Is She Using You?
Since I'm a guy's guy, I always TAKE CHARGE, and pay for everything. The problem is, once you establish this pattern, it's really hard to get out of it.
I can afford to go out, but I'm starting to feel like some kind of Pimp Daddy.
I've been dating a woman for the last year and a half, and she almost never pulls out her wallet to pay for anything. I used to drop subtle and not-so-subtle hints, but for the most part the only reaction I would receive was, "You're making me feel guilty."
Well, guess what, you're right. That was exactly what I was trying to do.
Fast forward to today. My girlfriend still isn't paying. But because dropping hints didn't work, I no longer take her to nice restaurants (not even on Valentine's Day or her birthday). We don't go on weekend trips together. Indeed, our dating life is fairly uneventful. For the most part, I cook at my apartment.
If I could do it all over again, I'd probably lay down the law at the beginning. She either picks up the tab every other time we go out, or we don't go out anymore. I'm nobody's meal ticket.
If a guy EVER wants a girl to pay her share, then he's got to set that up right from the beginning; otherwise, it's almost impossible.
Me, personally, I almost always pay... but that's because I want to.
But I'll have the girls make up for it one way or another. Sometimes I'll have them cook a meal for me, or grab dinner and bring it over to my office if I'm working late (then they have no choice but to pay). Or I'll have them do some favor or another (type up some work, help me shop for clothes, etc.), so there's some exchange of energy.
Master of the Universe
You don't necessarily have to have her pay her equal share, but she should *contribute* positively in some way to the relationship. So your method is even better than actually making her pay 50% because when you get people to do things for you, they usually end up liking your more. It's some sort of psychology principle whose name escapes me at the moment.
If you make enough cash and feel good paying for them then there is nothing wrong with that at all as long as you know why you are doing it (i.e. because you want to and know that she will reciprocate in other positive ways; not because she is a user who wants a free ride).
I think the problem arises when the guy feels like he is simply a chump paying and not getting *anything* in return (sex does not count). I have been there in a long-term relationship and it feels like crap.
In this case, the easy cop out is to tell her, "You know honey, you should pay more, this gets expensive for me." From there, it will lead to problems because she won't respect you and you won't even feel like she is sincere when she does pay.
The ideal situation in my opinion is for this stuff to happen naturally. For instance, the check comes and you'll pay but she'll have tried to pay. Then another day, you'll stop by after work and she'll have cooked you a great meal and serve you some great wine. She'll buy you little things and you'll do the same, etc. All natural.
Doc Love (doclove.com) offers the following test to see if your woman is using you for money: When the check comes, you simply leave it on the table and keep talking. She should make a move to pay it if you just ignore the check. If she does not and says instead, "Oh honey, let's hurry up and go" or something along those lines, then you know that she is using you for money.
I have tried this and the check just stayed there for a very long time. The girl finally said, "Come on, pay the bill, we should get going." It was an eye opener. (She had actually told me the night before, "Next time we eat out, I'll treat you.")
So then I knew that this girl is using me and that I should watch out. I ended up telling her, "Didn't you say you were paying?" And she said, "Oh, do you want me to pay? I forgot that I said I was paying." I'm not kidding here, dude. She said that. So I said, "Forget it" and paid.
Like I said before, if she does it because you told her, then it means nothing. I want them to pay or contribute because they want to and not because I tell them they should.
So if you feel like you've got to take turns paying for dates then that is a problem in the long term. And if she simply does not want to contribute positively either with money or energy then she's not valuing the relationship as much as she should.