According to Myka Meier, the founder of NYC-based Beaumont Etiquette which offers dating etiquette course, the person who invited the other person out on a date should pay. However, if the date and location was a mutual decision, always offer to pay your half.
Nigerian men berate Nigerian women at every given opportunity because of this issue. They ask when women will stop depending on men for money and when they will start paying or even split bills on dates like their Western counterparts?
I got friend-zoned by a potential boyfriend because I paid for what we ate on a date. It happened that the bill arrived when he stepped to the wash room, he got back and I had settled the bill, he got really upset.
He asked what I was trying to prove by paying the bill. He went further to ask how much was in my miserable bank account that should warrant me insulting him in such manner.
I didn’t find his reaction funny. It wasn’t our first date, it was the third and I paid the bill because I suggested the upscale restaurant we visited and even chose the meal and wine we drank which was a little pricey. I felt it would be unfair to expect him to pay for all we consumed.
What if it is not part of his budget? If his ego is that badly bruised, all he should have done was to refund me the money and not insult me or try to reduce my effort to gender war. It’s not such a big deal.
I decided to share my experience with a few male friends because I didn’t understand what to make of his reaction, but they all strongly warned me against doing such ever again.
They told me that it was a wrong move and that such behaviour bruises a man’s ego. They told me that it is simply un-African for a woman to pick the tabs. I couldn’t believe my ears.
The irony of it all is that these are the same men who are quick to accuse ladies of not willing to split or foot bills, yet they see it as un-African when a lady does. How do you want ladies to split bills in your heads and even voice it out, but frown and get angry when they do?
As my male reader, answer this sincerely: if your girlfriend invites you on a date and she is paying but you are low on cash, will you honour the invitation? Will you go on that date at her time and place of choice without deferring or calling in busy because you are not buoyant enough?
A lot of Nigerian men who cannot afford such expenses at the time will claim busy with so much on their table. Some will agree to go on the date but will hurriedly call their friends to borrow money. They will never allow a Nigerian woman pay for whatever they eat on a date, they will always insist on paying themselves.
Only few men will go on such dates and let the lady pay. I repeat only few can do this. Some shameless egomaniacs will even suggest the lady hands over the money to them behind closed doors before the date or secretly so they will pay themselves, so that it won’t seem like they are not men enough. I had a firsthand experience of this behaviour.
So ladies, while most men will pay for first dates, it is wisdom to always go on each dates prepared peradventure he forgets his wallet, he’s unable to fully cover the bill or the date doesn’t go well and he insists you split the bill.
There are so many possibilities of how a date can turn out, it’s best to be prepared for eventualities. Avoid the most expensive items on the menu or expensive drinks on a first date. If he asks you to suggest the restaurant, choose moderately good ones.
On subsequent dates, the rules might change a little. Even though most Nigerian men will still insist on paying, offer to pay sometimes or split bill especially if you asked him out or chose the restaurant and ordered pricey food and drinks on the menu.
If he’s not cool with you contributing or paying when you invite him out, then you both should communicate how to go ahead with subsequent dates. Have the conversation and agree on what works best for you both when on a date, whether you decide to take turns paying or the man decides he always wants to pay.
Dear Nigerian men, if your girlfriend or wife gifts you a car, a house or even a huge cash gift, it doesn’t matter if you can or cannot afford such gifts, like your Western counterparts, just accept the gift. Your ego should not send different signals to your brain.
Stop blaming ladies for not doing what you are not willing to accept. Men ought to know what they want and stick to it. You cannot tell ladies to emulate their Western counterparts on spending on dates or on their men, yet you still turn around and form bruised ego when she do so. Don’t preach one thing and act differently. It shows you don’t know what you want.
If your manhood cannot stand it when women pick the tabs; then don’t splash on their faces what their foreign counterparts are doing when on dates or for their partners because that will amount to having double standards.