Want to know the truth? I love Brandon’s gift icons on WhatsYourPrice.com.
I love symbolism, poetry, passion and chemistry, and I think these “optional gifts” express some of that. I also love little things that make my life easier, especially if someone does them without me having to ask. Little things such as “taking out the trash” or “stopping by the store to grab me fresh squeezed juice” are just a couple of those things that could be taken for granted by most, but mean a whole lot to me. You can’t get there if you don’t start somewhere. Even though you may never know what the chemistry will be when you first meet someone until you actually meet them, there are some things that are proven to increase the likelihood of there being any at all.
For this blog post, I decided to do a little research about paying for dates. More specifically, looking into the cost of a date and its correlation with the participants’ expectations of having sex. Fortunately for me, there were quite a number of studies into this exact topic. One was about matchmaking businesses, where men paid anywhere from $20,000 and up to go on a date with a woman. Another study was conducted in a college setting to study certain behaviors: who paid the bill; who split the bill; and the cost of bill were investigated.
Here’s an interesting quote from an article in the UK’s MailOnline:
“She has spent hours on her hair and makeup, bought a new outfit and done her nails. So perhaps it is only fair that her date should pay for dinner.
Pretty women are less likely than plain Janes to offer to contribute towards the bill on a first date, research shows.
But they are not worried about the expense – it is likely to be because they believe their date should pay for the pleasure of being with them, according to researchers at St Andrews University.”
I have found most of the comments related to this topic agree that the person who set up the date should pay, and that if the bill was split then it was not a date. And if the woman offered to split the bill or pay, it means she was not interested. I would agree with this, because when I decide I have had enough of a relationship, I will often initiate the ‘last’ date and I will pay the entire bill. It’s as if I’m saying “thanks it been fun” and “happy birthday” all at once. If a man asks me out and expects me to pay for or split the bill, (unless agreed to for some reason) I will not go out with him again. That is just the way it is. I will however, make him dinner, buy all the groceries for that and treat him to the best meal ever without thinking twice about it. (Of course this has a tendency to spoil them and they keep coming back.)
I found yet another recent study about dating. More specifically, this one is about the cost of the date and its correlation to the sense of obligation regarding sex. No matter how politically incorrect this question may be, I am sure many men would like to know exactly how much they need to pay to oblige their date to have sex with them! However, this is a serious question – at what point does it feel obligatory for the woman?
The study was done with some college students who were given several scenarios. While women do not feel that being treated to an expensive dinner means they are obligated to have sex with their date, the sense of obligation increases with the price of the date. The students were given a scenario where the date was very expensive and asked a series of questions, and then given the same scenario where the date was very cheap and asked the same questions. The study also took into consideration whether the bill was split or shared.
The average response by male participants to the question that asked if Kate should have expected to have sex with John when he paid for the very expensive date was about 50%. The female participants’ response to that same question was 30%. Whether or not men should feel ‘entitled’ to sex was closer to equal. The results show that if a man paid for the very expensive date, the study shows men thought women owed access to sex at the end of the night for the very expensive date and to some degree both men and women thought he should have expected it.
Integrating a few more questions showed that women felt more obligated as the price of the date went up. Just to be clear though, no one in the study felt anyone had the right to claim sex under any circumstances, regardless of the price of the date. I found this study to be very interesting and noteworthy especially when you think about how men and women set expectations and how they behave in a dating scenario.
So what happens when a matchmaker is involved? Some people are willing to pay $20,000 or more to a Millionaire Matchmaker to help match them up on a date with the right person. Even though a man may pay upwards of $20,000 for such services, he would not and could not expect sex on such a date. I bring this up because it shows that sex, love and money can be entwined in ways you would not expect.
On WhatsYourPrice.com, the system of filling out a profile accurately for both parties is the key to getting on the same page with someone from the start. Getting details, reading profiles and actually asking yourself some questions about what you are looking for will give you a much higher degree of success and in creating the chemistry that could lead to bigger and better things. If you are clear with yourself you are more likely to communicate that in an email or two and end up on a really great date!
In summary, the sense of obligation and expectation is clear but not obligatory! Money does matter, who pays does matter, attractiveness is a factor, but none of these is the final word on what happens during and after the date.
NOTE: And let’s not forget that on WhatsYourPrice.com, the generous member is actually paying for the chance to have a first date with the attractive member. Sex should therefore never be expected or implied in the amount offered, period.
Q: How can you change your profile to get the date you want?
Q: What etiquette has brought you the best dates?
Source: *Basow, Susan and Alexandra Minieri (2011). “You Owe Me”: Effects of Date Cost, Who Pays, Participant Gender, and Rape Myth Beliefs on Perceptions of Rape.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence vol (26): pp 497-497.
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