Men Should Not Pick Up the Check  

VenusRedux2 45F
341 posts
3/31/2017 7:47 am
Men Should Not Pick Up the Check

Don’t pick up the check. However noble the intentions may be, don’t let how you were raised send all the wrong messages.

I mentioned this in another post, and it came up again in a comment I made. I personally don’t believe on a site such as this that a guy should pick up the tab with a girl he meets here.

I was braced for all kinds of resistance to that. I was applying war paint to my face and preparing myself for battle. I was pleasantly surprised to find some of you guys were already there (just when I thought I was a trendsetter). Seriously, good for you guys! I really mean that. That actually makes me excited. There’s some REAL men here. Men who get it.

We need more gentlemen in the world, no doubt about it. Just learn to show it in ways that are appropriate to the situation and relationship.

Too many guys were raised on the very strict code of "Gentlemen pick up the tab no matter what, it is just the right thing to do." Look, props for trying to be decent and doing the right thing. However, it is a misguided and antiquated notion.

Issue 1: It sends mixed signals

This is bf/gf behavior. If that’s what you both want, then go for it. However, in the context of a casual relationship (anything that requires an alphabetical acronym … NSA/FWB/FB/BJnSUV or whatever the hell the current vernacular is), this is a terrible idea.

Assuming you met here, you should have already figured out what the expectations are before deciding to meet in person. This is about the worst possible moment to suddenly change course and start sending signals that you want to date instead of hang out and potentially hook up.

For one thing, she has to spend a significant part of the evening trying to figure out if this is an accidental misstep on your part, a deliberate signal, or an unconscious tell betraying underlying desires. For another, she has to now figure out how to maneuver things back on track. And she has to do all this while out with you in person without hurting your feelings.

Issue 2: It creates pressure for women

Listen up: There’s no amount of times you can say you’re not expecting anything in return … there is no magnitude of emphasis that can be added … there is no depth of meaning to be imbued that will eliminate this pressure.

There is pressure. Period.

For example, there is a Social Contract involved in simply buying a girl a drink.

For a guy, he means to convey that he’d like a chance to talk to the girl. Understanding that she doesn’t yet know if he’s worth the time, he ensures that she’s not financially impacted should she not like him. All she stands to lose is a few minutes of her time.

For me on the receiving end, it means I am obligated to talk to him for the duration of that drink. He’s not offering me a drink purely out of generosity. I am expected to politely decline the drink if I have no intention of talking to him.

So there’s pressure. Plain and simple. Maybe not pressure to sleep with the guy, but pressure nevertheless. That pressure grows and is felt more acutely as the financial and time investment grows. I am expected to respond in ways comparable to his level of investment. Eventually it will grow to the point where women feel pressured into sex. Anything less and I am expected to reject those advances.

The only way to remove that pressure is for the guy to either not pay, or go somewhere so cheap where paying is a non-issue (a cup of coffee, for example, I’m not feeling a whole lot of pressure on your investment of a buck fifty).

Issue 3: It creates a power imbalance

If you set me up as the Queen of a Thousand Subjects, you’re going to get stuck presenting yourself as yet another subject. By that analogy, I already have a thousand. Are you going to show up in my royal court bearing gifts to appease your Queen? You could do that, but understand that Queens don’t respect subjects, they respect Kings.

The thing is, I’m not asking to be the Queen of a Thousand Subjects. You’re the one setting me up as one.

Anyone who thinks elevating women to that pedestal is doing himself any favors is sorely mistaken. You forever forfeit a substantial amount of power in the relationship. You establish yourself as a doormat who will beg and plead for her approval. You can’t easily get this back once it is lost.

Issue 4: YOU are the star of the show, not the meal or the activity

Think of it this way, you have some kind of market value. As a woman, I’m trying to determine that value to see if it is enticing to me. If you have to constantly add to your market value by way of expensive meals or activities to make yourself more attractive, what does that tell me? That’s a signal that you must not think your value is all that high.

