In these modern times, the question persists - who should pay for a date?
I'm going to answer this question by providing insight into how women intuitively perceive this action from a man. Hint - it's not about money. Women can buy their own dinner. The action of paying for a date goes much, much deeper than something superficial or materialistic.
Men, when you pay for a date - you immediately tell the woman where she stands with you.
Being chivalrous and wanting to provide for the woman immediately tells her that shes special. You're keen on her. And you have a desire to protect and provide for her. Very attractive. Very impressive special treatment to take notice of. The woman is now looking at you as a romantic contender.
And do you know what you're telling a woman when you do not pay for a date?
You immediately tell the woman that she's not special to you. You're not keen on her in a romantic way. And you have no desire to protect and provide for her. Nothing attractive. Nothing impressive and no special treatment to take notice of. The woman is now looking at you as a pal. You are not a romantic contender.
There. It's really that simple.
Are You Seeking a Mate or a Friend?
And biologically speaking - our actions say a lot about us.
There's an entire "unspoken" conversation taking place during every single encounter with we have with another. An unspoken language exists that's understood more than it is actually spoken out loud. And the very first actions you take with another set the entire tone of the relationship that will develop between you. Your actions and the unspoken discussion they provoke are "planting a seed."
Are you trying to grow a friendship? Or are you seeking a mate?
It's crucial that your actions and the discussion you start on the very first date reveal your true intent for the woman. Because on that date, your actions are going to help her determine if she's just your pal - or if you're a man with a romantic interest in her.
So if you're seeking a friend, don't pay her way. If you're seeking a mate, treat her as the romantic prospect she is - she's special. She's not just a pal. And you're not simply seeking a friendship here. So make her feel good about herself and let her know your intentions by "speaking" to her through your actions. This will also make her feel secure with you. And once you've made her feel special, good about herself, and secure with you, she'll start looking at you in a romantic way as a prospective mate and she'll drop her guard a bit with you.
And once she's dropped her guard a bit with you, the unspoken "conversation" that then begins to take place is one of "trust." And as we all know, all relationships require a strong foundation of trust to support them. Once a woman feels she can begin to trust you, she begins to trust that you have her best interests at heart, and that you'll protect her because you view her as special. She can now feel safe with you and relax a bit - cause you got this.
You're the man - and you got this.
The Friend Zone: When You Don't Pay for a Date
Guys, when you don't pay for a date, you're doing nothing to help yourself. In fact, by your own actions you risk fast tracking yourself right into the "friend zone." Not only that but even worse, you're signaling to her that you're "Mister Carefree, Casual, Go Lucky." You're signaling to her that you're some dude she can hook up with and pal around with from time to time, but nothing more.
You're telling her that she shouldn't expect much from you.
You're telling her that she shouldn't take you seriously as a romantic prospect because you're not coming at her as one. Instead, you're coming at her as a friend. You're not providing for her so she won't really feel safe with you or secure, and she'll keep her guard up.
Besides, let's face it. What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that she can't expect anything from? What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that isn't serious about her? What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that doesn't have her best interests at heart? What woman gets excited about the prospect of dating a man that she can't rely on? What woman gets excited about dating a man that doesn't care to lift a finger for her or treat her special?
For that matter, what is there to get excited about at all? Making a new friend?
She's not dating to make new friends. She's dating to find a prospective mate. And if you're not coming confidently at her as one, you're creating confusion and wasting her time and yours.
She doesn't plan on ever taking you seriously Mr. Fun Time Guy. Because the unspoken "conversation" you created with her on your first date told her this. Either that or, she'll become an insecure, anxious mess.
Guys, if you have a long line of crazy, insecure, anxious women in your past, it's time to stop and ask yourself why. Because I can assure you that women are not born anxious, insecure and crazy. They become this way because they do not know where they stand with you, your actions are not consistent, and you're confusing them. You're not communicating your intentions clearly through your actions and as a result, the woman is now in a state of uncertainty about you. And once that uncertainty sets in, it will begin to manifest itself in her actions.
Your actions are not that of a masculine leader charting a course and presenting a clear, consistent message that makes her feel secure with you.
