{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "So I am seeing this guy, and whenever we go out for dinner we split the bill 50/50. Like he doesn't even offer to pay. But when we go out for drinks after dinner he pays. He's currently doing his MBA so loans and told me that money was always tight when he was a kid so I get it, but sometimes it's hard not to compare to my ex who used to pay for everything when we went out. But then again he had a range of other issues hence the ex... please offer some respectful thoughts to help me 😊", "post_id": "60c0c90b4613a00021e57817", "reply_count": 232, "vote_count": 16, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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So I am seeing this guy, and whenever we go out for dinner we split the bill 50/50. Like he doesn't even offer to pay. But when we go out for drinks after dinner he pays. He's currently doing his MBA so loans and told me that money was always tight when he was a kid so I get it, but sometimes it's hard not to compare to my ex who used to pay for everything when we went out. But then again he had a range of other issues hence the ex... please offer some respectful thoughts to help me 😊

likefunny
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Some men will always pay for you. Some will never pay for you. Some will on occasion. None of these options are “right”. You’re allowed to have your preferences, but you can’t impose them on a specific individual. If you prefer a guy who always pays and that isn’t the case with the one you’re seeing, then you should date someone else. If you place a higher priority on other things, then you should learn to be more flexible on this issue. It’s really just up to what you want.

No one is perfect and in partners we’re lucky to get 80% of the qualities that we want. By no means am I saying settle for someone who treats you poorly - there’s certainly a decent human being baseline. But when it comes to the extras like preferences we all have to be flexible bc we ourselves aren’t perfect. As adults we have to accept we most likely aren’t someone’s exact dream woman. So we compromise as they do. Ultimately ask yourself - is this something you want to compromise on? And then proceed accordingly.

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This is helpful thank you!

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OP - Have you attempted talking to him about it? I only say this because it's clearly something you care about, which is certainly within your right. It's possible he's used to dating women who don't mind going dutch, so this would be his norm and he may be assuming you're okay with it. I've met guys who didn't have a lot of money who have covered every date without an issue (no discussion was needed). On the flip side, I've met guys who make good money with extravagant lifestyles who aren't down with covering all the dates in the beginning.

I've been in your shoes before, and I prefer for the guy to pay for things in the beginning. When I was younger (twenties), I deviated from my personal desire and dated guys who wanted to go dutch. The main reason I tried it out was due to advice I received from other women who were down with 50/50. At the end of the day, I basically ended up unhappy because I was settling for something I didn't want. Going dutch may not be an issue for some people, but for me it was. I enjoy being courted in the traditional sense, so I'm no longer down for splitting the bill at the beginning of the courting phase.

Basically, I typed all of that to say we all desire different things. If you're not okay with going dutch, let it be known. And if he's not understanding, maybe you all aren't a good fit (of course other things should be considered too).

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I keep seeing posts like this and then wonder how the conversation for equal rights will move forward if women get offended at having to pay/expect the guy to pay. What am I missing here? If anything, the conversation should be about changing old school expectations and getting men and women on equal footing. You expect equal pay for equal work. Why not expect the same at dinners?

likesmartfunnyhelpfuluplifting

That's tough.Honestly I've been in this position with someone for 3 years. I kept brushing it off feeling guilty for even wanting my ex to offer to pay. He made 3 times my salary but was the most frugal person I've ever met. We actually talked about it and he said he was saving money for "our" future. At times when i wanted to go somewhere nice I would end up paying the entire bill. Afterwards when we broke up he was out paying for all of his new dates taking them out to nice restaurants (places he's never taken me to) etc. When I asked him how he went from being so frugal about everything to Mr. Big spender he said he was just trying to get .... Anyways now he's in a new relationship and spoils the girl. So i don't know in your case if he's being honest or trying to see if he can just get away with it.

This is more than fair, why are you taking offense to this?

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You may be equating money with love and taking this as a sign he’s not that into you. If he was then taking vacations and spending big on other stuff, then I might wonder. But if that’s his financial situation and you’re just splitting it, that’s cool.

likehelpful

If you ask me out, you pay. For me that’s important in the first 1-2 dates. It’s basic manners. You are not entitled to my time and if you want me to go out with you, the least you could do is offer to pay for a meal and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Afterwards I am okay to split.

If he can’t afford to pay for the first 1-2 meals then he can’t afford to date…

likefunnysmartuplifting

Ask him

...this is how it's supposed to work. It's 2021. And it sounds like you make more than him right now anyway? Why is this an issue? You're a fully functioning adult, yes?

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Yep normal. It‘s called gender equality.

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For all of you who offered thoughtful and respectful responses thank you, you helped me to see a different side. For those of you who were condescending when I was just asking for some help, you didn't really offer anything useful so 👋

likefunnysmart

Op don’t feel bad. I’m all for woman power and equality but I still want to be courted. I still want to be swept away by Prince Charming and taken away on his white horse like I remember watching in those fantasy movies. Sorry not sorry. Too bad this can’t happen since I’m already married. :)

Just kidding. Turned out he was my Prince Charming who actually was comfortable with me paying for some checks because he thought I was all about women equality. Little did he realize I just wanted to be swept away. Any who happily married with a baby now.

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I think it's tough when you already had that experience.
My very first boyfriend, I had no idea how dating worked, but he paid for everything, spontaneous trips and gifts. Had no idea he was so rich until months later.

My next boyfriend, loads of debt, and so lots of 50/50, huge cut down on lifestyle.

And then I had in between, guys who would pay occasionally but I would also pay for dates.

