Sophie Hong and Karen Fong debate the question from two very different points of view.
<b>Sophie Hong</b> I’m all for
“That is, if I haven’t already plonked my card down. See, my modus operandi is I’m always the first to pull out my wallet. I have no idea why, though. I’m just a poor writer living in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Maybe it’s my ego, or maybe it’s because I grew up watching my dad always wrestling the bill from others. I once had a guy tell me that he felt like a kept man because I was so comfortable with paying for dinner.
So here’s the upside: this is actually a great way to filter out guys I’m unlikely to have any relationship with. If he has a negative reaction to me footing the bill, then sorry – there definitely won’t be a second date. But if he thanks me for it and promises that the next one is on him (which is usually the case), then great! You didn’t hear this from me, but it’s also a sneaky way to make a second date happen...
The downside? The first date has to be within my budget. So if someone suggests dinner at an expensive place like Waku Ghin, it’s very likely that I’ll turn him down. But if a guy suggests happy hour at Tanuki Raw? I’m totally down for that.”
I don’t see a
problem with a
guy paying on
the first date...
“It’s flattering and courteous and shows they’re putting in some effort – even if it’s just financial (it doesn’t have to be expensive). I don’t think that makes me less of a feminist or a believer in equal rights. So much more goes into an equal relationship than who pays. If a guy is arrogant, annoying and pays for the date, that doesn’t mean he’s getting a second one. I’m more than happy to pay on the subsequent dates (if there is one) or for drinks after dinner. And I certainly wouldn’t want the guy to feel like I’m taking advantage of him or using him as a wallet. Which is why I think attitude and communication end up being more important than who is faster to foot the bill.
Also, I find it really mafan to have to sit there and calculate how much your main was, how much my main was, how much the wine was, the tax… and then split. It kills the mood, you know? I’m also a total failure at the Chinese P0lite Fight, and always lose (unless it turns into a real fight). So why don’t you just get this one and I’ll get the next one?”