It’s good to be financially conservative and avoid wasteful expenditure. But dating or being in a relationship with a guy who is always scrounging and stingy can be a real pain. This is why the end of a first date can be awkward the moment the bill lands on the table.
Money and dating
Independent network of women SHESAID’s dating expert Peta Serras shared via Mirror UK that splitting the bill is a “bad omen” that sets the precedent for a relationship. It sends her a message that should they end up together, both of them would be keeping monthly spreadsheets and document how much they give emotionally and when they give sexual favors just to make sure they’re even every month.
She said that she doesn’t dislike funding her own expenses but wouldn’t be happy either if the man insisted on a 50/50 split on the bill. Serras explains that some people misread her on such a topic and called her a “princess” or a “gold digger.” However, she thinks it’s not really about the money but what the money signifies. Yet, is it possible to still consider yourself a feminist while you are accepting a free meal from a date? The dating expert answered yes, you can consider yourself a feminist and accept a “nice meal” from someone. In the same way, you can also be a feminist and buy someone else a meal too.
When a woman pays the bill
However, Serras also clarifies that if she’s the one who asked a guy out and made the effort to arrange the date, then she would expect to pay for the whole date. She opined that everyone needs to have standards both in dating and relationships. For her, it is not to date a stingy man.
Closed fist, closed heart
Professor Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D., who is from the University of Haifa, Israel, and one of the world’s leading experts in the study of emotions, quotes a married woman who said “A closed fist is also a closed heart.” Prof. Ben-Zeév said that we may think stinginess is just the unwillingness to part with money. However, it usually means much more.
He said that to a large extent, the traits of generosity and stinginess are heredity. It had also been found that women have a greater tendency for care and empathy than men. Thus, women are less likely to be stingy and give more compared to men. So, it is important to distinguish the two major types of stinginess.
The two major types of stinginess
The first one stems from mental scarcity and is generated by the circumstances of extreme deprivation. An example of this is someone who is already in his deathbed and yet would request that the air conditioner be turned off to save electricity while his caretaker or the nurses are perspiring. The second type is called the egoistic stinginess. It relates to the subjective attitude of unwillingness to give more than what he gets. You can think of a man who asks to split the bill on a first date, he added. His research focuses on egoistic stinginess.
Prof. Ben-Zeév believes that stinginess is a trait that can cause ongoing damage to a relationship. It will generally start with money and will develop into a lack of respect, kindness, and mutuality of care. Stingy individual experience an enduring and deep sense of deprivation, including them to feel suspicious, desperate for control, and insecure. In the early part of their relationship, stingy people usually hide their negative traits but it will appear with a vengeance as the relationship deepens. At such time, a partner may find herself shaking her head because of shock.
A relationship marked by stinginess
The Professor added that it is both partners who suffer in a relationship marked by the stinginess of one partner. A single woman shared that she enjoys giving to the man she loves. Yet, when she understood that giving is asymmetrical, she no longer wants to give. Her frustration increased as she doesn’t act authentically, which consequently ruins her enjoyment.
Now, let’s shift our attention to the “gold digger” or someone who’s just in a romantic relationship for money rather than love. Interestingly, both men and women dislike parallel traits. While women don’t like stinginess in their men, men also don’t like greediness or extravagance in their women. Both of these traits are money-related. Men are also disgusted by women who are only interested in their money. However, this goes far beyond cash alone.
A survey conducted in China found that the three traits that men hate the most in women are creating problems “out of nothing,” narrow-mindedness, and money-focused. On the other hand, the three traits that women hate the most in men are haggling over every last bit, narrow-mindedness, and stinginess. Nevertheless, all these traits connect to narrow horizons, which are also linked to the injurious aspect of stinginess. These are calculations and comparisons. This is because stingy people are always calculating with their activities and this deepens the painful sense of deprivation. The good feeling of “giving without thinking” has become a rare experience.
Dating app Sweeting conducted a survey in 2018. Results show that 85% of total respondents (300 males and 300 females) said they would be annoyed if they had a stingy partner who always counts every single cent. Meanwhile, 60% of male respondents said they can’t stand it when their girlfriend insists on being high profile with their relationship on social media.
In a 2019 survey of over 1,500 respondents in Australia, Statista found that approximately 82% of respondents who were parents thought money created tension in their relationship. Only 18% of couples without children thought the same. The database company also found that in the US, the total average spending during Valentine’s Day amounts to a whopping $18.6 billion every year. In a 2014 survey, the database company says that people spend an average of $73.75 on their significant other and men spend far more than women.
On who Americans spend their money on Valentines, 56% answered it's their romantic partners, 20% said their family, 7% said it’s their friends, 5% for their teachers, and 4% for their co-workers, pets, or others. Overall, Americans spend $9.67 billion dining out, $2.89 billion on candies, $2.35 billion for a romantic getaway, $1.7 billion for flowers, $1.62 billion jewelry, $1.26 billion clothing or lingerie, and $0.87 billion for greeting cards.
While it’s true that who pays on a first date will not define the terms of the relationship, it’s always important to make sure that both feel respected and neither feel taken advantaged of or underappreciated.