To each their own, but I would say try to remember your current guy is doing his best. Paying for everything isn't a norm, as I learned.
Your current guy is paying for drinks, he was negative in pay for a couple years, and like you said, your ex is an ex for a reason. This current guy is trying to be thoughtful and show he is trying. 😊
A lot of dating experiences for many would be 50/50

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My boyfriend and I have been together for six years and still “split” everything! Not 50/50 and we don’t keep track but we both love to pay and treat each other. It was a little different when he was still in school, I would pay for almost everything during that phase but to me it’s worth being with the right person! You are working hard at your job so that you don’t have to choose a partner based on money or related and can focus on who they are. :) that helps me!

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My boyfriend and I are both mba students but starting jobs where we have roughly the same salary. We both have debt too and don’t nickel and dime / calculate but are sure to switch on and off who pays because I would hate to be one of those girls that expects the guy to pay for everything / treat me. I want a partner, not a sugar daddy

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Dude he’s doing his MBA. That’s super expensive and most likely means he’s living off savings. Give the guy a break

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Oh lord. One of those posts again. It's 2021. Wake up to gender equality.

likefunny

He should pay. Men have the provider role. That is the role that they have been raised to do. I recently stop dating a guy because he was kind of cheaping out on dates... in other words, shirking his provider duties. Gaining equality in the workplace has nothing to do with your relationship with your significant other. In a primary intimate relationship, women have many other expectations to live up to in their role, so never mind providing too.  In my dating relationships, the man will always pay for my dinners and drinks. 

likefunny

at consultant 1, actually the biggest duty the woman has that a guy cannot replace is childbirth and the primary role of breastfeeder and caregiver (which also significantly affects their bodies, their brain chemistry, and their work productivity). If the man can pop out the bbs and take care of them, let me pay ALL THE BILLS!

like

If you're dating someone who's a student right now and living off loans, I'm surprised you're not picking up the whole check from time to time.

Not sure if you remember what it was like being in college, but cash was pretty hard to come by.

When I did my MBA, I was really short on cash and every penny counted.

likehelpful

A6 how ignorant are you that I showed you that I can't edit the post and yet you comment this again

I've never dated a guy who has asked me to go 50/50! Unpopular opinion, but I would be even more annoyed if he gave me a sob story about MBA loans. Being generous and thoughtful are the two big things I look for in a partner. Plenty of guys will offer to cook dinner, pack a picnic, or hell, pull together a cheese plate. Constantly expecting to split the bill at a restaurant shows me (at least) that he's not invested financially or mentally. I get the whole equality argument and agree to a certain extent, but no guy is ever going to sweep me off my feet by telling me, "I'll put in what you put in, no more, no less because I'm a feminist and believe in equality."

likefunny

I guess I just don’t understand how splitting the check shows “less investment”.

If OP likes this guy, then she needs to stop keeping a tab...cause that feels very transactional. More so than splitting the check

likesmart

OP, thanks for asking this question and being receptive to various responses. I appreciate that you seem to have been genuinely seeking different perspectives on this.

I think our culture (US, both men and women) tend to have a passive idea that if a woman is “worth” enough, the man will pay for dinner. While many people don’t think this, the general idea is pretty pervasive. In my mind, that’s why it’s hard sometimes for the guy not to pay. We have a silent idea that he doesn’t value us that much if he’s not paying. Not sure if this holds true for you, but maybe that’s part of what’s driving your concerns?

likehelpful

Did I offend you? That wasn’t my intent - just saying that another person on this app was trying to make that argument a little while back. SC2’s comment just reminded me of that post, that’s all.

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I think one good thing is that in another twenty years these kind of questions will become obsolete and paying for oneself or more equitably will become the norm. We are at least heading in the right direction.

likefunny

As I mentioned earlier, it’s a symbolic gesture especially at the beginning of a relationship. It doesn’t make up for anything, just points towards values / commitment. I do appreciate D3’s comment about how it appears we all have different views on this.

like

One other thing - there are apparently a ton of women who use first dates as a way to get a free meal (my guy friends complain about this), so in addition to the fact that 50/50 is fine and normal, he might also just be feeling you and your motivations out too! Or seeing a few people and trying to get a feel for who he’d like to see more.

So don’t rule him out or think he’s cheap, basically. It goes both ways ☺️

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Thanks so much!

like

My boyfriend and I split most things 50/50 and we both make about the same amount now, but we treat each other now more that the relationship is older; and we’ve always exchanged gifts for the holidays and birthdays. It took me some time to get used to it, because I was used to being showered by all my toxic exes. But it’s kind of liberating and more than fair, so I’m good. It takes people time if they’ve been used before. And trust me there are a lot of girls/women who go out with guys just for free meals or marry them for their money & that makes it tough for the rest of us.

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My preference is I pay for my food, he pays for his, especially early on in a relationship. This is because I had an experience with an ex who made a big deal about how he had been paying for everything, but he never asked me to pay for anything. I think the longer you’re together, you should treat each other sometimes as a nice thing to do.

I think what we expect or prefer is definitely shaped by experience, kind of like you have said, and that sometimes we need to adjust our expectations and understand the other person’s background, which it sounds like you’re doing.

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Yes, this is normal. Most people split things these days; if you want a guy who will always pay, you need to date an older guy or a guy who is more "traditional."

like

My husband is from the South and he insists on paying for meals. It’s a cultural thing.
However, I generally think that a guy should at least offer to pay for the first date, and I usually counter with no let’s go 50/50. If they continue to insist I let them pay so there’s no awkward back and forth.
If they order the $50 steak or the extra drink, they should offer to pay for the meal or at least say they’ll pick up the tip if you’re going 50/50.

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