Thursday, June 26, 2003

Why Love and Romance Have Been Going Belly-Up

This week CNN, Money Magazine and America On-Line jointly posted an article and on-line survey on the dating habits and ethics of modern Americans vis the issue of who should pay for dates.

On an accompanying AOL message board dedicated to the article and survey, a woman posted the following rather innocuous manifesto:

If a man wants my company, then he should respect me enough to WANT to pay the bill. I do NOT abuse and use that privilege, though. I always order light and help provide great conversation. And, I do NOT owe that man anything else -- just company and companionship for the evening.

Very fair and very reasonable, in our view: What the lady is doing here is nothing more or less than asserting her natural right to be treated with deference as one person invited by another person to share an enjoyable evening of entertainment and conversation. Common sense alone should tell any reasonable person that all she expects is what she has the right to expect, i.e., that if another person desires her “company and companionship,” that same person should respect her enough to not expect her to pay for the evening as well, whether in whole or 50-50. In fact, there’s a word for folks who would expect her to:


Incredibly, however, her very reasonable statement of dating expectations set off a storm of protest from some of the male posters, most of whom responded with often cynical comments such as:

I pity the poor guy that goes out with you.


… "WHAT DO WOMEN WANT?" The answer is surprisingly simple. Women only want three things. 1. They want it ALL. 2. They want it NOW. 3. They want it FREE. That's it! Now use that to guide you in ALL your relationships with women. GOOD LUCK!


I would run from "Ms. Respect" as far and as fast as I could. She's an arrogant, self centered hustler. She's the type that will spend a $100 of your money on a date, smile sweetly at the door and say, "Thank you" and, after you have left, invite the impoverished pot smoking, playboy pool cleaner in for the night.


Here's a stupid female boob completely out of touch with the times! "Respect"...Gimmie a break! Ever hear of 2003? Are you aware of what this number implies? Are you aware that we went to another century more than three years ago?

You remind me of Melvin Udall's evaluation in his novelette female characters in As Good As It Gets: "I think of a man...and I take away reason and accountability".

What are men to you? Chopped liver? Are they to be eaten, digested, and pooped out? Somebody must have locked you up in a pumpkin shell 'cause you pissed them off rather well. (lol)

And, last but by no means least in the How to Justify Stinginess Department, we read this:

…Women have been lobbying for equal rights, parity in compensation, etc. for years. It's ironic to me that despite their often strident and dramatic demands to be treated as equals, very few of them want to be treated as equals when the check arrives. Generally, when one of my buddies and I go some place, it's understood that we share the expenses no matter who extended the invitation. When a woman expects a man to pay her way, she places herself in a subordinate role. Interestingly, when the military draft was still in effect, very few women demanded that they be subject to the draft. The inconsistent behavior just described reminds me of the adolescent who moves out of his/her parents' home because of a desire to "be an adult" then asks mommy and daddy to help with the rent.

RESPECT? Give me a break. I provide reciprocal companionship and conversation. Consequently, it seems that if I'm paying for everything, I'm giving more than I'm receiving.

If women want to be treated as equals, then they must be willing to accept the obligations and well as the benefits of "equality."

But, contra the “gentleman’s” decision to lay all the blame at the feet of feminism, this is beside the point (which we’ll get to in due course). Moreover, he totally misunderstands the concept of equality in the political and economic sense, i.e., that women ought not be penalized in the marketplace or in the political arena merely on the grounds that they are women.

One fellow, however, did post a fairly reasonable response:

…The more beautiful the woman, the more she'll want from you. Which is sad because so many people feel that the more money someone has, the better person he or she is. Yet women bitch all the time about the guys they date and are always asking "where the good guys are?" If they would get the money symbols out of their eyes, they'd probably see us. We are the working class guys who work 9-5, make a good living at it, but don't make 6 figures, don't drive the Jaguar's, and don't have the classically handsome looks. Ladies, get off the money horse and find happiness where happiness is, in the heart. :)

Of course there have been gold-diggers at least as long as there have been cads. But Ms. Respect hardly seems to fit into that former category.

Reading these replies, one would think that Ms. Respect was proposing mandatory castration followed by indentured servitude as a precondiction for dating her.


Common sense alone should tell these guys that “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” the Golden Rule of respect and benevolence (what people generations ago called “charity” before that word became emptied of its original meaning; i.e., selflessness and a generosity of spirit), would go a long way toward establishing and enriching any relationship, dating and non-dating alike.

Why should men who ask women out on dates at least be willing to pay for the dates, and be prepared to do just that?

First of all, because it’s just. The party proposing a project should also be the party subsidizing that project –not pass the cost on to someone else, including one who may benefit from it, unless they agree or offer to cover it. Secondly, because doing so is, in and of itself, an act which communicates caring, respect, and a willingness to give and be vulnerable rather than indulge in egotism and pure self-interest.

With such cluelessness about human nature so rampant on the modern dating scene –at least as it manifests itself on the Internet— is it any wonder that so many singles have become convinced that real love is an illusion and lasting romance an impossibility?

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