Gents, there's something we women share with each other behind closed doors that you're not going to like. In fact, it's one of the first things we blurt out to the girls, should you make the mistake of doing it on a date.
It goes a little something like this:
Me: "Hey Josie, how was your date with Dave the other night."
Josie: "It was fine, but he made us go halves at the end of the night!"
Every girl within close vicinity: "Eww! Really?!"
Do you know what's worse? Josie actually paid for the entire bill. Shudder.
I've liked perfectly lovely guys, but if they've gone tight on a bill, I am instantly turned off.
Over the weekend I went out with a bloke and was chuffed when he made a big deal about paying the bill. It was assertive and manly, and kind of a turn on. It also said in no uncertain terms that he enjoyed the date and was willing to invest.
Now listen, I am well aware that I'm going to have to ignore my DMs after this comes out, and completely avoid the cesspit known as Twitter all together, as this topic seems to really stir people up, but let's look at it from an evolutionary point of view.
Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington, said it perfectly in a recent chat when she said: "Women want to know if a man will spend his resources on her."
Adding: "For millions of years they needed a partner to provide for their young, and they keep looking for that signal."
It goes back to the caveman days. It's basically in our DNA.
Not only that, but if you look at it from the current structure of society, in Australia in 2020, women are making only $0.81 for every dollar a man makes, based on ordinary full-time earnings. So come on Dave, pay for Josie's damn drink! (Disclaimer: Dave and Josie are clearly not their real names.)
Don't get me wrong, I understand that this year has put an absolute spanner into the works when it comes to job security and savings. Heck, I admit that I'm not racing to look at my bank account right now, but that just means when it comes to dating, we gotta be a bit creative.
If you can't afford a big expensive wine bar, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a cute pub. Lord, make it fun and let's meet at happy hour. I used to date a bloke and we regularly went to his local happy hour for $1 oysters and far too many white wines. Best $50 ever spent.
Or during another first date, a guy met me at the park with a bottle of wine, some fancy chips and a picnic blanket. One of the best dates I've ever been on.
So calm down "Darren" with your cranky note to the Editor.
Around 20 years ago, the waiter would automatically put the bill in front of the man at the end of the date, but these days we find ourselves watching with much anticipation at the end of that horribly-cringe-worthy-yet-completely-addictive TV show First Dates to see how the 'bill situation' will be handled.
You know straight away if the guy goes Dutch then he is more than likely not very uninterested in the date going further.
OK, so upon reflection, I guess there is one time going Dutch is perfectly acceptable. This can be saved for when it feels like the date just turned platonic. Like neither side really wants to invest any further. There's no guilt when a "Sorry, I'm just not that into you" message comes the next day.
I've been on dates when I've known fairly early that the guy wasn't for me and absolutely insisted on paying half, because I couldn't live with the guilt of walking away knowing he had just splurged on a big bill for nothing.
However, I also clearly remember being on a date with a guy I thought I might quite like, but when he really stared at my purse as the bill came and wouldn't even reach for his own until I had placed my card on the bill tray first. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Would he always be like this? Counting his pennies.
So let's end this debate once and for all and just say, blokes pay for the first date! It's hot, it's manly, and will have us bragging to our friends. As my friend Danny says, "At least if I pay for the first date, she can pay for the far more expensive second date." Hmm … Anyone fancy fish and chips at the beach?!