Check, Please, Part 3


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

Chris    The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy

Twenty years of marriage and you get china. Twenty years of dating and you can’t even get Chinese food without paying your half of the bill. Dim sum tough facts, DR.

You’re correct and I agree, the asker should pay for the whole meal and the askee should offer. If the guy wants to go Dutch without telling you so beforehand, tell him to go on a long walk in wooden clogs.

It reflects well on you that you offer to pay and you deserve a guy who appreciates this. By comparison your friends who NEVER even OFFER to pay, well, they should get used to being single with rules like that.

If a guy can’t afford to pay for a whole dinner, then he shouldn’t ask you to dinner. There are less expensive dating options: drinks, coffee, a hike. It requires a little more thought, but these options are just as viable as a dinner date. After all, food is the way to a man’s heart, not a woman’s, right?

So, DR, you deserve a guy who asks you to dinner and holds up his end of the deal and pays. When he does, I suggest you buy him an after-dinner drink if the date continues. This isn’t necessary, but I think it’s endearing, fair and respectful.

In the future, if a guy asks you out to dinner but asks you to pay half, then YOU can consider him unworthy for a second date.

Fortune cookie say: If guy ask you to foot the bill, you know where to put other foot.

Check in tomorrow to read the gay woman’s perspective by Jody Fischer.

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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