Why You Should Always Buy Dinner

You know the scene: Your dinner date is winding down, and the server comes to your table with the bill. In all likelihood, he sets the ominous black folder in front of you. Meanwhile, if the pretty little lady sitting across from you is anything like me, there’s a good chance she’s hoping that you’ll pay the bill. Not because she’s a gold digger. Not because she’s trapped in the 1950s. Not because she can’t afford it. Oh, no. Here, the far more complicated truth about why she wants you to pay.

It shows you care (a lot)
For better or worse, women may tend to associate money with caring. By picking up the bill, you’re telling us we’re worth an investment.

It makes you look successful
If you think women aren’t attracted to power, think again. When we’re out with our friends and our man is paying for us — and perhaps even grabbing a drink for our friends — it makes us proud. And, maybe a little bit turned on.

It reassures us that you’re not stingy
If you are counting pennies, or pulling out your calculator to split the bill right down the middle, it doesn’t bode well. It tells us that you’re likely ungenerous, and it concerns us that you’ll be territorial or selfish in other parts of life, too. Tonight, it’s dinner. Next week: Aren’t these your dishes in the sink?

Image courtesy of GKS.


48 thoughts on “Why You Should Always Buy Dinner”

  1. I was so close to being done with this site before but now I have truly had enough.

    This is not the complicated truth at all. This very much is a 1950’s mentality.

    Don not argue for equality when all you really want is equality when it benefits yourself.

    It makes you look successful? Well, if you care about my success more than the fact that I actually care about people, well then you can just piss off.

    “It reassures us that you’re not stingy”?

    Well, it reassure the fact that I am a sap. Do you not earn money? Why should I pay for you all the time? Are you a prostitute? How about making me feel like I am wanted as opposed to having to take care of you all the time?

    If you think buying someone dinner all the time is an indicator of genuinely caring you are so far gone that there is no point in arguing.

    Goodbye Daily XY.

    P.S. I will actually miss reading Mr. Smith’s articles on here.

  2. Utter, complete total nonsense.The “author” of this piece is indeed implying a return to the 50s and ignoring feminism or equality.
    Forget that; let me tell you what being expected to pay the bill says to a GUY:
    1) The girl is a “food whore”. She will take what she can get from you and offer nothing in return. You “owe” her nothing; by expecting you to pay, she is telling you the opposite. Huge red flag.
    2) It shows she doesn’t care. Unless you are making 5 times the money she does (highly unlikely), she should AUTOMATICALLY offer to pay for her share. (A possible exception could be made if she orders the cheapest thing on the menu, but in some restaurants that is still too much.)
    3) She is a golddigger or manipulator. No expansion necessary on that.
    4) She doesn’t respect frugality or careful spending. If she expects you to be careless about dinner, she will in all likelihood expect you to foot the bill for other, more expensive outings.
    5) She has no sense of economy.
    I could go on, but suffice it to say I have never paid for a first-date dinner, nor have I automatically thought of doing so except on a pre-arranged, already-discussed special occasion (birthday, new job, graduation, etc.) I would advise ALL makes reading this to think carefully, and women being the creatures of habit they are, to not let them think that they can play you this way.
    Since every one of this woman’s points is false, the article shoudl come with some sort of disclaimer like “To be read by women only”. Or perhaps “For the gullible young man”. These antiquated attitudes have no place in today’s dating world.

  3. Wow ok I’m sort of with Sean on this although I’m not quite so angry. I always pay for the bill when I’m on a first date. Problem is, the last few times I’ve been out with someone, it’s been assumed that I would and indeed taken advantage of by the person I was out with.

    I’m successful and it’s important to me to be generous and share in everything, but I really really don’t like being taken advantage of which is what it felt like recently – women expecting me to pay (on two separate occasions…) and not even thanking me for having done it. In one particularly bad case, the woman I was buying for warned me not to expect sex because I was paying the bill and went on a tirade about implied prostitution and gender inequalities, all the while happily enjoying the food I had just bought for her. Which was a neat power play/turn around. Make the guy feel bad for having done something nice so there’s NO way you’ll owe him anything. Even thought you’re getting to eat for free.

