Dear Tired of Paying:

First let me say that I feel you and your wallet’s pain. Dating, eating out, and entertainment in general, can become quite expensive depending on your taste and frequency. Dinner and a movie can easily run you $100 a pop. I think there are definitely parameters around dating and who should pay for what. Those parameters, though, are unique to every relationship and situation. I think there are a few things for couple’s to consider. One, is it a first date or special occasion and how long they have been dating. Two, I think they have to consider who is extending the date invitation, the man or the woman. Three, each person’s economic situation should be taken into consideration. Not everyone may be in a position to pay for everything every single time. And four, the expectations of both parties must be clear so that no one feels taken advantage of and/or disappointed. This can ruin the mood, the date, and the relationship.

I admit that I like to be treated and made to feel special. Going out on a date and having someone wine and dine you can feel pretty special, even for a confident, strong woman. On the other hand, I do not mind treating my date from time to time and making him feel special as well, especially if the outing was my idea. I personally do not think going “Dutch” sends the same message. If we both just pay for ourselves, no one really feels special or treated.

There are many things in our society that have changed when it comes to gender roles, expectations and responsibilities and so many other things that remain the same. I don’t think that men should have to pay for every date just because they are men, but traditional views and many people in society still see men as the traditional providers, which mean the check still falls into their laps, or should I say wallets.

Tamara Hartley is Your Advice Guru giving REAL advice from REAL experience. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to give others a different perspective and help them make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. Email your questions to You can follow Tamara on twitter @drtamarahartley and check out her column and archives at


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