dating and money

Money Money Money

It’s such an old cliché, the one about men needing to pay for everything, and women wanting a rich man to do it.

And in the dating world, a man picking up the bill is seen as the only way to do things.

Now, I’m going to help to clear this up, from a woman’s point of view. Some of this information you might like, some of it you might not, but it is what it is.

The wage gap

No, not that one about women earning less than men for doing the same job – that’s a whole other area of debate I’m not going to get into. This wage gap is about the perception that men need to be earning more than women in order to be respected and desired by them.

This is, for all kinds of reasons, utter bullshit. And not just because women are, on the whole, far nicer and less shallow than that.

No, the reason we don’t mind at all if we earn less than our man is because we’re living in a time when that’s actually possible.

Despite the arguments we’re still having over inequality – which are totally worth having – we’re still in possession of more opportunities to further ourselves and grow our career than we ever have been before.

If we’re earning a good wage, we’re fully aware that this makes us financially independent. That’s a very good feeling, and one we very much enjoy.

If we’re feeling good about our own earning potential, and we’re feeling like capable and independent women, we feel sexier and in a far better place mentally and emotionally than we would be if we were doomed to be the lower earners by nature of our gender, or relying on our man to make up the difference.

Of course there will always be women who’d like to be full time parents and homemakers – and that’s absolutely up to them – but if we’re working in a career we enjoy then we’re happy to be able to support ourselves doing it, and we don’t need you to be earning more than us to feel good about ourselves. We can bring that good feeling into our relationship.

The caveat

Of course, that’s not to say we’re fine with our man taking it easy all the time, so don’t quit your job just yet.

The key thing here is that, while we don’t care if our man earns less than us, we do think it’s sexy if he throws himself into something in his life and works hard at it.

That doesn’t need to be his job, it can be a hobby, a sport, charity work or looking after his kids, just as long as he’s channeling his energy into doing something as well as he can.

And, just like a man, we don’t want to feel like we’re being expected to fund our partner’s lifestyle. So our man has to be able to support himself, as a rule (the odd crisis aside). Beyond that, if he’s a high flyer then that’s a bonus.

When she wants to treat you

There will always be times when the person in the relationship with the most money wants to do something and the person with less money can’t afford it.

So, what’s the solution? Don’t do it?

No, that would be silly. That way neither of you gets to have fun.

If your girlfriend earns more than you, and wants to pay for that joint holiday because you can’t afford it, just take her up on her offer.

There might be some primitive part of your brain that feels weird about it, and you might be worried about your friends giving you a hard time about it, but what you need to remember is that this is the 21st Century and you’ve got a woman who’s completely independent, happy to be with you, and wants to share what she’s got so you can both have a good time.

Anyone who thinks that’s worth mocking you for has the mentality of a schoolboy and needs reminding of the fact.

The dating rule


Ok, you’re not going to like this, but it’s my job to tell you how it is, not how it should be.

The bottom line is that there’s still an expectation that the man will pay for at least the first date. It’s the last vestige of the concept of chivalry, and one that you should at least prepare to accept if you want to get through the early stages.

This is very general, and there’ll be some women who insist on splitting the bill, but in the world of dating it’s just the norm.

It’s up to you if you want to make a political statement and be fair by asking her to pay her half, or you just want to accept the strange unfairness and have a nice, amicable date – your choice. I’d advise you to pick your battles, and having the ‘why should the man pay’ argument on the first date is probably not worth it.

Think of it as taking the hit because she’s probably had a lifetime of catcalling and creepy date offers from terrible men, and she’s overlooked all of that and chosen to go out with you, rather than deciding to write men off as all being the same and hiding indoors forever.

We’ve all had those thoughts, but we still hope to meet nice men. It’s not your fault we get hassle, we’re sure you’re lovely, but if you make an apology on behalf of your fellow man in the form of a nice dinner then you can consider it an investment rather than a tax.