Online Dating – Who Should Pay For The First Date?


 

By Lucas Owen

 

Online dating is an exciting venture that many people are taking advantage of. The ultimate goal is to meet someone in person. This is usually done in the form of a date. However, if you do decide to do something formal on your first date like meeting for dinner, who should pay?

Information Age

Online dating has become intertwined with the information age. Today, people can send photos to another person halfway across the world in an instant. It is also the age where a person can share everything that they are doing in their life with their friends. Everybody wants and feels the need to be connected. This has helped to spawn the birth and growth of internet dating sites as people have taken this technological medium and turned it to their benefit in the quest for a relationship.

Gender Roles

Meeting someone through an internet dating site has become very commonplace. Quite frankly, internet dating has become the easiest and most convenient way to meet people in this information age. Dating sites such as Perfectmatch.com even do the matching for you based on a powerful matchmaking system called the “Duet Compatibility Analysis.” Today, we can see that the changes in the way we go about meeting other singles have almost coincided with the advancement in gender roles. In other words, deep rooted gender roles are not as stringent as they were during our grandparents age. Indeed, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics in a recent survey, 1 in 4 women earn a bachelor’s degree by age 23 compared to 1 in 7 men.  This difference has also led to an interesting adjustment in earnings. According to the Census Bureau in another recent survey, women between the ages of 22 and 30 in today’s society earn about 8 percent more than men in that age range in most US cities.

False Assumption

So, as a man, you may conclude that since things have changed and indeed in some cases, women are even excelling over men, all is equal when it comes to who should pay for the first date. Maybe she even offers to pay for the first dinner date and you wholeheartedly accept, or maybe she offers to go dutch (split the bill) and you accept. After all, this is the new and modern information age, right? Well, don’t be so hasty. According to a recent MSNBC survey of 74,000 online readers, 57 percent of the women, the younger ones in particular, stated that they always offer to pay on a first date. However, 34 percent of them were actually disappointed if the man accepted this offer. Also in the same survey, 44 percent of the women were displeased if the man expected them to pay for the date.

The Dilemma

The truth is that there is really no dilemma here. Women you meet through an internet dating site are the same as women you meet in real life. The information age may have gone lock step with the advancement in gender equality but when it comes to dating, we are as traditional as our grandparents were when they were growing up.

The Rule

As a general rule, unless she absolutely and utterly INSISTS to the point of having a mental breakdown that she wants to go “dutch” or pay for the date entirely, then the man should take it upon himself to pay for the first date. Subsequent dates are a different story, but the very first date is in your hands as the man. Yes, she may be reaching for her bag but that doesn’t mean that she wants to truly pay for the date. Often, this is done as a test, as observed in the MSNBC survey. True, in this day and age, many women will dutifully pay their share on a first date. However, you would honestly improve your chances of getting a second date if you did the paying. Remember that when it comes to dating, even online dating, old traditions die hard.

 


 

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