I have been on both sides of the fence, and I am still deciding how I feel.
When I was 26, I dated a guy who made 100K and I was making about 25K. We had a general rule that if it had a drive-through, I would pay - otherwise, he would pay. He liked to go out often (almost every night) and I could never do that 50/50 on my salary.
My problem with people saying "as long as they make it up in another way". Well, we both worked the same amount of hours - I actually worked more come to think of it. However, I think it was the same thinking... anytime we didn't go out, I was cooking...and baking. It was a year and half relationship - and in that time, he never once cooked or baked for me. Me having to 'make it up some other way' seemed to imply that he was paying for those things - he was paying me to bake, he was paying me to clean up - you get the idea.
So I don't know how I feel about the whole "make it up another way"- something about that seems ... unfair.
Now - I am 10 years older, and I make significantly more than my current boyfriend of 5 months. When we met, he had no car, no job, and he expected me to take him out and pay for him all the time. When I would, I would get annoyed if he forgot to say thank you. Perhaps that is wrong to expect that (i am sure some would argue) but sometimes he would forget to say it and I would totally notice. He thought I was loaded, and I actually had to sit him down and explain that I am not rich even though I have a nice job, and I am trying to save for my future. I - like another poster - like to live beneath my means, not over it.
After the first 2 months, he must have felt I was ready to walk, because he made an effort and got a job. He still doesn't have a car, so I am always driving him around. Strange - I still cook and bake for him, but he has never cooked a meal for me. Partly - I think I don't trust what he would make (grin). At least he is paying for a meal here and there (even if its just a soda - him grabbing the bill is nice). Oh, he is 40 - he decided to quit his job, give up his car, and go back to school a year before I met him.
We have worked it out for now, but finances is always an issue for me ... this is the first time in my life where i am actually making money and not 'barely getting by'. I welcome any thoughts.