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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Why I Don't Do "Dutch"
(I only wanna’ be "equal" when it’s to my advantage!)

Men often complain that women don’t know what they want. I do.

I only want to be considered "equal" when it's to my advantage.
On the job, if I do the same work, have the same credentials, and comparable tenure to my male peer, I want to be paid the same. Bottom line.


On a date with a guy, I reserve the right to have different “Standard Operating Procedures.” If he asks me out, I expect him to pay. If he wants to win me over, I expect to be wooed, whined and dined. Period.

Some folks might find my way of thinking to be contradictory or crazy.
So be it.

I figure if men don’t have to do the child birth thing, or suffer from P.M.S. , we as women ought to have some clear advantages too! And I’m not ashamed.

There are, however, some exceptions to my policy. I will treat a man to a meal--

A) If he just lost his job, and is able to provide proof.

B) If he’s celebrating a birthday, and is able to provide proof.

C) If we are in a steady, committed relationship, and his actions provide proof.

Otherwise, the ball is in his court. I see it as a "chivalry" thing.

I toppled upon this topic today, while watching THE VIEW. During their "Hot Topics" segment, Meredith Viera confessed that when she was on the dating scene, she would always go "dutch" to establish her independence.

Some of my girlfriends have stated that they “pitch in” as well. They argue that paying their own way prevents a guy from having any expectations of sex when the night comes to an end. I beg to differ! He can "expect" anything he wants to. That doesn’t mean it’s gonna’ happen!

For years I’ve "expected" thinner thighs, a drama free relationship, a Partridge Family reunion, and fame and fortune. I’m still waiting. Such is life!

I say that a guy has no right to expect me to give him "dessert" just because he gives me dinner. Or anything else. My affections can’t be bought. Now, placing them on lay-away… maybe?

Which begs the question — Is finance integral to romance? Should the two happily coexist? When dealing with the expenses of dating, who pays for what? And when?

The issue seems to get trickier these days as women become more liberated, and many earn more than their potential mates.

One thing's for sure, there needs to be more dialogue dealing with this issue, as misunderstandings typically cause blooming relationships to fizzle fast.

Such was the case with a friend of mine named "Jimmy". He was sharing with me how a two-week relationship he had with a very attractive and fun female came to a halt when she began to ask him for money for her bills and general primping. According to him, her expectations were extremely out of line and premature, since they were not yet in a relationship.

Her rationale was that since he benefited from her salon-fresh appearance, he shouldn’t mind forking over funds for weekly hair and nail appointments.

Unable to reach a happy medium, he stopped seeing her.

So here’s the deal. If you’re currently seeing someone that you’d like to continue seeing in the future, have the money talk.

According to Dr. Judy Kuriansky, author and relationship expert, here are a few things to consider and embrace:

» Attitudes about money stem from your experiences, cultural and religious backgrounds, personality traits, and what you learned from your parents.

» Accept, appreciate, and make arrangements about your individual style of handling money.

» Having ongoing discussions about money is essential to a healthy relationship and will prevent problems down the road.

» Count your blessings more than your bank accounts.

» Whether you come across a shortfall or windfall in your finances, keep level headed and even tempered with each other.

What are your views on romance and finance? I’d love to hear ‘em! Maybe your “words of wisdom” might be featured in a future column. Email me at

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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