Question from a reader: So in this post (Arrogantly Humble) you mentioned that you dont even reach for the bill, do you ever offer to pay? I dated a guy from another country where it was considered rude if the girl did not offer to pay, but at the same time isnt he supposed to be taking YOU out? Or if you are in a relationship, do you always just let him get the check? Is there ever a time where youve offered to pay or went on a date with someone who gave you a hard time for not offering?

Answer from an Ella:

     Unfortunately, I have offered to pay for dinner in the past, at least for my own portion. But will I ever again? I doubt it. The only way I’ll offer to pay for a dinner is on a super special occasion. Like… for my boyfriend… who I’ve been with for a couple of months, at least. 

     Here’s why: I shouldn’t be paying. That is my cultural custom. If you have to bend to his standards, opinions & beliefs, then he should bend to yours as well. The one thing I need from a man is for him to be financially capable and customarily manly. I believe in the “man is the breadwinner” ideals. Even if he doesn’t. And if he doesn’t, he’s surely not my type. You see, I’m Dominican and we have a saying, “El quien invita, paga.” –Whoever invites, pays. This applies to everyone and, personally, I don’t invite men out to eat. My mom has another one: Que enfloje la mano, or, “He needs to loosen his grip” (on his wallet that is). 

     The truth is, I’m in a place right now where I’d rather not waste my time. & much less waste my money. I don’t have the energy to put up facades and try to be who a man thinks I should be. If you expect him to pay for things later, you should expect it now. I have the money to pay my half of the dinner bill (**Note, you should ALWAYS have enough to pay your half of the bill because if ends up broke,  he can wash dishes by himself.) but I want a man who can cover the whole cost. This applies to everything for me. Dinner. Movies. Vacations. Rent. Mortgage. Car insurance. I know that seems a bit “golddigger” so let me explain. I personally like a man that has it if I don’t. If I lived with a man, I would obviously pay my portion, but what would happen if I lost my job? Had an accident? Got sick? Our entire life would have to change because he can only carry his own weight. Similarly, I would do the same. If my significant other got sick or injured, I would want to be able to maintain our lifestyle (this is marriage I’m talking about, not some random dude).  

     My take on relationship dates? He can still pay. I’m still the same girl. He shouldn’t put up a front while we’re dating and then give it up. I mean, if the dates and the comfort was what made you like him, when those things go away, you’re going to react to it. I feel like a man should always pay for dinner. He should be the man when you go out & do what society expects of him. Men expect women to be prim, proper and monogamous. And so,  I expect to have nothing but lipgloss & gum in my purse when we go out. 

     In my last relationship, I would typically tip the waitress. That would be my contribution. It seemed like I was playing my part, but really… I did it because he was a stingy tipper. & he loves going halfs on dinner… which is a key indicator of a stingy, cheap man… which is what he ended up being. He was no different than when I met him. I just failed to notice it. Even when I did notice it. 

    We once went out  to eat with a group of friends. While I was  hoping to get a free meal, I wanted to see how much he was willing to put out. I ordered everything. Drink, appetizer, entree, dessert. Seafood & steak, Ladies. Always order seafood & steak. Anyways… he didn’t pay. And, although he denies it, he didn’t even pay his full portion. He put a crumble $20 bill on the table and looked away. I paid for mines. & Needless to say, I was upset. He didn’t even offer. And guess what, he was stingy for the next 2 years I was with him. I had to offer to pay half for him to consider even going to dinner. I paid half on Valentine’s day & almost didn’t go out the next Valentine’s day because I knew he was going to pull the same shit. Only after our argument did he say “Well I was planning on paying the whole thing.” Yea effin right. Broke ass. He ended up being the type of man who was so stingy, he wouldn’t buy and extra box of 99cent pasta, just in case there is none when we get home. & the cupboards were bare . OF COURSE there was none…. Look at me venting. I’m just saying lol. Been there, done that. 

   **TIP** ohh!! & you know how you’re always busy talking and don’t get to look at the menu by the time the waitress comes? Just practice this, “Yes, we would like an appetizer. What do you recommend?” Don’t think about it. He offered. No man should take you out if he has a spending limit. 

   Women are expensive. Well,  at least, they should be. Check out this episode of the Cosby Show: Theo’s Economic Lesson. This is actually the PILOT episode of the Cosby show. Like… Season 1: Episode 1. In this episode, Theo argues that he doesn’t need a lot of money and wants to be a “regular” person.  Using Monopoly money, Dr. Huxtable teaches him how fast money goes in food, transportation, rent ect. At the end, Theo has $200 left for the month, thinking he’s proven his point. 

“So I have everything I need and $200 left for the month,” he says smiling. 
“You plan to have a girlfriend?” asks Dr. Huxtable. 
“For sure!” answers Theo. 

Dr. Huxtable takes the $200 out of Theo’s hand. 

End of episode. 

     All I’m saying is decide what kind of man you want. If you want a cheap man, let him be cheap. If you want a man that can, in theory, only support himself, then you pay your half & he can pay his. If you want a man that pays, let him pay. Just remember that people don’t change. This is who he will be in every endeavor you take on together. He’s not paying your rent, he’s paying for a dinner. & Remember,  he bought you DINNER, he didn’t buy YOU.