Ask your private questions and get access to exclusive bonuses and coaching through our private Facebook Group. Join now:

For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

Connect with David Tian here:

Man Up Show Facebook Group:
DTPHD Podcast Facebook Group:
Apple Podcast:
Google Podcast:
Google Podcast:
DTPHD Podcast:
Tune In:
Invincible Reviews:

“The Man Up Show” Ep.36 – When Should A Man Pay For A Woman?

When Should A Man Pay For A Woman?

  • David Tian Ph.D. shares the history behind the expectation that men needs to pay for the women.

  • David Tian Ph.D. describes several scenarios and gives tips on who should pay on those situations.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. gives advice on keeping the investment equal and how could this be done.

In episode 36, I answer the question of: When should a man pay for a woman?

[Intro music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Fade music]

Welcome to Man Up, episode 36. I’m filming on my own. I don’t have my team here so it’s a self-filmed episode. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. I’m currently in Seoul, Korea and I have a question here that I’m answering. Privately sent to me by Brian and the question is – it’s very long, I’m going to just paraphrase. Or actually, I’m going to pull out some of the sentences. It’s about men paying for women. Should we? That’s the question.

“The expectations for males to pay for female’s company is something that we all learn very early on as part of all of our customs and traditions that belong to courtship like paying for dinner and drinks when dating, purchasing the wedding ring and wedding ceremony and so on. We are raised with manners to give females flowers, chocolates, jewelry, ice cream, dinner. But even though none of that is cash, all are ways of charming her. What is your view on paying for women?”

Saying “paying for women” makes it sound like prostitutes but paying for stuff on the dates, I get that. Now, this is a deep question. If I had an hour, I could go through all of the various steps or in the logic of the argument but I can only give you one or two points and then the conclusion. And then maybe if somebody wants to learn more, they can ask more. I’ll end with some practical tidbits of advice or tips.

But basically, it made a lot of sense for the man to be in the paying position when women couldn’t work so easily like in the 1800s all around the world, women did not have easy access to education, in some countries, no access to education – even now . So education was denied them. Career opportunities were denied them. And social freedoms, in many cases, were denied. So they’re, in many ways, dependent on the man. Like literally – financially, for security and so on. So in the male-female relationship in the 1800s, it made a lot of sense for the man to be in that position of providing.

As time went on, especially a massive amount of change in the modern period in the 20th century and now in the 21st, women have achieved parity in many areas. And, in fact, have surpassed men even in areas like higher education. In the universities now, women are top students even in Science and Engineering they’re catching up.

And obviously at the very highest levels of moneymaking and so on and other signs of success, there’s still a glass ceiling of some kind. You’ll see how many women are in the Forbes 400 or in various other ways of measuring female success empowerment. But up to that very thin layer of .0001%, they’re doing quite well.

Now, it’s a matter of are you financially better off than she is? That’s the rule of thumb. If you are, let’s say, ten years older than her and you’re making that much more money – maybe she’s a college student or something. You know she doesn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on leisure but you do, go ahead. And here’s the deal.

If you invited her to a dinner, you picked the dinner place, you invited her out, it’s just sort of common courtesy to do that. There’s a lot more detail I can add to that to work you step-by-step to this conclusion but I’ll just give you the tip. Give you the tip, I keep this video short.

The tip is this – here’s a rule of thumb: Would you pay for your buddy, a guy friend that you’ve known as long as that? For instance, if at the bar you had a nice conversation, ten-minute conversation with a dude, you got along real well and you guys have both finished that round of drinks, you reached over the bar, would you just grab him another glass, as well? If the answer is yes – so you’d do it for the guy who you’ve known for the same amount of time then go ahead and get it for the girl. If you’ve got a table with bottles it’s relatively easy thing to just pour a little glass and share with a guy friend that you’ve just met, even – a friend of a friend or something. If a girl comes along, go ahead and do it.

On a date, here’s the deal. If you’re with a good guy friend on a bro-date – so it’s like the two of you having dinner and catching up – would you get the bill? When I go out with my guy friends, if I pick the place and I invited them out, I’ll cover the bill. I have the kind of guy friends who will sneakily pay the bill on me when I go to the restroom or something. And I think that’s also built into Asian culture. We trade bills. And that’s an easy way to go.

