Feminism Fodder

Split the bill

During a conversation with some girl friends last night, one of them mentioned about being back in the dating scene. She has been casually going on dates and said that the guys have been paying for the dates.

Now I have this extremely independent streak which does not under any circumstance, let the other person pay for me. (If I don’t have cash on me at the moment it’s a different story, but I will pay them back). Even on the few dates that I have been on, I’ve been a stickler and have never let the bloke pay. I mean, I earn my money. I pay for my food or drink or movie ticket. I believe that even in future, I will be sticking to my rule.

When I said that to my girl friends, a couple of the others were adamant about letting the guy pay. According to them, if the guy wants to spend time with you, he pays for the meal. But to me, a guy paying for you is an indication of depending on the guy. Now I know it sounds very black-and-white when it shouldn’t be the case…after all, everything has a grey area.

But I guess I wonder…women talk about equality. But then, at the same time, if they are earning, why have the guy pay for you? Isn’t that de-valuing that right to equality? I can understand if you are married and you have a joint account of some sort, then it’s money you are putting in together. But if it’s just going out on dates, or for that matter even in a committed relationship, I don’t see how you can have the other person pay for you.

I am sure there are several other opinions on this and I would love to hear them.

Am I being too harsh or trying to be too independent? I do depend on blokes (when it comes to assisting with moving furniture) so I won’t say I’m trying to be completely off depending on men.

Until next time,


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  • Reema
    7 April 2009 at 3:53 am

    Oh I m similar to u in this matter but I also let the guy pay sometimes as to maintain a balance between his ego and my independence πŸ™‚

  • tearsndreams
    7 April 2009 at 5:31 am

    I am so with you on this!
    Totally! 100%
    And I have had similar discussions with some of my American girl friends about if women should keep the ring after they break an engagement. They were of the opinion, there is ntn wrong if they do. I wouldn’t take money even after a divorce (hypothetical situation) forget a broken engagement.
    What’s with some women?
    They want the equal rights but they want to be looked after like a little child too!!!

  • tearsndreams
    7 April 2009 at 5:34 am

    Hey just noticed u are in Sydney. I should have wished for something big!
    We are planning to move there from Seattle, nt right away but by next year and yesterday I wished for a desi blogger from there and you magically appeared on my blog today.
    I will keep coming back here now.

  • Kartikey
    7 April 2009 at 6:50 am

    Psych Babbler,
    Of course, it’s a give and take relationship.

    As for:
    According to them, if the guy wants to spend time with you, he pays for the meal.

    you’d know what else that sounds like.

    There is great fun in letting others pay for you but this works as only a fantasy.

    I don’t think you are being too harsh.

    By the way… I think women should pay for every meal and drink to make up for all those years men have paid the bill [shows grit and teeth]

  • Smita
    7 April 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Oh! I totally agree with you…in fact this saturday only I fought and paid a bill and didn’t let the guy pay.

    And WTH that if the guy wants to spend time with you, he pays for the meal are we providing them a service???

    Seriously some women!!!

  • Roshan
    7 April 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I have always found it difficult to let the girl pay. Even if we are just friends. I feel so awkward. There is a certain enjoyment from buying stuff like food or drinks for a girl. I dunno, maybe I am old fashioned.

  • Kanupriya
    9 April 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Hi, You are absolutely right & you are not being too independent…Why would you unnecessarily become dependent on a guy with whom you are just out on a date? And you are absolutely correct when you say that on one hand we speak of equality but then on other we ourselves never allow this equality to prevail…take the example of your friend who said – “if the guy wants to spend time with you, he pays for the meal”…Is it some kind of paid service or what?

  • Psych Babbler
    9 April 2009 at 2:24 pm

    @ Reema: I guess you are going with the grey area and not being black-and-white like me. πŸ™‚

    @ tearsandreams: Agree with you…if an engagement is broken off, how can a person have the gall the keep the ring?! It’s beyond me…

    @ Kartikey: Yes, I do know what that sounds like πŸ˜›

    I agree it’s all very well to want someone to pay for you all the time…but I honestly doubt it will work. Call me cynical, but the guy is going to want something in return! πŸ˜›

    @ Smita: Agree!!! πŸ™‚

    @ Roshan: Guess you are old-fashioned but there’s no right or wrong I guess in this….each one to his or her own.

    @ Kanupriya: Welcome! Thanks for commenting…and yes, it does sound like a paid service doesn’t it when it comes out that way??

    @ all: FYI, the girls are all Australian born which I guess surprised me even more. And I’d also like to add, that just because I believe in equality, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a guy holding the door open for me and other such chivalrous deeds…they are totally different in my opinion to having a guy pay for you.

  • Footloose
    9 April 2009 at 5:15 pm

    This may surprise you, but here’s my take on it for what it’s worth.
    If a random guys asks you out, and you have no prior interest in him but he convinces you to go out with him, then I believe it’s OK to let him foot the bill. Hey, I don’t want to spend good money on a fancy dinner with someone who may bore my ear off. Actually, I’d say that should work both ways – the person who asks the other person out should foot the bill. (Note, this is only for first dates.)
    Unfortunately, since it is an established dating rule that the guy should do the asking, it has come to be that he always pays.
    If I go on a real date, mutual interest based, it’s natural for me to split the bill. Having the guy pay for both seems weird.
    But then again, there was a guy who insisted on paying the first time and let me pay for both of us the next TWO times! Ugh, that’s a big NO for me.
    I don’t see it as an equality issue really. More like a practical process. If I knew the guy was less financially well off than me, I’d insist on splitting each time, even the first.

  • Orhan Kahn
    10 April 2009 at 1:08 am

    If a guy askes YOU out on a date then he should pay.

    If you ask HIM out on a date then you should pay.

    Thems the rules. It’s quite a turn off to ask someone out and then have them argue over why they should pay. It’s happened to me and it is very annoying, though I didn’t let it show.

  • Joel
    28 April 2009 at 4:46 am

    finally .. someone who doesn’t ‘expect’ the guy to pay up .. hehe .. nahh jokes apart .. i think its just a chivalrous gesture by the guy to pay up for the lill meal .. u could put it as ego .. independence or what ever .. but i absolutely hate people expecting u to pay up (its like those people how really expect u to get a gift for them when u get back from a trip before even asking if u had a nice trip).. to be honest id be more than happy to split .. but lets just say offering to pay the full is just a lill nice gesture .. just like holding the door open πŸ™‚

  • Ms.R.
    12 May 2009 at 11:25 am

    Split the bill ya.

    Btw they say you should let the guy pay on the first date. It seems it tells a lot about the bloke.

    I read that after I got ‘hitched’ πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I always either split the bill or paid up. Uh-uh! Won’t let the guy pay.

    (I had some golddiggers tagging on me for the same – well that’s a different issue.)