We live in a world where men and women are on a more level playing field. Therefore, the question of who pays for a date now has different rules. Some women actually take offense if a man tries to open doors, pull out chairs or pick up checks. I understand that, but I'm not one of those women. That’s not to say that I am opposed to picking up the check; it just depends on the situation. On two occasions in the Facebook Dating Project I found myself left with the check and each sparked a fiery debate on Facebook.
My very first Facebook date was courtesy of one of my best friends from college. She changed her status update advertising for dates in Los Angeles. One of her coworkers responded that his former roommate had just moved to LA and was game for the blind date. For our first date, he got Lakers tickets. I met him at the Staples Center ($20 parking); we had a beer at a nearby restaurant (he paid) and then we went to our seats. When it was time for a bite to eat, he said he wanted pizza; I said I wanted a hot dog so we split up. Hot dog plus soda plus popcorn equaled $25. For me, this was a $45 dollar evening.
A later Facebook date was set up by a friend in Maryland (my home state). She had a friend who wanted to set up his friend from college. We arranged to meet one evening after work. I was running late so by the time I got to the bar, he had ordered his drink. The bartender asked me what I’d like, I ordered, and he looked at my date and said, “Is this on your tab?” The date didn’t respond. Literally, he just stared blankly. Eventually I pulled out my credit card. Later on, we decided to have another round. Both drinks went on my tab. No offer was made when we were settling up so I bought us three drinks ($35). He paid for his first beer.
Some people argue that because I’m initiating dates on Facebook that I’m responsible for paying. I always offer to pay on every date and 99% of the time, men refuse. I’ve also offered to split the check and about 10% of the time, a date has agreed.