On a dinner date, I think the rules are generally clear: The man usually pays.
Not that the woman can’t offer to pay. But I don’t know any guys who expect a woman to split the tab.
But on a trip, that’s a different story. We’re talking a lot more money.
I don’t think it’s fair for a woman to assume a man will cover all the costs: transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment.
But I’ve run across women – one in particular – who disagree completely. I had been dating this woman casually for two months. We weren’t exclusive.
She proposed a three-day trip to a Texas coastal town over a holiday. Mind you, it was her idea. To me, that implied she intended to pay some of the cost. She even looked up flight information and reserved a rent car with her credit card.
Almost as an after-thought, I emailed her and said, “So I assume we’ll be splitting the costs roughly 50-50, right?”
Wrong. She came unglued – and that’s putting it mildly. She called me cheap, classless and a loser.
“Get lost!” she wrote.
I wish I were kidding.
I wasn’t terribly upset because I hadn’t invested much emotionally in the relationship. But I was shocked.
To her lengthy rant, I simply replied: “So, I’m understanding you don’t want to split the cost of the trip?”
We never communicated again.
What’s that old saying, the line between love and hate is very thin. One minute, this woman was talking affectionately about wanting to spend time with me on the beach. The next, she was insulting me in a world-class manner.
All because our expectations didn’t meet up.
I recently saw this thread of comments on Eharmony about the issue of who pays on a trip. Several women said they would assume they would pay half.
“I can’t think of a single reason why I would not want to pay my share,” one wrote.
But another woman said it was a “turnoff” when a man asked her to pay half.
“Am I being unreasonable?” she asked.
Yes, I say.
Communication is the key, one person wrote.
“Don’t let money be an overwhelming factor – talk about it,” she wrote.
In my case, if my friend had reacted calmly, I might have gladly offered to pay for the whole trip. I simply asked for clarification about the money issue, and she went nuts.
In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t go out of town with her. Who knows what other craziness I might have witnessed?
A trip is a different animal than a dinner date. Neither party should assume the other is paying the whole cost. Talk up front – before any reservations are made. You can learn a lot about a person when money becomes the subject. And you may not like what you find out.