‘Men who split bills are douchebags’
IT'S a topic that everyone has a different view on, but as far as I'm concerned, if a man insists we split the bill on a date, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
Splitting the bill on dates sets the precedent for a relationship, one where everything is straight down the middle. And where does that end? Does that mean we should keep monthly spreadsheets and document when we give sexual favours and how much we give emotionally to ensure we're even every month?
I'd never given the idea of going Dutch much thought until I started dating a guy who made a big statement with his wallet as to what sort of person he was.
We had an amazing first date but things went downhill quickly after the bill arrived at the table and I got the expectant look. In every date or outing after that he made it glaringly obvious that he expected me to pay my way in our relationship despite the large pay gap due to his generous salary.
Here's the thing; I don't actually mind paying my way, but I was also the one who was driving to see him when I lived out of town and using my car, as his was always conveniently in for repairs. Despite the above and knowing his wage well exceeded mine, he still insisted on a 50/50 split.
I brought it up with him several times that I'd prefer we just alternate who paid, and sometimes pick cheaper date venues, but he always brushed it off.
The final straw was finishing coffee with him one afternoon and being met with his expectant hand. He wanted my $3 for the macchiato I just drank. After I'd just driven 40 minutes to see him.
People always misread me on this topic; call me a gold digger or a princess, but it's not actually even about the money, it's about what the money signifies. And as it turned out with my demanding date, perhaps unsurprisingly, his money wasn't the only thing he was stingy with.
It was this relationship that made me value generosity and really see that some men use the excuse of splitting the bill to hide their stinginess.
This happened to a girlfriend of mine recently. She went out with a man to one of the priciest venues in town. On the date, she quickly realised she should have screened him better, as when he wasn't making misogynistic statements, he was arrogantly bragging about how much money he earned.
He knew my friend's financial situation before they went out, yet insisted he order for her, picking the most expensive dishes and a pricey wine to match. At the end of the night, much to her horror, he asked to split the painfully exxy bill.
Needless to say, my friend didn't go out with him again. Smart girl.
This date later became the heated topic of conversation among my friends and I as to whether it's possible to still call yourself a feminist while accepting a paid meal from someone. After all, if we want equal rights, we should be prepared to split the bill equally, right?
Sorry, I disagree.
I believe you can still consider yourself a feminist and accept a nice meal from someone. And conversely, you can also be a feminist and buy someone else a meal, too. It's when someone uses that term as an excuse to be stingy with their funds that isn't cool with me, as I feel it says a lot about that person's character.
Let me be clear on this: If I ask a guy out and go to the effort of arranging the date, then I expect to foot the bill for the whole date. If a man goes to pay, I will always offer my share of the bill, and I'm more than happy to pay.
Relationships are about being in a partnership - they're give and take. Which is why I'd much prefer to alternate who pays and have it come about organically rather than me fumbling around for loose change in my handbag to cover my coffee.
We need to ask ourselves what our values are and what we're really looking for in a potential partner. You might be fine to split the bill, but I see it as an indication for (worse) things to come. If he's stingy with his wallet, it's guaranteed he will be with other things, too.
Some say I'm old-fashioned, but I believe we all need to have standards, and one of mine is I won't date a stingy man who wants to split the bill because I value generosity.
This article originally appeared on SheSaid and was reproduced with permission