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Day 9: Take a Woman on a Date

August 25, 2011

The Art of Manliness post

I think today’s task may be the first task where gender roles come into play. I considered asking my mom out but she probably would have said no unless it involved a flower garden (which would have been fine by me) or cleaning the house (which we do together already anyways). But I went for the spirit of the thing instead. However, of the 3 conditions that AOM claims make a date official, do I still have to pay? I suppose even if the lady pays, it’s a way of saying that the other person is indeed being taken out. But how would a gentleman feel about a lady paying?

Readers, would you care to comment?

17 Comments leave one →
  1. TBarz permalink
    August 25, 2011 10:54 pm

    “If it’s a date, then whoever invites, pays. The invitee should offer to pay their share, though, and be willing to actually go thru with it and pay if the offer is accepted (e.g. don’t do a fake wallet-reach).

    If it’s not a date, or it might be but you don’t want it to be, split the bill.

    The obvious exceptions are if someone is buying someone else dinner for a specific reason, like to thank them for a favor or whatever.

    Read more:

    I think a gentleman should politely insist because he has done the asking. A lady accepts a gracious offer in return. Nevertheless, if a lady continues to insist that she must pay her half (for whatever reason), the gentleman should withdraw the offer. Etiquette here would call for not embarassing the other party.

    It’s important to keep in mind that the lady/object of affection here might not know these rules, as Social Etiquette is sorely lacking these days. If that appears to be the case, the gentleman should back off immediately so as not to cause undue tension that spoils the rest of the date — or the memory of the prior part.

    • cissyhuang permalink*
      August 25, 2011 11:09 pm

      but my question is, if the lady does the asking, should the lady pay for all?

      • Pattycakes permalink
        August 26, 2011 12:06 am

        I think if the lady does the asking she should be prepared to pay. I asked a guy out on a date a few months ago and I paid. He paid for the date after that one because he asked.

        That being said I’m not going to lie I’m all about the gentleman asking/paying for like the first three dates. I realize that there’s a lot wrong with having a set of expectations specifically based on gender, but I don’t know, I’m Hispanic. We like our gender roles.

        I think that the idea of the “fake” wallet-reach is also interesting. I think if I’ve been asked out on a date, I will always offer to pay (the wallet-reach) however if this is a romantic situation and I’ve been invited, actually being required to pay would be a huge turn-off. I’d do it, but I probably wouldn’t be interested in seeing the other person again. Does this make it a fake or dishonest wallet-reach? The wallet-reach and the “no, let me get this” is this ritual that I’ve been taught to participate in and that I (gasp!) kind of like. I don’t know, it’s never felt “fake” to me, although there is a certain kind of scrip that’s being followed. Is this making any sense?

        Splitting the check I think is also a turn-off, especially in the beginning. Theoretically this is the most fair way of doing things, but I don’t like it at all.

        Hmmm, after writing this I think my thoughts are these: The rule of thumb is that whoever asks, pays. If the gentleman is so inclined, he can pay even if the lady did the asking but he is under absolutely no obligation to do so. I think that the gentleman should pay/ask particularly in the beginning, but then afterwards it should level off and both can pay/ask.

      • TBarz permalink
        August 28, 2011 11:37 am

        Cissy — absolutely the lady pays if the lady asks.

        Pattycakes — I’m pretty frickin’ heteronormative too; I appreciate a man who has the guts to ask out and pay for the first few times without my initiative. Which is not to say I won’t ask a guy out if I think he’s worth it.

        I think what you’re describing is not a “fake wallet-reach” but a litmus test of gentlemanliness/Social Etiquette. A guy who makes you pay when you’ve offered — IF HE’S DONE THE ASKING — is either A) cheap B) rude or C) unaware of how it’s done. Or all three. I’d be turned off as well. I think what the Corporette commenter is describing is girls who pretend to be “feminist” but actually expect Full Gentlemanly Service.

        I hate splitting checks as well — even in platonic situations, where it’s unavoidable.

