I hear from my friends that the dating scene is no more fun now, in fact, much worse, than our angst-ridden teen times. Holy cow!
And to hear some tell it, it is much, much worse. There is still the appearance-thing, the confidence-thing, will-he-call-me thing, and the how/when-do-we-escalate-this thing. Those anxieties are givens at any age. But for adults, it’s also complicated by the who-pays-for-what thing and who-gets-the-door thing. Honest.
When Lil’ Bro began dating again after his wife died, we had many a talk. His date wanted to pay sometimes. She wanted to open her own door if she happened to be there first. Stuff like that. He had some out-moded notion (well, he hadn’t dated for 40 years) that guys were supposed to do it all. I told him it was the 21st century and to get with the program.
Sure, it’s nice to open the door of the restaurant, but not if it’s awkward reaching around and nearly crushing her to get to it first. Let her open the damn door. She’s not that delicate, I hope. I open the door if I get there first, and then let the other person--male, female, indeterminate--go through. That is common sense. And polite.
Same with paying. Why, why, why should guys always have to fork over the cash? Especially with women of a certain age (ahem, my friends, I mean). They’ve got enough money to pay for their own food. So splitting the cost or alternating paying makes perfect sense. It also has the benefit of signaling that the woman is not for sale. Getting between my legs is going to cost more than dinner, Fella.
An interesting thing about all this is that the woman must initiate the discussion about date responsibilities. Sadly, if a guy says, “You pay tonight”, women, paradoxically, think he’s being cheap. No, we have to do it because we are weird that way.