To pay or not to pay. Bills during dating.

The dating world is full of several misconceptions, some that are quite outdated. The world today is changing and the people in it need to change it. We cannot claim to be modern when we can’t adjust to the world today.

Some months ago I met this guy at a fashion event and he asked me out on a date. A week later we met in town and headed to lunch. It was a lovely Saturday evening and the idea of late lunch was quite welcome after a long day out. I was actually glad to have something to do. We ordered our meals and had quite an enjoyable afternoon as he was quite hilarious I can say. Sooner or later, the bill came and he was quite fast at picking and settling it. I can assure you I had no idea how much it cost him. I would have loved to have known though I realized.

A couple of weeks back I went out with this guy, let’s call him Richard. Richard was a charming and absolutely great company. We agreed to go out to dinner one night and met an established restaurant in town. After a lovely dinner with even better company, it was time for us to part ways and the bill was brought to us. He picked it and from the look on his eyes, it was as if he could not believe what his eyes were seeing. Upon noticing this I asked for the bill, he reluctantly handed it over to me. I realized his discomfort and slight humiliation. He raised his hand to his head and said: “I really did not know it would cost that much, am on a tight budget I can’t settle the entire bill without going flat broke”. By now he was facing down looking dejected and embarrassed by the whole idea. It took me quite some time to put him at ease and ensure he was not embarrassed about the whole idea. By the time the evening was coming to a close we agreed on settling the bill together with each of us covering half the amount. He looked relieved and slightly flustered.

After this incident I began to wonder, during a date should a lady pay or not. So I got my friends together both male and female and decided to ask. The reactions were quite different and some quite surprising. A section of the men asked, why they would call you out for dinner if they cannot pay. Others said it depends on the level of familiarity between the two parties. The ladies, on the other hand, felt like they could pay for the meal if they could afford it. It’s not wrong as a man to accept a meal paid for by a woman. I have done it before and I am comfortable with it. What is so wrong by your woman or date paying for your meal? It is not a taboo. This misconception that men have to be the ones treating the women and not the other way round is quite funny.

In very many cases you find a guy trying to impress the lady by taking her to fancy places and pays for it and he then asks for a loan from one of his friends the next day because he does not have fare, REALLY!!??

Take me out to somewhere simple and let’s enjoy without you brainstorming your finances throughout the date. Which brings me to a certain incident, John my friend met this ‘toto’ in town and was really taken by her. So he invites her out the next Friday, they end up having dinner and drinks till late in the evening, by the time they are parting it is so late and the chiq wants an uber home. “Alright,” says my friend and he calls one. What he does not realize the entire time is that she expects him to pay for it since he has been dishing out cash like the entire night. The uber arrives, and the driver says the fare will amount to 700 if he takes the lady alone. Well thing is Johnnie is thinking of taking the joint ride so that after dropping the lady he too can be dropped. Suddenly his lady says “sawa twende, Johnnie is utamlipa anidrop” he is perplexed and has no idea what to do. John has only 1000 shillings left and he knows he will have to skip the uber ride himself since his lady friend is patiently waiting for him to pay. He pays up and ends up taking a matatu home.  So, was it John’s fault that the lady took advantage of his supposedly deep pockets? I have no idea.

All there is to say is that it does not matter who pays for what. Simply be open up front and say ‘hey, currently am not doing okay financially, I know we were to meet *here but I can’t afford it maybe we can change our venue” if she is a good girl and she likes you she won’t mind where you take her. Personally, I think the company is what matters. Or better yet she may say, “don’t worry al pay for our dinner today.” This is the ideal world where we should not be judged by our skirts and pants but rather our intellect. So go out with her and if she wants to settle the bill let her get treated where the crime in that is.

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