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My situation of "He pays, she pays"...and does it emasculate?


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Okay, I know there are a lot of different views on this and I'd really like to hear them all because I'm kind of in a new situation.


I'm dating a guy who is younger than I am, and currently doesn't make a lot of money. In fact, the only paying job he's had this year was for a few days (a seasonal job). He additionally gets money from relatives on a consistent basis, I just don't know how much. He's not a bum, he does a lot of volunteer work, and he's an aspiring musician.


This weekend, we hung out twice. Once in a big group, where I payed for myself, and then another time where I paid for the both of us. The time I payed for myself in a big group was very weird because every girl's meal in our group got paid by one of the guys, except me, and I'm the only one that was officially dating someone. So ofcourse I felt bad about that. The other time I paid, I had invited him to go with me somewhere, so I just thought it was appropriate.


So firstly, I'm wondering if that emasculates him, that I'm paying for myself.


Secondly, he never asks me out, he just asks if I wanna "hang"...is that the same thing as a date? And in that scenario who pays? He's the one that asked me to "hang out" when we went with the big group, yet I ended up paying for myself.


I know this might sound shallow, but it makes me wanna date someone with a real job so that I can be treated like a lady. Is that bad?

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Nope it should be fine. I have no problem when my girl pays for stuff. It makes me feel good that she would do that for me when I needed it. When I'm short on cash she's aloways willing to pay and I give it back and pay next time.


In relationships things need to be equal, paying for expenses is included in that.


I think he owes you a meal now that you payed for him.

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Well, tradtionally men paid for everything on dates, but that was before women's lib, before most women had an income, and before women had any control. Like before the 60s and 70s, I think. I remember things changing in the 70s, though I was only in grade school at the time.


My father is very socially astute. He taught me that for business appointment lunches/dinners, and also for friends going out, the person who asks or invites is supposed to pay. That was always tradtional for non dates.


Now since women's lib, women's rights, women having paying jobs and rights, they now have equality, or something close. As a result, they now have the same responsibilities. thereforeeee, women should pay their share. However, what is their share?


I fall back onto the traditional rules for business and friend appointments as a guide. Those rules were based on equality. So they should apply to any equal relationship. thereforeeee, the asker/invitor should pay for the invitee. However, that also means the people should take turns inviting each other.


I think "hang" is a casual way of him asking you for a casual date, though it can also mean a friend activity. It's irrelevant what he means because no matter what he means, the money issues are the same, IMO.


Now when both people are not equal in money, then the equality based rules don't work, and maybe they shouldn't be applied then anyway. I guess that is up to the people involved.


I haven't dated in a long while, but I do go out with women friends a lot. If we are approximately equal in income, then the invitor usually pays for both people, or we go dutch, either of which is acceptable by traditional friends rules, and should also be acceptable for dating today. That's how it usually goes for me with women in their 30s and 40s because many of them are familiar with tradtional friends and business appointment manners, as they use those for friends or dates.


However, younger women in their 20s operate on their own personal rules that they each make up according to what she thinks is fair, and they typically don't even know the traditional friends and business appointment rules. So then I go along with whatever she wants, as long as it seem fair. Generally they just like to either go Dutch or take turns paying (regardless of who invited who). OK, that's fair, if she can afford it.


However, what's fair when both people are not equal in income? I think "fair" has to be adjusted to circumstances. For example, when I was 23 and dating a 36 year old woman, she did pay for most things. I felt really guilty, embarrassed, and immasculated about it too. However, I was from a different generation than young guys today. I don't think most young guys today would think twice about a woman paying for them. In my case, I was working, but a starving college student. In hindsight, I shouldn't have felt so guilty about. Sometimes I wouldn't even go out with her because I didn't have the money to even pay my half, let alone take my turn to pay for both of us. I don't think I ever once paid for both of us. However, I did pay my half when I could. She always tried to make me feel better about it. She was happy to be with me and she could easily afford to pay for both of us.


In hindsight, since I'm in my 30s now, I realize that if you are dating a younger person, there is likely to be a disparity of income, especially a disparity of disposable income. So the normal rules and ideas of what's fair with regard to money just don't apply. What is fair is that the person with less money do what they can, pay their half when they can. That's all they can do.


I can remember my older GF wanting to go out, me not wanting to because I didn't have the money, being to proud to say so, but she knew. She'd talk me into going out anyway and letting her pay for both of us.


