Argument Series 1: Paying on dates


J: Some say chivalry is dead; I say it’s changed. 

A: The expectation for men to pay for dates is simply outdated. The tradition initially started before female employment needs to be reevaluated— it’s not sensible in our society anymore. 

J: In a society rife with equal rights campaigns, feminist movements, and a positive turn towards greater gender equality, why should men be exclusively expected to pay for dates? Both people involved agreed to the social engagement, both are reaping the benefits of it, so why should the expectation to pay fall on men alone? This sexist notion is archaic and out of its time. 

J: A date is a mutual opportunity for companionship and fun—an age old tradition of courtship. While the act of dating will likely continue until the end of time (or everything becomes automated), that doesn’t mean ancient social stigmas should persist. As times change, so should social norms and societal expectations. 

J: Women are equal to men in every sense of the word, so why treat them like children who need to be paid for? The majority of women have their own jobs, make their own money, and live their own lives. Men insisting to pay for them—while usually of chivalrous intent—tends to imply that the women cannot/should not pay on their own. Even with the best of intentions, it is ultimately unnecessary unless otherwise stated. Some women may even be insulted by the notion that a man needs to pay for them.

A:  With this being said, it’s sometimes hard to know who’s supposed to pay. Logically, the check would be split, but that’s just not what we’re used to. Social expectation is for the man to pay, so unless the woman offers, it’s likely he will end up covering the date anyways. For tradition to change it’s imperative that women take charge– unless men are going to step up and ask waiters/waitresses to split the check. 

J: Agreed, it has just become an expectation, one that is almost unconscious on the woman’s part, that the man will foot the bill for dinner. It’s a habitual product of a long time societal norm that could stand to change. Making this change will require a concerted effort on the part of women. 

A: Another option is to have whomever proposed the date pay for the meal. Hopefully –assuming the relationship isn’t one sided– this will allow for both parties to pay for dates, so over time the cost is split evenly. 

A: Every now and then one should cover the whole date themselves. Not just men–women, too. Getting your food paid for is always a pleasant surprise: it’s like getting a gift. While gifts aren’t usually given all the time, it’s always a nice surprise that makes you feel special. 

J: Exactly: Dates are supposed to be a fun and exhilarating experience for both parties, so why focus so heavily on the monetary part of them? Nickel-and-diming your date is the fastest way to ruin your chances at a follow up–so just don’t be stingy. Alternate paying, split the bill, or just figure something out in the moment. No one person–regardless of gender–should be required to pay at the end of every date. Focus less on the money and more on the experience.

Jake is always wrong but continues to argue with Amanda. This week they discuss who should pay for dates–probably the only topic they will agree on.(Photo used by permission of Kaitlyn Stocum) 


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