Who pays? This is a difficult question, regardless of age. In a time period of true equality, the issue of who pays for what is met with varied answers. No longer the given rule, “men pay because they have the money,” the economic dating turf has everyone baffled.

Since older women with younger men holds an additional variable, one must certainly eliminate the woman to be the one who pays for everything. (Read the article: The Source- in Attitudes/ Behavior). For over 15 years, I’ve chronicled every combination of this monetary situation possible. And, I’ve chronicled the response of both partners. While the dominant choice is that of equality, when it comes down to the wire:

1.The preferred choice, by both partners— the younger man pays.

Younger men have repeatedly stated that it is very important for them to pay for the dates, and to be the one in charge. This is a specific within the courtship phase. The idea of equality quickly emerges, once the relationship is stabilized. But in the preliminary dating phase, younger men still want to “feel like the man.”

Here’s where the older woman must adjust her sights, and be willing to go with the flow. She may have been on luxury cruises with her former husband, whisked off on private jets by a lover in her past, or accustomed to dining in chic restaurants. Now, she must let her younger guy take the lead. He may be well situated. He may just be starting out. Whatever the scenario, he will take her to his world. And she will experience it, with him.

As the dating intensifies into an established relationship, there is parity. But that’s a different phase altogether. In dating and courtship, just roll with the adventure. This is where the younger guy can figure out just how cool she is, or not. And she can figure out if his lifestyle is one that works in conjunction with hers. Things don’t have to be the same. They just have to be mutually enjoyable.