Is he being taken advantage of?
Apps like Tinder have made it easier than ever to meet that special someone. But it's also made it easier than ever to take advantage of people.
I've written about con men (and women) who trawl for prey on dating sites, hoping to scam money from gullible souls. But what about those who trick their dates in less insidious ways? Maybe they don’t even realize the harm they’re doing to the person they’re on a date with.
Take a poll carried out by YouGovAmerica that revealed that 34% of people on dating apps are just on there for something to do—like they use dates as a pastime. Instead of going to the movies or shopping, they get taken to dinner. They have no intention of taking things further than a second or third meeting with their date. Still, they reap the benefits of a free meal and drinks.
Worse, the YouGovAmerica poll also showed that 23% of dating-app users are literally just there out of curiosity about how the app works. Eighteen percent are only there for a self-esteem boost. Unbelievably, 6% are actually there to cheat. (Trust me, I've written about that, too.)
In short, there are a bunch of people on dating apps who exist simply to waste your time. They might not look at it that way, but if you’re trying to find a serious relationship, these folks will make it difficult for you.
This might seem like just one of those things that daters need to put up with on dating apps. But what if you’re a man? Even in our modern age, where women demand equality in most sectors of our society, men are still typically expected to pay for dates.
A survey conducted by Money.com and SurveyMonkey found that 78% of both male and female respondents believed that men should foot the bill on the first date. That means if you ask a woman out for a meal and she’s just using you to fill her social calendar for something to do, then you’re covering the tab for nothing.
This can get extremely expensive for a guy.
This is the case of a man who goes only by the moniker: “Thirty-something, Single and Aggravated.” He wrote to Quentin Fottrell of The Moneyist in a now trending post to complain about how he feels taken advantage of by women on dates.
He meets up with women from apps like Tinder, pays for their dinner and drinks. He might get a second or even a third date out of the arrangement, but then the woman ghosts him.
He’s started to feel like this whole thing is a game. These women are just using him for a couple of free meals.
I don’t doubt that’s exactly what’s happening.
I’ve written about the trend of women who go on “foodie calls” with men. This roughly translates into just going out to eat with a guy for the meal, with no intention of dating him seriously.
Women go on “foodie calls” as a way to combat the high cost of living in American cities. But this puts the burden on men to feed these women.
Thirty-something, Single, and Aggravated is fed up. “If they're not serious” he complains, “then why do they agree to be taken out to dinner? A bottle of wine can cost upwards of $45."
He says he's considering taking women out just for coffee instead of a meal. The problem is that a lot of women consider themselves “high-value” and refuse to go out with a man just for coffee. They want a man to show his interest by spending money on a nice dinner.
Unfortunately, this mentality puts men at a serious disadvantage. Studies show that 75% of users on Tinder are men. As a result, women can pick and choose from a wide supply of suitors. Men may feel an even higher expectation to pay for dates, just to secure a second date with a woman.
But what if he still gets ghosted?
The rules need to change.
Maybe the real issue is that this is an out-dated concept. The expectation that a man will cover the bill on dates just doesn’t work in our current world.
It’s simply too easy to meet people on dating apps these days. It’s possible to use these apps just for fun. People are going out on a ton of dates with no intention of making it serious. That and it’s extremely simple to drop somebody at the first sign of the slightest difficulty.
If the modern dating climate has reduced people to disposable commodities, then it’s just not fair for men to have to foot the bill anymore.
Mix this with the fact that inflation is at an all-time high. People's wages have yet to catch up with the rising cost of living. Everyone’s feeling the crunch. The rules and expectations of men paying for everything on dates simply need to change.
Maybe, from now on, men and women should agree to split the bill on early dates. Sure, I wrote about how going dutch killed the romance on one of my dates—but maybe I was in the wrong. I also need to change my mentality and have more compassion for men. Splitting the bill is the only ethical thing to do.
I suggest that men like Thirty-something, Single, and Aggravated go on Zoom dates before meeting a woman in person. He should spend time assessing if she’s just on the app for something to do, or is she actually looking for a serious relationship.
That and I suggest trying low-cost first dates like meeting in a park. That’s what I’ve done when I haven’t been sure about a guy—so he doesn’t have to waste money on me if I decide I don’t like him.
Sure, the “high-value” woman may quibble about a first meeting in a park or for coffee. But maybe that just means she's also “high-maintenance” and a man’s better off without her.
What do you think? Is this a solution for men who are looking for love but don’t want to get financially drained by dates with non-serious women? Let me know in the comments.