It’s no secret that since the dawn of gender equality dating has become more complicated.

One area that has particularly gotten people agitated is the issue of money.

Many guys (and girls!), understandably, have taken issue with the tradition of guys paying for girls.

After all, most women are doing fine for themselves, and many of them are even surpassing their male counterparts in earnings! Seems a little unfair for the dude to run himself dry economically just because he’s “supposed to.”

But as usual in dating… it ain’t cut and dry.

There are emotional and psychological elements of attraction that get triggered when you pay for a girl. And of course, every girl and her own situation is unique.

You can’t be dogmatic.

When you’re trying to figure out whether or not you should pay for a girl, you need to ask yourself these questions first:

Question #1: What’s Her Age And Wealth Compared To Yours?

This is the first and most important question to ask yourself: what is age and economic difference between you two?

Fact is, if you’re a guy in your mid-20s taking a girl in her mid-30s out, the answer to whether you should pay for a girl is going to be massively different than if those ages or genders are reversed.

The older a woman compared to you, the more likely you’re going dutch or she’s becoming your sugar momma. The younger a girl is to you, the more you’re going to be expected to pick up the tab.

When I was in my mid-20s I dated a couple of college girls. Yet while I had a well-paying corporate job, one of these girls worked retail part-time to have some spending cash and most of the others didn’t have anything at all.

If I wanted to take these girls out someplace nice was I seriously supposed to make them split the bill?

No, you don’t want freeloaders — and we’ll address how to watch for them in a minute. But you also gotta be sensitive to economic reality.

If you’re making a poor girl pay more than she can afford, chances are she won’t be around for long.

Question #2: Who Invited Who?

This is not a hard and fast rule, but a useful one: whoever invited the other one out has a greater obligation to pay.

Note I said greater, not automatic. This rule is secondary to the economic and age dynamics. But it’s a useful one to keep in mind when screening girls’ character and personality.

For instance, if a girl doesn’t have money but “invites” you to go to an expensive restaurant knowing you’re going to pay, that’s a sign she’s got golddigger tendencies.

Red flag.

Girls with minimal resources should only be inviting you out to things where they’re willing to pay for. Miniature golf, ice cream, coffee, lunch, movies… you get the picture.

And most of the time, you should let her.

Unless you’re really raking it in, letting a girl pay — even if the amount she’s paying is not substantial — sets the frame in an appropriate way.

You’re not an ATM; there should be a balance. If she has integrity she will reciprocate in whatever way she can.

On the other hand, if you’re the one doing the inviting — which will likely be the case early on — you need to at least be prepared to pay for a girl.

Though with this in mind, don’t forget question number three…

Question #3: Who Paid Most Recently?

If you invite a girl to something, there is at least some degree of expectation that you will pay for it.

But this is superseded if she’s in a good economic situation and you’ve paid for the last couple of dates.

At a certain point, she’s got to contribute — or you’re just getting fleeced.

Like all things involving social intelligence, this is something hard to quantify that requires “feeling out.” But generally I try to pay for a girl no more than 50-70% of the time.

So if I paid for the first 2 dates and we’re on date number 3… when the check comes around I’m going to wait for her to do something about it.

Most girls will pick up it’s time for them to reciprocate and will have no issue putting their card down.

And if they do?

Red flag alert! You’re dealing with someone entitled.

(Read: 7 Steps To Get What You Want In Dating)

Depending on the other variables discussed, how often you should “expect” her to pay will vary, as will how much. But generally (unless, again, the wealth difference is vast) you shouldn’t be picking up more than two out of every three tabs.

Complicated, right? It almost begs the bigger question — why go through this rigmarole to begin with?

Why Should You Pay For A Girl In General?

The real question I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for.

Why do guys need to do this at all? Why not just split the bill every time?

Some would argue this is the way forward, and I needn’t have “wasted” your time with this article.

These people are wrong.

Indeed, they are as wrong as the guys who say you should just “pay for sex” rather than go through the process of dating a woman — even though they are right to point out dating is more expensive and certainly more time and energy consuming.

The reason?

It makes the dynamics professional, not personal. Which makes the interaction stale.

This is a malady all over the West. As humans we were designed and used to operate on reciprocity and reputation, and we were happy for it. Now everything is quantifiable. Pretty soon we’ll be billing friends for listening to their stories.

The experience suffers.

When two people dating split the bill, it subcommunicates a business-like, distant vibe. It’s the sort of thing you do when a date is bad and you know you’re not going to see each other again, not when it’s good.

If I like a girl I will avoid that dynamic. I’ll be assertive and pay for the date, and if she offers to help out I won’t let her, but I’ll tell her she can get the next one.

This not only primes her for a second date and strengthens our connection, but it sets a dominant tone. She can pay for me because I let her. It captures the dynamics of the man paying for the woman — which the vast majority of both men and women like — without the actual economic cost.

Of course, some will disagree. But again, they’re wrong… and here’s why.

Is Paying For Girls Beta?

I always pay for a girl on the first date, which is rarely more than a coffee or a beer, and usually pay for the second one — something a bit more substantial — too. This is my schtick and I enjoy doing it.

But if you ask many “dating experts,” this is “beta.” You should, apparently, *never* pay for a girl.

I get this philosophy even though it belies a narrow, amateur understanding of male-female dynamics. It is an arguably useful “reprogramming” for men who used to turn their wallet upside down around women to try and get laid.

But the reason these guys thought they could use money to get women is because money can help you to do well with womenyou just have to use it correctly.

Paying for a girl can be a serious dominance play, which is one of the reasons third-wave feminists hate it.

What it comes down to is, as usual, your frame.

Are you buying a girl dinner because you are the leader? Or are you buying a girl dinner because you hope she’ll put out for you later?

A hint: the latter mindset doesn’t work too well, but the former one works like a charm.

When I took girls out I did it because I wanted to. And what I got in return was amplified attraction, not girls using me.

This may take some time if you’re not used to screening girls, which is why I recommend you keep the dates inexpensive at first. After all — you don’t know a girl’s personality, let alone her character.

Once they earn it, you can start to splurge a bit more.

But until then, if you pay for a girl keep it cheap so your losses will be minimal.

Speaking Of Which… What Should You Do For Dates?

A new article will be coming out later this week on what you should do and where you should go on dates.

But for now, check out this one to figure out if your date is going well.

And of course, get Tackling Texting if you haven’t if you want to make the lead up to the date easier than ever.

The truth is if you can’t text, you can’t date. Girls will pass you by regardless of what you have to offer.

Texting is the force-multiplier in modern dating. It is where most of the attraction battles are fought.

Learn how to do it like a pro, so you don’t have to think about it — it’ll become second nature.

should you pay for a girl