Should The Guy Always Pay On The First Date?

It’s nearly the weekend, which means at least some of you will be going out on dates, a handful of which will be first date. And in spite of all talk of gender equality, many people still think it’s the man’s job to foot the bill.

Over at, nearly 61% of their readers have said unequivocally that men should pay for the first date every time. Less than 27% said the bill should be split evenly while not even 5% of respondents said it’s okay to let him pay if they intend on “putting out,” language which we here at Consumerist most certainly don’t condone.

So, of course, we wanted to get a measure of how our readers feel about this age-old topic. And what better way to do that with poll? Vote away and sound off in the comments…

Poll: Should Men Pay For the First Date? []


Edit Your Comment

  1. apple420 says:

    Of course the guy should always pay :-)

  2. dolemite says:

    I’m always a fan of split evenly. Usually the guy has to put *his* ego on the line to get the date in the first place…why should he have to pay as well? Women work now too.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      One of my roommates dated a guy who didn’t have enough money to fill his gas tank, and decided that it was better to get stuck on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere, even though she was with him, than to let his girlfriend spend the $30 and put gas in the car for him.

      • babyruthless says:

        I dated a guy in high school who never had any cash. I had a bit (we’re talking $20 a week or so, so it’s not like I was rolling in it, but I also didn’t have any expenses). He *never* let me pay. For anything. Consequently, we never got to do anything or go anywhere that had a positive admission price.

        And what really irked me was that every time he could manage to scrape up a few dollars, and he wanted to spend it on me, he would buy me flowers instead of dinner. I was in high school. Chili’s would have been fantastic. Coffee date at Starbucks. All of these things were out of the question. Blargh.

    • buzz86us says:

      agreed if the date doesn’t go well and they don’t hit it off then neither party should be out anything other than their time.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      Women spend a fortune on hair, makeup, perfume, clothes and shoes to look good. So, dates are expensive for women whether they pay or not. Also, women still earn about 77.1% what men do on average in the United States (2008 statistic). Between the earnings gap and the pre-date costs to women, I think it’s fair for the man to pay on the first date. If it’s discovered that the woman commands a higher income, and both parties are comfortable with it, sure go dutch. I personally am hugely turned off by men who do not pay. But, maybe some women like to go dutch.

      As far as who asks out who… men have always asked me out so I have never had to address this issue. Perhaps if the woman asks the man out, they should go dutch on the first date unless the man offers to pay. That way, if you go dutch you pretty much know he’s not interested.

      • deathbecomesme says:

        The fact that you feel you have to spend that extra money to look good shouldn’t mean we have to pay. Men have a hygiene espense too. We have to drive nice cars and keep a clean shaven look and a nice cut. Unless your willing to date someone who doesnt shave and drives a POS and lives in the basement of their parents house your argument is null.

        • AlphaLackey says:

          Exactly. I never understood why it was unacceptable for a man to expect a woman to put out on the first date but it was okay for a woman to expect a man to pay for the first date.

      • AlphaLackey says:

        .. so if the man makes more, he should pay for the date, and if the woman makes more, they should split the first date?

        You’ve come a long way, baby.

      • ShadowFalls says:

        Regardless of which date I always have the intention of paying. Only if she insists otherwise, would I change my mind on that.

        If a woman is offering and you still say, “No, I’ll pay”, it can be a huge insult to her. Some people like to take opportunities to show their kindness and generosity and one should never stifle that.

        But, if it is some silly test for me to be stubborn on paying, that implies a huge lack of compatibility between us. Most guys don’t like to be played around with like that and prefer for woman to be more straightforward with their intentions.

      • Paladin656 says:

        I didn’t realize dating was an exploration of the socio-economic status of women.

        • AlphaLackey says:

          It’s not that as much as a threadbare attempt to justify “wanting equality” and “wanting preferential treatment” at the same time.

      • lordargent says:

        Women ^unnecessarily spend a fortune on hair, makeup, perfume, clothes and shoes to look good.

        /I think most men don’t care how much you spend on all of that stuff as long as you don’t look like a complete bum. We don’t mind your shoes unless they’re ugly (and there are ugly expensive shoes as well). And I don’t think any man in the history of mankind has ever spoken the words “She looks nice, but she needs to wear perfume before I would date her.”

      • CentralScrutinizer says:

        The “Women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn” argument is a prime example of how to lie with statistics. It was arrived at by averaging the earnings of all full-time employed women and all full-time employed men in the US, and lo and behold, the “average” woman earns 77 cents for every dollar the “average” man earns. This is primarily because:

        Men take a disproportionate share of dangerous jobs. Men constitute over 90% of workplace fatalities.

        Male-dominated employment is more sensitive to the business cycle than female-dominated employment (pays better when employed, pays nothing when unemployed). The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September 2010 as 10.5% for men 16 years and older vs. 8.6% for women 16 years and older.

        Men are more likely to sacrifice family time to climb the company ladder.

        Women are more likely to take time off from the paid workforce to raise children.

        So it’s a case of different pay for different work.

        If women truly earned 77 cents for the same work men charge $1 for, employers would have long ago outsourced as much work as possible to women to save 23% on labor costs.

    • coffeeculture says:

      us guys have too much to lose (and not so much to gain) if we don’t pay on a first date.

      The risk of looking like a cheap scrub >>>>>> risk of looking like a chauvinist.

    • jesusofcool says:

      I wholeheartedly agree.
      As a woman, I don’t think we can just pick and choose the traditions which are convenient for us. If I expect to be treated as equally intelligent and capable as any man (and I do), I should also expect to pay my share of a date or hold the door open when I can. Equality goes both ways.

