Check, Please


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I’m a single woman in my late 30s, which means I’ve been dating for about 20 years. Over the past few years or so, I’ve noticed that when men ask me out, they expect me to pay for half of the date. I’m all for offering to chip in on later dates, but I’ve kind of always gone by the rule that for a first date, the asker does the paying. Am I being ridiculously old-fashioned? Does it mean something if they ask me if I want to split the bill with them—perhaps they’ve already decided I’m not worthy of a second date? If I ask a man to have drinks or dinner with me, I expect and intend to pay, though about 75 percent of the time, he won’t let me and he ends up paying. I have girlfriends who are more rigid about this than me; they never offer to pay. Who’s right?—DR

Darren    The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox

Girl, you’re 122 percent right about everything you’re saying. If he asks, he pays! If you ask, you should pay (or at least offer to anyway). Chivalry is not dead! A true gentleman would not let you pay for dinner on your first date unless he forgot his wallet. Then he better prove it. Think about the date like it’s a birthday party. If you get someone excited about taking her out to dinner for her birthday, would you ever expect her to pay for her own meal? It’s the same way with a date!

Concerning your question about whether or not it “means something” if he asks you to split the bill on the first date, hell yes it means something. It means he clearly misplaced the manners his mamma gave him and you better count your lucky stars you’re finding this out before you get too involved with his cheap ass. But if this does happen again, go ahead and pay for your half. Then head for the door smiling at the fact that you won’t end up marrying the bastard.

Check in tomorrow for the straight woman's perspective by Rebecca Brown.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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