3 weeks ago
7 Tips for Determining Who Pays on a Date

Do people even go on dates anymore? It may be a dying tradition, but they still happen. And while they may be cheap, they ain’t never free. So who pays on a date?

This is the 21st century: the old assumption that the man always coughs up doesn’t fly anymore. There might not even be a man on your date! Better to assume the parties on the date will share all costs — it establishes a sense of egalitarianism in any budding relationship and avoids any weird power dynamics that might result from one person paying and feeling owed something. This should be standard with online dating, where everyone is looking and whoever “officially” does the asking first is fairly arbitrary.

But some people still think it’s nice to “gift” someone a fun time, so consider these 7 rules for determining who pays.

  1. Whoever did the asking should assume they’re paying for the whole date and should offer to do so. (And straight ladies, you should be asking as much as you’re being asked out! Remember: 21st century and all that jazz…)
  2. That said, if you’ve been asked out, you should always assume you’ll be going dutch to, yes, instill a sense of egalitarianism in any budding relationship early on…and to avoid disappointment. Bring cash so you don’t end up washing dishes.
  3. When the check comes, the one who was asked out should offer to go halvsies — and they should try to sound like they mean it. If the one asked out really forcefully insists on splitting the bill, the one who did the asking should consider graciously honoring the request as a way to — we’ll say it again — instill a sense of egalitarianism in this budding relationship (after all, that’s probably the intent of the person forcefully insisting on splitting).
  4. If you end up sharing the bill, split it evenly, even if one of you got lobster. Exact breakdowns are for roomies, siblings, and other people with no plans to get naked.
  5. In a battle of the Amexes, defer to the one who did the asking (maybe they really want the miles). Though if you want to be high maintenance, you can have the server run two cards.
  6. If your date absolutely insists on getting the whole thing, this is your excuse to extend the date. Offer to buy cocktails or coffee at the bar across the street, or insist the next date’s on you.
  7. Though we’d like to believe that everyone knows better by now, we should note that no matter how much your date spends on dinner, you do not owe them a thing in the booty department — not even a kiss.
This post has been updated.

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3 Comments

  1. I think the first date should always be Dutch. So many first dates just go poorly, I don’t think the burden should fall on any one person. If the guy is more traditional then they are more than welcome to pay for the second date.

  2. And remember that on Rule 1, if you aren’t asking men out as often as men ask you out then this rule just becomes a justification for “the man always gets it”

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