When he said he wanted to go 50/50, I knew that this would be the last time I’d ever see him again. – A Girl Friend
If she had said this to me two years ago, I would not have hesitated to challenge her with an eloquent argument about how going 50/50 is the best way to handle dating and relationships in general. In those days, I believed that Independent Woman should rise together and send men the message that we don’t need them. We can take care of ourselves. Slowly, I am recovering from this wayward way of thinking, so when she uttered these words, I simply nodded in agreement.
Like anything else in my life, I had to undergo a few tough experiences before I transformed my way of thinking. Although there may have been dozens of other situations that may occurred in my life that helped me re-evaluate whether to go dutch, these three scenarios listed below are the ones that are most memorable.
Scenario # 1 – Paying For My Own Birthday Gift
During my first year in graduate school, I met a man who had chivalry down pact. Whenever we went out, he’d pay for my bus fare, my train fare, my groceries and anything else that may arise during our time spent running errands around Boston. Whatever it was that I needed, he paid for it. I was torn. On the one hand, I loved the fact that I returned to my apartment with the same amount of money in my pocket as I had when I left. But, on the other hand, I felt so un-empowered. I can take care of myself, is what I’d often tell him at the checkout counter. Sometimes, he’d insist, but after awhile, (I supposed he had gotten tired of hearing me fuss), he would let me pay. Initially, I was pleased, for I believed that I was the epitome of an Independent Woman. I held down a full course load in school, worked part time at the local health department, and maintained an active social life. Whenever I had the opportunity to let him know how independent I was, I seized it.
For my birthday one year, he took me to a beach. After playing in the water for a couple of hours, we both became hungry and decided to grab a burger and fries. The burger and fries, he paid for, but since it was my birthday, I wanted a meal cap after my dinner. I was surprised that when we reached the checkout counter, he shoved his hands in his pocket. This was a stark contrast from his typical behavior. Typically, he’d pull out his credit card before the cashier even mentioned the total. Noticing that my friend had finally realized that I didn’t need him, I carefully pulled out my debit card from my purse and gave it to the cashier. I was not very happy that I had to pay for my own milkshake and cab fare back home on my birthday.
Scenario #2 – Stranded In Virginia
Three years ago, I relocated to Virginia for a job. I was satisfied with the fact that I was on my own in Virginia. I had a well-paying job with benefits, a trendy apartment in the heart of Richmond, and a brand new car. Bills were paid on time, trips were paid for by me; anything I needed, I took care of it. After about a year of living in Virginia alone, I was over the Independent Woman lifestyle. I had no one to talk to at night or no one to look after my apartment when I was on business trips. Three times, I got a flat tire and one time, my car got towed from the restaurant I was dining at. Because I was new to the area and failed to make the personal connections I needed, I was stranded on all occasions. I was left to the mercy of good Samaritans and my insurance company.
Scenario #3 – “Traffic Is Heavy On Weekends”
One year ago, a guy I was dating offered to pick me up for our first date. Since I wanted to feel in control, I insisted that I meet him at the skating rink we had agreed to go to. The first date went so well, we went on a second and a third date. For the second date, he offered to pick me up again. I thanked him for his offer, but told him that I prefer to meet him at our destination. For our third date, I really started to like him, and wanted him to pick me up. But, this time, when I offered picking me up as a suggestion, he said, “Why don’t you just meet me there? Traffic is really heavy on the weekends.” That evening, I not only had to drive myself to our date, but I had to pay my way to the party he invited me to. At the end of the night, I even ended up driving him to his car!
This was the last straw. I regretted how comfortable he appeared asking me to drive, to pay for our date, and to even drop him off to his car. You should have seen him the passenger seat. He was chilling! His feet posted up on the dashboard and his hands were behind his head.
Today, going 50/50 is not an option. If a man offers to take me out on a date, my first question is, “So what time are you picking me up?” At the restaurant, I do not reach for my purse or ask to look at the check. Most times, I act like I didn’t even notice that the check had been delivered.
I allow him be The Man. I let him purchase whatever ridiculously overpriced gift he wants to purchase to impress me, put gas in my car, or clean my windshield on my car. Once I began doing this, ladies, I was well-pleased with what men will do in pursuit of my attention. They’ve parked my car and cleaned my windshields; they have bought me flowers and gifts. One guy even offered to cook breakfast for me. And I always get a free drink at parties.
Nowadays, I take pride in being a lady. No strenuous labor is even attempted when I am in the presence of a man who is trying to win me over. Men come alive when I allow them to be chivalrous. I’ve seen the best in them and I like it. I am confident in my ability to take care of myself, so I do not need to prove it to anybody, especially a man. They already know. Besides, I hate changing my tires, pumping my gas, and checking under my hood, but I love being taken care of!
Ladies, we were never created to live life by ourselves. If that was the case, men would not be here. In a relationship and in a marriage, if I allow a man to take care of me, then I am free to indulge myself in more pleasurable activities like blogging, shopping, and getting pampered. And, think about it, who doesn’t want that?