The Real Reason Men Are Cheap
I haven’t posted a question from my readers in a while, so here’s a good one I had fun answering. You just might find yourself in the same situation as her – check it out:
I just started dating a guy who has been showing a lot of great attributes and interest (very communicative/consistent).
The first time we went out he was very gung-Ho but I wasn’t sure how I felt, so I offered to split the check. Usually a guy will say he’s got it, but he let me pay my part. It didn’t bother me too much because I didn’t really know if I was even seriously interested.
I knew he’d been on vacation the week before (when we started communication), and he told me he’d spent three times more than he’d anticipated (bachelor party weekend with the boys in the Keys). He said he needed a few weeks to recoup but wanted to take me out to a nice restaurant next time we went out.
I went to visit him a couple of weeks later (we live two hours apart- although I know he should’ve come my way and he was arranging that, I decided I didn’t want him on my turf yet and I wanted to observe him in his environment, friends, etc) and he took me out and paid for dinner and drinks and then more drinks later on that night.
At this point we’d been communicating daily with him always initiating texts and calls for a total of three weeks and where he shared a lot of personal information about himself and wanting to get to know me so I felt comfortable with him. We ended up messing around (big surprise).
Next day he took me to brunch and when the bill came he said out loud “wow, $40” (turn off), so I offered to split it.
My question is this: Is this a really bad sign or is there something I say or how do I handle it to make it clear that while he’s courting me he should handle it?
I don’t care how much money a guy has, but it’s a turn off if they’re cheap. Maybe it got messed up because I slept with him. Making mental notes for next time and I’d appreciate your perspective.
Carlos Cavallo, Dating and Attraction Adviser
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Well, this is surely a hot topic when it comes to men, women, and dating.
Here’s how I feel about “The Bill” thing. (And I’m not talking about Clinton, either.)
If a guy asks you out, he pays.
You can counter offer to pay your part (that’s polite), but he would insist, and then you give in.
That’s “the dance.”
Now, on that note, he kinda failed on the first date. Not taking the check on the first date is a major gaffe.
Especially if he was gung-ho and organized the whole thing.
Later, he did the right thing, and probably realized he needed to, when he took you out and treated you to dinner.
But here’s the thing to keep in mind:
The modern media, along with rabid propaganda, have confused men completely on this topic.
Unless a guy had a dad as straightforward and clear on this topic as I did (very unlikely), it’s more likely that he’s not going to know what he’s supposed to do.
Think about all the mixed and confusing messages in the media about “enabled and empowered women.”
Yes, women are equal and have careers and all that, and SHOULD. But most guys are confused by the ‘inspirational‘ messages directed at women in magazines and movies.
– Do we pay?
– Would it offend her “liberated” sensibilities if I do?
– If she offers, what does that mean?
It’s crazy, and I don’t envy guys today in this situation. It kinda sucks.
I wish every guy everywhere in the world could be told that simple rule:
You ask, you pay. She counters, you insist.
Women also need to understand the men’s side of this, too.
We men feel like we’ve got a floating bubble over our head with our income on it, and those dollar signs are all that women are looking for.
Yeah, a party weekend in the keys is going to hurt a little for a guy. So it probably will sting a little, which is why he had that unfortunate outburst.
(SIDE NOTE: On my first Valentine’s Day with my wife, Jen, we went to Acqua – a restaurant in San Francisco that specializes in V-day dinners. When the bill came, it was over $600, and somehow I managed to stifle (most of) my surprise. To this day, Jen and I joke that I’ve already paid for 10 years of V-day dinners.)
Yeah, he might have a bit of a cheap streak. If that’s a deal-killer for you, save yourself the effort right now and stop seeing him.
However, if you think the benefits outweigh the downside, then accept this quality of his (instead of scheming to fix it later) and just go forward.
Because you realize that no man is perfect… right?
Look, women need to realize that most guys ARE cheap. It’s our nature.
Here’s the kicker: so are most women.
So unless he’s a trust fund kid with millions to fund his champagne nights at clubs (and the rehab bill for when he develops a problem), he probably just grew up doing his best to make ends meet.
We’re just doing our best in this crappy economy to squeak out a living – like everyone else.
Women are – by far – the bargain hunters and the discount seekers.
You’re smart like that. Who wants to pay full price?
It’s just that when a guy feels like he’s a stock that’s being evaluated on a date instead of a human being that wants to be seen for his heart and soul instead of his bank balance, well – that makes him a bit more sensitive.
Especially when he’s further burdened by the expectation of paying the bill for something that could leave him high and dry.
Meaning: coming out with nothing at the end of it except a peck on the cheek and a “you’re so sweet.” Never to see her again.
So it’s a real act of faith for a guy to invest in a date with a woman when he isn’t entire sure she digs him.
We don’t need sex on the first date (and most guys actually DON’T want it, by the way. We know that it sabotages an actual relationship most of the time.)
We just want to know where we stand, the same as you do.
A date for a woman has a lot of expectations, too. Sure.
She’s gotta doll herself up and smile and be charming and listen to his boring stories and…
Okay, so what’s the point of this whole thing?
We BOTH have it crappy because of all this posturing and putting up fronts and expectations, and so on.
It would be a TON more easy if we could just talk about these things with the other person instead of having to go to our friends for opinions, or write Carlos at www.datingadviceguru.com. (Sorry, shameless plug there.)
So what do we do about this…?
First, cut him some more slack, and see how it goes. Maybe keep your eyes peeled for unacceptable cheap-ness.
But realize that in his heart of hearts, he doesn’t want to be cheap. He’s just doing his best to meet everyone’s expectations, trying to win over a woman while making a living.
And maybe his communication and consistency you mentioned outweigh his budget consciousness.
After all, which is going to ensure greater long-term relationship success for you two?
Just some food for thought… 😉
Yours in Perfect Passion,
(If you want to understand how clueless guys can be, check out the advice Bobby gives HERE…)