Men, You Want Me To Pay For What?!: Why Women Should NEVER Pay For A Date

It’s time to talk about dating again. Particularly how women shouldn’t have to pay for dating. I wrote a piece a while back asserting that dating is more expensive for women than it is for men, but now I want to touch on why a man should ALWAYS pay.

Personally, I don’t think a woman should EVER have to pay for a date. Particularly when we are just dating & not yet in a relationship. My brain can’t comprehend how a man can truly court me if I’m paying for myself the whole time, or even some of the time. If I’m in a relationship then I would chip in because at that stage, I can begin to “invest” in him because he has proven his interest & has already hooked me at that point.

Some argue that so many African American women are single because we are “stuck in our ways”. We shouldn’t mind treating because another woman will. Times are different, yes but that doesn’t mean I change what I believe in. That’s like saying if the new norm is having sex on the 1st date instead of the 4th then I should conform, lest I find myself single. Some values you stick to, regardless of what other women are doing. 

I have yet to meet a man who is raising his daughter to believe that it is okay to pay for dating. They may tell their daughters to have their own money just in case (as did my father), but NOT that they should want to be with a man who lets them pay for stuff. It’s funny how some men say one thing but raise their own daughters to do something else. I hold to the standard “If it wouldn’t be good enough for your daughter, then it isn’t good enough for me.” If you would check a dude for treating your daughter that way, why would you try to pull it on me? Am I not someone’s daughter? Am I not worthy of the same treatment?

Some men would argue: “What if I’m low on cash? Why can’t the woman step up & pay the bill?” Well, if he can’t afford to date, he should probably focus on that part before asking you out. Fellas, being broke doesn’t give you an excuse to be lazy or uncreative. There are plenty of ways to court a woman that aren’t expensive. Point is, a man should show effort. Coming over to “chill” (or inviting me over to do the same) is NOT a date. If you’re short on funds, make a home cooked meal with a good movie & conversation, create the ambience and voila! you’ve got a “real” date. Or what about an outdoor event  – such as a picnic in the park, bowling, or karaoke – none of these outings are expensive but they are dates. So not having a lot of money is no excuse. Where I live there is beautiful weather just about all the time & beaches galore. If a man would take me down to the boardwalk & buy me a $7 corndog a $3 lemonade & hold my hand I would be just as happy. (Yes, I know $7 for a corndog is expensive, but you get my point)

I also hear the argument, “Women are making more these days so why should a man always have to pay? Don’t women want to be equal? It’s 2013 and times have changed.” That’s a specious argument to which I would counter that men are still making more money than women. Period. African American men are still outearning African American women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (If you don’t believe me, click here for the stats).  As for me, with the exception of 1 or 2 guys, all of the men I’ve dated made more than I do so there certainly shouldn’t be a women-are-making-more-these-days issue.

People may question why a woman would equate a man paying for a date to her worth. Well, I’m definitely worth more than a couple of dinners & a movie so self-worth is not the issue. Men & women please understand it’s not about the money, it’s about how a man values me. Considering that he is the one that asked me out, he is the one courting me, it’s up to him to show that he values my time – at least as much as I value my own time.

Now there are men that are used to women doing all types of things for them, including paying for dates (in some cases to prove their loyalty). Some men will taunt women by telling us to “Step our game up because there are other women who would shell out the dough.” And to that I say, “NEXT!” Clearly, those are not the kind of men that will truly value me or are interested in something serious. Anytime a man mentions what another woman will do, it is often a sign that he is not ready to settle down. If a man is thinking about what he can get from someone else, then he’s just not that into you anyway.

I was raised to always have my own money with me in case of an emergency, but not necessarily to pay for the date. I do agree with my father – I should have enough to pay for myself, except it would be for me to pay my own way home should a man ever expect me to pay. “Hello, operator please find me a Taxi Cab.” Lol!

There is an article that talks about this very issue (see below). The author believes that a man would never ask Beyonce to pay for herself, or even expect his own mother to leave a tip if they were dining out together. Most men would argue that the women they date certainly don’t compare to their mothers & are by no means “Beyonce”. Well, if a man doesn’t value me nearly as much as he values a heavily made up, costume-wearing, booty-shaking performer whom he’s never met & wouldn’t stand a chance with anyways, then he has a problem. And no, I may not “compare” to your mother but you also wouldn’t ask Maya Angelou or Mrs. Michelle Obama to pay either if you were to meet them for lunch. It’s a respect & value issue. It’s not about looks or vanity, it’s about how you value them as women. You offer to pay (even though they can clearly afford it themselves) because you know that they are deserving & demand the utmost respect. Well, it should be the same way for dating – I DEMAND the respect & I DEMAND to be valued. One of the best ways a man can demonstrate that early on in a courtship is by paying a woman’s way.

