Thursday, October 18, 2018

Guest Post | Ladies, Who Pays on the First Date?

Ladies, I know you are going to just love this blog post! Meet Natalka,  a lifestyle and budget blogger in the UK who is documenting her journey to saving enough to buy a house. Money is a subject that affects almost every life decision, from what we eat to where we shop, and yes even who choose to spend life with. (I know you're tempted to disagree, but despite our denial many of us date within or above our wealth bracket!)

Speaking of dating, the activity can be both fun and daunting. Today Natalka is spinning her knowledge of money with the contentious issue of dating, and oh, she also shares with us what she's currently reading.  

Keep reading.

Having recently found myself 'getting out there' and exploring the dating world, I'm both confused and mesmerised by the modern concept of dating. You see, I met my first boyfriend the old-fashioned way - long before Tinder, and smartphones even. So I've never had a first date with a complete stranger. 

The First Date
As it turns out, this experience is nothing like what you would expect from the countless amounts of romcoms you've binge watched. I think it's less dinner and more post 9pm drinks at a bar local to your prospective partner, leading you to believe he has intentions for you that go beyond a Q and A session over a large glass of Sauvignon. So the idea of a romantic, candlelit, dinner date is out the window. And you're more likely to spend your first date in a pub. But I've decided that that's good for both parties. I mean, I would hate to be sat across a table from a guy that I hated for three full courses. 

This doesn't help me with the most important, and most likely awkward, part of any first date. The bill. Whether it's table service, and your waiter politely positions the bill in the middle of your table upon request, or you're just ordering drinks at the bar. Who pays on the first date?

Who Pays?
Traditionally, it has always been the man who pays on the first date. There's loads of psychology behind this. It dates back to women being nothing but housewives and mothers, the man is supposed to provide. Now it's still an expectation because women seek companionship in men that are strong and dependable. We want our future husbands to look after us, not act as a burden and drain on our bank account. 
That being said, we are modern women. We have grown up in the #girlboss culture, and pride ourselves on our independence. So it's not rare for the woman to pay for the first date, or more commonly, the couple to go dutch. The problem with this is that research suggests that women believe men are more attracted to them if they foot the bill for the first date. And that first monetary exchange can basically shape the expectations of the entire relationship.  

Strong Independent Women
Nowadays, women are allowed out of the kitchen. Believe it or not, we've got jobs and cars and houses of our own now as well. And this has led to a shift in paradigm. 
I have a real problem with this. I'm so proud of everything that I have achieved with my own life. I live alone, in a gorgeous flat. I've almost completed my Masters, after already achieving a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising. I have a great job, which I love, and a salary that will allow me to buy my own house. And I've done this all on my own, with no financial backing from my parents or boyfriends.

So when it comes to a first date, I jump at the opportunity to pay. Which is ridiculous because I want to be treated every now and again. I jump at the opportunity to tap my card on that machine, before the poor boys even got his wallet out of his pocket. And it doesn't go down well. You can literally watch the masculinity drain from their face and the shame wash over them. Why do I do it? To assert my own authority or just to prove that I am actually fine on my own and will never need a man to buy my wine. 

As proud as I am of my independence, I really don't want to be that girl!

So Where do we Stand?
Is he paying the bill, or am I? I don't want someone who thinks I'm dependent on them, but I don't want someone who is dependent on me. The whole dating game, in general, has remained very traditional, with boys being the ones instigating conversations and first dates. Women will wait for years to get their dream proposal, without considering doing it themselves. So if this is your argument, then yes maybe the man should pay.
However, we're living in a time where women are independent. We earn our own money, and despite the gender pay gap, there are thousands of examples of relationships where the woman earns more than the man. We don't want to be seen as needy and dependent, so maybe we should pay. 

First Date? Go Dutch
The safest thing to do is split the bill. That has no negative connotations and doesn't set any negative expectations about the future relationship. Yes, it's an easy way out. But surely that's what you want on a first date. Avoid any stressful and awkward situations that you can. The second date however, that's his turn.

So there you have it! I've basically had to sit on the fence and couldn't make my mind up about the whole debate. What do you think? And if you've been on a date recently, who payed? For similarly chatty posts, be sure to check out my blog where I'll keep you up to date with my journey to buying a house. 

Speaking of houses, I want to let you know about the book I'm currently reading (and my favourite book to date). It's called Our House, and is written by Louise Candlish. I knew I was going to love this book, after really enjoying The Disappearance of Emily Marr over the summer. But this was a spontaneous purchase, and I had no idea how much I would love it until I put it down for the first time and noticed four hours had passed! It's a great book if you're interested in modern life, complicated families, never ending plot twists, and the occasional quickie. But I'll let the reviews and awards speak for themselves.

If you'd like to follow my journey to buying my house, then follow me on social media!

Natalka is a lifestyle and budget blogger in the UK who is documenting her journey to saving enough to buy a house! 
So, what say you ladies? To pay or not to pay? Does a man's ability or willingness to foot the bill on most of the dates have an effect on how attracted you are to him?

On another note, I am always looking for guest bloggers, so if you would like to join me in my mission to 'build women with words', then send me your pitch at 

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  1. I was about to say that, if you don't propose to yourself or marry yourself, that means chivalry is not dead yet; he should pay that bill on a first date. I'm glad she made this same point towards the end of the post. Just enjoy being treated well. It's not a death sentence for the boss chick.

    1. Hehe! As much as I am a big advocate for women's independence I am also a big fan of chivalry . does that make me a hypocrite? All I know is that enjoy being put on a pedestal by my husband also love the fact that he's not domineering.

  2. I think there is nothing wrong with man paying for the first dinner, but I'm also fine with footing the bill or going Dutch. For me it really doesn't matter. Well, I'm not in the dating game anymore, but it was never something that mattered either way. I had a boyfriend in high-school who was literally poor so I always payed for our dates. I also dated some men that insisted on paying the bill and I don't see the point in arguing over it either way. Better not to overthink that. Sometimes it's a cultural thing. Some cultures are more traditional and if a guy is like that, maybe we should respect that.

    1. Hi Ivana. Thanks for your comment. Yes it is a cultural thing I guess. For me although I expected to the man to pay for the first date, I always carried my purse, just in case!

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