“Often, people who are cheap financially end up being cheap emotionally,” says Fields.“On the other hand, if they insist on picking up the tab and never let you pay, are they being sweet and generous, or is it something they saw one of their parents do in a dysfunctional way?On our first date, my boyfriend did pay—although I’d also forgotten to hit the bank before arriving at a cash-only bar, so it kind of took that option off the table—but after that, we took turns and didn’t add up every tab in our heads.As we see it, it all evens out in the end, and it’s a little more romantic to let one person treat the other rather than splitting it between two cards every time.“People will be honest about their age or their number of sex partners before they’ll tell you how much they make,” says Fields.“You don’t have to outright ask how much they make, but before you make any kind of serious commitment, you have to have the money talk.She wants a provider, so she’s looking for someone who likes to provide for others—and there are plenty of people like that.“Even in this day and age, there are plenty of men and women who take pride in being the breadwinner and wanting their partners to be in a more traditional role,” says Fields.
You’re looking to get into a relationship, not just to hook up, right? Some men may think flowers are cheesy, but they’re not.The most important thing is to gauge whether your values are similar, because that can help you figure out whether this is someone you should keep seeing, she says. “Money is important in relationships right from the get-go.It’s really symbolic of emotions and an area that can have tremendous meaning.” Below, Fields explains some of her top tips for navigating the awkward topic of money when you’re dating. After the first or second date, it’s a good idea to start suggesting you pick her up, to shift the romance into a higher gear. Some women will even offer to pay for their dinner if they are not interested. It’s the 21st century, so we know she can drive herself and you’ll look good if you ask her what she prefers. If you want to go Dutch after that, discuss it with her, but one of the main differences between hanging out with a friend and going on a date is who pays.