Answering my own question

October 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm (On dating and mating)

As you may have guessed, the question in the previous post didn’t just materialize. I’ve had a few conversations recently about dating and paying.

My feminist credentials are well-established (I went to Wellesley for the love of Nietzsche*), but over the last three months, I’ve had to re-evaluate and come to terms with some things.

Namely, I would prefer that a man buy me a drink/dinner/movie tickets on a first date.

In theory, I agree with those who say that whoever asks pays, but I would also prefer that he ask. I don’t say that he should – should brings with it all sorts of baggage – but I prefer it. This isn’t a logic thing. In rational, logical terms, I agree with Nilsa. Or at least I agree that it presents some feminist inconsistencies to always expect a man to pay, but to want equal treatment in all other areas. But the problem I keep running into is that attraction isn’t about logic and therefore neither are first dates.

If I’m honest with myself, I’d admit that I resent it when a man asks me out then lets me pay (because of course I always offer). If I’m brutally honest, I’d say I resent it when we’re set up by a third party and he lets me pay. I may not have the reasoning behind it all sorted in my head, but I have an honorary PhD (self-awarded) in acknowledging my own emotions and I most certainly recognize the ugly ones like resentment. It’s not, for me, about feminism or being able to pay (though that’s a little more challenging as of late) or being “taken care of,” it’s about being pursued. It may not be socially acceptable to acknowledge, but I want to be wanted. I want to be courted. And I’ve come to terms with it.

*If you know where I stole this, my only explanation is that I have a crush on LL Cool J as the show is pretty terrible.



  1. WendyB said,

    Remembering back to my single days…I agree. I used to be very rigid about paying my own way to prove a point. But social interactions can’t always be so well-defined. It also helps to have a sense of humor and an open mind. I say why not give a guy a chance to act gentlemanly? It’s a good first test of what his personality is like.

  2. SoMi's Nilsa said,

    So long as you know who you are and what you expect, I’m pretty sure you’ll find it or him or whatever. I know my view is dissenting (and my blog post today addresses your very question in more detail) … and don’t get me wrong, it is nice to be wanted and pursued … but, I think when we come to expect that of men but also expect them to give us equality in other areas of our lives, that’s when the rationale becomes murky.

  3. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just suffering from poor brand management. « Busty Satan said,

    […] 7. If you’re paying for dinner, not letting me put in for tip. We’ve been over this. […]

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