Introducing Think Tank Thursdays (Millennial Dating)

Most ideas come to me when I’m out with friends and/or consuming beer. And this week, a gut-spilling evening of pilsner and catching up with old pals gestated a new, weekly supplement for driveallnight.org – Think Tank Thursdays.

Each Thursday, I’ll ask an open question about a hot button topic that Generation Y may be rethinking, and rope in a panel of 4-5 Millennial-aged guests to share their thoughts. But to make this as democratic as possible, I want to hear from YOU as well. Have a current issue you’d like to discuss with Millennials? Want to become a panelist? Shoot me a message or just Friend me on Facebook.

And now, this week’s topic…Millennial Dating!

To this day, there’s nothing like the feeling of having an attractive person you’ve just met inform you that you’ve got spinach between your teeth. And while the ritual of courtship remains a timeless dance, there comes a moment at the end of each encounter that’s quickly becoming a source of self-doubt and panic for Millennial singles: the check. Not too long ago, coughing up cash was assumed to be the guy’s responsibility. But with a floundering economy, more women in the workplace than ever before, and important strides in gender politics, many Millennials are revisiting this fading expectation.

So, I asked this week’s panelists: when you’re on a first date with someone you like, what happens when the check arrives?

Angelica – Recruiter, Lexington, MA

“Honestly, if a guy he asks me out, I wouldn’t expect him to pay, but it would be nice. I’m all for equally sharing bills and costs on future dates, but I think it’s a nice gesture for the guy to offer and show he wanted this to happen, and for me to see that he liked me enough to take me out.”

Justin – Account Manager, Manhattan, NY

“The man always pays. It’s not chauvanism; it’s chivalry. Man pays. And holds the door open for her. Always. No exceptions.”

Whitney – Teaching Fellow, Denver, CO

“When I go on a date with a woman, it always ends up getting split down the middle unless one of us wants to make a really strong impression. If it’s a date with a man, I always offer to split, but usually only end up splitting when the date was only okay. The gendered expectations are definitely there with a guy – but I will pay for the second date, if there is one.”

Josh – National Guard, Atkinson, NH

“In an ideal world the two parties should go Dutch 95% of the time since everyone is borderline broke and shouldn’t pay for the whole bill. But early in the dating process this isn’t really a great option because of the pressure that comes with making a good impression. Just having the ‘Let’s go Dutch’ conversation in your head will make you cringe, and even if the other person doesn’t think you’re a cheapskate, YOU will think that they do and the little voice in your head will berate you incessantly for being a moron and screwing up your one opportunity to find love.”

Barbara – Production Assistant, Los Angeles, CA

“As far as the first date, it’s usually just drinks or coffee and the guy has always paid for me. I don’t think I’ve gone on a first dinner date since college, and that was in a dining hall.”

Restaurant-check

Thanks to these five for sharing their thoughts. What do you think? Does chivalry apply to money matters? Should the asker pay for the askee? Let’s keep this conversation rolling.

-Miles

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