Every time me & my friends talk about this issue I have to remind them that paying for a date is like opening the door for a lady – it doesn’t matter that I can open the door for myself, I still expect the man to do it for me. Chivalry is chivalry is chivalry.


Here’s the article I mentioned from Six Brown Chicks that speaks out on this issue as well. Read below –

I know that for some folks, the recession is in full swing and all, but make him pay for the date. Yes he has bills, but so have you.

Make him pay.

What’s that you say? “Is it alright for you to handle something small, like the tip?” NO. Make him pay for that, too. Do you think he’d ever take his mother to dinner and ask her to leave the tip? Hmmm, probably not, right?

I know I may sound harsh. But let me tell you, I’ve been there. I’ve helped finance a couple of dates in my lifetime; I understand the reasoning of opening your wallet. You like him. You know he’s not a wealthy man and you’re not a gold digger. Besides, you had a nice time, too, so you don’t see the harm in making a contribution to the date. Chipping in on the evening just feels like the right thing to do.

I’m urging you to FIGHT. THAT. FEELING and MAKE HIM PAY.

It’s a terrible idea to open your wallet and here’s why:

First of all, you like this guy, so, are you just going to show up in a sweatshirt with your hair in a scrunchy?! Heck No! You went out and bought a dress; you got new nail polish AND touched up your highlights. Now, tally all of that money you’ve spent to look good for him. Do you realize you’ve already paid for the date before he even got to your door? So why would ever consider going back into your wallet to help finance the evening? That’s madness! Save your dignity (and your money) and let him pick up the tab.

And if he won’t cough up the cash, kick him to the curb. Why? Well, because of a very cool study released by St. Andrews University that reveals that men are more likely to pay for dinner if they think the woman they’re out with is pretty. That’s very telling; it suggests that men are willing to pay when they are in the company of a young lady they value. If he’s asking you to pay, then he probably sees less value in your company than he would see in some other woman’s company.

Call me crazy, but I don’t think you must be Beyoncé or Kate Upton in order to get a free meal. We can’t all be Beyoncé but, we all deserve a guy who thinks we’re as wonderful as she. We all deserve to be with someone who is in awe of us. We are all worthy of someone who will do whatever it takes to make us happy; someone who cops an attitude when the bill comes is probably NOT that guy.

In conclusion, I’ll keep it simple: There’s a difference between being in a relationship and being valued in a relationship. The best way to discern your future role is to MAKE HIM PAY.



Sylvia Snowden is a fabulous Chicago-based journalist, the President of Always Onyx and Director of Community Engagement for the Six Brown Chicks. Follow Sylvia on Twitter @TrulySylvia; reach her at Sylvia@SixBrownChicks.

13 thoughts on “Men, You Want Me To Pay For What?!: Why Women Should NEVER Pay For A Date

  1. Girl meets boy

    Boy asks girl on date

    Girl goes on date with boy

    Boy pays for dinner and drinks with girl

    Girl smiles and thanks him and makes polite conversation

    Boy and girl maybe see each other one or two more times; boy always pays; girl never sleeps with boy or becomes his girlfriend

    That’s fifteen men and women meeting up. Let’s say thirty dates total
    between the lot of them, some going for one date and some going for
    three before things unraveled. Let’s peg the average cost of a date low –
    let’s say only $35. Many of these dates were to expensive restaurants,
    so that’s probably grossly understating things, but let’s say $35 on

    What’s that come out to?

    That comes out to over $1000 spent by 15 men on 15 women with a 7% chance of success.

    Is it chivalrous to pay for women? Well, yes, certainly it is. But I’ll
    tell you… I’ve heard lots of women talking about how they wish a man
    would come along and be chivalrous and take them on a proper date for a
    change. Yet, these same women sleep with men fast who pay for nothing for them, and never sleep with the men who take them on those proper dates they kept asking for and paid for them.

    1. Where does this 7% chance of success come from? Lol

      I do agree than women usually put out for men who don’t deserve it, but withhold themselves from the men who treat them right. But that’s the way it goes – we are more likely to “hold out” for the men who are more deserving (take us out & treat us) because we believe we are building a foundation and/or don’t want to mess things up with a GOOD man. As a “lady”, that’s what most of us were taught – keep yourself for the right one.

      But isn’t that what men do in a manner of speaking? Treat the woman you like really well but the women you don’t care about you don’t???