So that then goes into the next tip. Just to finish that tip, ask yourself if it was a guy friend, would you do the same? If the answer is yes then go ahead and pay scot-free and it won’t affect your attractiveness. In fact, if anything, it will increase your attractiveness.

Here’s the next tip, rolling into the next tip. The next tip is an easy way to get her to keep that value and investment going – because the part of the theory, that’s a big part of the theory would actually take me two hours to explain properly, to teach properly – is the cost worth connection. Where the more something costs for people, the more they consider it to be worth. And that can actually really skew people’s perceptions of relative worth.

Most of marketing and advertising and sales takes advantage of this. This is a well-known phenomenon in social psychology and in business and so on. So you have to be very aware of it in yourself because the more you invest in something, the more you ascribe worth to it.

So you see this in poker players where they got pot heavy or pot invested or whatever the term is. And they start to act really irrational because they’ve got too many chips on the table on this hand. It’s the same thing in life, in every area of life. And what you don’t want is for a girl not to invest anything in you and you invest a lot because then you get really needy, naturally, and she withdraws attractiveness. She becomes less attached to the situation.

That’s counterintuitive for most guys because they’ve taught bullshit which is that if you spoil somebody they’ll really like you and in return they’ll give you all the stuff you want, like sex and a relationship.

I cover that in the nice guy videos about how most nice guys are fake nice guys because they’re actually trying to blackmail the girl into giving him sex or a relationship by doing things for her, by being nice to her. Because you’re acting out of the ordinary for him, for himself because he wouldn’t treat his guy friends in the same way hence the first tip.

Now, I’ll give you the second tip which is because you’re aware of the cost-worth connection, you want to get her to invest something into the relationship even if it’s just the first date or the first interaction. You don’t want her to just look pretty and show up. That’s a bad precedent to set. It’ll actually start to kill the attraction she has for you. She’ll become less attached and less invested in the relationship and the interaction.

So you want to give her the chance to invest because that actually helps her to enjoy her time more and to actually appreciate life and the relationship and the interaction more. So that’s for her own good, really. Otherwise, you’ll be denying her happiness.

And most people are not aware of that so you have to be in charge of that now that you’re aware of it. So what you’re going to do is, depending on your relative earning power on her – not earning power but what you actually earn, you can kind of roughly gauge how much discretionary income she has. You should pay, probably if you’re older and have more discretionary income, for the more expensive part of the date.

So if you meet up for coffee first and then go to dinner, let her get the coffee and you say, “You get this, I’ll get the next one. “ The next one’s a dinner. You can have steak or whatever and it evens out, right? So you get this one. When the bill comes, you say, “I’ll get this one, you get the next one.” The next one’s going to be post-dinner cocktails or dessert at a different place. You should be moving regularly from place to place to place, anyway. Don’t ever just sit in one place for more than an hour. And sit there for three hours and wonder why nothing’s going on. You have to keep moving. Keep the variety and the unpredictability going. Constant movement is good.

There’s so much more I want to say about those points I just threw out at you but those are some basic principles. Do the trade. So I’ll cover this if you get that. You can also go Dutch if that’s common in your country. Most western countries it’s common. The bill comes, you just sort of, “Okay, I owe this much.” But look, if you’re older, if you have more discretionary income and if you picked the place, you should probably pay. I think you should pay even just for the fact that you picked the place especially if your discretionary income is higher.

Okay, we’re way past time now. I’ll end it there with those two tips. Ask yourself the rule of thumb; ask yourself if it was a guy friend would I do the same. And then if you then want to trade – if you then say, “Okay, I’ll pay for this.” Make sure you get her to pay for something or put in some kind of investment or some effort. Assuming she has discretionary income. And don’t just be paying for everything all the way down the line and having her do nothing, at all.

That’s a recipe for her abusing you and taking advantage of you and exploiting your kindness. Get her to pay for the small things even something like a $1 McDonald’s ice cream if you must. But just like, “I’ll get this if you get the next one” is really easy to do.

Okay, man. Keep the investment equal. There’s a lot of other issues there on relative value of human beings, of male-female but this video is long enough already. I hope you enjoyed that. I’d love to hear your feedback. Either feedback to me in the comments or, as we prefer, go to the private Facebook group and leave your feedback there. Of course you can ask your questions to me personally and I’ll answer them for you personally. All right, man. Until next time – man up.