Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Single but Iffy to Mingle | Paying it Forward

Published:Monday | May 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Paying it forward, by definition, means giving back. But the giving I'm speaking of is the act of payment as it relates to dates.

So you're back in the saddle. This tall glass of sexy approaches you, makes his first move, and you reciprocate the attraction by flirting back. One thing leads to another and aspirations of going out become a reality. While on the first date, sparks fly almost immediately. You're both enthralled by the smart, scintillating conversation, and the banter is just breathtaking. It's hard to close an enchanting night such as this one but you know what they say: all good things must come to an end.

Here's the million dollar question when the cheque comes to the table: who pays the bill?

Some women are of the opinion that a man should always pay the bill on a date, especially the first. That's his duty as a gentleman: to lead, take charge and cover what needs to be covered, why mess with this timeless tradition? There are men who are in agreement with this, but a few are of the view that the pressure should no longer be placed on them: it's high time these independent women step up to the plate, literally, and pay for the first date.




There's no right or wrong side really. The decision is truly dependent on the parties involved in the dating process. I haven't had this down pat just yet, after all, I'm single and iffy to mingle, but there's a little life guide I've been working on, so that a magical night doesn't end too ugly. See if it can help you.

- First thing's first: I believe that women should never pay for the first date. If a man is in active pursuit of me and I give in to his request for a first date, then he should follow through by taking care of the entire bill. I am, however, a woman who is open to trading places after that. If all goes well, I will be happy to treat him, all expenses paid.

- Dating discussion: You can tell a lot about a man by what he says during conversations. And the species can't help but be frank: it's embedded within their DNA. So if the dating topic is broached, tackle it head on and see what he reveals. If he's open and honest, please do the same, even if you don't agree with him, and watch how he responds. If there's no sign of compromise and you're not about that tea he's serving you, don't sip it. Find a different flavour which best suits your taste.

- Taking initiative: In the eyes of those living it up in the modern dating world, whoever initiates the first date, will have to fork out the funds. Apparently, it pays to go first, literally. So, if for whatever reason, you ask him out, he might be reading it as a treat and consequently expect you to foot the bill. If the date he initially proposed is postponed, due to circumstances beyond his or your control, and you re-engage and re initiate plans, you may be dribbling the ball in your court. Be prepared for the unexpected.

- Hang out versus date: Let's complicate things a little bit. "Let's hang out," and "Let me take you out" sometimes are two very different statements. It doesn't matter if you were both speaking about it or if you both wanted it to happen; if he doesn't say he wants to take you out, it's not his date, it's yours. Hanging out, as a means of getting to know each other, could lead eventually going half on the bill. While taking you out requires, by his own initiative, that he ought to pay the bill. Ensure that this is clear before you sign off on seeing each other.

- Saving strategy: He may have asked to take you out on a date but somewhere along that journey, things don't go according to plan and the romance fizzles. He may opt to negate his original offer by going half or null on the check. Take that as a sign, act accordingly and pull the plug. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

- Cheque please: So, say you weren't able to have a dialogue about dating and the occasion just pops up. It's wining, dining, and stars aligning time. Until one of you says, "Cheque, please". One of two things might happen: he could either check the bill once it arrives at the table, or engage in a lethal staring match with you. If he checks the bill and draws for his wallet, I like to do the same until he says something along the lines of, "No, I've got it", or "You're money is no good here". If he only pays for what he consumed, then you do the same. You know how you walk with your 'get vex' money? Walk with your dating money, pay your half and call it a night. If it bothered you, don't make a scene: address it in a calm manner some other time. But if he doesn't do anything, doesn't look at the bill, doesn't offer to pay for his savoury or sweet indulgence - no problem. Stay cool and collected, and pay the tab. If your heart no longer desires his because of this, let him pay the ultimate price of not enjoying your company again going forward.