Twenty-first century dating is fraught with all sorts of new and confusing concepts and can potentially be a mine-field of social faux pas. The time-honored tradition of the man paying for the first date is slowly being undermined by the “Going Dutch” concept. When a man approaches a woman to ask her out to dinner, what does it mean exactly? That he is paying for the privilege of her company? Or is it merely an offer to get to know each other on equal terms ergo the rationale for splitting the bill?
After polling a few friends on who should pay for dinner, I got a derivative of the same answer from most of them. The answer simply summarized below:
- A gentleman should always pick up the tab on the first few dates especially the first one. It is tradition after all. However, a woman should always order a meal that’s within reason. Never order a meal that you cannot afford to pay (just in case the man bails out on you!)
- Gentlemen should remember they are the hunter and meat sure cost money!
- Our culture is just not designed for us to sit at a table and spilt bills. It is extremely distasteful to the average Nigerian
- Gentlemen should consider it an worthy investment in their quest for a future wife
So, what makes a man want to go “dutch”? It could be the combination of a few things. The man could just be plain cheap, miserly, broke or all of the above! Sometimes this would be camouflaged by espousing Western beliefs about equality that in reality most Africans neither understand nor subscribe to. This is especially true when juxtaposed against the alpha-male tendencies of your average African man that just does not jell with having the woman pick up the tab. One can then argue that a man who wants to ask a woman out to dinner should equally have the financial capability to do so. If a man is not financially comfortable, then as a friend will say, it is better to “cut your coat according to your cloth”. If you can only sew short sleeves dashiki with shorts, then you trade your dinner at Bongalow for Chicken Republic. If she laments, then the man should know to run for the hills, as he will work for the rest of their courtship to keep her happy and loose track of what is important– developing a loving and trusting relationship.
WISDOM of the WEEK: If you are going into a relationship, throw all your cards on the table, and show your true colors early to give both sides the opportunity to accept or reject each other in the purest state…