So you’re on a date with a potential and everything’s going swimmingly. Conversations flowing – no awkward silences – and you guys are really enjoying the company. You know when you just click with someone as though you’ve known them forever? Both of y’all thinking about that second date even if you’re being coy about it. You both finish your meals and the waiter brings over the bill, placing it symmetrically inbetween the two of you and then heads off. Now things are a tad less interactive. Conversation quieter than Wizkid’s cameo in One Dance. Should you be the gentleman and pick up the bill? Should you be the independent woman and clear the tab? I genuinely didn’t think much of this topic until I got older and realised some people will really have you saved in their contacts as ‘Free Meal’. It’s interesting hearing people’s opinions but funnily enough, responses are normally skewed dependant on the gender of the person in question.
First date; the guy pays and more often than not organises the date itself… I don’t fully agree with this but that’s where the onus lies nowadays especially as we generally do the chasing. I remember being sixteen and a girl telling me, “If you want to date me, you have to pay for my time”. I was making less then five pounds an hour those times, forget the date money I didn’t even have transport money to get there. At least it gives one the chance to impress, but let’s not go overboard here. Wherever you take a lady on the first date acts as a benchmark for things to come. The transition from dining at Duck & Waffle to using Groupon vouchers at Pizza Express will have your name slandered in her Whatsapp group. But it’s a date and not an audition, you can’t let a pretty face mask a dead conversation or a lack of effort. And some of you women are built like German box-to-box midfielders and you want to be treated lady-like? Darling, you’re a big man just like the rest of us, you should be rioting at the Euros not making dinner demands.
After a couple of dates, you’d hope things start to even out a bit more financially. Ironically for me, this has less to do about the money and more the significance of the gesture. Albeit taking into account potential salary differences, one person shouldn’t be doing significantly more in the ‘getting to know you’ stages whilst the other person’s just sending those “where you taking me next” texts. What do you mean where am I taking you, this is not a kidnapping bro. The real question is where are you taking me and do I have to leave work early to get there? Speaking on behalf of all guys out there, we like to be treated too… I PROMISE! If you’re not willing to put in the effort, that indirectly tells the other person where you stand with them.
Who am I kidding though, most of you guys reading this won’t even progress to the second date cos’ your card declined after playing hero at Sushi Samba. Those prices will have you fasting for the rest of the month and you ain’t even religious. Have your bank sending you text messages asking you to confirm ‘suspicious activity’ on your account. All banter aside though, it’s sad to think that in 2016, ‘who’s taking care of the bill’ is a blog worthy topic. Nobody ain’t trying to hear “let’s go halves” after having a nice evening but there’s got to be some compromise of both sides to make things work. Regardless if it’s money, time or effort, if you’re not receiving the gesture in a proportionate amount, you’re going to feel used in the situation. Any partnership involves two people, but when that bill comes along, people suddenly forgetting how to count.