Switching Roles

This is my first Valentine’s Day in a relationship, and all is set. My boyfriend and I will spend our evening at a fancy restaurant, before heading to the cinema and ending the night with several drinks. The difference? I have actively swapped the expected, traditional gender roles, and am planning and paying for everything.

On Valentine’s Day, the man in the heterosexual relationship is expected to pay. I want to flout this, and hope to make a point that becoming economic equals in a relationship can help you become social equals, too. Normally, my boyfriend and I like to split bills and work a pay-back system (I cover the meal, he covers the cinema etc.), but this Valentine’s night, it’s all on me. Here is my Valentine’s evening, as the financially dominant girlfriend:


I count the cash in my wallet before commencing in the evening’s activities, scrimping a little over the past two weeks has certainly helped me save the necessary funds! I welcome the boyfriend into my flat with a (very reasonably priced bottle of) his drink of choice: Rosé.


We make our way to the restaurant, walking, not taxiing – I feel like a tightwad. It’s cold, and I feel as though I should take this traditional role-reversal to the max and give the boyfriend my jacket. I then decide against this.


Time to pay the bill, the steaks proves to be a little pricey, but that’s what you get for dining at Brown’s as a student… I become a little annoyed as the waiter fixes me with a strange look. Yes mate, the woman is paying.


After staring the waiter down, I wince as I glance into the bare abyss of my wallet.


After paying the sizeable bill for the meal, we take a taxi to the Hyde Park Picture House. The fare isn’t as bad as I expected. I am grateful that I booked the tickets in advance for the movie.


Remarkably broke, but enjoying the thrill of being financially dominant, I take my boyfriend for a cocktail to end the night. My conclusion? A relationship of equals is really the best way. Splitting bills, taking turns to cover the costs and paying each other back will help create balance in your relationship. Saying that, treating my boyfriend this evening has made a wonderful evening, both for me and for him.

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