Men are always obligated to pay for dates. Think of it as a trade-off. We don't have to get all prettied up with makeup and push up bras. Frankly, I'd rather come up with cash. You must offer to pay first. If she suggest you two split the bill, okay. Otherwise pay up, cheapskate. A gentleman always offers, but you know you found the right one when she insists on covering her own half.
Best play you can make: If she says you can go dutch, tell her you will pay this time and she can pay next time. If she thinks that's a good idea, you are in. If she insists on paying dutch, you still have some work to do. If on the first place you let her know the date is going to be dutch, you are not getting a second date unless she is desperate. If you can't afford the date, you have no business dating.
Things aren't changing that fast. It will be different for our great grand children, but classes at the old school are still in session. The successful gentleman knows how to appease the goddess. I don't know any successful dude getting second dates after skimping on the check. I'd say after the 5th date she should be paying for part of whatever you do together. Until then, you pay for whatever, unless she insists. Though sharing is what feels best. Rest couple can decide, I believe in no hard and fast rules. It's also fun to swap roles sometimes. Someone unable to do this is someone I find to be rigid and emotionally weak.
I always pay. Not because I have to. I just want to. The person that asks the other person out should pay. But in fact, women ask me out. Or just show up at my door. I can't remember the last time I had to ask someone out. Because I know what to say before they need me to say it. Skills.