“You aren't saving money by mooching off your man at every chance.”The criticism of these women surprised me, because I’ve always thought that in long-term relationships, there's a little give and take when it comes to money.My boyfriend and I developed a system that allows us to contribute proportionally, since he makes more than I do.A shift started to happen in the 1990’s when dating became a little more egalitarian.Although men were still generally expected to plan and pay for dates, women who paid for dates became much more common.Over the last couple of weeks, I have been asking my friends (both men and women) who paid and who should pay for first dates.Almost everyone said men in their experience paid for first dates, although most of my women friends added that they reached for the wallet and offered to chip in."Think about it," she says, in a can-you-believe-these-women tone, "when a guy disappears, have you ever heard somebody say, 'Gee, I wonder if I should have paid for those dates?
It was a way for them to prove that they could be good providers, and women simply didn’t have their own money.
In the 1980’s, men and women both expected gender differentiated roles on dates.
Paying for dates was generally considered a masculine behavior.
But today, the number of men and women in the workforce is roughly equal, and in most marriages, both husbands and wives are providers. Even though the study found that the same basic patterns held true no matter the participants income or education, younger people in their 20s were the most likely to embrace a more egalitarian approach to dating. Don’t get me wrong: I was charmed that my son’s instinct was to do something nice for his new girlfriend.
But as he moves through high school, college, and life, I want him to know that relationships are best when all of their components—emotional, physical, and financial—are shared.