We’re really guest posting things out, eh? We must say thank you to our guest bloggers for making this space more interactive lately!
So if you can remember, I wrote a post about ‘Being a Lady’ and how I have to begin seeing myself as one and allowing guys to treat me as one. In a response to what I wrote, Amma’s boyfriend wrote a guest post for us, which was quite an eye opener for me… if you haven’t read it yet, I would take a look HERE. Now for Part III of our mini series on chivalry, another guy that I referenced in my original post has graciously written an almost contrasting opinion piece to Amma’s boyfriend. Definitely gives me something else to think about.
Enjoy! And let us know what you think about the post.
Afua says to treat her like a lady.
I agree; treat her like an intelligent, independent lady. So that means split the bill with her on general principle—unless certain conditions are present.
Apparently the idea of a man splitting the bill is quite an affront to many Ghanaian women. I apologize if I’ve offended in the past. I’ve learned my lesson. After many-a-date without happy endings, I have learned.
But my dating world spans, indeed, the world, so things are different…and different and different and different. Complicated, I would say. I pay; she pays; each pays; I pay the meal, she pays the desert; I the meal, she the tip; she the meal, I the drinks; and every combination you can imagine. I’ve even had an inelegant occasion where I was going to pay—honest!—but I had left my wallet so she paid (and perhaps wonders to this day if that’s just my hustle). On another occasion, I offered to buy a plane ticket and she canceled the trip at the suggestion (through my gesture) that she couldn’t buy her own (she wasn’t Ghanaian, of course).
If you’re thinking I’m revealing too active a dating life with all these combinations, don’t. I don’t do dates per se, you see. When I go out with a woman, we’re going as two friends or potential friends. If the ending retroactively confers a date status on said outing, great. As you might imagine, I’ve been on many dates when I didn’t even recognize I was on a date and probably broke all the rules. So I shall henceforth use “encounter” to cover all these, well, encounters.
With all these combinations and complications—you’re probably already thinking this guy is bad news—what are his rules?
In essence, I’m an advocate and practitioner of women’s equality in all ways: equal salary, domestic chores, everything. I can also be hopelessly cerebral, and no one has convinced me just yet why it should be any different with the restaurant tab. Why the man has to pay by default.
To be clear, I do it happily most of the time, but only if I can justify it. The idea of paying for a professional, income-earning woman on an encounter when she’s got her own makes no sense to me. For me, it’s like showing off. It’s like I’m saying I have money and you don’t, you know, like you’re the weaker vessel or something.
There are, however, some conditions under which my paying makes sense to me:
- I initiated that we go to that particular place (Some Ghanaian women will pester you to take them out and then go on to suggest [insert name of a fancy restaurant])
- I know for a fact that it will be significantly more of a financial stretch for her than it will be for me. Say, she’s a student, new entrepreneur, unemployed. (Even then, I know women who would still prefer to pay for themselves as an assertion of their independence.)
- It is culturally accepted that the man pay (to the extent that she might not even carry enough money on her).
If none of the conditions above exist, we’re going Dutch, baby. It’s not personal. It’s logical. I can’t forget a trip I took with a woman who created a Google Docs spreadsheets of expenses before we started, diligently updated the spreadsheet throughout the trip, and sent me my balance upon return. Now, *that* was a turn on.
But here’s the good news if you’re a woman looking to be “treated like a lady”: Some guys will pay on the first date and gradually go Dutch on subsequent dates. I’m the opposite. Even if I go Dutch on the first “encounter,” once it retroactively becomes a date, I become inclined to pay for subsequent outings depending on the relationship and relative financial situations. Even if she’s in better financial situation than I, I will buy gifts. Of course if we progress to having a joint account, then it’s coming from the joint account except for special occasions.
So you might pay for the first meal, but I could buy the house. Fair deal, no?
I write at a time when one of Ghana’s most prominent preachers has warned Ghanaian women that they’ll burn in hell with their beauty and brains unless they humble themselves and get a man. So, ladies – I’m here to save you. You don’t have to humble yourself before me, and you won’t go to hell either. Just get the check. I won’t be offended.
What does offend me is when people (men and women) are unreasonable or ungrateful. Even in Ghana where I pay most of the time (see 3rd condition above), some women take it for granted and make unreasonable requests. One theory I’ve heard is that when a girl meets a boy, she’s never sure how long it will last, so she’s got to make him prepay his tax: real estate tax (rent), education fund, and (if the man is a politician) cars and trips to Dubai.
Another argument I’ve heard is that the man should always pay because he wants something from the woman. Now, that’s logic I can appreciate. So, let’s talk.
hmmm hmmm and hmmm. Thoughts, RR? Kinda takes one back to this scene from An African City, doesn’t it?…
An African City: Episode 2: Sexual Real Estate 7:24-10:20