If you don’t think you’re worth the time, don’t expect women to somehow argue with you on that point. They are going to accept it and move on. All because you sent the wrong signal.

It doesn’t matter if any of these are your objective or not. You may very well be doing it because “that’s how I was raised.” Just accept that your antiquated notion of chivalry is at odds with what you’re looking for. It causes more problems than it solves, and for what?

What’s wrong with just being a decent, fun guy?

BiggLala 48F  
28160 posts
4/1/2017 6:16 am

I don't have anything to add to the discussion...just lurking about reading and enjoying. I will say that I'm loving your posts and I appreciate what you bring to the blogs. Thank you for providing useful insights to us!

Have I told you lately that I love you?

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VenusRedux2 replies on 4/1/2017 6:36 am:
Aww, thank you so much

lyavu 46F  
1317 posts
3/31/2017 5:24 pm

I always offer to pay but am told no.

VenusRedux2 replies on 4/1/2017 5:08 am:
It doesn't feel good to be treated like we're economically handicapped does it?

Credit where credit is due, guys were brought up on this. And they are genuinely trying to do the right thing. They don't know any other way. What we really need is less "don't do this" and more "here's some better options that will go a lot smoother for you without you looking like a douche."

KItkat1415 57F  
19929 posts
3/31/2017 4:16 pm

This is BF/GF behavior...
so fucking true. You can't start out that way but just be looking for a friend to have sex with...
I'm just saying...
Thank you.

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VenusRedux2 replies on 4/1/2017 5:05 am:
Thank you! I was starting to wonder if anyone read the other parts of the post, as "women will always feel pressure" seems to have struck a chord and was what most people focused on.

I should do more follow ups on that point, since there's a few steps in between this behavior being shown and the negative consequences of showing it. It isn't an obvious cause and effect. Even as a woman on the receiving end of this, I'm not always consciously aware of those signals being the ones that led to things falling apart at the last second.

greekphilosopher 57M
4096 posts
3/31/2017 2:27 pm

For me sharing works. Meeting from whatever site, whatever kind of relationship. As I am looking for a regular partner, the next date and the one after that, the future so to speak, are a possibility, on that first date. So I am happy to pay. She can pay for the next one. If there is not going to be another date, that is fine. When I payed for the first date I payed for me, I wanted to be there with her, I did not pay so she can feel the pressure. Or owe me a blow job in the end of the night, because I may of payed for a meal. And I can hardly say at the end of the meal, ''well it does not look like you wanna meet me again. I was going to pay for both, but now you need to pay half'' without expecting a plate smashed on my head! Heck, may be I am different, after all!

VenusRedux2 replies on 4/1/2017 5:00 am:
Come on greek, you know better than that. Saying "she doesn't owe me anything" doesn't get guys off the hook. She's going to feel that pressure no matter how many times you say it. It doesn't matter that it is true in your case.

I actually agree that asking a woman to pay half isn't a smart move. The smart move would be arrange the meeting in such a way where it is a non-issue ... ie. "Why don't we meet at the park on my lunch break? I've already packed my lunch, just make sure to pick up something for yourself"

SweetCirce 78F  
7460 posts
3/31/2017 10:53 am

You're lucky that men from here actually suggest a restaurant. I've been on here for years and met very few who will pay for more than a coffee. Also, since people are on here for different reasons and have different expectations, I think that should be discussed in advance.

VenusRedux2 replies on 3/31/2017 11:33 am:
To be fair, I haven't met someone here in years. I am well aware I'd be writing a completely different post if the expectations were more bf/gf type dating. Too often, that doesn't get fleshed out fully enough. And I think that's part of the problem, people are displaying bf/gf behavior in a casual relationship in the name of chivalry. Don't get me wrong, the motives are coming from a good place, but it is nevertheless misplaced.

urhandyman09 50M
16 posts
3/31/2017 10:47 am

Very interesting post, I agree with you about avoiding a restaurant meet. I prefer an early evening (still daylight) or lunch meet which seems more relaxed. You have some points that I had never considered. Would you consider doing some kind of poll of women that agree or not?

