Arts & Leisure

Dear Marilyn: Who should pay on a date?

WHO SHOULD PAY for that pizza on that date?

Dear Marilyn,

I’d like to get your opinion. Do you think that guys should pay for everything when they go out on a date with a girl?

I am a poor college student. I barely make enough to pay the rent and buy groceries, along with my school expenses. I work 20 hours a week, and go to school full time.

It seems that every time I get up the nerve to ask a girl out, she expects me to pay for the date. I would never ask them to pay, or even to split the expenses, but it sure would be nice if they were to offer to help out.

I don’t want to come off as stingy, or as a cheapskate, but the reality of my financial situation is that I can’t afford to go out a lot. What do you think? Have things changed in 2018 regarding who pays for the dates? I think the time has come.

Signed, Frugal But Not Cheap Guy

Dear Frugal But Not Cheap Guy,

   When a guy asks a girl out for the first time, it is still expected that he will pay for the date. He has asked her to join him, so it is implied that he is paying for the costs of the invitation.

   However, after the first few dates, I think it is fine for the dating expenses to start to be shared. After spending time together, it is natural for the couple to get to know each other better.

   This includes conversations about what each person does regarding their jobs. As you have these conversations, it is perfectly fine to let the girl know that things are rather tight expense wise at this point in your life.

   You shouldn’t ask her to pay. However, you can explain that you’d like to do things such as walk on the beach, or watch movies at home as you are watching your expenses.

   Hopefully the girl will be in total agreement with this plan. If she’s not, then you’ll have to decide if you want to ask her out again or not.

   As the relationship progresses, many girls will offer to pay for the dates. Most girls are working too, and will find it reasonable to share expenses.

   The key, of course is communication. You will not be seen as a deadbeat or a cheapskate if you are direct and honest about your situation, but still fun to be with, and the two of you have fun together.

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