Who is Going to Pay the Bill?

24 Jul

What is the etiquette when it comes to paying for a date? Should both be equally responsible for their share of the check?

date, people, payment and financial independence concept - happy couple with cash money in wallets and wine glasses paying bill at restaurant

Generally, it is common dating etiquette for a man to pick up the bill on a first date. Some women want to pay for their half and others are convinced that they should have their tab covered by their date with a thank you.  So is there a right or wrong answer? What is the etiquette when it comes to paying for a date?

So why should men pay the bill? Some men feel that a woman comes off as spoiled or selfish if she assumes that he will pick up the tab, even if he was planning on paying it anyway, it’s still nice to offer. On the other hand, some men say this makes them feel uncomfortable. The gesture may also create the following questions in their head: Is she not interested in me? Doesn’t she think I can afford it? Or does she think that I don’t know that she can take care of herself?

Women also have very different opinions when it comes to picking up the check. Many insist that a real gentleman knows social etiquette and will always offer to pay the bill with no questions asked. There is just something nice about a person that is being generous, which makes them appear a little more special. Some women feel it’s rude not to offer to pay their share on the first date. Other women say they like to pay their way so there is no expectation or obligation to be physical with their date after he picks up the check.

Looking at it from a feminist perspective, women have worked very hard for many years to be seen as equals to men. So, there is a bit of a paradox if a woman expects the man to pick up the bill. Some would argue that if women and men are true equals then they should both be equally responsible for their share of the check.

Cultural differences and traditions also play a role in creating gender roles when paying the bill. According to tradition, the man asks out the girl and pays for the date. Buts let face it. We’re in 2020, and a lot of things have changed in the western world.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way but if you’re feeling worried about navigating this on the first date, try to keep things simple. For first dates, we usually recommend having drinks at a bar or getting to know each other over a cup of coffee so there is less pressure for both parties.

My final piece of advice would be to give your date the benefit of the doubt. Ladies, you should never feel obligated to do anything you aren’t comfortable with solely because the man picked up the tab. Men, don’t take it personally if she offers to pay the bill. If you two had a great time together, don’t let the awkwardness of paying the bill stand in the way of a second date.

As experts in the field, we’re here to help hopeful romantics anyway we can. Get in touch with someone from our team to learn how we can best assist you in the search for ‘’the one,’’ whether through our matchmaking services or our date coaching.

by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida Maclynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation.More by this author

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