Splitting the bill, or not, on a date is one of the many minefields of dating. In today's era of female-empowerment things are even more complicated. TASTE'S Feature's Editor Jocelyn Warrington explores this tricky topic.
Now, don't get me wrong, I consider myself a modern, progressive woman totally in touch with my inner feminist, blah, blah, blah. So, why is it then that I still expect the guy to pick up the first-date tab?
Yes, I can feed myself (and my child) on my own dime, and yes, I know men no longer necessarily fill the traditional breadwinner-boots, but there¹s something about splitting that first bill that leaves a bad taste in my gold-digging mouth.
Still, I always offer and this, according to my dating-guru yet incredibly still-single sister, is mistake number one. Don't offer or, even worse, haul out your purse. Just smile sweetly and graciously acquiesce.
Far from thinking you're after a meal ticket, a man feels completely emasculated when you come over all independent woman-like, she claims, throwing in words such as "chivalry" and "the chase". But even she finds it hard to argue the double standard at work here.
For decades, we women have fought to be considered equals on every level and yet, to put it bluntly, if he don¹t fork out, chances are we won¹t put out. Nonetheless, it would seem my sibling may not be that far off the mark.
Alec and I met at my local Thai for a blind-date dinner orchestrated by a mutual friend. It was a stilted affair made worse by the fact that, in empathy for Alec's former alcohol problem, I abstained from my usual glass of Dutch courage. After an hour or two of forced conversation and the odd concealed yawn, we decided to call it a night.
While Alec signaled the waiter's attention, I reached for my instrument of castration. Well, like my sis predicted, I could almost see the guy visibly shrivel before my eyes. Hugely offended at the sight of my wallet, he launched into a long diatribe on the origins of his self-made fortune and the fact that he was, in no uncertain terms, not a tightwad.
Quickly replacing the offending item, I then tried the smiling-sweetly thing, but alas, it was too late. The guy didn't even hold the door for me on the way out, so much for chivalry!