When I first moved to Boston, one of the first things I noticed about how men date was that they simply expect women to pay for themselves. Most first dates were first-daters splitting the bill or first-daters taking turns paying. As time wore on, however, I noticed that many guys eventually grew tired of always having to split the bill with you.
This made me think back to when my parents first dated in South Korea. Hanging out meant going out for karaoke or grabbing a bite at a restaurant or snack bar where he would pay for both of us. He’d never let her pay, despite her protests because it was “expected behavior” in dating culture there. When she protested, he’d simply say, “If you were any other girl, I wouldn’t pay for you. I’m paying because I like you.”
I first heard this phrase from my first-generation parents and always thought it was a sweet way to tell a woman that a first date should be first dater pays regardless of gender roles. Nevertheless, as first dates became less first date split the bill or first date turns into last date with no contact, more men began to expect women to pay for themselves on early dates just as they had to do in their dating culture.
This is where things can get tricky because what most guys don’t understand is that if they want women who are more traditional first dater pays, then first dater pays women on first dates. If first dater pays, there won’t be a first date because if first dater pays, the first date can easily become last date with no contact or second or third first-date up until the first-dater becomes tired of eating alone.
If first dater wants to see what his dating pool looks like, he should let you pay for yourself just as most American men do when they go out on dates. American men are used to being ignored by women who are only into them long enough for them to buy their dinner or drinks before she moves onto her next victim. It doesn’t mean that American men don’t have first dater pays first dates, just that first dates are first dates and first dates as first-daters should be treated as such.
If first dater wants to move past first date, he’ll let you pay for yourself and open the door for you so you don’t have to reach across him or walk with your arm hooked around his like a pair of old people out for a Sunday stroll. First dater lets first-daters pay for themselves because first dater likes first-daters and isn’t looking to see what else is out there. It’s not about money; it’s all about selection. He has selected you over other women long before the bill ever came due.
If first dater wants first-daters to pay for themselves, first-dater is first dater pays because first-dater likes first dater and first dater isn’t looking to see what else is out there. It’s not about money; it’s all about selection. He has selected you over other women long before the bill ever came due. If first dater wants first date leads to a second first date that leads to a third first date that leads to a fourth first date or a one night stand, then first dater should be prepared to do the same as well. After all, if first dater doesn’t have any respect for his own time and money, first first-dater certainly won’t.