    Not to mention the fact that all of the women I was out with make at least as much money as I do.

    Gah! Guess it’s my own fault for dating people like this, but I wonder if there’s a way to indicate to each other that if it’s assumed that the date sucked and that date number two likely won’t happen, we can just split the bill and be done with it? I mean, my time is worth just as much as hers right?

  4. Here’s what I’ve learned on this site:

    — Toronto women are golddiggers
    — Toronto women are pretentious
    — Toronto women are superficial
    — Toronto women are self-absorbed
    — Toronto women are not worth dating

    I need to quit reading this site before I believe any of that. Surely not all Toronto women are like the ones who write here? I’m new here, but most women are nothing like that in the west or in the States (not even in LA).

  5. Completely disagree with this entire article and it’s good to see that not one person who comments agrees either. This is exactly why Toronto girls have a terrible rep. If you expect the guy to buy dinner every time then you are clearly a gold digger. Just because you say you aren’t doesn’t make it true. The first date I’ll agree the guy must pay but after that there is no reason for it. What makes a girl standout is when she offers to pay because it shows that she is not into money. Who’s to say the girl isn’t taking advantage of the guy. If he’s dumb enough to be paying for dinner every time, more than likely the girl will expect him to pay for everything else as well. ANY woman who associates money with caring has serious problems.

  6. Personally – I like to pay for a guy on the first date… But I do love when we both reach for the bill and there’s a pseudo fight about who will pay. In the end I like treating him and I like being treated… but somehow splitting it down the middle always feels lame.

  7. Sean, you’re weak. Man up. You pay for dinner and maybe she’ll pay for dessert. Maybe you’ll even get laid later on. If the premise of a woman’s mentality bothers you, perhaps you you try dating men. I’m sure another, better footed man will be happy to date your girlfriend if you even have one.

  8. Do you get paid for writing this bullshit? If so, are you guys hiring? I ask because all I need to do to write for this site is copy and past an article from 60 years ago and I can most definitely do that.

  9. This “article” has absolutely ZERO value, in any way. I suppose though, that it at least teaches us that most women (like the “author”) are as dumb as us men have always believed. Bravo Jen, you’re a bimbo!

  10. Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
    1) NOT sticking the guy with the bill shows that YOU care. Or, is caring only about caring FOR women, but not FROM women ?
    2) Thanks for telling us that you value appearance over substance. That’s exactly the kind of dishonest gold diggers men wish to avoid.
    3) Once again, this shows that women ARE the stingy ones. Once again, the exact women to avoid.
    You’re a user of men, lady. No thanks. Ever.

  11. Glad to see everyone but Scott knows the real deal. Enjoy being played, Scott!

    Some excellent comments on here.

  12. Note to self, do NOT date a money-grubbing loser named Jen Kirsch.

    Here’s a couple of tips for you Jen:
    1. I generally pay for dinner, but if you don’t even bother to reach for the cheque, don’t expect a return engagement because,
    2. I’d like a woman with some dignity.

  13. The reasons you cite are exactly the reason why not to buy dinner.

    #1. If it’s not a one sided situation, she should also care.

    #2. If she only cares about appearances of success then I’m afraid that in spite of what you say, she is indeed a gold digger.

    #3. How many men have started off buying dinner and ended up doing all the dishes for the rest of eternity to boot. Or maybe alimony, spousal support, and/or child support instead. The argument goes both ways.

    Why is it that women’s advice to men is always about what we can do to impress the woman or pander to the woman’s needs/wants? It’s a two way street. You want dinner paid for? How about offering a no-strings-attached blowjob while you’re at it. Realistically, unless they live in the 1950’s women need to understand that all this equality and liberation comes with a price, which is 50% of the tab. That shows to the man that she respects him at least as much as she desires to be respected. It shows that the woman is prepared to be an equal partner in all aspects of a potential relationship, and is not looking for either a pedestal or a free ride.

