Once and for all, who should pay on a date?

Should it always be the guy signing the receipt?

I’m a single guy in the city. I’m really tired of gold-digging women expecting me to pay for everything on dates. I understand it’s appropriate to pay for the first date or two, but why is it that women can’t chip in at all when they want equality in every other part of life? How can I handle this? I want to continue to date but don’t want to go broke doing so.

No doubt, you’ll encounter women who are simply after a good meal. Many female clients have told me they go out with a new guy several nights a week just to get a free dinner. Don’t be a victim to such gold-digging. Pay for the first date if you initiate it. No need to take someone to an expensive restaurant on a first date. The focus should be on getting to know the other person, not judging each other by how much is spent.

Subsequent dates, though, aren’t that clear-cut. A man paying for dates is deeply rooted in tradition and widely accepted social etiquette. On the other hand, dating presents an opportunity for women to assert their desire for equality and to move away from 1950s thinking. Men and women then find themselves in a bit of a conundrum. Some people might think, “If women want equal pay for equal work, then they should contribute the same across the board.” If a man asks a woman to chip in on a date, she might think he’s cheap or uninterested. If a woman offers to pay, he might think she doesn’t want anything more than a friendship. If the man accepts the woman’s offer, he might feel emasculated and she might think he’s cheap.  

If you really like her, ask her out again. If money is an issue, simply go for a drink, coffee or something affordable. Consider something that won’t break the bank, like cooking at home, an outdoor activity or watching a movie. Explain that you’re open to other activities to get to know her so long as she can contribute. If she snubs you, then you know she isn’t the girl for you. If she is open to alternative activities or chipping in, then you’ve got yourself an understanding partner who might be worth pursuing. 

–  Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com. Find Jonathan on Facebook and Twitter, and look for his new book, BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days, this April.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…