I had a conversation with my daughter about dating back when she was 18, whereupon I (sadly) learned that she was uncomfortable with the expectation that a man should pay on a date.
Whaaat? I asked. That’s what men are supposed to do!
I know, she said, but you don’t understand how things are today, Mom. It just feels wrong to expect the guy to pay.
I thought of that conversation when I stumbled upon a 2018 article in the Wall Street Journal. In “Who Pays on a Date? That’s Still a Complicated Question,” Elizabeth Bernstein asks who should pick up the tab for a date in this postfeminist world of ours. “Is paying a sign of caring, or power? No one really knows anymore.”
She adds, “Traditionally, men have paid for courtship because men had the money. They thought of themselves as chivalrous, respectful and protective when they paid. Then women entered the workforce, the feminist movement attempted to level the playing field, and women began offering to pay. They want to signal their independence, show that they aren’t looking for a free ride, and prevent the perception that they owe their date anything.”