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Who should pay on a first date?

Article from the Atlantic about how men are still paying for dates in the US. And yeah, the article is not exactly new, but I just wanted to ask what you guys think anyway. Especially disturbing from the article:

A 1985 study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly presented subjects with a variety of fictional dating scenarios—mixing up who invited whom, who paid, and the venue—and asked them to evaluate the acceptability of the sexual encounter that followed. Disturbingly, they found that money contorted men’s opinions of sexual consent. “Rape was rated as more justifiable,” the authors wrote, “when the man paid all the dating expenses rather than splitting the costs with the woman.” Culturally speaking, 1985 may seem distant, but the study’s conclusion apparently hasn’t become any less relevant (or urgent): A more recent study, from 2010, found that men were more likely than women to think that sex should be expected when a man pays for an expensive date.

Soooo . I always try to pay on first dates but mainly guys never let me (and I have tried pretty hard), and honestly it makes me feel a bit uncomfortable! Especially in those cases where I can already tell that there won’t be a second date—if I like him and I think we might see each other again, then I can always pay for something else later, but if I can tell up front that we are never seeing each other again, I feel bad making him pay for the whole thing.


Plus I do feel a bit afraid of having a guy think that once he’s paid for the meal, he’s bought and paid for sexytimes afterwards. Obviously we all would hope never to go even on a first date with a guy like that, but they don’t have “asshole” tattooed on their foreheads so it could definitely happen!

However, all this can be countered with the simple fact that men still outearn women in the US for the same work—I have seen people argue that they can pony up for dates since they are getting paid more. But I would, in a perfect world, prefer to pay for my own food to be honest. I don’t like having other people buy me things! Taking turns paying for dates as opposed to splitting each bill would work fine long term though. And once you are living with someone that’s a whole separate issue. But when I have just met somebody I don’t want them to buy me stuff or pay for my food. It makes me feel really uncomfortable.

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