  14. Thank you gentlemen in setting the record straight for Ms Kirsch. I have nothing more to add except for the “slow clap” to show my appreciation.

  15. Counter Article by Z

    1. After paying for dinner a man should always pull out his penis for the girl you’re dating to show she cares about you (a lot).

    2. If she does not finish you off, she is not successful and should be ditched immediately.

    3. If she does not swallow, it tells you she’s not going to be blowing you a few months into the relationship. Tonight, this is her dessert or when you desert her.

  16. lol how about “Why You Should Always Pay For Dinner…… If She’s Worth It”.

    Guess what, honey. Chances are, you’re not. A date is an interview, and if you’re failing, you’re damn right we’re splitting the tab. And if you turn out to be REALLY lame, count yourself lucky if I don’t climb out the bathroom window.

    The buck cuts both ways.

  17. PS. @Toronto Chick. Wish I knew a few more girls like you… It’s bound to be an enjoyable argument, and 50% of the fun is in making up anyway. ;D

  18. So true, I’m a fan of making up over pillow fights… playful teasing is my preferred method of flirting.

  19. criteria 1 and 3 also apply to a blowjob. So if dinner is purchased feel free to reciprocate, keeping those undertones in mind.

  20. Thanks for all the comments and feedback. Keep them coming, it makes for an entertaining read.

    Would love to hear your girlfriends’ perspectives on this topic!

    Hope chivalry isn’t dead.

  21. Chivalry? Ah yes. In theory a wonderful idea. However none of the expectations of women from that era seem to be considered acceptable in this day and age. And honestly, good guys will loose to the “bad boy” every single time. With very few exceptions, any woman who says differently is either lying, or a lesbian. Frankly, I’d rather have an honest argument, followed by a good pillow fight, and be sure no one’s peeping through the windows because they’re too steamed up to see through. I’m pretty sure it’s not just me either…

  22. Chivalry IS quite dead, and good riddance. Modern day ‘chivalry’ is the idea that men OWE women just for their being women. That is basically the slavery of men to women. We are told that when women were allegedly slaves to men, this was Bad(tm). Apparently, the other way is Just Fine(tm) for modern women, IOW, entitlement besotted slag-hos.
    You want real chivalry ? Then do what women back then had to do to get it. Shut up and obey. Not every coin has two nice sides.

  23. Here’s a catch phrase for this issue:

    Equal Pay Means Equal Pay Out.

    Oh, and contrary to bad propaganda, women DO have equal pay for actual equal work. As the average woman works seven hours less than the average man, and spends fewer years in the work force, it is only logical that her total pay over a lifetime will also be lower.

    Read Why Men Earn More, by Dr. Warren Farrell for the full info on this issue.

    Oh, and gurls who demand free meals have a name: Meal Hos.

  24. Women complain that “chivalry is dead”, when the reality is that our society has lost a lot of manners in general. And as this article so handily demonstrates, far too many modern women have no idea what chivalry and being a gentleman actually is in the first place, let alone what it means to be a lady in the same sense.

  25. Imagine, as this site claims to be a magazine for modern MEN, that this ‘article’ was titled Why You Should Always Give Him A BJ After He Pays For Dinner.
    It’s a safe bet that Ms. Jen Kirsch (MIsandrist) would be screaming in protest. Because her stated view is that women, and women, ONLY, deserve Free Stuff(tm) Just For Being. Jen, your calls to know what our G/Fs think is entirely irrelevent. This is about what MEN think. Only men’s views are relevent to that question.

  26. Ha ha ha it seems that Sean started a fire since his comment was the catalyst for all of these other comments. I have never seen one of these moronic XXONXY postings with so many comments in all my years of visiting this site. How is it that this woman is even employed?

  27. This Jen girl is a real modern woman alright. Expect guys to bow at their feet. Go through guys like the Islanders go through coaches. Have no meaningful relationship because she’s a golddigger. Then hit her mid 30s and panic because she wants kids and can’t find a guy, complains all the good ones are gone. But reality is, we don’t want to get stuck in the hell a superficial and money-grabbing relationship brings.

