Her Highness That Horse is Dead inquired at post 1661. “Would it say something about a man’s strength of character or motives if he did allow a woman to pay [when the bill arrives]?”
Yes, it would. Perhaps only questionable but it’s a pole on which a red flag may later fly. My reasoning works like this.
- Not his words but his actions program his heart. When he doesn’t do things that he figures he should, his mind uncovers avenues of how to escape other obligations or responsibilities. The more he talks her into paying, the worse for her as the action programs his heart with the possibility that he can take advantage of her.
- Her greatest need is for a brighter future, which means his role should have these features: 1) She can depend on him, which requires that he show himself to be reliably responsible. 2) His sense of duty is only as strong as his integrity and devotion to her. 3) Her best insurance for the future rests upon his integrity, his insistence on doing the right things and doing them correctly—with emphasis on doing rather than saying. 4) The right things are those that prove that he’s worthy of her and capable of helping and willing to promote her hopes and dreams—not just his.
- Whether she pays part or all of a bill, it’s the same. It violates her interest and enhances his. She may be pleased and financially more able to be of help or show her appreciation. However, by doing so she teaches how easy she is to dominate or play against her best interest. She indirectly hints that she may be weak or a pushover and he can get his way on other things. Thus, she plants the seed of future discord by not establishing her standard, by not displaying her expectation that she’s worthy of special care if he hopes to win her heart, and by not holding him to account for his words of interest or affection. His actions cure her doubt. Her expectation that he pay cures some curiosity about her strength of character, which earns his respect.
- Each crack in his integrity before marriage inevitably widens afterwards. If he’s willing to let her relieve him of a duty, a responsibility, she can’t depend on him to do the right thing in her future. What is the right thing? He has to prove himself worthy of her. When she volunteers to pay without emergency reason, she follows her mind instead of her heart, lowers her standard, and lessens the possibility that he will prove himself worthy of her expectation for their future.
- She can easily infer that if her guy is generally weak on duties and responsibilities—eagerness to pay on dates is but one example, it easily translates to less than ideal integrity, which doesn’t bode well for her future.
When he continues to pay in dating and courtship, that and his other actions compound in his heart and he becomes more favorable to, for, and about her. He starts doing things to please himself that he’s pleasing her. Out of that, his devotion grows. Smart women insist on seeing devotion instead of giving all in exchange for a guy’s words of commitment.
Consequently, except in an emergency, let his ability and willingness to do the paying determine where, when, how, and why they do whatever they do together. If she can’t live with the results, she invites difficulty living with him as husband.
It should make no difference that she has greater income than he. As the relationship expert, she can find ways to use her extra money to brighten their marital future, if and when it arrives. But that’s another story.