Pay For What? Dating & Upside Down Economics


So, I have positioned myself as someone who writes as a pastor, theologian, and social critic.  Now, whether or not I live up to any of that: you be the judge.  However, I realize that most of, if not all of my blogs as of late has been from a pastoral and biblical perspective.  Not today.  Not this week.  This is me, Jody Moore, the social observer and critic.

I am a foodie.  I love coffee.  So I frequent great food spots but primarily great coffee bars.  I am writing this blog from one of my favorite coffee houses in the city in which I live.  I have noticed for quite some time a disturbing trend.

As I stand in line, or sit reading my book: I watch the young couples.  Usually they are in their late teens and early twenties.  It’s a male and a female clearly in some kind of romantic relationship.  I watch the interaction of hand holding, snuggling, kissing, and the occasional tap on the derriere from both parties.  Ok, normal I guess in a dating relationship.  I did the same. [I better not see my daughters doing it]  But, that brings me to what is bothering me.  More times than I care to recount, I have witnessed the young lady pulling out her card or cash and buying their drinks for them.  In other words, she is paying for his coffee or food!

Once, while at Starbucks, at 7a in the morning, I saw a young couple who had to be around 19 or 20 years old.  They apparently spent the night with each other as they were both getting out of the car in jammies.  I guess mom and dad were on a cruise?  I don’t know.  Nevertheless, I saw the young lady pay for their Starbucks while he just sat back watching and grinning.

On another occasion, I watched a young boyfriend/girlfriend couple in the line at Chick-fil-A ordering their food.  Sure enough, she pulled out the card and she paid for the two of them.  I promise you, these are not random situations.  I see it all of the time and it is driving me bonkers!

Alright let me date myself.  I am 48 years old and I started taking girls to the ice cream parlor at age 14.  I would ask my mother for extra money so that I could spend it on the girl I was taking out.  As a matter of fact, I will never forget when I was about 16 my mother and I got into an argument where she said “you are not going to talk to me any kind of way while I am paying for you and those [I will not use the word she used as she was young and unsaved at the time but you get my drift]…”  Point being?  I paid for my dates and the girls I took out.

I know you are shaking your head at the irony of it all.  Because at that time, I was still getting my money from my mother and so it was still a woman paying.  Again, you get my point.  I wanted to be the one taking care of my girl.  My girl did not pay for anything.  When I started working it did not stop.  I have always been the one fully invested financially in the relationship.  When I married the woman that would walk with me through life, I committed to her that I would take care of her.  My wife does not feed me.  I feed her.

So I ask the question.  Where did this new way of doing things come from?  Where is the sense of pride in the young boys that would prohibit them from being taken care of by their women?  Where is the sense of self dignity and self-worth in the young women that would make them feel some sort of way having to buy their “man” chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A?  Do not get me wrong:  treating every once in a while is cool…I guess.  I never allowed it, but okay, I am just old fashion that way.  But something is not right.

For me it is deeper than coffee and food.  I think we have raised a generation of fatherless boys who have been taken care of by their single mothers and this is what they expect from their girlfriends!  We have raised a generation of fatherless girls who did not have dads in their life to set the expectation of what it is supposed to look like!  As a dad of three girls I “wish they would” try to be paying for a knucklehead…I mean young man!  Exception:  both are in college together and on limited funds from parents and she got her allowance before he did and so she treated them at the campus coffee shop.  That’s it!  I know I am being extra and maybe even too hard, but I do not like this trend.

Boys eventually grow up to be men.  Men must understand that they are the leader in the relationship, and you have to pay the cost to be the boss!