Valentine's Day is upon us. It's that time when men ask women out on dates. Who does the paying has always been a much disputed topic between men and women. So, who will be responsible for picking up the tab on the first date?
There are many arguments on this topic. Some believe the woman should make a genuine offer to split the bill - but it is up to the man who asked her out to accept or refuse it.
Other women prefer to pay for their own food and drinks so that there are no expectations raised unduly. Traditionally, society suggests that the man not only initiates a date, but pays for it as well.
Some women argue that when a guy asks them out they expect him to be able to afford it as well.
"Why must I pay when he is the one who asked me out? asks Lusanda Zokufa, a communications officer at the Market Theatre.
"A true gentleman must pay the bill. You can learn a lot about a person if they expect you to pay, if they pay and how much they tip. A man should be able to lead. If he can't take the initiative in something small like paying for a meal that tells me he'll probably lack leadership in other areas as well."
Yolisa Malangeni, an accountant at a financial institution, believes that every woman wants to be seen as independent and equal.
"When a man pays for me it comes across as a desperate attempt to get into my pants. I pay because I don't want to feel pressure to reciprocate his favours."
Reason Ndoro, a teacher in Soweto, says it is totally up to a woman to decide whether she wants to be seen as an equal or wants to be seen differently.
"If you have the money, pay at least half the bill. If you do not have it, don't stress. He will have to pay because he asked you out."
What does an expert say?
Gail Prince, a dating coach and co-author of the book Soul Dating to Soul Mating, thinks it's generally good advice that the person who pursues pays in the beginning.
She notes that the expectation that the man will pay first is still in force among most daters, particularly those in their 40s and beyond. The woman feels more nurtured when the man pays on the first date, she noted, and the man often feels like it's his role.
Here are some pointers about what not to do on a first date from www.buzzle.com
1 Don't be late
2 Don't be too needy
3 Don't be an ultra-strong woman
4 Don't be a pushover
5 Don't ask too many personal questions
6 Don't count your chickens before they hatch
7 Don't be shy
8 Don't mind the stunned silence that might follow
9 Don't chase him if he storms out
10 Don't be small-minded if he returns and apologises
11. Don't discuss past lovers
12 Don't talk too much
13 Don't be afraid to be more completely yourself