Yesterday, Ira Sugarcookie was inspired to write about the 12 mistakes guys make on first dates. One of her tips was that a man should always offer to pay the bill on a first date. Many guys disagreed with this so I want to offer a male perspective on why Ira is right and and explain why this shouldn’t be limited only to first dates.

Ira argued that a guy paying the bill is still a tradition and most girls will expect a guy to pay. Many guys objected to this. Guys were falling over themselves to explain different situations when this would not apply.

Some said cultural differences play a part and that girls in their part of the world would not let them pay or it could even provoke a negative reaction. Redditor, HipstermanPrime said: “I recently had a girl flip out on a first date because I paid for everything.”

And other guys said they look at the relative income levels between the two of you and work out what’s fair from there. Another Redditor, AzraelTyrson even expects girls to help contribute to his dinner if they are in a better financial position.

Both are wrong. There is no situation why the girl should pay half the bill on a first date. And here’s why.

It’s a gift

You invited her to dinner. It was your idea. You have to think of dinner as a gift. Obviously you wouldn’t give her flowers and ask her to pay half. You wouldn’t ask her to pay half if you bought her any other gift. So why ask her to pay half for a meal that you invited her to?

Now when I say the dinner is a gift, don’t get the wrong idea. That doesn’t mean she owes you anything just because you paid for dinner. And she certainly doesn’t owe you sex. That’s not how gifts work.

The thing to remember is that your date didn’t have to come out for dinner with you. She probably had other plans or would just eat at home as most people do. Dinner was your idea. It’s your invitation. So you should pay.

Plus you probably don’t know her financial situation unless you are already very close friends. People tend to be very guarded about their finances. Your date may not be able to comfortably afford the restaurant you pick, which puts her in an awkward situation as according to rule four on Ira’s first date tips: you should pick the venue.

Being a girl is expensive enough

The fact you made the invitation and that dinner is a kind of gift should be reason enough for treating your date to dinner. But if you need more – and this is why I think men should always buy their date’s dinner – girls have to spend so much more money on simply existing than guys.

What did you do to prepare for your date? You probably took a shower, put on your nicer clothes, fixed your hair and put on a few drops of perfume or at least had a quick spray of deodorant.

Whereas your date will have a whole process that can be measured in hours for some girls. Just think about all the grooming girls do: hair removal, haircuts, makeup, bikini waxing, manicures, eyebrows, the list is endless!

Sure they don’t have to do all of those things every day but they have way more to do and the cost is staggering. Next time you get a haircut, check how much extra it is for a girls haircut. Next time you visit a drugstore, take a peek at the cost of all that makeup.

There’s even a pink tax. A girl can buy the same product as a man but pay a higher price because it comes in feminine packaging or colours. Ridiculous really.

So next time you are on a date and the bill comes, no matter how good or bad the date has gone, pick up the check with a smile because you paying for dinner is a lovely gesture and really just the universe’s way of balancing everything out.