To me, it's not related to the earning power, it's more of a gentleman thing that I'd rather he does for me.
If I earned more would he expect me to pay on most dates?? No. I'd be turned off to be honest.
I find it offensive though that some men think that women who want guys to pay on dates, want to get away with a free meal. That's very rude and it's a shame for a guy to think. Just like it's a shame for a woman to want it..because I know there are women out there who simply want to have a free meal.
I look at it as the difference between having someone pay and expecting
someone to pay. Same difference as wanting to have sex with someone vs expecting
it. When you do something with the expectation of getting something out of it, whether it be saying yes to a date with a guy you have little interest in so you can get a free meal, or taking a gal out for a date and spending loads of money thinking they owe you sex in return, there is seriously something wrong. Both men and women are guilty in doing this.
The problem with the whole earning power thing is that it is a double standard. Whether or not a guy makes more or less then a female he is expected to pay, that is the "gentlemen" thing to do. Even if a female is making significantly more then a man, she doesn't have to, or if he dare asks she can pull out the "you aren't a gentleman" card.
In my case, I have been very fortunate with my career. I enjoy spoiling my W because I want to, not b/c I am expected to. I don't do it with the expectation that sex is the end result (although, if I actually did the math I am definitely not getting my moneys worth lol).