On Our First Date, He said, “Lets Go Dutch”

Dating is work for many men and women playing the field. If you are currently looking to find that special someone, the word will make you cringe, at times. Whether, meeting a prospective love partner at a coffeehouse, bar, museum, dating app or through a friend, the roles of courtship are generally streamlined for each gender.

There are unspoken rules outlined by society to dictate how dating should work. For females, it includes dressing up for a date, not kissing or being intimate the first time out and playing hard to get.  The expectation for males is to do the chasing, take the lead and plan the date. The man is also expected to pay for taking a woman out. How do you feel about fulfilling these expectations?

What would you do if you were out on a first date and at the end of the night, he asked you to go half-and-half on dinner?

Perspectives will vary from person to person. Plenty of men think it is perfectly fine to pay for first and all dates, others not so much. In an age where women demand equality, plus the residual effects from an increased cost of living provide excuses. The expectation seems reasonableor does it? It depends on who you ask.

Dating can be fun, yet confusing. It is sometimes draining due to the changing rules of the game. The simplicity of accepting an invitation from someone you like, believing chivalry prevails is no longer the case. Years ago, during one of my own dating fiascos, I was asked to split the bill for dinner. His ask at our first meet was surprising, especially, coming from someone who asked me out not the other way around. There was no second date but I did learn a few things about the awkward experience.

The request to go dutch was not necessarily the part I found insulting. The fact, this guy asked me on a date gave the impression he’d be courting me. Had I been the one to petition the date, expectations may have been different. Going dutch is a well-known practice and perfectly normal in parts of Europe. American culture generally looks down on the practice, as distasteful. Men have found themselves on the other side of a woman’s voicemail after offering this option on a first date. The offense can be a turn-off and can be misinterpreted as the guy displaying his frugality. The initial reaction is to reject the suitor that suggests splitting a bill.

Helpful tips for Guys and Gals…

Guys: Women want to be shown attention. Seeing a man go out of his way to take us out is not an outrageous expectation. Putting some thought and time into any date is key. The beginning of courtship is the honeymoon stage. It’s the time to let the girl of your dreams know you have been waiting for a chance to shower her with your attention. Asking her to go dutch on a first try can leave a bad taste in her mouth. A gentleman scores points by trying to woo his way into the nook. Let the woman know you appreciate and respect the time and energy she put into showing up. It’s a gift to be in her company. Don’t tell her, show her.

Gals: You know your worth and deserve to be made feel special. It isn’t a bad thing to want a guy that is considerate and chivalrous. At the same time, if he earns it over time, offer kind gestures demonstrating your gratitude for his efforts, too. We can sometimes be spoiled by the power and advantages that can come from being a woman. There are men out there who would enjoy the same treatment. It doesn’t have to mean a grand gesture but a thoughtful one. Choose wisely and reciprocate when the situation calls for it.

Dating on its own carries immense pressure. Small acts of generosity and care go a long way on this two-way street. When starting the process we don’t know what will happen, therefore, as you embark on your dating adventure put your best foot forward – both of you.

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