- We went out last night and we had such a lovely time.
- That is great, I am so happy for you.
- We had something to eat and I paid. When I got home, she had wired me more than half of the money I had paid at the restaurant. And I am not OK with that, I don’t want her to pay for our dates, I like paying when we go out.
If you think the above conversation is fiction, I am happy to disappoint you. I had this talk with one of my friends who wrote to me because he didn’t know how to deal with this situation, thing that made him uncomfortable.
Before we look at this theme in more depth, I would like to put out some disclaimers:
1. You might feel triggered by I wrote in this article. If this happens, ask yourself: "Why does this bother me so much?"
2. Some of you will resonate with this, others will not. If this doesn't resonate with you, take it a a different perspective which works for some people even though you don't agree with it.
Why do women pay 50-50?
1. Social conditioning
With the rise of the feminist movement, women have gained many rights, but they have also lost many advantages. One of them is the possibility of being provided for. Before the '60s and '70s, most women were stay at home wives and moms who were financially supported by their husbands. They didn’t have to work, actually if a woman worked, she was considered poor or that she married bad – as her husband couldn’t provide for her.
The bad part about this is that many women were abused. Actually, the feminist movement is, in my opinion, partially a reaction to the abuse some men have exercised upon women for thousands of years.
However, the rise of the technological revolution and the World War II, offered women the opportunity to work and support themselves financially, which is an amazing thing, but the less amazing part is that many of them stopped accepting their husband’s financial support. Why is this important?
Because a man needs to provide for his partner to feel like a man and fall in love with her. A man falls in love when he provides for the woman in his life. Men need to be needed, this is something wired in their DNA, they can’t control it. Most men love it when the women they like can support themselves (because this means they are capable and smart), but they also need for their partners to need them and their help. As another one of my friends put it: "I want her to need me, but without being needy."
2. Belief that this is what means to be “independent”
Men and women have different definitions for the word “independent”.
How women define the word “independent” is being financially independent and because that is what they also look for in a man, consciously or not, they think that men also want a financially independent woman.
But how men define an “independent woman” is “she is emotionally independent, she doesn’t expect me to fulfill her emotional needs, she doesn’t make drama, she is peaceful and happy”.
Being a “needy” woman is one of the things men run away from more than anything else. What they appreciate the most is a woman who feels worthy and self-confident, who loves and accepts herself, who radiates joy and peace - that is their kryptonite, not the capacity to pay for your stuff.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the fact that some men want to provide for women doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t make their own money. It merely means that there are more important attributes that men look for in a partner than the financial aspect. Also, take into consideration that not all men want to be full providers, this varies from man to man.
3. Fear that the man might expect or ask something in return
Why would a woman subconsciously fear that the man might expect a favor when he pays for the dates? And let’s be clear: the expected favor would be something sexually related.
Because for the most part of our history, the only situation when a man would pay for things a woman needed, and she wasn’t his wife or part of his family, was when she was a prostitute and he wanted to have sex with her. So, even though women may not be conscious of this, in their subconscious minds they think that if a man wants to pay and he is not her husband, he expects her to have sex with him.
Back in the days when women didn’t work, when a man got married he was expected to pay for all his wife's needs (food, shelter, clothes, etc.) as he was the sole bread winner. That is why the woman’s family made sure before the marriage that the man was financially stable – they wanted their daughters to be taken care of by their husbands. How could she repay him for this? By being a "good wife" and providing sex – actually women were expected to have sex even though they didn’t want it – this is where a lot of trans-generational sexual trauma comes from.
To sum it up, women subconsciously fear and feel pressured when men pay for things because for thousands of years they had to provide something in return, and most of the time that something was a very precious and intimate act – sex.
What to do
1. If you are a woman, I invite you to allow your partner or the men you are dating to pay for the dates. Don’t expect them to do it, in the sense of feeling entitled, but do set this as a standard for yourself.
Can you pay for yourself? Of course. But this is not the point here, but 3 other aspects:
a. Men are wired and to fall in love by providing and protecting. So, you can accept his gifts and at the same time keep your boundaries: no one can make you give them something just because they are giving you something (irrespective who that person is). Observe any pressure you might feel because you think he expects something from you. Yes, he might expect it, but that doesn’t mean you are obliged to give him anything except your verbal gratitude for what he offered: “Thank you for your gift/beautiful gesture. I appreciate you 😊”. Yes, saying “Thank you” is important when someone offers you something.
b. Receiving is an attribute deeply wired into women, which somehow has been forgotten due to the feminist movement. Men are wired to give and women are wired to receive – think of how sex works: it is the man who penetrates the woman and it is the woman who invites the man in. This doesn’t mean that men can’t receive and women can’t give, both men and women have yin (what the western world defines as feminine energy) and yang (what the western world defines as masculine energy), actually they both give and they both receive, but not necessarily the same things, in the same ways or at the same time.
c. A heterosexual man wants a partnership with a woman, not with a man. For a relationship to function on long term there needs to be, among others: common values, compatibility, as well as passion, which is created by relationship polarity. What does the relationship polarity mean? Simply that the man needs to be more in his masculine energy and the woman needs to be more in her feminine energy in order to attract each other. The problem with many relationships is that the woman is too much in her masculine energy, so the man goes in his feminine energy – otherwise they would break up, no romantic relationship can survive without polarity. When you as a woman do not receive and, even worse, you start giving like crazy, there are two things that happen:
- the man feels rejected – if you are dating him and he gives you something, accept it (unless it is something dangerous or out of place, of course)
- you go more into your masculine – and that is a bummer because heterosexual men like women, not men
2. If you are a man and you do not pay for the dates, there may be a few reasons:
- You don’t really like her and you are just going out with her because you don’t have anything better to do.
- You are not interested in a partnership and you just want sex.
- You think “Women are after my money, so I need to protect myself” – this may come from a previous relationship where you felt your partner took advantage of you or fooled you, however this is a wound that will prevent you from loving and being in a harmonious relationship – healing work is necessary.
- You think “I want to be loved for who I am, not for what I can provide” – I can totally understand this, however take into consideration that as a man you are wired to be a provider and protector and when you do not do that, you might not feel man enough. It is not about the woman, it is about you.
- You can’t afford paying – in this case you shouldn’t be dating, focus on making enough money to support yourself financially instead of using your time and energy for dating.
3. If you are a man who wants to pay for the dates and the woman you are dating wants to pay too, tell her this: “I appreciate and admire the fact that you can support yourself financially, I like that about you. However, offering you this gift/meal gives me a lot of joy, I really like giving you this and I do not expect anything in return. Please allow me to offer you this, it makes me happy.” You should say this only if you mean it.
Please note the above represent some guidelines, if you do not resonate with them, just don’t apply them. However, if until now you haven’t had the relationship with the opposite sex which your heart craves for, take into consideration that there might be things you do not know about relationships. What I wrote in this article just may an important part of that. 😉