Who picks up the check on a first date? And what about when you’ve been dating for a while?
-Age Old Question
Who Pays On A First Date?
Who pays on a first date seems to have gotten more complicated over time. There’s no clear and cut answer because it really depends on the person.
Ideally: Smooth Sailing First Date
Personally, I believe that the one who asks for the date should pay the bill.
If someone asks me out, and the date goes well I would definitely offer to split out of courtesy. But if my date accepted my money, I might be a little taken aback.
What would upset me is if I get asked out and end up paying the whole check.
Ideally, if the person who asked me out pays for the meal, I would want to pay for coffee/dessert or whatever the next activity is.
If there’s a second date, I’d like to pay for the bill, or if my date offers to split, it wouldn’t phase me.
Here’s Where It Gets Complicated
If the first date doesn’t go well, then I would insist on splitting.
For some reason, if I let my date pay for the meal when I know there won’t be a second date, I would feel uneasy.
This doesn’t mean that it’s not okay to let your date pay for the meal if there’s no connection between the two of you, it’s really about personal preference.
Why Am I Always Paying?
Once upon a time, I was in a terrible relationship where my ex liked to charge me for gas (I didn’t have a car or a license during most of our relationship) and he didn’t believe in splitting the bill (with exceptions).
As a poor college student, with a part-time job that only paid $30 a week (I could only work 3 hrs per week), I wasn’t keen on the idea of my turn, your turn.
At first, it was fine, but what ended up happening was that for some reason I would pay for the pricey meals.
This one time I ended up paying for a $115 meal because, in his mind, it was only fair since he had driven 40 miles to get there. Mind you; we drove to that city because he had some school project and I tagged along. And I had already paid for breakfast (at iHOP aka overpriced plain breakfast) that day.
I wanted to launch myself into the sun when I got that check.
Paying for that expensive meal probably wouldn’t have bothered me if he had been equal about it.
But whenever we went to a place with meals that were $15+, he wanted to split the bill. Conveniently, it was always his turn to pay when we split, and he would end up paying for things like McDonald’s.
Of course, I didn’t know that this behavior was abnormal because:
- I was a damn fool
- Love makes you blind
- I never discussed it with anyone
And this nonsense ate away at my poor soul and wallet.
Oh, and I did discuss it with my partner but he would get mad at me for bringing it up and ultimately dismiss my feelings.
He Makes More Than Me!
What made things worse was that he was much more financially stable than I was.
He didn’t have a job, but mommy and daddy were giving him a nice monthly allowance. And let’s just say he was getting MUCH more than my measly $30 a week.
Moocher or Frugal?
There was one event that makes my ears burn as I write about it. We were at some school function and he wouldn’t stop talking about some meal he wanted from a food truck.
He went on and on about it for most of the event.
I kept telling him to just buy it. I think it was around $12-$14, but he kept whining about how it was too expensive.
After a while, I got tired and just bought it for him.
I think if both parties aren’t in agreement with how to handle paying for dates, then it’s a recipe for disaster.
My ex didn’t see anything wrong with how we were splitting things, but it bothered me a lot and made me angry quite often.
Other people might not mind if their partner pays for most things or if they pick up the check more often, but it really depends on their financial situation.
I, a girl who was making $120 a month was buying my loser boyfriend meals and packing rice to eat at school every day.
In the end, I ditched him and lived happily ever after.
Who Should Pay?
I guess the moral of my story was:
- Don’t date a jerk
- Don’t date someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you when it comes to paying for stuff.
When it comes to long-term dating, you and your partner should be open about how you want to handle stuff like paying for dates.
Some couples like to split everything, others take turns, and sometimes one person who is financially more stable than the other takes care of most expenses, etc.
It’s all about what you prefer and what you’re comfortable with.
Don’t be afraid to speak up.
What Some Friends Had To Say
“I would say whoever suggested to go out on the date should pay. If I ask, I should offer to pay. If you ask, then you should offer to pay.
Once you have been dating for a while, since I believe a relationship is a partnership, there must be a balance.
If you prefer not to pay, to pay, or to split the bill on a first date, then that’s fine. There’s no correct answer to this question because everyone is different.
If you’re conflicted, do what you feel most comfortable with.
Money is a very sensitive subject when it comes to dating and couples. You have to see eye to eye, for the most part, to make your relationship work.