I’m a Southern gal. I’m from Virginia and have lived in Charlotte for more than five years. I call people “sweetie” and “babe” and say “Bless your heart." As a woman in the South, I also expect to be treated like a lady. If a man asks me to dinner, I expect him to foot the bill and open doors and push in chairs along the way. Not everyone, it seems, is in agreement with this Southern way of dating.
A male friend and I were posted up one day at a bar, watching a game, and ventured into a debate that I will never forget. My friend strongly stated that if a guy asks a lady out on a first date, then the lady should at least offer to pay her half. I was floored by my friend’s opinion.
As such, I posted this poll question on Twitter to hear the reactions of others: “If a guy asks a girl to a date, should the girl at least offer to pay for her half?” The majority of the responses agreed with my thinking that a man should always pay for the first date. But there were a few (men) who said that she should at least offer to pay and that just the gesture would say a lot about her character.
My dude friend then sent text messages to a few of his lady friends for their opinion on the matter, and they surprisingly stated that they always offer to pay on a date. After an hour of debate at the bar and me reeling in random bar patrons for their opinion, I realized that all of the people who were in favor of men paying are from the South, North Carolina mostly, and those who believed that women should offer to pay are from the North, New Jersey and New York. And as you all know, there are a ton of people from up North who are infiltrating Charlotte each day. So now, the many young, single Charlotteans of our great city have two completely different beliefs on how to date.
This could get ugly.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not spoiled nor am I high maintenance (at least I don’t think that I am). But I do expect a man to pay for a date in the name of chivalry. I personally support myself, am driven and like to be in control, but I still feel special when a nice man makes the effort to buy me dinner or takes the time to plan a nice date. I will, though, as a rule, buy drinks after dinner at the next date stop (granted there is one) to show my appreciation and make it clear that I am not a free-loader. I am not saying that the man should always pay for everything, but I strongly believe that he should pay for the first date and the female should never be expected to offer to pay on said first date.
Ironically enough, that same friend that I agreed to disagree with overheard a girl just last night in the elevator of his condo building complaining to her girlfriend that her date “asked for two checks!” after dinner. My friend said he could hardly contain his laughter thinking back to our unsettled debate on the same issue.
So let’s hear it...
* Do you think us ladies in Charlotte should at least offer to pay for dinner on the first date?
* Is it a regional issue that makes our opinions so varied?
* If your lady date at least does the fake-wallet-grab on the first date, are you impressed by her gesture?
* Is the man always entitled to pay for the first date?
April Smith is a social media marketer and blogger and has worked in Charlotte nightlife for more than five years. When she's not writing or tweeting, she's most likely running, watching sports or out on the town.