Now that I'm in my 30s, I'm in her shoes. I have dated one woman younger than me, and I'm friends with many women from 18 to 90. Really. Most of my women friends are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. When I go out with the one's in their 30s and 40s it's a very equal relationship since they have their own money, and sometimes have more of it than I do. When I go out with women in their 20s, especially early 20s, they typically don't have much money. So I expect to pay all or more than half because they often can't afford to pay half. They certainly can't afford to pay for both of us.


The thing that impresses me so much about young women today, is that often they won't let me pay for them, even if they don't have much money. Wow. Such impressively good character they have. I'm very impressed with them. However, that means we then can't go out very often. So I find myself trying to convince them to please let me pay for them so we can go out. i.e. - I find myself in exactly the same shoes my older GF was in with me when I was younger.


If you are in your 30s+ and date, or are friends, with a younger person in their 20s, and especially early 20s, then you should expect to pay more than half, even though they might object. Personally, I'm totally fine with paying for them. I love it when they object because it's a sign of good character in them. However, I also hope they'll let me pay after some convincing because then we can actually go out, instead of canceling due to lack of money.




If the income of both people is similar, or at least both are adequate to afford to pay, then I go with the "invitor pays for both people" theory, or the "taking turns" theory, or Dutch if that's what they prefer. If there is an extreme disparity of income, then I go with my IRS view based on ability to pay. Hey, sometimes I eat with very, very wealthy people, in which case, I offer to go Dutch, but if they offer to pay (man or woman), I'm OK with that.




If you aren't comfortable paying more than half, or all, for this younger guy, then date a guy your age or older. Otherwise, learn to accept the fact that an age-gap relationship is probably not going to be economically equal. That doesn't bother me at all, as long as the younger person pays what they can, and/or does what they can. That way I feel it's fair. Fair doesn't have to mean equal dollars spent, fair means equal effort spent, IMO. i.e. - paying according to ability to pay is fair, IMO..




So the real issue to me, if I was in your shoes, wouldn't be if he pays half. The real issue would be, does he pay what he can? Does he make that effort? If so, I think it's fair. If not, then it's not fair. However, that's just my opinion as someone who accepts the likely financial realities of an age-gap relationship. Others might demand equality of money spent, which requires equality of income, which means date a guy your age or older.

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Damn Charley; that was hella long. ;-)


However, that's just my opinion as someone who accepts the likely financial realities of an age-gap relationship. Others might demand equality of money spent, which requires equality of income, which means date a guy your age or older.


I don't know about the above quote, but I think I see your point. When I was dating my ex (towards the middle and end of our relationship), it got to be where she never offered. Sure, I was making more money than her, but I was making more than her in the beggining, shortly after we got together and she would still take me out. So, where do you draw the line.


I think the first few dates the guy should pay; but why everytime? I still open doors, say "please" and "thank you" and have very good manners, still I don't think I want to spend all my money simply so we could go out.


So, with that being written, I think if it turns into a situation where one person is doing all the paying for everything and the other doesn't even offer, then it is time to take a serious look at things.


But, as others have written, it all depends on the sitch.

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Basically the rule of thumb we operate on is that when its really cheap, typically under $20, one of us pays (probably 60% its me, and 40% of the time its her). Whereas if the date is going to cost over $20 usually we both pay for ourselves.


The who should pay debate is something that alot of people, including myself are very conflicted about. Things have changed drastically since the 30's or 40's or 50's when women had difficulty getting a job much less having any substancial amount of money, so who should pay back then was obvious. Now though I think society still has old-fashioned rules of dating that no longer reflect the way our society usually operates.


I think though in a case where he doesn't make alot of money, you shoud probably just concentrate on having "cheaper" dates. Restrict fancy restaurants and expensive trips out of town to only special occasion and get aquainted with "hanging out" at eachothers places maybe or going for walks or going to the movies (during the day time it's usually cheaper ). As for emasculation, well definitely alot of guys may feel that way but I think views on paying and dating are slowly starting to catch up to the way society actually works now. I worked at an ice cream store a year ago ($h*t job lol) and I definitely noted that when couples come in, quite a few girls were paying for there guys (not quite 50/50 but still a fair number). Granted the cost was typically only a couple of dollars so it's not as if either person paying was a big deal, but it does possibly reflect the fact that more and more women are becoming comfortable paying their fair share on dates without feeling like they're not being treated like a lady, and also that more and more men are becoming ok with their g/f's paying on dates without necessarily feeling any shame.


As I think about this though, the more conflicted about it I am. On the one hand I agree with you that you shouldn't have to pay on all the dates, but I also know that I probably wouldn't feel quite as sorry for you if you were a man complaining about having to pay for your girlfriend that doesn't have a job. Damnit equality of the sexes can be so confusing sometimes

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