    I’m fine being single, Jen. I don’t need a girlfriend, wife, family, I’m quite happy on my own. Are you? It seems some women “need” a relationship more than men, the funny thing is, it’s usually those same women who chase off any man with a brain.

  28. Wow, people. I think we need to relax a little.

    This doesn’t need to be complicated. My general rule is that I always try to pay. If she protests, I’ll try to overrule her once. If she keeps protesting then I say, “this seems like a really big deal to you for some reason. It’s cute, it’s sort of motherly,” and then she pays while I change the subject.

    The point is not who pays, the point is to not to make a huge deal about a stupid thing like a restaurant bill.

    If you go out with the girl 2-3 times and you feel like she’s taking you for a ride financially, either challenge her on it in some way (“hey, let’s go into this bar and you can buy us a drink! it’ll be awesome”) or stop calling her, this isn’t rocket surgery.

  29. While I actually agree with that first date approach MD — it’s no different than both people “insisting” to pay at a business meeting — it’s the tone of the article that’s insulting to both men and women. Comments like women equating money to caring and women liking power-mad showoffs make no sense to me. And if that’s the case — show me the way to a male-dominated industry, I don’t want to be around people like Jen. Thing is, I don’t believe she’s the majority.

  30. MD… In addition to my previous comment… Everything but the “motherly” comment. Should have stopped at “It’s cute”

  31. If I ask her out, I pay; no questions asked. If SHE asks ME out…well self-assured, confident women never had a problem taking me out before.

  32. Overall, a very nice selection of comments, gentlemen. This is now the most commented-on article on this site!
    I am glad that most guys “get it”.
    Sadly, Scott, MD and Charles do not.
    But that’s OK, boys. You go ahead and spend YOUR money on the Jen Kirsches of the city while the rest of us find women who understand that OUR time and company is as valuable as THEIRS is. I know I have.
    (And XY, the offer to write a counter-column still holds!)

  33. The problem with the ‘asker pays’ model of dating is that it *rewards* passive-aggressive behavior. Frankly guys, the very last kind of woman any man should want to get with would be a passive-aggressive woman.
    Notice that NO other kind of social gathering uses the ‘asker pays’ model. If your co-worker suggests that a group goes out to eat after work, they surely AREN’T volunteering to pick up the tab, no matter if the party is 2, or 20.
    In a world of Equal Pay, ‘asker pays’ violates the flip side of that coin, titled Equal Pay Out. There’s simply no good reason to have to pay for dates *just because you are a man*, then there is for any other gender based form of discrimination.
    Note: It’s quite possible, as, in this case, to be the recipient of profitable discrimination. Like Free Meals(tm) Just ‘Cause She’s A Gurl.
    Anyone who supports ‘asker pays’, coupled with the fact that women don’t tend to ask (Passive-Agressive), supports sexism. QED.

  34. The trick is to find a woman who doesn’t think this way. Not always as easy as it seems. I generally pick up the first check, for all of Jen’s reasons and a few more. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

    It comes out soon enough, if the woman in question is interested in a real and equal relationship or not.

    Over the past six relationships, only 1 insisted that I pay exclusively. Some were more equal than others – often the result of our respective financial situation, but virtually all made an effort.

    It’s similar when out with some buddies. Everyone pitches in for the bill. I hate splitting down to the last nickle, and i’d rather put in a bit more than less. My friends do the same on occasion and in the end it all works out.

    The guy (or girl) who doesn’t put in their share doesn’t get the return invites. Life goes on and we all have fun.

  35. Problem with going out with buddies and splitting down the middle…had one night, four of us went out. The two of us had two burgers, a beer, and a margarita. The other two had steak, appetizers, four beer, and dessert. Bill comes and they suggest splitting it 50/50, even though they spent 80%, and spent an amount we couldn’t afford! Never went out with them again, needless to say.

  36. Dec 2, 2010:

    “27 Thing’s that I know now:
    1) Giving is better than getting. You get when you give, by just seeing someone else’s happiness.”

    Consider putting what you know into practice.

