

She might go out and buy new shoes, or get her nails done, or even get her hair done. Do you have any idea what it costs for a manicure, pedicure, and a haircut? Probably more than you will spend on dinner, even at a nice restaurant in the city.

This, however, is still not about the money. It is about feeling good and looking good for you. It is about making a good impression with you and it is about hopefully, in the future, getting to spend more time with you.

But since this all happens behind the scenes, men tend to give a “wow, you look beautiful” at the beginning of the evening and really overlook the work and effort it took to achieve the result they wanted. I don’t care what Beyonce says, they did not “wake up like this.”

Romance is about spending time, not money. Your competency at it will not depend on what you are willing to spend, but on how creative and thoughtful you are going to be. I guarantee you that a woman would rather you put real effort into doing something less expensive together than she would taking her to a five star restaurant and having a lousy time with lousy conversation.


She doesn’t need you to take her out for a nice time, but she wants you to. That’s why she said yes to the date, and she doesn’t care what it costs. There are two things a woman should never touch on a date: The door, and the cheque.

The right woman doesn’t want your car, your money, or gifts. She wants your time, your effort, your honesty, your loyalty, and your respect.


Click here to get my new e-book, The Modern Man’s Guide To Chivalry And Courtship!



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112 thoughts on “Here Is Why Paying For The Date Is Not About The Money

  1. I learned a while ago that there is usually an inverse relation between the quality of the food and the quality of the conversation. The big bucks guy will take you to a fancy restaurant and bore you silly, because he thinks he’s done and now it’s up to you to sit there fascinated (secretly focusing on the delicious food) while he rambles on. Unfortunately our culture implants this idea in the minds of teenage boys: that if they only “succeed” everything else will follow. The other guy, who studied art or music in college or spent years with the Peace Corps or works for a nonprofit start-up, can’t afford to take you anywhere especially good, but it doesn’t matter because his conversation is so interesting you can never remember what you ate anyway. (I suppose there’s a third type who inherited wealth, which might actually be all right — not so obsessed with “success” and maybe took some liberal arts courses, traveled, collects art or something like that — but I haven’t got the data.) BTW If I thought the date was so bad the inverse law didn’t hold either way, I’ll try to pick up the check out of sheer self-respect.

  2. Um… Nope. You have it all wrong. Women want men with money plain and simple. Men want beauty and sexually attractiveness, Women want security and money – thats biological, we evolved that way. So paying for the date is proving that you can provide her with those things. All that romance thing was recently socialized. BUT family courts and family law changed all that. Today a women can take the man for a ride and then leave him high and dry. She can loot the marriage and leave him on the edge of suicide thanks to the laws and social norms. Which has only served to destroy marriage and it began in the late 60’s when they introduced “no fault divorce”. Men in 2016 have to be really stupid not to realize this reality.

    1. Sorry your bitterness at being cut off from your mother’s boobies has led you to this skewed worldview, but your shitty attitude is why women keep leaving you after they see the broken mirror you look at everything through. You were a self-centered, entitled little bitch before even meeting them. Therapy, or kill yourself already before fucking with another poor woman’s head and wasting her time.

  3. Great post. Something you said that I was thinking about the other day. I never cared about how much a date cost, I really just enjoy spending time with them. Can’t wait to read your other articles.

  4. Awesome post James. It’s sad that many guys have missed the fundamentals of being a genuine man. Maybe it’s because this generation has now got a serious issue with the availability of authentic role models.

    All the same, you’ve got a wonderful post here. And thanks for sharing this post on Twitter (coz that’s how I landed here).


  5. i have very mixed feels. i appreciate the thought he put into empathizing with society’s expectations of how women need to show up to be appreciated, and it ain’t cheap. that being said, i don’t think traditions should be followed for the sake of them being traditions. from my perspective, that tradition was like a side perk to a social structure where women had zero financial independence or power so it made all the sense in the world for men to pay for things. there is sill an inequality with regards to that so i feel there’s some legit argumentation to that but not enough for it to be held as a status quo expectation of engagement. i was raised to pay for myself and only allow a man to pay if i really like and trusted them because otherwise they get to feeling entitled; so if i Let you pay for me i’m giving you a compliment by Allowing you to court me. someone elses’ wallet is no reflection of me or my quality; how they engage with their wallet is entirely about them. i value transparent communication, honesty and a genuine attempt at connection over any socially prescribed action. as someone who has also prioritized purpose over monetary gain i also totally get simply not always being in a position to be paying for more than yourself. personally, i don’t want a man to assume he’s gonna kill all the spiders (i don’t believe in killing them for one thing), because someone who isn’t me told him that’s what i’d want; ask Me if i want you to kill the spider, or catch & release it, or just appreciate its skill in weaving. i have arms that can both open doors and wield swords. i don’t want to know you’ll do things For me, i want to know you’ll do things With me. that’s what i’m looking for in a “date”, what’s your capacity to Be with me, not Act for me. i already know what society wants you to be, but who are you really?

  6. I don’t believe a man should play if the man believes in equality and if the woman believes in it too. Having a man pay for meals is just further perpetuating gender stereotypes (which is fine if both the man and woman believe that many gender stereotypes should continue). However, with the increasing rise of the push for equality for both men and women, I think that should apply to all other aspects of life, including dating.

  7. As a woman, I appreciate you noticing how much time and money women may choose to spend on their appearance, and that it’s rarely typical for a man to incur the same expenses.

    For myself, I think it’s gracious and appropriate for the person who did the asking out to pay for that occasion. If I ask someone if they’d like to get a glass of wine sometime – I’ll gladly (and automatically) be putting out my card. If I invite someone over to my house, I don’t ask them to split the cost of the tea and snacks I served; my invitation includes my hospitality. Similarly, if a man asks if I’d like to get a cup of coffee, or go to dinner with him, I do expect that he will be paying. He asked, I accepted an invitation.

    No, this doesn’t mean that I expect he will pay for everything from that point on, and vice versa.

    I had a man that was on the edge of one of my social circles ask me for my phone number, I gave it to him, and then he called me and asked if I would have dinner with him. He selected the restaurant and I met him there. (Personally, I prefer not to have anyone pick me up at my home until I have gotten to know them better.)

    At the end of the meal, the check was dropped and he said: “I think I’d like to treat you, I’ve had a good month this month.”

    I was rather taken aback, and it changed the tone of the evening.

  8. Regarding meal checks on the first couple dates: What a few male commenters aren’t taking in account is “the next phase” of dating. This is the part where the woman spends a crap load on groceries to have him over for special meals a few times a week. I haven’t had one man EVER say, “Hey this rib dinner must have been expensive… Would you like me to flip you some money toward your grocery bill?” Phase two of dating always raises my grocery bill at least a couple hundred a month.

    Also if the man is covering the meal chances are he isn’t serial dating and you actually might be special (rather than just another girl he’s trying to bang)

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