Who Pays on a Date?

Can you think of a more awkward moment on a date (ok, get your mind out of the gutter… at least for now) than when the check arrives? Who pays? This question has been plaguing modern daters since “dutch” entered the picture. Wasn’t it so much simpler in the “good ol’ days”? Everyone knew the rules – the man pays at a restaurant, the woman reciprocates with a nice home-cooked meal. No longer is there a tidy solution to this dating etiquette dilemma and, as you know, that often causes all kinds of awkwardness.

What’s even weirder is when the guy you’ve dated now dates your friend (ok yes, that’s weird all on its own) and changes the paying rules! As an update, my friend Liz and my “Ex-casual” have now gone on two dates. They seem to be doing great with one notable exception… On date two – their first dinner together – he actually accepted her offer to split the check! Ewwwww!

I was shocked (not only because I think it’s the ruddest thing in the world for a man to invite you to dinner and then dare to accept splitting the check!) but also because on both of our dates he insisted on treating! Unless he was majorly hit by the latest financial crisis (which I doubt because he has a stable, well-paying job) that’s just plain bizzare (particularly since he asked her out again.) And doesn’t he realize that we’d be comparing notes (although I don’t know that men think about such things) and this would just end up looking plain bad! Don’t know what’s up with the dude, but I sure am glad I am not dating him! Can’t wait to see what happens with the check on date three! Did I mention how fabulous it feels for ONCE to be a blogging bystander, rather than an active participant in a dating drama?

Gosh, the check dilemma never gets less awkward, no matter how many first dates you go on (and I should know!) Am I too old-fashioned, expecting a man to WANT to pick up the check, at least on the first date or two? Perhaps I was biased by parents in whose culture a man who doesn’t treat the lady to dinner is considered lower than scum of the earth (because even scum feeds its lady!) Is it wrong to make a determination about the second date, or lack-there-of, just because a man accepts my offer to contribute? Whatever the reason for my complete aversion to splitting checks on a date, I just think it’s plain PETTY – seriously, I’d rather just pay the whole thing myself!

Now that I’ve told you what I think – but just in case I was too subtle, I DETEST the idea of going Dutch with a man – what about you?? Who do you think should pay on a date? Is the man automatically supposed to pick up the check? Do you prefer to go dutch? Does it matter on which date this is? Or who asked whom? I (and Liz, I am sure) would love your insights about this very touchy subject!

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4 responses to “Who Pays on a Date?

  1. I think there are some variables here…
    If it’s a first date and I think he is more interested than I am in him (watching paint dry is more interesting), then I am happy to be a modern woman and pay the bill and get out gracefully.
    If it’s a first date and it’s going well (and he didn’t just loose his shirt in the market) then I do expect him to pay.
    In reality I am a three date you pay kind of gal. That said I am happy to make dinner on date 4.
    Candidly I don’t want to be with a man that doesn’t have some old fashioned common sense after all I am “Sister K”!

  2. Men and women are equal. Both parties should pay their own way at the beginning

  3. If she offered to pay, she has no right to be upset if he accepts. Making empty offers is a shallow, etiquette-slave thing to do.

    cheers,
    Orlando

  4. Thanks for your comments – totally fair assessment!

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