Who pays on Valentine's Day?

As women become more financially independent, will the rules change around who spoils whom on Valentine’s Day?

Through Twitter chats and discussions with single friends and those in committed relationships, it seems like men still expect to pay on Valentine’s Day.

Craig, who has been living with his girlfriend for two years, told me that he always pays.

“I feel like I want to spoil her on Valentine’s Day. I will pay for the meal, but usually the next time we go out, she insists on paying. I just really see it as a gift, not an obligation.”

He adds that he loves the fact that every Valentine’s Day, his girlfriend buys him a red rose.

“You also don’t want to be taken for granted.”

The other view seems to be that whoever asked the other out is the one who will pay.

In a heterosexual relationship, this tends to still be the man – women’s lib has not gone so far that it is commonplace for women to ask men out on a date, although as I was reliably informed by a Twitter follower that a woman can ask a man out on February 29, “and then she must pay for the date”.

And then there is Leonard, who is absolutely definitive on the subject:

“A man must pay. It is unacceptable in my books. Women shouldn’t be paying in the first place, what happened to chivalry?”

When I asked why he felt this way, he replied:

“Because it is very impolite to expect your lady friend to look good for the date, like if she buys sexy lingerie, and then also pay for dinner.”

For Leonard, the roles, and expectations, are clearly defined.

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