Who should pay on the first date?

Who should pay on the first date?

Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 05-16-2016 Comments: 0

The thought of going on a first date can no doubt bring on a mixture of emotions, whether you’re hopeful, excited, nervous, or a combination of all three. Maybe you spend a lot of time figuring out what to wear, what to say, or what to do if your date starts talking about religion, politics, or his ex. You might fantasize about what she really looks like in person, or wonder if there will be chemistry. You might even worry about what to do when the check arrives.

If money stresses you out when it comes to dating, you’re not alone. Traditionally, men have been expected to pick up the tab on the first date – otherwise, they risk looking cheap and may miss an opportunity for a second date. But in recent years, this standard practice has become slightly murky thanks to online dating and ongoing debates about gender equality.

Dating vs. hanging out

The Internet has leveled the playing field of dating in many ways, giving women the power to ask men out, to plan the date itself, and to pay for or split the check. To make things more complicated, dating apps have influenced the practice of dating, too, making first dates a much more casual affair. In fact, many people who meet for the first time through a dating app have come to avoid using the term “date” altogether, preferring to “hang out” instead.

So if you’re hanging out with someone for the first time to see if there might be a romantic connection but you’re not calling it a date, do the same rules of etiquette apply when the check arrives? Is it still considered a date, or is the woman expected to pay her share if it’s not?

It depends on who you ask. Many men are still traditionalists when it comes to dating and will offer to pick up the check, which is not a big expense if you’re at a coffee shop or having a couple of beers. But more and more women are offering to split the check because they don’t want to feel pressured to stay longer than they would like if they aren’t feeling a connection.

What if you’re enjoying a nice dinner at a restaurant with a bottle of wine, which is more of an investment? Should you offer to pay if you are a man, or ask to split the check? Again, it’s all about perception: you only have one chance to make a good impression. Here’s another way to look at it: did you ask her out? Did you pick the restaurant? If so, you should pay for the date.

A good rule of thumb every savvy single should follow

Whoever does the asking does the paying. In other words, if a man asks a woman to dinner, he shouldn’t expect her to split the bill or pick up the check. But the reverse applies too – if a woman plans the date, then she should expect to pay for it, too. This way, the person who is doing the planning has some control over the expenses incurred.

Regardless of the outcome, if you’re going to take the initiative to ask someone out, you should also t. You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Your date will notice if you offer to pay, and she will really pay attention if you awkwardly wait for her to split the check. So don’t make things awkward.

If you asked your date out, then you pick up the tab. Generosity is a good quality in dating – use it to your advantage.