VenusRedux2 replies on 3/31/2017 11:15 am:
Ultimately, that is my biggest take-away from putting all this together as well - that restaurants aren't the best spots for a first meet. In the context of casual dating, formal sit-down meals is probably over the top. I'd write a whole different post if it was bf/gf type dating.

I'm not big on polls. I don't have enough readers for any meaningful response. It's hard to quantify the results, especially if someone feels that "I sort of agree, but not completely, so how exactly do I vote?"

EWGuy 60T  
564 posts
3/31/2017 10:21 am

I concur for the most part. I cherish being a gentleman. I have been called a lot of things, but I still open the door for her, I hold her coat so she can put it on. I even hold the hair out of the way of the coat collar.

But I agree about casual dates. I generally ask if they care, if I pay the bill. This gives them the out you speak of and keeps my gentleman needs too.

VenusRedux2 replies on 3/31/2017 11:11 am:
Men work too hard for the title of "gentleman." Too often, these acts have unintended reactions from the women they're being used on. So while men are proud of themselves for "doing the right and proper thing," it is coming at a heavy cost - in mixed signals, in added pressure, and just general awkwardness. This happens even when it comes from a place of sincerity.

But you get my point, how it is expressed needs to take into account the type of relationship it is. I would suggest, however, not to even ask. It puts it on her to have to speak up. I would suggest finding ways to sidestep the issue entirely, that way no one is put on the spot.

pocogato12 67F  
33116 posts
3/31/2017 10:01 am

I solve the "pressure issue" a different way. If I pick the place , I pay. In fact in a couple of instances I have arrived early and told the hostess to tell my wait person to make sure the check is given to me regardless of the venue. In some other instances, if he wants to pay I leave the tip- that's called trying to share. takes the "burden" off the table period. The only time I recall this not happening was a totally blind date at which we did not go to the place we agreed on. We walked to a place he had passed on the street. It still is 5+ stars and nationally know even for my small burg. I think he must have left about $250 there and then we went for a walk- end of evening- class act YES

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VenusRedux2 replies on 3/31/2017 11:03 am:
Women always seem to have elaborate plans to avoid this situation. While I don't recommend guys turn around and say "Sorry, but you're paying for your half," wouldn't it be so much nice if guys learned simple tricks to sidestep the whole thing so that it becomes a non-issue?

Glad that date ended well though with no awkwardness. The food must have been amazing.

tymeflyz2fast 70M

3/31/2017 8:17 am

Another good post. I'm wondering if it's a generational thing as a bit of what you say is certainly counter to what I was taught growing up. I suppose what I believe now is that the person who does the asking for the meeting is the person who pays ... but then that sounds more like what you say would be a date.

Any first meets for me are always daytime, coffee shop/soft drink kind of things not meant to last more than 30 minutes or so .. just a "get to know you" thing ... and those I have no problem paying for and would hope that it puts no pressure on the woman other than a polite conversation.

VenusRedux2 replies on 3/31/2017 9:11 am:
Your plan is a good one. I generally recommend avoiding sit-down restaurants. It's more expensive, less memorable, has more a time requirement (an issue if women are worried that conversation might drag), women have to fret about having to eat in front of another guy, and usually is more formal and requires hair and makeup to be on point.

Quick things like coffee tend to avoid the whole "Who's paying" issue and has far less pressure. Less chance of her poofing as well.

notsure1949 71M
9580 posts
3/31/2017 8:03 am

very well written, also there is nothing wrong with sharing the cost of a meal. also if the woman wants to pay that should be no problem either.

VenusRedux2 replies on 3/31/2017 9:06 am:
Can't say I've ever picked up the entire check.

VenusRedux2 45F
551 posts
3/31/2017 7:50 am

I know this runs counter to the idea of being a gentleman, but I firmly believe this. If this is an issue, just take a girl somewhere other than a restaurant.

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