Your first date with a potential new boo is coming to a close. It went well: You two hit it off, the conversation flowed easily and you even shared a few laughs. Then the waiter places the check on the table. What do you do? It depends on who you ask. For better or worse, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to who should pay on the first date, so things can get confusing and kind of clumsy when the bill arrives. A Match. So we called on a handful of relationship experts and HuffPost readers to gauge their feelings on this subject. According to Alex Williamson, head of brand at the dating app Bumble , a good guiding principle is that whoever does the asking out should be the one picking up the tab. Understandably, this can feel one-sided, daunting, maybe even unfair.
How to Split the Costs of Dating
Most of us are old-fashioned traditionalists when it comes to paying on a first date. Men are expected to break out the cash; women are expected to break out a grateful smile. But another survey by Moneysupermarket.
It’s a moment so many women who date men have experienced: I’m at the end of a first date, the bill comes, and I’m sitting there, eyeing the guy.
The awkward dance begins of who will grab for that check. Will your date pay or will you? Should you go halfsies with it? These gender roles can be tough to deal with and be frustrating on your finances. So, instead of your date picking up the tab, you pay for your own share. Add money politics to the equation and things can get even more, well, awkward.
Who Pays For The First Date?
Poorna Bell used to believe that a man should always pay when on a first date. In one of mine — made up entirely of heterosexual women — we were discussing first dates , and how to split the bill. In fact, I was surprised at her, especially given that we are all women who earn our own money and are pretty vocal about female empowerment. I strongly believed that a man should pay because I felt it told you something about how much he liked you.
If I can pay my own mortgage, electricity bills, put food on my table, and be a modern woman in every other sense, what good reason is there for me to expect a man to pay?
Strangely I think both men and women perpetuate this imbalance (I know as a guy I’ve insisted on paying when my date was probably okay with splitting the cost.
In a perfect world, money would not be an issue. Or maybe if I had a perfect personality instead of my neurotic, analytical self , dating costs would not be an issue. Or maybe if we lived in a world where traditional female and male roles of nurturer and provider did not exist, then it would not be an issue. I see that there are two distinct periods where the behaviour is different and where who pays for the dating cost varies.
Now, I would not say that I am super traditional, but I do evaluate whether the guy is a cheapskate or if he is a gentleman. I am not a gold digger, far from it, but I do not want to be taken advantage of and I do not agree to expensive dates unless I was interested in the guy. So a cup of coffee or a quick bowl of ramen noodles is plenty impressive! I always offer to pay and I am not that judgmental if on the first date, the guy accepts my payment of my own share. On a second date one time the first date, he ate a large meal and I just had a glass of wine I went for a quick meal with this guy who bragged he made over 6 figures.
Here’s What Guys Really Think Of Splitting The Bill At Dinner
Considering the traditional Western ideals of chivalry, this new arrangement is arguably most appealing and helpful to men, who have long been expected to pay for dates in order to appear gentlemanly. Centuries of assured gender roles have culminated in a 21st century society which insists that women should accept and perhaps even expect to be paid for at all stages of romantic relationships.
Equally, whilst the financial generosity of a date demonstrates their kindness, it is in danger of introducing pressure on the other person to agree to another meeting. However, men still predominantly opt to pay for the table and the question of who takes care of the bill remains a topic of discussion for most couples who enter the restaurant.
At the date’s end [when] the check arrives, each person should offer to split the bill, especially on a first date,” says LGBTQ relationship expert.
I make my living flying around the world, talking to women about how to take control of their money so they can afford their dream life. My friend Dylan was courting a lady. The relationship was fairly new. She had other plans. She mentioned that she was hungry. He offered to take her for some fast food or something quick.
Splitting the bill: 12 men and women tell us how they feel about paying on a date
And so we come to the thorny issue of the bill. There it is, sitting on that small silver tray, unassuming yet obtrusive, and here to wreak havoc in the wake of a lovely date. A token mint or two sit on top — futile attempts to literally sugar the pill of the looming discussion. Who pays on the first date? The gentleman should always pay on the first date.
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To pay or not to pay? Young straight men share their opinions on footing the bill in a modern dating landscape of endless apps and professed gender equality. One recent evening, on a group ride back from the Bronx to Manhattan, a male friend voiced a controversial opinion: if we are really living in an age of aspirational gender equality, he said, why do women still expect men to open the doors for them, and why do we still have to pick up the bill on dates?