  37. Here’s a female perspective. First, I’m ashamed that so many Toronto women are gold-diggers and have made a bad name for us in this city. I am by no means a gold-digger as I’ve often been the higher earner in relationships. That being said, I do like guys to pay on the FIRST date. Here’s why – women DO like to be wooed. We like chivalry. We like guys to be hunters. And, smart women know to appreciate the wooing, and to THANK men for being kind and generous – all the while being “the hunter.” It’s sad that so few women know how to appreciate the generosity in men

  38. @Another Toronto Chic: You also make the MS-take of placing what YOU want OVER what they guy wants. So, doing it your way, the guy would be fully justified in getting you to give him a BJ after he paid for the dinner.
    And, you wanna know what ? Men like to be wooed, too. Funny how so many women, like you, fail to even *consider* that men might like to be treated nicely, never mind how.
    Dating: It’s not about Just What The Woman Wants. There’s another term for that: Spinsterhood. Enjoy the 16 cats.

  39. @ Andre – whoa! Angry man. Dating: it’s about appreciating the company of the person you are with. Showing that you are into them. Making them feel special. Thanking them for spending time with you — and that goes both ways. I’m guessing you’re so angry b/c you’re sexually frustrated. With that attitude, I’d be surprised if you get laid often

  40. ATC: Yep, the usual taunt of the attempting to shame man-hater: ‘You’re angry’, as if that means anything.
    Yes, men ARE ticked at being considered Free Meal Tickets. You would be, if that shoe were on your foot, so your purile attempted shaming ploy proves that you ARE a misandrist. Stay single, and make some poor man happy.
    Don’t give up your day job, because your ‘guess’ is 100% wrong, as my wife can attest.
    Oh, and you’d ruin any sex by opening your mouth. So, you’re 0-3. Loser.

  41. I back you, Jen. I’m currently dating someone who’s a bit older and definitely more financially accomplished than me at this particular stage. I’m 24 and in law school, he’s 30 and has been working for the past 8 years. When we go for dinner it’s a nice gesture for him to offer to pay, especially because I wouldn’t normally spend that much on food to begin with. When eating alone he knows it’s cereal city for me, so it’s a sign that he cares and wants to do ALL HE CAN within his means to show that he does.

  42. – I’m 24 and in law school, he’s 30 and has been working for the past 8 years. When we go for dinner it’s a nice gesture for him to offer to pay,-

    Can you spell GOLDDIGGER…. Any wise man can.

  43. It also shows and affirms that you, the man, are calling the shots, running the show, and in control of the evening. Not in an over-bearing way, but it shows that you know how to have things flow and show some social-grace. No one wants to dance around the awkwardness of the money question. Get it paid, out of the way, and get on with the date. Most women I’ve dated feel taken care of by this, and one of the things even strong, confident, and independent women want to know about you is that you can take care of them some at least of the time. Once that is clear for them, the good ones will want to contribute and step up to the bank machine themselves. The ones to lose are those that expect it all the time, or make any conversation about who pays, or going splits, an awkward or uncomfortable one. A man should never expect to keep on paying. And a woman should never expect to on-goingly be paid for.

  44. Even if you don’t end up paying, it’s generally a good idea to take the initiative to do so. Honestly, that’s not just a date thing, that’s “dinner with other people.” Unless it’s understood that you’re splitting, take the initiative to pay and then let the usual battle-to-the-bill commence.

  45. I totally agree. I hate cheap guys because they usually turn out to be selfish, negative, unsuccessful in life characters who are just trying to hang on if they feel you have money or get into your panties to try you out.
    This has been my personal terrible experiences, and I am sure not all stingy men are like that.
    The coin can also be turned that they are testing a woman out to see if they like them for who they are and not for what one can get.
    I personally don’t care about what I can get, I want to know the character within the man, personal ethics, if we have anything in common because one minute one can be a millionaire and next one can own nothing. So it is the person who counts and that you actually want to be with this man, and not “need” to be with a man to be happy.
    So call me old fashioned but I totally agree with this article.

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