A relationship counselor explains why single women should never pay for the date.

Let’s talk about dating. Specifically, let’s talk about the notion that a woman should pay for half of the date. I saw a post the other day where a young woman was saying that if her man pays for lunch, she pays for dinner. If her man buys the movie tickets, she buys the snacks. In her world, 50/50 is where it’s at.

We’re liberated women, right? We are self-sufficient and employed and not dependent on any man, right? But here’s the thing, that pattern of behavior just destroys the whole biological structure of finding a partner and determining who is worth selecting as your long-term mate and who isn’t. It has nearly destroyed the art of dating, too.

Let me explain what I mean.

DIVAS, you aren’t just dating. You aren’t just passing the time with some guy. No, you are searching for your perfect partner, you are auditioning potential mates, you are interviewing the applicants for your hand. You are looking for a partner who takes the time (and yes, the money) to court you to prove his worthiness. Remember, you are Divine, Intelligent, Vivacious, and Alluring, and as such, you need a man who will appreciate you and cherish you.

In biological terms, a female needs a mate who will provide resources to her and their children to keep them fed, clothed, and sheltered. How is she going to know which males will be able to produce the goods? She lets them court her with gifts of food or ornaments to show their interest and also their ability to provide, but she doesn’t give anyone her goodies until he has demonstrated his fitness as a mate to her satisfaction. For his part, the male will assess whether a female is available for casual sex without any obligation to provide for any potential offspring, or whether she is a high ranked female who demands his commitment if he wants access to her superior biology as the mother of his children.

The stakes are high. The males are competing for the higher ranked female to get access to her care and devotion, her hard work, her sexual favors, and most importantly her body and DNA so that he can successfully transmit his DNA to the next generation that will be healthy and well-cared for so that they can produce a new generation in their own turn, thus ensuring the survival of the species. The female wants essentially the same thing – she wants her babies to have the best possible chance of survival, and to achieve that, she needs a male who will provide for her children, teach them, and defend them when necessary.

How does that translate into our modern life?

Although our species probably isn’t in any immediate danger of dwindling to extinction, and not everyone is seeking a mate for the sole purpose of procreation, we still have the need to find intimate partners with whom we can share the burdens of life. If we do have children, we want to know that our partners will stick around and help raise them.

When we are dating we’re shopping for the best partner, and we’re advertising ourselves at the same time. As women, if we undervalue ourselves, the men we date will assume that is what we are worth — not too much. But if we approach dating with a DIVA attitude, knowing we are worthy of being courted by a man and allowing that man to fulfill his need to demonstrate how considerate he is, how good he would be at providing for his family, and how much he wants us to be his mate. In the end, we don’t choose most of the applicants for that most important job of being our mate. We choose only one, and it is important that we choose carefully.

So back to who pays for what on a date. If you pay for half – especially the expensive half like the girl who posted the comment about going 50/50 with her man, you are both advertising that you’re not worth even so much as the whole cost of going out to eat, and you are depriving him of that chance to prove his worth to you.

Is it all about money, then? Of course not. Your man can court you within the limits of his budget, in fact, it’s a good thing if he’s financially responsible, but you want him to court you, to show you that he is the one you should choose because he thinks you are so fine that you are worth the whole enchilada.

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