Check, Please!

The other day I was sitting with a friend of mine who was telling me about a date she’d just been on. I asked her if the guy paid, and she said “oh no, OF COURSE. If he hadn’t, it would’ve been over for sure!

Later I went back and thought about that: both about me asking that question, and about her clear reply.

I’d asked the question when we were discussing whether he was worth going on another date with. Both my question and her reply show how important a guy paying on a first date was to both of us. But how feminist is that?

In the world we live in today, we want full feminism but a lot of us also seem to still want men to be ‘gentlemen’.


We want them to pay when we go out, to take care of us, to open doors, to be on top of things. So there’s always this contradiction.

We want women to be equal to men, but we still want men to do things that are now seen as patriarchal.  

But is that a contradiction? Is a man being a gentleman patriarchal? Is a man holding a door open for us anti-feminist? With those smaller things, it’s easy to brush them aside and say they’re just men being polite. But when it comes to money, things get more complicated.


A guy paying on a first date seems to be a universally accepted thing. In fact if he doesn’t pay, things tend to get really weird and girls start asking questions about him, his character, his upbringing, etc.

But what about the second, third, and fourth date? And what about afterwards? Are guys still supposed to pay for a lot or is that a relic of a past when women didn’t work or make much money?

From my own relationships things usually work themselves out easily. The guy pays on the first few dates, but then you settle into a routine where things get split pretty much equally. Other friends of mine have relationships where the guy pays for everything, all the time. One friend is on the other extreme: she lives with her boyfriend in her boyfriend’s house, and she pays him rent. All of these scenarios are interesting and women in all of them call themselves feminists.


But then why the emphasis on a guy paying on the first date? Why does that matter so much? Is it because it says something about a guy if he doesn’t? Is it because it’s become normal?

Would you get turned off or worried if a guy didn’t pay on the first date?





LEILA لیلا

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  1. if youre feminist, then split the bill with the dude. otherwise, if you clearly dont see yourself as his equal, what are you complaining about? let him pay in that case. because you see yourself as inferior. the end.

  2. In my experience, such boys usually arent worth it. They come and go soon.

  3. minanilchian says:

    I’ve always paid for my own stuff. I have a lot of pride and don’t want that to be used against me if push ever comes to shove. That being said, I practice my feminism in a way that I feel aligns with my values, and I don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship with absolutely no predetermined gender roles. I think based on what *I* want from my future relationships, I’m going to get the guy to start paying for the first few dates. It’s a totally personal thing, and I think that’s how feminism works- in pluralities.

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