The realm of traditional American dating states that the man in the relationship will foot the bill, buy the gifts and cater to the woman’s every whim.
In return, the woman must look her best, arrive on time and please her man as much as possible. Women receive the money and men receive the pleasure, but in this rather outdated model, who really ends up on top?
In this case, social conditioning has afforded men yet another chance to demonstrate their bravado: a chance to show that they are indeed the ones that hold the position of power.
As women, is it our duty to give in to these social demands, if only to avoid offending his delicate male ego? Or is his thinning wallet secretly hoping I’ll at least make an attempt to foot the bill?
The answer is far from simple. Although many men would balk at the idea of a woman paying for their meal, ticket, etc., I’m sure there are also quite a few who wouldn’t mind if the woman paid — at least once in a while.
Everyone is well aware that the United States is facing economic instability, which means that even the wealthiest among us are feeling the need to tighten the strings on their spending. So, is it really fair to put the monetary strain of dating squarely on the man’s shoulders?
Women generally claim feminist values, but more often than not, they still feel entitled to free meals and extravagant endowments simply because they’re female.
I’m here to pose a question: Do you really think you deserve better treatment just because you’re a girl? That sounds a bit sexist to me.
Nonetheless, in women’s defense, it’s also unfair to assume that men can buy our love and affection. Too often, young men assume that if they wine you and dine you, they’re entitled to recline you.
This is far from true, and frankly, if this is the thought going through your head as you offer to pay, you better not mention it. Women do not view a date as an obligation for sexual favors, nor should they.
Dating is a delicate balance of give-and-take, often supplemented with enough head games to drive even the sanest person absolutely mad. Is he going to call? Should I kiss her goodnight? At night’s end, do you really want to have to worry about who’s indebted to whom?
The new dating model should be based on mutual generosity and a general liking of the other person. No one should hold the upper hand, and no one should feel any sort of monetary or sexual obligation.
Women, don’t refuse your man’s generous offer to pay, but don’t take it for granted either. The men work hard for the money they earn, and just because they want to spend it on you, it does not mean that they have to.
Chivalry is not dead by any standard — nor do I think it ever should be — but women should learn to appreciate how good they have it.
Thank your man once in a while. Trust me, he deserves it.
Rachel Sayers is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Who should foot the bill? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.