Over on Frum Satire, in the comments of http://www.frumsatire.net/2009/11/16/awkward-shidduch-moments/ they are discussing why a man should pay for a woman.
How about you're paying for all that time we have to take to get ready for the date. We all know that men expect women to doll up and put that crap on our face just for them otherwise they say that we didn't put in enough effort and we must not be interested. I have been told explicitly that I HAVE to wear that crap on my face on a date.
Well the same is true of men paying for a woman. If a man doesn't pay for me, I figure he's not that interested in me. In fact, if a man wants to just take me to a bar and get me drunk on the first date-as they did before I was Jewish, I conclude he only wants sex and not a relationship or marriage.
Now this is why there's a whole problem with the shidduch system. If you are going out with someone you haven't already met, a woman like myself who doesn't wear make up and doll up except for rare occasions, maybe special occasions but, sometimes just because I haven't in a while and I feel like it. Generally, though, I don't want to put that crap on my face for some guy I don't know and I probably won't end up liking. Hell, I really don't even want to exert the effort to get out of my pajamas and leave the house.
The same holds true for men. Men don't want to want pay for someone they don't know and they might not like. One guy told me he would rather pay $100 to a prostitute for sex than pay $10 towards a date. Why? Well, it's a sure thing. Now, not all men are like this.
Now that right there is the problem with the shidduch system. I think asking men to pay for a date that they didn't really choose to ask out is asking a lot of them. Yet the system that's in place doesn't want men going out and finding their spouse. The problem with that, though, is that outside the shidduch system, is that the number of men looking for sex instead of a spouse increases.
On the other hand, there is an economic study that shows when someone has too much choice, they don't choose. Whereas, when a person has just the right number of choices, they make a decision and they purchase. Therefore, perhaps the solution is for all shadchans to specialize in a certain type and age bracket. They they would throw events for the parties that are already compatible. They would pick out 10 men and ten women who are all about the same hashkafah and the same age bracket. After such, they would follow up. I would actually rather put that crap on my face for an event where I would meet 10 suitable men over a date with one guy that I've never met and is he really even interested in me? After all, if the guy just thinks it's cool to go out with a convert and grill me about how do I feel about bishul akum and other stuff and he's not going to give me a chance, why should *I* bother putting that crap on my face?