So now, the woman is insecure and hell bent on questioning everything you do, and every move you make, in order to receive clarity about where she stands with you. Because your actions are not providing that clarity for her.
The Benefits of Courtship Rituals
Back in the day, courtship rituals were regularly used. Everyone, man and woman, knew what that "language" was, and exactly what these actions meant. It wasn't necessary to have endless "talks" and painful confrontations about where you stand or where the relationship is going. It wasn't necessary to play games, or use tricks to manipulate emotions to your advantage. There was a ritual that provided a language that was enforced by actions - that everyone understood, but very rarely ever had to bother to speak out loud or clarify.
When a man takes the lead and the masculine role when dating, and he enforces that through consistent, reliable actions - there's no need to question him. There's no need to question where the relationship is going. The woman knows where it's going because it's clear the man has charted a course, he's the captain of the ship and she's in good hands. There's no anxiety, no worry, no insecurity, no endless "talks" needed, no questions.
When these courtship rituals are followed and adhered to, it's a lot easier for men and women to jump on the same page. No games. Just straight shootin'.
What a Valuable Woman Looks Like and Can Do for You
Back in the day when these courtship rituals were more widely accepted and used, a man knew that when a woman held out on him, she was a valuable woman worth having.
She was signaling that she was serious about him. She was a woman that respects herself. She didn't go around bedding down with just anyone. She was a strong woman making choices for herself. And she was smart enough to think them through without easily being manipulated and swayed. She wasn't weak. And she didn't take this lightly.
She didn't take YOU lightly.
Instead, she was viewed as a valuable woman. Because we all know that anything worth having always requires hard work to attain. When something is easy to attain, it's not that valuable. She was viewed as a woman capable of bringing out the very best in a man. As Jack Nicholson said in the movie As Good as it Gets, "You make me want to be a better man."
What he meant was that, instead of settling for mediocre, passive behavior from himself that produced mediocre results for himself, Helen Hunt was a woman that made him want to up his game. She made him want to be his best self. By not being easily swayed, her character in the movie challenges Nicholson's character to up his game in an attempt to win her affections. And in doing so, he exhibits his best self in his attempts.
Thus, literally becoming a better man - a better version of himself.
And it's her challenge to him by not being easily swayed by him that brings out his best self.
Sending Mixed Messages When Dating
There are a lot of women commenting, asking questions and seeking advice around this site, trying to decipher men's vague, indecisive, inconsistent actions and behavior:
"He asked me out, then wanted to split the bill with me. I wasn't all that interested in him, he felt more like a friend so I did. And I didn't think he was romantically interested in me because if he was, he wouldn't have asked me to pay my half for the date. But then he kept texting me. I'm so confused. If he didn't like me, then why does he keep texting me? And if he is interested, then why did he ask me to pay? Now I don't know what to do. Does he just want to be friends? Is he just trying to get laid here? Or do you think he likes me? I don't know what to do, please help!"
And she doesn't know what to do, or what the mans intentions are, or what the hell he wants from her. . .because his inconsistent actions and mediocre behavior have confused the hell out of her. So now, she doesn't know how to take the man, or how (or even if) to proceed because the man's actions aren't confidently speaking any specific language.
The man isn't communicating anything but a bunch of mixed messages. He's not participating in a courtship ritual. He's winging it like Mr. Fun Time Guy and expecting stellar results from his mediocre, half-hearted attempts.
The mixed messages that this man's actions are sending this woman are that of, "I ain't taking any of this - or you - seriously."
It's Not About the Money
Paying for a date is about communicating clearly. Paying for a date is about participating in courtship rituals that both sexes understand. Paying for a date is about signaling your intentions for the woman, and showing her your character as a man. Paying for a date is about showing a woman that you're a serious romantic contender. And bringing your best self to the table lets her know that.
When you pay for a date it lets a woman know that - you're in it to win it.
And naturally, anywhere in life you win some, you lose some. It's all a risk and when dating, we are all taking risks - both men and women. But at least you brought your best self to the game, played fairly, and took it seriously, which builds your character as a man.
Because we all know that cheaters who take shortcuts are cowards that are afraid that they don't have what it takes to play by the rules and win - using real skills.