The question: “Should the man pay?” is like a fat, juicy pimple. As soon as it’s popped, it’s a shit show of a mess with no satisfaction. It’s a question where all kinds of people show up and wave their opinion flag whether they’re a chivalrous type, a know-it-all, a feminist, misogynist, traditionalist, or a supposed conscious couple, like us!
We are writing this in response to the many articles out there that give a black and white answer to this question that’s at least 51 shades of gray. We feel disheartened by the lack of guidance towards cultivating inner wisdom. And so here we are - writing something for men and women to consider in order to come to their own answer.
First of all “should the man pay?” is a heteronormative question that does not acknowledge the many couple combinations possible. This might seem nit-picky, but we haven’t yet seen this question posed with the heterosexual context specified. [Especially when a writer self-identifies as “conscious,” we think it’s very important to be mindful of inclusivity]. Just so we’re totally clear, the following article is referring to men and women who date heterosexually.
Please be aware that these are our opinions based on research and experience with clients, so take what works for you and toss the rest.
Should the man pay? Some things for men to consider…
- Because you were raised right. Sure your mama may have told you that is what gentleman do. Maybe your dad said: “No matter what” the man always pays. You’re not them anymore and you’re free-thinking adult now. Ask yourself: What is my why for paying? There’s is no right or wrong answer. This is just about bringing consciousness to our decisions.
- When we hear the word “should” - we get curious. Where’s the empowered “want” in the situation? We personally don’t think anyone should do anything EVER. Especially if the only reason they should is because of what others think. Our invitation is - if there’s a “should” coming up in your dating or relationships, ask your heart: “Do I want to do this?” In our own relationship, we personally have never done anything for each other only because we thought we “should.” This way of relating has encouraged an interdependence [as opposed to codependence] and mutual trust [as opposed to the insecurity of wondering if the person is doing something out of obligation]. This is one of the fundamentals of our lasting conscious relationship.
- The topic of wanting to do something calls to mind the idea of “investment” in relationships. We feel that when a person looks at the things they do in a relationship as “investments,” they’re setting themselves up for major disappointment if the relationship does not last. If a person does not want to do something, but they do it because it’s an investment - they also set themselves up to resent the other person after so many times of doing this. They will almost inevitably project the pressure they put on themselves to do things they don’t want to do onto the other person. This is why we invite you to check in with your heart before doing anything in your relationships and ask if you want to do it regardless of where you see the relationship going.
- Some men take on the Men Should Pay rule because they’re taking a statistics approach to dating. This kind of man is operating from the stance: Which approach is going to have a higher percentage of success? They might be thinking - more women are going to be specifically attracted to or neutral about a man paying. If I can get more women to be a YES in the first place then I’ll at least be in a position to decide if I want them later. When we follow our head by not asking our heart, we miss the opportunity to develop our intuition and a sense of inner trust. This is like saying I’m going to take on a job that has the highest financial success rates regardless of how I really feel about the job, then doing it for years only to find you hate it. We invite you to just get curious: Am I that guy?
- Are you offering to pay because you wanna get laid? There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to get laid. But just know that you are treating this woman as a commodity and yourself as a person who only has sexual value to another person if you pay.
- Expectations attract expectations. If you’re a man who fears women judging your financial situation as not enough or if you have enough but fear gold diggers - you’re probably gonna attract judgers and gold diggers. What we resist persists. If a person expects a man to pay, she MAY attract a man who expects sex in return.
- If the woman doesn’t offer - get curious rather than critical. You may be looking for an equal partner in your life but are afraid to ask for that out of fear of rejection. If you don't claim it, you'll likely feel critical or feel some agitation if the woman doesn't at least offer to pay. What we criticize or get angry at can be a sign of something repressed or denied in ourselves. Where else might you be acting out of fear and/or not being yourself?
- Consider little to no cost dates. Especially for a first date. Break the mold and be different. She will appreciate it and you will get to know more sides of her than you would normally. There’s hundreds of ways to connect with a person. If you want a list of ideas, check out our video + free download here.