Some argue that the gender pay gap warrants that first free ride; that it costs a lot more for a woman to get ready in order to meet beauty standards; or that the instigator — traditionally still the men, it seems — should be willing to pay.
The Unsettled, Unsettling Question of First Date Finances
Holly Black

I have a friend who jokes that the social pressure on guys to pay for dates is the only thing the patriarchy has ever given her, and I ain’t mad at that.

More seriously, I always (sincerely!) offer to split the bill (and often offer to pay for friends and/or dates, if I am the dinner instigator). As Ravenclawed said, if the fellow I’m with is offended or feels emasculated by such a gesture, well, that is good information to have.

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