Unpopular Opinion: Why Going Dutch on Date night isn’t such a bad idea

Unpopular Opinion: Why Going Dutch on Date night isn’t such a bad idea

To preface this, I have been dating my boyfriend for close to ten months. And for those ten months, we have endured the one thing every couple has to face: the shuffle for the paycheck.

We all know how this game is played. The waiter drops off that little black book, and you both act like it’s the basilisk from Harry Potter—no direct eye contact to be made.

Now, my typical rule of thumb on the first few dates is to let the guy make the first move, offer to pitch in the tip, and then thank them for the meal.

I am a lady, after all.

This fool-proof method of mine worked the first couple times we went out together, no problem. But after we started going out more, I made an observation: just like me, he was a college student, working a part-time job that paid minimum wage; just like me, he had to worry about paying for textbooks and gas and everything else in between; and just like me, it was hard to be able to go out all the time, let alone pay for two people, and maybe save a decent chunk of change.

When it came to friends, it was easy to spot people for drinks on Friday night. It always made more sense to change who picks up the bill when I went out with my girlfriends. But why was there a different connotation with my boyfriend? What made this new level of intimacy become so delicate when it came to paying for food, drinks, and everything else?

Now, I’m not saying that y’all need to track who pays for what and when, every time. Spoiling is fun! But why is it that we expect our boyfriends to bring us flowers and constantly buy us food when we aren’t expected to return the favor?

I don’t know about you, but if my best friend told me I needed to pay for her food, we’d be eating off the dollar menu at McDanks very often. And if you had a friend that never payed you back for that bottle of wine every time, you’d stop inviting them over to watch the Bachelor, right?

In a partnership, friendship, or any kind of relationship, it’s expected that you give just as much as you take and that you keep everything balanced, at least for the most part. In a healthy relationship, you want to help the other out just as much as they help you, especially when you both may be a little strapped financially.

Therefore, my new rule of thumb is this: alternate. He picks up one, I pick up the next, and for the most part it balances out, and everyone wins.

Guys need to be spoiled every once in awhile too, and it’s time we as women recognize this and spread the love. Don’t get me wrong—I’ll still accept any flower bouquet that comes my way, but make sure your partner doesn’t feel like he has to do it, because once it becomes an obligation, it loses its shine. Keep your love balanced, and don’t worry about being spoiled; focus on growing together, loving each other, and just being together, and everything will fall into place. I promise.