Going Dutch

I read another article this morning about who pays the bill when you’re out dating – the boy, the girl, or if you go Dutch. It seems quite astounding to me that even in this so-called enlightened age the expectation seems that the bloke should pick up the tab.

Let me tell you right now ladies, I don’t do that. It’s not because I’ve got a small dick, or because I’m un-gentlemanly. I won’t comment on my package, but I will say that I think I’m more chivalrous than the average bloke. Certainly I have better manners.

The reason I don’t is that I think it’s a complete anachronism, especially in an era of feminism and female independence. In those terms it’s hypocrisy to assert those rights while still expecting to be shouted a drink or meal. I don’t like it because it has patriarchal overtones, and I hate the feeling of having paid for my companion’s company. I dislike how sometimes picking up the bill can lead to expectation. And I don’t like because it’s unreasonable and unfair.

I read one person comment about how it’s generally the bloke who does the asking out then he should cough up. The logic of that escapes me. If you don’t want to go out for dinner then say no. I’m going out on Tuesday night on a very rare date. In this case she did the asking. Should she pay? Fuck off.

None of this is to say that I haven’t picked up the bill in the past. There are still many women who refuse to go Dutch. I won’t make a big deal of it, but I make a judgement. It’s rare I want to see them again after that (first dates can be the exception) – but it’s not because I’m cheap.

I’ve never had a problem with spending money. I’d sit somewhere on the more generous side of the ledger when eating and drinking out. The dollars are a means to an end. If that’s a great night out then it’s money well spent. That’s always been my attitude, and to that end I’ve always been happy to chip in my share, and even a little more. To pick up the tab for a quick coffee or beer with a mate.

The difference is that is something I do without thought, because it pleases me. It’s an act of casual generosity. The problem with having drinks or dinner with someone expecting to be paid for detracts from the ease and spontaneity of the encounter. It becomes a transaction. Casual generosity becomes formal social expectation.

I may ultimately choose to pay for drinks or dinner with you – but because I want to, because it pleases me, because I’m feeling abundant and generous. Not because you expect me to.

Much of this goes to state of mind. I don’t want a ‘little lady’. I don’t want to be with someone who expects to be looked after like that. I’m after an equal partnership with my ideal mate, someone who gives as good as they get. I’m a man, that’s not going to change, and as it happens I’m a confident, masculine man. I don’t need to pay the bill to assert that. I don’t need or want to measure up to some outdated and silly masculine stereotype. It’s about equality, about sharing for fucks sake. Isn’t that what you want in a relationship? That means that I might pick up the tab this, and you’ll pick it up the next, no dramas.

I’d like to believe the woman of my dreams thinks it as silly and anachronistic as I do, but surprisingly there are many intelligent women who still expect it. I’m happy to be your friend, but we’re never going to be partners.


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