I know, ladies, that you are united on this issue. Men should pay for every first date. You recognize that it’s archaic, maybe even a tad demeaning, but it is convention, and convention must be respected. A man will ask you out on a date – be it Internet or otherwise – and at the end of the evening, regardless of the date’s quality, length, or overall expense, two things must happen. First the check will arrive and the lady must offer to pay. Then, the man is to smile, nod “no”, then place his credit card on the table. That’s the way it works, and there is little room for variation. But understand, women, that there’s a quiet movement afoot. A potential revolution that is simmering just under the surface, and I’ve got the emails to prove it. Jon from Nevada. Billy from Miami. Doug in Wisconsin. They’re all wondering, with more than a bit of fear in their voices, if men really have to pay for every date. And I am here to say…NO. No they do not.
Let me say this plainly: Men should pay for the first date. It’s the right thing to do. But there are a lot of things that are the “right” thing to do, and we don’t do ’em. Like sending thank you notes. Or not wearing hats indoors. Or washing your socks on an annual or semi-annual basis. We’ve moved beyond these arcane traditions, so why have we held onto the one where dudes have to pay for everything that a woman consumes? It’s senseless, and it’s gotta stop. Never again, I say!
OK, not never again. Again. Definitely again. I got carried away with the moment. But there are times, and I know this is controversial shit, when a man can get away with not picking up a woman’s tab. Here is a complete list:
- If the date sucked.
That’s it. It’s just that simple. If your evening turns in a total dud, and you have no intention of seeing the woman again under any circumstances, and she offers to pay her share, then, yes, men, you may accept. And I do mean under NO CIRCUMSTANCES would you see her again. Like, let’s say you meet her and she only has one arm, but then you think, “hey, it might grow back.” You pay for that girl’s drink. Or if she shows up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and you think, “I don’t agree with their principles, but I’ve always found white to be a flattering color.” Buy that lady a cocktail. But if you’re absolutely certain that you two are donesville, then let the woman buy her own booze. Paying for it is just, well, a waste of money.
Look, cheaping out isn’t meant as a punishment. I don’t think men should try to penalize a woman for failing to fulfill all his dreams in a forty-five minute span. But what exactly does one get out of buying drinks for someone who was a stranger an hour ago and will revert back to being a stranger five minutes from now? I’ll tell you. Zip-o. Sure, you fulfill some sort of nebulous duty that goes with being a man who has asked out a woman, but honestly, who really gives a shit? Is a game show host going to walk up to you after the date and say “your gallantry has exceeded expected levels of humanity, and for that you win… A NEW CAR!” Nope. Not gonna happen. What you’ll get is the satisfaction of knowing that you essentially gave someone thirty dollars because society suggests that that’s the right thing to do. Frankly, I’d rather just have the thirty dollars.
I know that this may sound stingy. No, scratch that. It definitely sounds stingy. But it’s also realistic. Internet dating isn’t free and it isn’t fast. It takes a lot of nights out before you find the lady or gentleman for you, and asking one side to pay every one of those nights is unrealistic. So, Jon from Nevada, Billy from Miami, Doug in Wisconsin…you now have my permission to, on rare circumstance, not pick up a first date tab. But don’t abuse the privilege, fellahs. Because believe me, the first time you make a bad bill decision will also be the last. And honestly, the least you can do for an outstanding woman is pay for her drinks, right? RIGHT.