I have a 16-year-old son who dates often. He is a great kid and does well at school. He works a part-time job and has been saving a little money to buy his first car. Financially, all the little things we do for him as parents like pay for his cell phone bill and car insurance, along with giving him spending money for his dates, really starts to add up. I guess my real question is when he is going on all these dates – which usually turn out to be nothing at all- is it acceptable to go dutch? I want him to be a gentleman, but where is the line on all these movies and dinners at $50 a pop is really starting to make me wonder how others handle this situation and what the acceptable way to handle this would be.
Well, I am sure most will not like my answer here, but I am going to say it anyway.
The man should always pick up the check on a date.
It’s chivalrous and important that we teach our young men this very important quality. Dating today is so hard and there are a lot of young people who are raised without learning how to treat a potential suitor.
The obvious issue here is teaching your son how to prioritize and manage HIS money.
I’m not sure why you are paying for his dates. Especially if they are becoming excessive and he works part time. If he wants to only use his money on buying a car, he will have to learn how to sacrifice other material things in the process. I.e. expensive dates. This is a big lesson to learn young and one that will enable him to manage his finances well as an adult.
I have a 16-year-old son as well, and we always expect him to pay for the date. He works and is saving money for a car, also. While he doesn’t date a lot, when he does, he only takes a certain amount of money with him and spends only what he brings. No cards! The amount is much less than $50.
Let the man be a man!
There are plenty of dates that can be pretty cheap, or even free. Such as a picnic at the park, hiking, movies at home, street fairs, group outings, et cetera. The point is that not every date needs to cost $50, tell your son that.
If your son is old enough and mature enough to be dating girls in an adult setting, he is also ready to pay his own way or change his habit.