You're a single and ready to mingle girl who's Beyoncé as hell, but for some reason dating dudes makes you question whether certain outdated expectations apply to you. Spoiler alert: they don't, especially when it comes to who pays for the first date.
It's more than OK for a girl to cover the first date or at least go dutch, and it comes with some very awesome benefits. When it comes to paying your own way, here's what all the fuss is about:
It shows sexism won't fly
Paying for your own coffee is the quickest way to communicate that you don't subscribe to gender norms.
It keeps first date expenses in check
Getting to know a romantic prospect should be fun, simple and inexpensive. Costly dinners and elaborate nights out can come with weird pressures and expectations, none of which you should have to deal with on a first date. The bottom line is that if you're going on a date solely for a fancy free meal, you're doing it wrong. Paying eliminates this as a possibility altogether.
Your date may secretly want you to pay
The American Sociological Association surveyed over 17,000 people on the subject and found that 64% of men felt women should contribute to dating expenses. But regardless of gender or sexuality, it comes down to considering your date's feelings, budget and point of view.
No one buys the fake wallet grab
It's a bad look on guys and girls, so don't reach for it unless you mean it.
It's an excuse to treat yourself
You're out on the town and look great. Under any other circumstances, you'd buy yourself a treat to celebrate that. Having a date with you doesn't have to change that unless you let it.
It gives them a lot of info about you...
You can say "I have confidence and a job" without saying anything at all.
And their reaction gives you a lot of info about them
Paying shouldn't just be a ploy to test how your date is going to react, obviously. But still, how they respond gives you some insight into their personality. If they're pushy about paying after you've insisted, that's important to know. If they're so into you picking up the tab that they rack up more money on it, that's also valuable info to have.
You set the tone for the relationship if it works out
Remember this is just a first date; you both have plenty of chances to pay for things, but only after you figure out if you like each other. Until then it's never too soon to establish boundaries for the type of relationship you want to have. If it's one where you both bring things to the table and respect each other's contributions -- financially and otherwise -- then it's totally worth the few bucks in the beginning.