Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Dating & Mating Game-thoughts & tips!


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A close friend recently broke up with a long time boyfriend. A big surprize considering he was close to becoming a fiancĂ©.  

Last evening at tea she confided that among other reasons, the most upsetting to her was his reluctance to cough up when the bill arrived. He looked shiftily away and uncomfortably glanced around at the surrounding. 

A woman does, after all, want to be looked after and ‘going dutch’ was just not working for her. She wanted out, and much begging and pleading by her beau to save the relationship, at the end didn't work it! She was just not interested in a freeloader. 

After hearing her out,  a similar question came to  my mind. I have always been raised with the notion that a gentleman pay’s for the meal when he asks a lady out. To my mind it somehow emasculates a man to be taken out to dinner by his girl when he has done the inviting and is the host, especially in the beginning. 

Maybe the odd birthday or ‘treat’  a woman picks up the tab, but on a regular basis a man takes  a woman out isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I do agree that its a free and equal world I agree. But who are we kidding. In the dating and mating game, the man is the one that is primordially programmed to be the aggressor!  

Yes I know, its a touchy subject. And yes, in today's age a man feels suckered paying all the time. The argument  being that when women want equality and often earn more than a man these days, why should they not take the tab or at least go dutch. Why does the equality not extend to the bill? That a modern and contemporary woman is equal in all respects and must shoulder the responsibility equally? 

Going deeper into a relationship , I do feel that a couple can discuss and come to an understanding of what works for them, basis their unique situation. A woman may be a wealthy banker and the man could be involved with a start-up with not much money to spare. 

A relationship goes through cycles. She may not have that much at a later date and the man may have by then got a successful unit where he is able to lavish his woman with all the luxuries. Once you are knee deep in the relationship where you are approaching being so close as to view your ups and downs as each other’s problems, it becomes fine to share responsibilities.

Two things to watch out for here are if the more wealthy partner expects "payment" of another kind in return, keeping a little mental list of all his extravagances and expects you to make up for them- then that is bad news. But if you are not being exploited, enjoy every moment of what your man gives you with grace. Another scenario to beware of is if a poorer partner uses the relationship for the free ride and the luxuries it provides, piggy backing on the goodies. Asking you to ‘invest’ in his business.  He has agenda’s then and is using his woman, and yes I’ve seen that a lot these days.

When we speak of the initial phases of a man ‘taking a woman out’ however,                                  somehow the charming tradition of men paying for dates is no longer the norm. Is it the economy? Or have men become cheaper? Personally, when on a date, while I would reach for my wallet, I’d be half-expecting a man to say, “I’ve got it”. While I  don’t think it’s fair for a guy to always pick up the check later into a relationship -especially if the man and woman are financially more or less the same- the traditional path while being wooed , of being taken out and looked after is always more romantic for the woman in me.

I know of a funny incidence where a chap took a middle aged South-Indian female actor out to a restaurant called Amythest in Madras, invited another male friend along mid way and smsed him across the table to take the tab to his utter horror. Now that is what I'd call cheesy. A man must not be a show off where he goes beyond his means to woo a woman at the cost of begging , borrowing or stealing. It is better to be what one is right from the start than create equations in pretense. 

The worst of course is when a man lacks largesse by letting a woman know how much a meal cost, or makes a big ado by paying with words like ‘this one’s on me’ , than subtly just taking the tab and being nonchalant about it. 

Here again the ‘if you want equal pay for equal work, you’d better be okay with paying your half of the check some of the time” is an understandable argument. But I believe a man who cannot lavish a woman in the initial few dates is not one who might be able to responsible later.

Paying initially is not just the gentlemanly thing to do, it also indicates that a man is responsible, steady and well-established. Women like that; it helps them decide whether or not a man is relationship-ready. The way you treat your woman and the way you conduct yourself, that's what defines you as a man.

Nisha JamVwal

Written for & Published by Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle

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