No one goes into a marriage believing that it will end in divorce. That said, things change, and so do people, and sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles.

Divorce lawyers are the people closest to these end-of-life relationships, and some might say that give them a unique perspective. If there are things that often go wrong, or behaviors that often contribute to doomed relationships, who would know better?

And if Toronto-based divorce lawyer Justin Lee has one piece of advice, it’s that the man should at least offer (and be prepared to) pay on a first date.

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This is a controversial topic in a new age of feminism and female independence, but even though the comments were varied and sometimes vitriolic, Lee stands by his statement.

He says it’s not so much about reinforcing power dynamics, stereotypes, or gender roles as much as it is understanding that during first dates, people are looking for red flags.

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He says it’s not about who ultimately pays, but that the gesture to pay is the “best litmus test” many women have to judge character.

“The issue is when we end up paying for someone who has this real sense of entitlement. Like this expectation that we will pay.”

First dates are auditions, and honestly, Lee says we should all be treating them that way if we want our marriages to be successful.

“Trust me when I say, as a divorce lawyer who you end up marrying is so, so important.”

Men, Justin suggests that after making the offer to pay, you should be watching for your date’s reaction to the gesture as well. Does she get out her own wallet and offer to split it? Does she offer to pay the tip? Argue about it?

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All of those things could tell you something about who you’re sitting across from.

Lee says that having the “audacity” to expect a “near stranger” to pay for their dinner could definitely be informative.

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There’s a huge debate happening in the comments, with women arguing that they spend more on hair and makeup, so it all evens out, and others stating that the rule of “whoever asks for the date is obligated to pay” is still good.


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♬ original sound – BREAKUP LAWYER JUSTIN

What do you think? Should it always be dutch? Should the asker foot the bill?

Do you gauge the personality of the person you’re with based on the whole end-of-date interaction?

I’m dying to hear your thoughts in the comments!