  2. August 25, 2011 11:01 pm

    Well, I feel like even if it isn’t a gender normative or even romantic situation, paying makes a statement, and I don’t think it has to be saying something about how much money you have, or that you are the “man” in this relationship, or you are traditionally romantic…I have found that in most situations it is more of a gesture of respect/thankfulness/commitment to whoever you are enjoying a meal/drink/coffee with that is especially important because it can say something to the effect of “I am glad that we did this. I would like to do this again. Maybe you can pay next time.” Sometimes these words are said. Sometimes they are not. I have had this kind of interchange with romantic and friend relationships (and even with teachers/professors/parents/bosses…I am paying for this now…someday you will be successful and buy me a meal/drink coffee) and it is the way that I like to think about it. Relationships where I am always paying or never paying are super awkward, but I think it is sweet when someone wants to pay, and I am always eager to say let’s do this again soon so I can pay next time! These are my feelings. 🙂

    • cissyhuang permalink*
      August 25, 2011 11:12 pm

      My feeling is that your description of the dynamic applies to my dining interactions with close friends where the sentiment between us is mutually known. With a less familiar acquaintance, I feel like the statement being made is one about the power relation and I just have no experience with paying for a male peer and have no sense of how he would react?

      • August 25, 2011 11:16 pm

        Well, surprisingly enough, in my life, my description has applied pretty well to all situations I have encountered. Am I saying it is a hard and fast rule? Nope. Rules for relationships are super dumb. And when I say relationships I mean RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY EXIST EVEN IF IT DOESN’T SAY IN A RELATIONSHIP ON FACEBOOK. SO MUCH ANGER TOWARDS THE WORLD. Anyway, I don’t have much experience dating. I just do my thing. People like me. Whatever.

      • TBarz permalink
        August 28, 2011 11:38 am

        Kate, my only response to you is: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  3. cissyhuang permalink*
    August 25, 2011 11:20 pm

    I know I really like you, Kate 🙂 Next time, *I’ll* visit *you* in Chicago.

  4. August 26, 2011 4:50 am

    I have the same experience as Kate, which might have something to do with our shared environment at the time when “paying for things” becomes an actual concern – high school. I’ve never been on the kind of date where someone asks someone else on a date and they’re not in a relationship/clearly going that way, but it’s clear from the start that it is a date. So I can’t speak to etiquette required there.

    I like what Pattycakes said about the “no, let me get this” ritual, but it’s important that both parties participate, so eventually it balances out. Offering to pay, or letting someone else pay, indicates an intention to meet up again soon. And I think this applies to most relationships, not just romantic ones.

    PS Sorry for my absence from the blogosphere! I’ll try to be much better about updating and commenting!

    • Chickpea permalink
      August 27, 2011 10:24 am

      Well, I agree with you all. But I have some qualifiers:

      As far as instances where the meal sharing may/may not/probably does have romantic overtones I have found that one person stepping up to pay generally makes it more vaguely romantic, not less so. However, going Dutch in that situation doesn’t always always eliminate those overtones. So, while paying might be a “romantic” statement, it isn’t the sole action you need to consider.

      Also, I’m totally with Kate. When my bosses have taken me out to lunch to say thanks, they payed. If I asked an alumnus out for coffee to pick their brain I would offer to pay. But, at the same time, if in ten years a young whippersnapper asked me out for coffee to pick my brain I would pay as per the actually having a career/money/seniority rule, but not as a power play.

      That said, I generally like to pay, and I have generally dated people who are mostly happy to let me pay. The few exceptions to this are notable:

      Buddhist Boy tried to pay for everything, I resisted, and we mostly went Dutch. Astral was big on the idea of “I get this one, you get the next one,” and there is a really funny story there that I shall tell you at the M&M’s wedding.

      Otherwise sometimes girlfriends get tired of me paying and insist. This is always initially uncomfortable but ultimately adorable. This butch doesn’t mind taking a backseat now and again, but I still want to get the door on the way out.

      Conclusion: The spirit of the post is for you to ask a LADY out bro. Don’t even think about taking out a male colleague! Boo!

      • cissyhuang permalink*
        August 28, 2011 5:32 pm

        LOL. What’s up with the not-very-butch pseudonym?

      • cissyhuang permalink*
        August 28, 2011 9:43 pm

        I fix for you 😀

      • TBarz permalink
        September 8, 2011 1:22 pm

        I cannot remember who Buddhist Boy is, but I am desperately trying.

        And as far as butch names go, I prefer Navy Bean.

    • TBarz permalink
      August 28, 2011 11:38 am

      yeah you better. 😉

  5. Brother Lagos permalink
    September 1, 2011 1:20 am

    YES YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENDER AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH SOCIAL CUES. I am no one to speak, though. I chickened out on this one, although I think it might have been the better way to go. No use to try to pick up fiddling again while Rome is still burning.

    • Brother Lagos permalink
      September 1, 2011 1:22 am

      and by social cues I meant the dialectic. Clearly.

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