Should girls pay on a date?

Is chivalry dead, or should girls suck it up and pay the bill? Victoria Newark and Isobel Cockerell have it out


VICTORIA NEWARK: ‘Why I expect my boyfriend to pay when we go out for dinner’

Most people think the main drawback of having a boyfriend at Uni is spending too much time with him rather than your friends. They’re wrong. The biggest pitfall of having a boyfriend at Uni is spending too much money on him.That’s why I expect my boyfriend to pay for me whenever we go out for a meal. Just to balance out the costs.

Victoria loves it when her man treats her

Victoria loves it when her man treats her

My boyfriend and I roughly alternate the meals we make for each other which should be the fair way to do things. But I’ve quickly realised it’s definitely not. I spend so much more on every meal than I  would do if I was single and just cooking for myself every day.

I’m not just talking about the fact that boys eat an absurd amount and never seem to get full. Virtually every meal is like an episode of Man Vs Food. And it’s worse when we’re at his house and his friends are there to bet him that he can’t eat the whole of a huge casserole I made in just one sitting.

But that’s not the crux of the problem – it’s what they eat.

My boyfriend thinks a meal without meat isn’t a proper meal so whenever I try to serve up baked potatoes with baked beans, he looks at me and says, ‘okay that’s the starter, where’s the main?’ He’s like a cave man. He’s never happier than when he’s chewing on a large joint of meat. And just that rarely comes in at less than a fiver, let alone the rest of the meal.

It just all gets absurdly expensive.  So, him paying for meals out is the best way of evening out the balance. He’s happy because he gets to feel like he’s treating me, and I’m happy because I know I’m finally getting even.

ISOBEL COCKERELL: ‘Why I can’t stand girls who won’t pay’

Once I was in a restaurant with a boy and when the bill arrived, he simply set fire to it. It was a spectacular, symbolic act, flying in the face of all the archaic stigma attached to bill paying. Not for him (or me for that matter) that appalling breakdown – ‘did you have a side of sweet potato wedges?’ ‘who ordered sparkling water?’ — he was sick and tired of the whole charade. So the hateful thing went up in flames, and we promptly exited the restaurant in a haze of smoke and glory, the waitress shrieking in our evil wake.

OK, so he was just showing off. But it got me thinking. Why is the arrival of the bill such a terrible moment?

In some relationships, there’s no question, the man will pick up the cheque. In others, there will be some friendly, awkward British tussling. ‘No, honestly, I insist,’ Oh please, I wouldn’t dream of it’, etc. etc., ad nauseam until, at length, the man picks it up anyway. And then we have those modern relationships, where everything is split down the middle, even-stevens. Fair, but where’s the romance?

Become a female Gatsby: Isobel (left) reckons paying for drinks gives girls power

Become a female Gatsby: Isobel (left) reckons paying for drinks gives girls power

Courtship is a lost art, there’s no denying it, and here’s my solution. Girls shouldn’t just occasionally pay for things ‘as a gesture’. We should ravish our man, sweep him off his size-twelve feet, take him out for round upon round of drinks, pay for his cab, in just the same way that we are used to being treated.

Why not? If a man can do it to you, why can’t you to him? You can’t be a fair-weather feminist in these times. And if he feels emasculated as a result, that’s because paying for things gives you power, and he knows it. Lets not reduce ourselves to simpering little fairies, waiting to be wooed, unable to lift a finger or, for that matter, a debit card.

If you never pay for things, and naturally expect your boyfriend to spend alot more money on you than you do on him, you are just an object, to be bought at a price. Perhaps it’s a high price, but that doesn’t make you a classier bird, or a ‘princess’. Churchill once asked a socialite if she would sleep with him for £5 million.

She agreed, and he promptly handed her a fiver. At which she said, horrified, ‘What kind of woman do you think I am?!’ He replied, ‘We’ve already established what kind of woman you are. Now we are simply quibbling over price.’ If you won’t put out unless your man picks up the cheque, think of Winston and then think again.

And lets not even start on flirting with random men for drinks – that’s the lowest of the low. I think it’s almost less dirty to minesweep – you incur about the same risk of being spiked, but at least you’re not compromising your sexuality.