The entire car immediately erupted in cries of heated support and opposition. But across much of the US, my male car companion has a point. Facilitated by a boom in dating apps, young men searching for intimacy go on dates by the bucket load. And despite the disruptive technologies, some old-fashioned rules have either persisted, or re-emerged.
Among them: men pick up the bill — on the first date at the very minimum. But what gets bought when a man picks up the bill?
The Economics Of Dating In Japan: Who Pays the Bill?
There was a moment on Love Island that will leave fans will be talking about in years to come, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Cash Hughes. This rather high-brow – by Love Island standards – conversation was specifically about the financial logistics of dating. After Jonny admitted that he’d feel emasculated if a girl offered to split the bill with him.
The subject of who should pay for who on a first date is evidently still a matter of great fragility. What if you paying will hurt their ego? What if you have an uneven number of drinks?
First, if you want a go-to solution for any first date, based on the average of our current culture, simply ask if he’d like to split the bill, and offer.
Undressed is a column about gender, social norms, dating rules and what happens when we break them. Read the last Undressed here. When I started dating my very first boyfriend as a sophomore in high school, I was adamant that I pay for my own meals. This became such a point of contention that we eventually broke up over an otherwise enjoyable night of thai that he insisted on paying for. Once I started dating online after college, I found myself in many similar situations.
Or was I the one breaking the rules? On OkCupid, we ask members what their etiquette is regarding the bill on a first date. But for women, the data is a bit harder to parse. About one in five say that they expect their date to pay.
Are men and women ready to split the bill on a first date?
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In , millennials are more likely to split the bill on a first date than older daters, but only by 9%. Only a third of millennial men and women.
To settle the argument, we asked 12 men and women to tell me their opinions on splitting the bill. My friends say that makes me quite extra, but I really hate the feeling of owing someone something. When I was a teenager, I let my boyfriend buy me dinner once and I felt like I owed him some massive favour. You learn a lot about a guy when it comes to settling the bill.
In same sex couples, I think the rule is the person who has done the asking picks up the bill. If I really liked her, I would pay the whole bill and would not even give her the chance to open a discussion on it. On the first date, a guy should pay no matter what the lass says — if he wants to see her again, that is. MORE: ‘It helps to be blindfolded, let’s put it that way’: We find out what really goes on at sex clubs.
MORE: ‘Don’t ask what’s wrong with me’: 9 men tell us what they want you to say — and not to say — when they can’t get it up. MORE: 14 men tell us why they want more women to initiate a date — and how. Follow Metro. The Fix The daily lifestyle email from Metro.
I vividly remember my first gay date. He was a large, muscular man with a deep voice that carried throughout the restaurant. He took me to a local sushi restaurant, where he ordered both his food and mine. This came as a shock, but I could tell that for him, it was a means of asserting dominance. When we finished, he grabbed the bill and told me not to worry about it.
Harry, “In my experience, girls want to split the bill. Maybe it’s an age thing? Fine by me – I’d never insult a girl by buying all the drinks, haha!” Paul.
So as a man you should always expect to pay for the date. After all you want her to be able to relax and enjoy her time with you. She may instead get the message that the two of you are nothing more than friends. If you want to avoid her seeing you in that light then paying for the date will go a long way. What if she offers to chip in? The woman you date may offer to pay for herself. She may reach for her purse and suggest once or twice that she can pay half the bill.
But in these situations you want to tell her to put the purse away. Let her see that you want to pay for her. Offer to pay for her but if she is really persistent about it then just split the bill. There are some good reasons why a woman may insist on paying for herself.
The price we pay for love – Going Dutch and other dating phenomena
Picture: Unsplash Source:Supplied. Splitting the bill on dates sets the precedent for a relationship, one where everything is straight down the middle. And where does that end? We had an amazing first date but things went downhill quickly after the bill arrived at the table and I got the expectant look. In every date or outing after that he made it glaringly obvious that he expected me to pay my way in our relationship despite the large pay gap due to his generous salary. The final straw was finishing coffee with him one afternoon and being met with his expectant hand.
Poorna Bell explains why, as a feminist, she believes that men and women should split the bill on the first date.
A man who paid for dates showed that he could fill the role of provider, and this supported the model of romantic relationship as transactional. Skip navigation! It’s a moment so many women who date men have experienced: I’m at the end of a first date, the bill comes, and I’m sitting there, eyeing the guy for signs of his next move. Will he pull the chivalry card, covering the numbers with one hand while deftly putting down his credit card with the other?
Will he act as if nothing happened and let the bill sit between us until the very last moment, waiting to see what I might do? The first guy was “the keeper” — he wanted to take care of me and he valued my time.