My friend recently went on a first date. She said the guy was nice, but the way he paid for her coffee was a little awkward. It didn’t bother her that he wanted to pay. That was nice. Maybe he was just a little too emphatic about it. “No, no! I insist!!” he said, when her coffee rang up at, like, $1.45.

“Oooohh… such generosity!” I gushed, poking fun at the poor guy. But soon the laughs were on me when Ken described our first date.

It was a blind date, set up by our mutual friend, Renee. We met her boyfriend and her at a little diner for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. It was nice, and we all got along really well. 

But when the bill came, Ken noticed that I didn’t offer to pay. He was planning to cover mine, but he had grown accustomed to telling his dates, “No, no… I’ll get it. I insist.” 
No coaxing was needed on this date. I didn’t reach for my purse. I didn’t ask if I could chip in. I didn’t even offer to get the tip. I just kept chatting as if no one had ever heard of the girl paying for her own lunch on a first date. 
So, Ken smiled to himself and picked up the tab. And thus began a long history of him doing just that.

Many would think I gave a very weak ‘first date impression’–that I should have projected a more capable, independent image by insisting on paying for my lunch. After all, I have a college education, equal rights to employment, and opportunities that my grandmothers never enjoyed. But, while I am thankful for these blessings, I’m glad that I haven’t allowed myself to be held hostage by them. I think that my relationship with Ken has been the strongest when I haven’t exerted my independence–when I’ve allowed him to provide for and lead me. And when I’ve been content to let him do so.

Maybe my friend’s date deserves more credit than we gave him. I think relationships work best when the guy says, “I insist!” And when the girl doesn’t.

What do you think?

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