Dear Miss Emily:

A friend introduced me to her single male friend.  He asked me out.  When I go on a first date, I always come prepared to pay, just in case.  When the bill came, I pulled out some cash, at the same time, he pulled out his credit card.  I thought he would say "No" I got it, but he put my cash in his wallet.  So I thought, okay if we are friends (like girlfriends) we would pay our own way.  Then later, he wanted to go to another place.  I was tired but agreed and was prepared, again, to pay.  But, when the bill came, I said, "All I have is a 20" so he took it, paid the bill and didn't contribute.  I was shocked that he at least didn't pay for himself.  I know, I was also disappointed because I will not get passed this and I liked him.  Did I make the mistake of offering to pay my share?  What’s the best advice in the future? Should I just not offer and expect that the guy pays?  What goes on in a guys head when a girl offers to pay?  I've been on a few dates and most guys say “No, I'll pay,” and make me comfortable with them paying.  Don't get me wrong, I want them to pay.  To me, it's a sign of how much they like me and want to see me in the future.  I just don't think I should expect it.
Poorer Now

-------------------Miss Emily’s Advice------------------

Dear Poorer:

Times are tough, and offering to pay is a nice thing to do.  Independence is gained by being financially capable of paying your way.  Should a man always pay?  I think, no. Is it right for him to pay on the first date?  If he’s the one who asked you out, absolutely!  The fact that he took your $20 and put it down for the bar bill does not speak well of him.  When a woman offers to pay, it shows she has integrity.  If a man, or anyone for that matter, takes you up on it too many times, it shows their lack of integrity.  If you like him, give him one more chance.  Perhaps he was overwhelmed by your generosity, and temporarily lost consciousness.