After almost two years of living the halaman life to the fullest, I finally gave up the title of perpetually single girl, and succumbed to the idea of—erm—dating.
On a late November night last year, I was enjoying a drink when I was struck by an epiphany—I was finally ready to let down the walls I’ve managed to build for years. (That, or you know, the office holiday party was nearing and I didn’t have a plus one to bring with me, and I was feeling lonely AF.)
Trying to meet ~the one~ (or the 2016 Office Christmas Party Plus One, for that matter) when all my close friends and officemates were already in serious relationships was like being the guinea pig everyone had fun testing their matchmaking skills on. People set me up with whoever they thought would be a ‘perfect fit’, but I encountered many awkward first conversations that had me curling into a human ball the moment I got back home. (Yes, yes my name IS Hershey. Yes as in the chocolate bar. No, my sisters’ names aren’t Kit Kat nor Cadbury..oh, your neighbor’s dog’s name is Hershey? Wow, okay. That’s nice…)
I eventually ended up trying Tinder after some friends convinced me that I wouldn’t meet anyone new, especially since I had already exhausted my social circles, and was even bro-zoned twice or thrice in each of them. (Well obviously, Tinder didn’t turn out well for me, either.)
I’ve had all sorts of dates: a writer, a jazz musician, an overpriced-sneaker-enthusiast, a pastor’s son, a Buddhist, and a 27-year-old club DJ who, two hours into our first date, told me outright that he was looking for a wife. Some were exciting, but most were washouts, like the one who “forgot” to bring his wallet. I ended up footing the bill that night!
Recently, there was much fuss on social media about who should pay for the bill during a date. It all started when an influencer tweeted about how girls shouldn’t date boys who couldn’t take them out to movies or nice dinner places. Understandably, some of my girl friends were extremely upset about her position. Our very own When In Manila Angeline even wrote her own opinion in an article Why I Shouldn’t Focus on Finding a ‘Rich Boy’. On the other hand, some girls supported the influencer’s statement, saying that it was all a matter of finding someone who would strive hard to treat you well.
In the past year, I’ve been on dates where the guy and I went Dutch (“Kanya-kanyang bayad” in Filipino), and I’ve been on dates where dinner was paid for, even though I insisted for ten entire minutes that we split the bill. To be honest, I was comfortable in both situations—I’m perfectly fine paying for myself, but I appreciate it when my date treats me out as well, though he’s not obliged to.
What I was genuinely curious with, however, was: What did men think of this Twitter hullaballoo?
I asked my guy friends* , and was surprised with how different their answers and opinions were, proving that each person has his own principles. Check out their answers below.
*Some names were changed to maintain confidentiality.
10. “We have no problem taking turns / going ‘KKB’ / letting each other pay the bill. Basta ang mahalaga, magkasama kami!” — Diego, 23
9. I ALWAYS pay on the first date! Even if the girl insists that she will, I would. Then I’d try to gauge if she wants to go ‘KKB’, like based on her principles. Personally, girls who split the bill are keepers. — Gerald, 20
8. I always offer to pay. It’s nice when the girl reciprocates with dessert or coffee, but there’s no need to do that all the time. Dutch treat is fine pag matagal na. And if you’ve been going out a while, treat the guy on his birthday. — Josh, 26
7. When I have the moolah, I pay for it. If I’m broke, we go ‘KKB’ and I apologize. — Carlo, 23
6. I appreciate it when she insists, or at least offers to split the bill. Gender equality! — Jason, 28
5. Yung pag-impose na lalaki dapat ang magbabayad ng date expenses ay pyudal na parang pagsabing financial baggage ang kababaihan, at pagsabing walang karapatang magka-gf at makipag-date yung mga wala o kapos sa pera. —Gil, 20
[To impose that men should always be the one to pay for a date is feudal and treats women as financial baggage, and claims that those who are not financially well-off have no rights to go on a date.]
4. KKB is fine, but usually unahan kami sa pag pick up ng bill. — Edmond, 22
[KKB is fine, but usually, the first person to pick up the bill pays.]
3. Sa first few dates ako magbabayad. Ang key lang dun, dapat at least mag-offer din yung babae magbayad or mag-gesture siya to grab her wallet, kahit hindi ko siya papayagan. Then later, pag medyo serious na, let her pay every now and then! It shows that while you’re willing to take charge, she’s willing to contribute. Later on, you can establish na give-and-take yung relationship ninyo. I’m not a huge fan of KKB on dates; it’s too business-like (unless that’s the kind of girl you’re going for, or you want to take things slowly); parang walang “transaction” between the two of you, and I don’t think it helps to build the relationship. — Grant, 34
[I pay the bill on the first few dates. The key is that the girl must at least gesture to grab her wallet or offer to pay, even though I wouldn’t let her. Then, if the relationship becomes serious, I would let her pay every now and then! It shows that while you’re willing to take charge, she’s willing to contribute. Later on, you can establish that your relationship’s a give-and-take. I’m not a huge fan of KKB on dates; it’s too business-like (unless that’s the kind of girl you’re going for, or you want to take things slowly); it’s as if there’s no “transaction” between the two of you, and I don’t think it helps to build the relationship.]
2. Depende kung sino mas marami inorder. — Ryan, 37
[It depends on who ordered more food.]
1. It’s all about equity and kindness. Same principle with LRT seats: give out of generosity, not out of some compelling tradition of conceit. — Leonard, 20
It was interesting hearing answers from my male friends’ points of view, but hey, at the end of the day, dating’s all about enjoying each other’s company. Honestly? I think the best kind of dates aren’t necessarily the ones money can buy.
As my college prof put it, “Love is worth the investment. When women pay, we do it for love and out of love, and I believe that is how men think, too.”
And come on, guys—it’s 2017. Gender shouldn’t really be the basis for who gets to pay for what, don’t you think?
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