Why A Woman Should Definitely Pay On The First Date

More than one guy has said to me, “Well, that’s weird”

Gold digger. Superficial. Money-grubbing. Those are just a few of the negative stereotypes about people—particularly women—if the topic of finances (and pointed questions about resources) comes up too early in a potential relationship. Money is one of those no-no subjects we’re supposed to avoid, to get to “really” know someone.

Evidence of how unusual is it for a lady to pay? We could only find one stock image of a woman footing the bill.

But I’d argue that if two people want to know if they’re on the same page, particularly in the heteronormative world where gender roles are so clearly defined, bringing up money with your potential partner is essential. A decent amount of research backs me up on this. According to a 2013 study at Kansas State University, there’s a powerful correlation between financial arguments and relationship satisfaction—two potent motivations that could lead to divorce.

I’ve found there’s a way for women to do it that’s progressive, not awkward: I broach the subject of personal finance on the very first date.

For several years, at the end of the meal, I’ve insisted on paying. This may sound gutsy, but I found it’s a straightforward gesture that achieves two important things. First, I get to see how male suitors respond to a woman pulling out her wallet and placing her credit card on the table. If they were game, they were my speed. If they scoffed at my offer and interpreted it as somehow inappropriate or aggressive, I know they aren’t a match.

For the most part, the responses from men have been ones of welcome surprise—a refreshing flip of the script.

But more than once I heard, “Well, that’s weird.”

“Is it?” I’d ask back.

Sometimes they would clarify that women don’t typically offer to pay. To be fair, men have not only been socialized to pay, 75 percent of men in a recent survey reported feeling guilty when they accept a woman’s money. Even the 21st century millennial bros in this BuzzFeed video don’t feel fully comfortable with a woman picking up the tab.

For me, once it was clear that the guy really just didn’t think it was “right” for a woman to pay on a date, I knew these guys weren’t “right” for me. Furthermore, this small gesture of offering to pay opens up a world of preconceived roles that have huge implications down the line. Most of the time, my dates have asked that we split the bill instead, and in those cases I always acquiesce, since it seems more like they wanted to be fair than to protect outdated gender norms.

I spoke with several women who make sure they have a conversation about money right away. Straight from the dating front lines, here are some outcomes you can expect if you talk cash on date one:

Money reveals a surprising amount of personal details

When two people are just getting to know the basics, a person’s history with money is emotional, cultural, and can have a significant impact on all aspects of a person’s life. That’s one reason why Danielle Corcione, a 23-year-old freelance writer tells me that she discusses her financial situation early with new dates.

“I grew up in a financially disadvantaged household with a rather dysfunctional family. Seeing my parents struggle motivated me to manage my finances responsibility,” says Corcione, adding that a solid grip on financial management “also applies to how I choose to spend my money on dates, partners, and beyond.”

You can bond over student debt—and be ok with it

Sam Collazo, a 26-year-old Ph.D. student says that she uses her heavy student loan debt to bring up money on a first date. “If I bring up money on or before a first date, it is usually because we are talking about my status as a graduate student and the immense amount of loans I have,” Sam tells me. “Typically, I make some sort of joke that I anticipate being ‘broke forever.’”

Bringing up a lack of expendable funds seems to be a popular method. Christina Tesoro, a sex educator and writer tells me that she’s up front right away when planning a first date. “I’ll say something like, ‘I'm broke so let's eat tacos in the park / dollar pizza / dive bar happy hour.’” Tesoro, a 27-year-old who works a lot, says, “I work in social service and I work hard! So I have no shame about not having a whole lot of money to spend recreationally.”

You can assess a potential partner’s reaction to other things based on their reaction to money things

Overall, a date will probably respond well if the subject of money is casually broached at the very start of the relationship, but there are always exceptions.

Once, while on a first date, Collazo says she had to sit and witness her date calculating her student loan debt right in front of her. “I brought up the fact that I am getting my doctorate, and therefore had a lot of loans, and the guy started doing the math in his head! It was very uncomfortable for me. As he asked about where I went to school, how long, and how many more years I had left, there were long pauses as I could see him thinking pretty hard about it. It was very weird …”

Awanthi Vardaraj, a 40-year-old writer, also had an unfortunate experience where her date turned into a human calculator, creating a lot of discomfort for her. “During the meal he made sure to ask me how much money I made every month. (I didn't answer, but he guessed based on my profession.) Then he proceeded to calculate my rent and utilities and guessed how much I'd have to save every month. I ate quickly and paid my share of the bill, told him I wanted to leave, and called a cab,” she tells me. Somehow, it got worse: “He then followed me out to the cab and told me it would never work between us because he was looking for someone who made a lot more money than I did. It remains the weirdest date I've ever been on in my life.”

You can always beta test by splitting the bill

Another way to bring up money is simply by offering to split the bill. Vardaraj says that she usually offers to go dutch on a first date, “because I hate the implication that the man is supposed to pay for me. He doesn't have to. I can buy my own, thank you.” Like my own approach, Vardaraj’s preference to split the bill on a date also addresses outmoded gender roles that can cause strife in a relationship—whether on the first date or 10 years into a marriage.

Most importantly—you don’t need to be wealthy to be confident about your money

Collazo says her best advice for anyone who wants to talk about money on the first date would be to go into the situation with assuredness. “Be confident in your finances even if you don’t have a lot of money. People typically respond well when you are aware of your budget and can handle talking about it.”

And, of course, nobody has to talk about money on the very first date if they don’t want to. “Feel it out,” Corcione advises. “You might not have to talk about it on the first date, but being proactive about an uncomfortable conversation might help avoid miscommunication later.”

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

Keep Reading Show less
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

This election cycle, six women threw their hat in the ring for president, but is their gender holding them back? Would Americans feel comfortable with a woman leading the free world? Based on the last election, the answer is a swift no. And a new study backs this up. The study found that only 49% of American men would feel very comfortable with a woman serving as the head of the government. By comparison, 59% of women said they would feel comfortable with a woman in charge.

The Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which measures attitude towards women leaders, evaluated the attitudes of those living in the G7 countries as well as Brazil, China, India, and Russia. 22,000 adults in those 11 countries were surveyed on their attitudes about female leadership in 22 different sectors, including government, fashion, technology, media, banking and finance, education, and childcare.

Only two countries, Canada and the U.K., had a majority of respondents say they would be more comfortable with a female head of state. Germany (which currently has a female Chancellor), Japan, and Russia were the countries least comfortable with a female head of state.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.