I just love the Twitter debates about what seems like meaningless things such as $200 dates, who pays the bills in the house and the latest, who pays for baecations. Despite how senseless these debates may seem at the core is one thing – money!
Money is one of the leading causes of divorce and a significant factor in the ending of many long-term relationships. So these are conversations that we need to have. Also, the reality is as successful women many of us fall in a tax bracket that may have us making the same or more salary-wise as our partner.
How do we navigate these situations such as who pays on the first date or who pays for the baecation?
The answer is… it depends on your values plus your own financial situation.
First, be clear about what your values are around gender roles and finances. For instance, do you hold more traditional views and believe that a man should pay for major things such as household bills. Or are you more egalitarian in your values and ascribe more to “let’s split these bills down the middle.”
Of course, your values may not neatly fit into traditional or egalitarian and that’s okay. Just getting a sense of your personal values is what matters.
For instance, I’m clear that I ascribe to non-traditional gender roles. I don’t believe that my partner has to be the primary breadwinner. Heck if he wanted to be a stay-at-home dad more power to him because that’s not my life ministry.
Next, how does your current financial situation align with your values? You can have hopes and dreams of being a stay at home wife, but for now sis, you might need to work lol. Get real about your finances and get real about the person’s finances you are dating.
How does this equate to date night or baecations?
I will be honest I’ve been dating for a while and many of these conversations are still a bit awkward for me. On a first date (or any date night), I would split the check in a minute; however, I find myself hesitating to reach for the bill or asking if we should each pay half. This is mostly attributed to encountering men that have been intimidated by my degrees and my success.
Read my post here: Why I Don’t Date Men Who Make Less Money Than Me
I do offer to pick up the check on subsequent dates and the response from the potential suitor is often very telling of how our financial values will align.
Even if it’s awkward, ask the questions you need to ask. Don’t just go on social media or to your group chat and talk about the person! Really, say to the person you are dating…
Can I get dinner for us tonight?
Should we split the hotel bill down the middle?
Will you cover the hotel, if I cover our outings?
Would you like for me to contribute anything to this trip?
There may be a thought that I shouldn’t have to ask the person I’m dating should just know. Those assumptions will leave you with hurt feelings. What you are really assuming is that this person should know your values related to gender roles and finances and that’s unfair to the person you are dating
I also have to say this…THINGS AREN’T CHEAP! You need two incomes to live well in most cities and you want this man to pay for everything. C’mon now. Let’s take a visit to the real world out of ideal relationship land.
What are your thoughts on splitting the cost of dates and/or vacations?