Who Should Pay on Your Date?
Ten or more years ago, even five years ago, this topic wasn’t such an issue as it is today.
With the increase of online dating, and the subsequent increase in quantity of dates people are going on, who pays is being called into question more by men and women alike. This is a complex issue, but I believe there is a “right” answer. Let’s get to it!
As a woman, offer to pay
I used to think this concept was silly—on the first date, the woman starts pulling out her wallet to offer to split the check. In a kind of dance, the man stops her, saying he will get it and she’s relieved as she hoped he would pay out of chivalry.
But I do get it now, and I agree with the concept for most cases, in the beginning of dating a guy.
Because the thing is, especially if you’re over the age of 25, not offering and just assuming he’s paying can be a very big turn-off. It is very presumptuous. To a lot of men that like you and would be happy to always pay, if you just quietly have them pay it is a feeling like, How dare she?! Or, if he is a bad guy he might take the fact that you’re acting like that as a message that your relationship is like an exchange of money for play—so you’re like a hooker.
Neither of these outcomes is what you want, right??
The fact is, it is presumptuous to act like he’s paying on the first date, especially if you met online! If you met online and walked up to each other for the first time on your date, you have no idea how you’re going to feel about one another. And chances are that more often than not, it doesn’t work out. Give the guy a bit of a break and offer to split the bill because you don’t have any clue to how the whole thing is going down even if it all seems like it’s going okay. Offer and actually be prepared should you need to pay half!
The answer is: offer to pay. You offer to split the check and he may take you up on it. If he does, you have the choice whether or not to see him again. I personally wouldn’t because I believe one of the primary ways a man shows his love and devotion is through happily spending his resources on a woman, and I wouldn’t want to have to pay “equal” during our relationship. Some women out there, however, may be okay with paying half during dating the guy, so that decision is theirs.
I say casually offer to pay on the first date, by starting to get out your wallet. Don’t say much, don’t make a scene, be cool about it. Most likely he’ll say he will get it. Assess his attitude here, does he seem happy to be getting the check and trying to make you feel good about it? He should be! If not—that’s a bad sign about him in general.
If all went well and you’re on a second date…
On the second date, offer again in the same manner. Most likely he will say he’ll get it again. He may even say something like you don’t need to worry about it, or something else that lets you know you don’t need to offer in general. That’s good.
If he does allow you to pay or split the check on the second date, I’d say don’t go out with him again. Even if things seem pretty good with him otherwise! It represents something is not right with him—it could be he’s trying to date other women right now, he’s not ready for a real relationship, he’s not sure about you, he just wants to have sex with you but nothing else, etc.
If you met IRL
If you didn’t meet him first online, but instead you met in real life *gasp* try a slightly different strategy. Having met already in person before your date means he knows a lot more what he’s getting into going out with you and it is expected for him to pay. (No matter who asked whom out to the first date!) Here’s a trick: If you are a woman on a first date and the guy doesn’t reach for the check, take a trip to the powder room. If he doesn’t pay while you’re gone, offer to split the check. Again, if he allows you to split it, I’d say find yourself another knight!
How he handles this is part of testing him
I believe a man knows within meeting a woman for the first time if he would make her his wife, and a man who thinks of you like that would prioritize his money on you than virtually anything else. A guy who is serious about you and therefore wants to demonstrate that to you will want to pay for your dates. So, how he’s dealing with you and his money says so much.