      1. I am so glad someone else shares that logic with me. I give the good guys such a hard time because they seem worth it to “do it right”. Meanwhile I end up giving the riff raffs way too much of myself thinking “ah, what the heck this isn’t going anywhere”. Does sound distorted but makes total sense to me!

  2. If you want equality, it does basically mean that you should be able to at least pay for your own food or activity you two are doing. Its highly unfair for a man to pay for a date, especially if you as a woman want ‘equality’ and oppose sexism. I think dating is so overrated and I have never personally ‘dated’ so its an issue that does not really concern me. But as an individual feminist I really feel that equality should extend to dating.

    1. No, I don’t believe that equality should extend to dating. There are some traditional values that we should still hold on to; this being one of those values.

      If women aren’t yet making what men make (in terms of salary) why should I have to pay an equal amount for our date? I feel like this is where the whole “equality” argument breaks down. You can’t ask me to chip in when I’m only making $0.77 on the dollar compared to a man.

      I think the way for a man to take a woman seriously is for her to DEMAND respect and that he VALUE her time, as he is the one that asked her out. Personally, I’d never want a man to “expect” me to change the oil in his car or cut his grass, should it ever come down to that. Certain things a REAL man should step up & do, including paying for a woman when he asked her out.

      Thanks so much for reading!

  3. Doesn’t that just set up the precedent that men can essentially pay for anything they want? It sounds like the idea that women should never pay for a date sets up a world wherein men have to pay for the privilege of a relationship, which seems like a complete double standard, wherein women hold more value than men. Attaching a price tag to yourself seems like the ultimate objectification.

    1. Women & men both hold something individually valuable in terms of a friendship, relationship & even in a marriage, right? So why should it be any different while dating?

      I did write that I would begin to spend my own money once I felt “secure” in a relationship with a man, but not while he is trying to court me.

      In response to your comment about men paying for essentially anything they want – men already do that, do they not? Men flaunt their “wealth” when they drive a fancy car, go to strip clubs or wear certain watches. So why complain when you have to lay out a couple of dollars for a date? Considering that person may potentially be your wife & mother of your future children? It’s all about where you place your values.

      I’d like to add that I’m not suggesting that woman place a price tag on themselves. I never mentioned that there should be a minimum dollar amount spent, etc. Again, it’s not the price of the date it’s the value placed on my time. My time that a man asked for in the first place.

      1. You’re quite welcome! It was a thought provoking read!

        Would you say that it’s ever appropriate for a women to court a man? It seems like a lot of the emphasis here is on the desire of a men to enter a relationship with a woman–but if a woman wants to enter a relationship with a man, are not the obligations the same?

      2. Perhaps you’re right, but I don’t think that a woman should ever pursue a man. It’s not my place to “chase” a man, as men are innately the providers, the pursuers and the protectors. Just like women are naturally more emotional, nurturing and the like. We were just built a certain way so why do women want to go against the grain, so to speak?

        If I could change our natural inclinations I would. However, I believe that women courting men or asking men out at all is just an unfortunate occurrence due to modern day times.

      3. As a man, I would have to respectfully disagree. I think that men are just as emotional as women (and sometimes even more so)–it just either comes out in a different way or is bottled up due to social conventions. Deep down, men want the same thing as women–to be wanted, loved, and told that they’re attractive or desirable. In other words, I believe that we have only natural inclinations–not “male” or “female” inclinations. The idea of how men and women are separate or different from each other has been socially constructed over thousands of years.

        To me, a life lived as some stoic, unemotional provider is just as unsatisfying as the viewpoint that it’s a woman’s sole responsibility to just stay home and pump out babies. In both cases, neither individual is living up to their full potential or exploring all of their capacities.

      4. I hear what you’re saying. But whether it’s through environmental conditioning or mere genetics (you can’t deny that women are the “weaker” sex) there are certain roles that women are to fulfill & certain roles that men are supposed to fulfill. And for that very reason, men & women CAN’T be equal.

        If everything was supposed to be equal between the 2 genders then our roles wouldn’t need to be so clearly defined. Like at work – there aren’t 2 CEO’s or 2 CFO’s or 2 President’s of the U.S. There has to be a leader/follower, a male/female, stronger/weaker person in every relationship or team. Even if there is 1 title shared by multiple people within an organization, they all have very different duties. That’s all I’m saying.

        And while I don’t advocate for ALL women to stay at home barefoot & pregnant, I certainly wouldn’t mind if my husband was providing for us while I work from home or raise our children. After all, we both can’t work 40-50 hour work weeks & be there for our children =)

      5. Not that I believe that you’re advocating women should stay home and have babies…I’m not trying to put words in your mouth. I’m just using that as an example. Sorry, I thought I should clarify that.

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