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"Who Pays For Dates?" Science Asks Forlornly

By Abbey Clarke

It’s time for the start of a new school year. This means new classes, a new you, and best of all, new dating possibilities. Whether you’re exploring a whole new campus off at college or are just eyeing the newcomer in your geography class, you’ve got luuuuurve on the brain.

But let's fast forward a bit. You’ve miraculously made it past the “hardest part.” You’re on a date with your crush, laughing at the same jokes and slurping from the same decadent chocolate peanut butter milkshake. It’s all going so well! What could possibly go wrong at this point?

The server brings you the check. You both reach for your wallets—or worse, neither of you do! You’ve been plopped smack-dab into the center of a persistent and annoying dilemma. Who should pay? Science has, ahem, not the answer, exactly…but it does have this 43-page study on the topic!

The study, entitled “Who Pays for Dates?” offers the staggering revelation that...wait for it...there's a difference of opinion on who should pay for dates. Thank you, Doctor Obvious! The study basically found that:

-"Most men (84 percent) and women (58 percent) reported that men pay for most expenses, even after dating for a while."

-"Many women (39 percent) wished men would reject their offers to pay, and 44 percent of women were bothered when men expected women to help pay."

-"Nearly half of men (44 percent) said they would stop dating a woman who never pays, and 64 percent of men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses."

-"The majority of men (76 percent), however, reported feeling guilty accepting women‘s money.”

We know that we live in an age of feminism and all, but does that really mean that the guy paying for dates is just a lingering cultural oddity from an age where housewives wore pearls? Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think the guy paying should be the default. But if he is sincerely like, “oh noes a dinosaur ate my wallet and then fell in a volcano,” I’m happy to pay for our sinfully sensuous Devil’s food cake.

Who do YOU think should pay for dates?

Topics: Life, Back to School
Tags: dating, dates, money, love, gender roles

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About the Author
Abbey Clarke

Abbey Clarke is a writer and editorial assistant living in Jersey City. She's a player on a D&D podcast called Knife Errant, wrote her senior thesis on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is working on a novel about a semi-reformed demon who runs a library. You can follow her on Twitter at @abbeybookaholic.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.

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