Who buys the first drink on a date has become unnecessarily polarising. In fact, it's the one thing you can bring up in a group of guys that's guaranteed to rub someone up the wrong way.
Why? Because somehow, the idea of letting a guy buy you a drink has become synonymous with being anti-feminist. "You want equality - why don't you buy your own drink." "You're a strong independent woman - who cares who buys?" And so on, and so forth.
But, in my opinion, it's simply not the case. Here's why:
1. Guys still earn 18% more than women
Feminism, by definition, means equality for both genders. That means men and women should be in the exact same financial position to buy the first drink. But we're not. The gender pay gap means woman are still earning, on average, 18% less than men for doing the exact same jobs. And at the rate things are moving, it's estimated global pay equity won't be achieved for another 216 YEARS.
Pay equality, however, doesn't see to piss some dudes off as much as you assuming they're gonna buy the first drink. You know, tens of thousands of dollars less for you, but that tenner is too much for them to put down? Funny that.
How about we all work on fixing the massive fucking loss women are copping every year first. Then we'll talk about who's gonna pay for the glass of shiraz, yeah?
2. You asked me out, so...
It's social convention that if you ask someone out for dinner or a drink, you have to be prepared to pay for it. If they can't afford to shout you both dinner, then a drink is just as nice. Heck, a coffee's half the price again, but it's still a date. It's not about the budget or money spent, it's the principle.
Plus, given the social expectation on the guy to pay for the first drink (and the fact that talking about money is always super awks), if they go out of their way to go dutch or make you pay, then it's a bit of a red flag.
A fellow staffer once arrived to a date she was asked on and he already had a pint then said "Are you going to buy a drink?" That's just straight-up rude.
Of course, if you actually prefer to ask guys out and buy them the first drink, then power to ya – go for it.
3. Generosity is hot
Come on. Who can honestly say they want to date a total tightarse? Now, this isn't about wanting to drain a guy for all the cash he has. No sir. It's about appreciating generosity.
In the same way you show your love for you mates or fam by shouting them a glass of fizz, when a guy treats you to something, it's sweet. And you should always say thank you 'cos manners. Likewise, I'd always offer to return the gesture for the second round as it's just a nice thing to do. The trusty rounds system.
So, next time a guy's like 'oh, did you wanna get this?', you are 1 million per cent within your rights to be pissed. It's just good manners.