    • bbf says:

      Remember, most guys have troubles reading *anything* from their dates.
      If I’ve asked a gal out on a date and she refuses to let me pay and insists on dutch, in my mind, that’s a pretty clear hint that she doesn’t want to go on another date. Else she would just let me pay this time and request that I let her pay the *next* time we go out.

      Letting the guy pay, without any intention to go on a second date is just cruel.

  3. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I’ve always split it unless he insists on paying.

    • KittensRCute! says:

      exactly. i am a lesbian and every first day i always split have and have and it has never even been discussed. it just is.

  4. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Asker pays.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      Sorry for duplicate, my internet hiccuped.

    • quijote says:

      That was my first reaction, but guys are always expected to do the asking, too. So it’s practically equivalent to saying the guy should pay.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        May depend on social milieu, but I asked plenty of guys on date starting when I was, oh, sixteen. Probably 2/3 asked me, and I asked 1/3.

        • Kate says:

          I came from a small town – we didn’t do dinners out. Movies sometimes, freebies usually. Mostly just to parties at a friend’s house.

      • lihtox says:

        Now there’s another stereotype worth polling about: are men still the primary date instigators? If so, then that really needs to change. I haven’t been in the dating scene in a long time (and I was never really “in” the scene), but are women in general really still sitting by the phone hoping for a man to call them? Maybe the shy women, but surely not most of them.

        In any case, basic etiquette says that if you ask someone out to dinner, whether it’s romantic or not, you should be the one to pay, or at least you should be prepared to pay. If the other person offers to split the bill, then you should turn them down once, and then let them do it if they insist. You can also agree to split the bill before you go out, but the inviter should always specify this explicitly in advance. (There’s probably a way to do this in a romantic context, but I don’t know how.)

        And don’t read anything into it, one way or another: people are too different for their to be a simple correlation between whether someone offers to split the bill and whether they had a good time. The exception: if a woman invites a man out on a date and then expects him to pay for all of it (or vice versa), then that’s plain rude.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          Women never ask men out. Ever. Never ever. In the history of the world.

          Based on personal experience. :)

          • Kate says:

            Would you like to go out for dinner? I’ll pay.

            (no airfare included)

          • Matzoball says:

            Closest I have been to being asked out…

            A girl told me once…I don’t want to be seem to forward but i would like to get to know you better.

            Now in my mind I was like (Nice, it will be a lot easier to ask you for your phone number now)

            But my stupid mouth said something along the lines of I could tell you liked me. (Just as an FYI if your in this situation what I siad was plain stupid!) I still got the date but damn what the hell was I thinking.

            • Verdant Pine Trees says:

              Yeah, she pretty much indicated her interest, but then she still left room for you to move forward.

              It’s one step short of the potential for total rejection that occurs when you ask “Would you like to get a cup of coffee sometime?”

          • Verdant Pine Trees says:

            Some of us do. Or even make a habit of it.

            Some guys do not take well to being asked out, though – instead of feeling complimented or desirable, they feel like the woman has “stolen the thunder” or permanently imbalanced the relationship – but then that tells you right there whether you want to keep going out with him.

            • Kryndar says:

              See, guys like that ruin it for guys like me, I have a damned hard time working myself up to asking someone out and would absolutly LOVE to get asked out. As is I am one of those people who always worries about misreading signals but getting asked out is one that can not exactly be missread. As for paying, I believe in asker pays but think I would have a hard time sticking to my guns, it is not that I would feel emasculated rather it would feel like I was being rude.

              • kujospam says:

                I agree. I’m the type of guy that is shy at first around people. Don’t like insulting people, or hurting people’s feelings, same goes towards me. But once people get to know me a little bit. It’s all fun. I’m just different, one of the few guys that can still be friends with almost all the exs. And I mean a true friend, not like a hi at a common party. But I’ll admit I generally offer to pay. Although I felt like an idiot when dating in high school. My first g/f had a car. I had a job, but no car. Parents believed in I had to pay for everything kind of thing. They eventually got sick of taking me to work, and I bought their old car when they got a new one. Fun times.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              I am of the old school mentality that asking men out shakes the balance of things. Evolutionarily, men are wired to want to be dominant/lead things. Just look at government around the world. Men still rule it. Men like the “hunt”/chase. Being extremely available, no matter how real you are trying to keep it messes all that up for them. I think that if you want to do that, it’s great, but I can see why a man would feel put off.

              • SunnyLea says:

                Since when are comments moderated before posting. Or is it just me?

                • SunnyLea says:

                  Never mind. Figured it out. Managed to sign in to an old account name. An accidental use of F5 caused this comment to appear under the right name.

          • Destron says:

            I got asked out by a woman for the very first time a couple of weeks ago, I admit it caught me off guard a little but it wasn’t awkward. Was actually kind of nice.

          • human_shield says:

            Yes, they do. They just do it indirectly, so the guy thinks it was his idea.

      • Michaela says:

        Actually, my generation seems to have no real issues with girls asking out guys.

        However, it is usually assumed the people will go Dutch. If a guy offers to pay though, it is always a plus!

    • BettySage says:

      True that! But no matter who asks, I always secretly hope the guy will pay. He always does, except in one case, where the gentleman took me to McDonalds and told me, before we went in, he is low on cash and can only pay for enough food for him to eat. I’m fairly sure the door smacked me in the face is it closed on me too.

    • Fineous K. Douchenstein says:

      Total agreement with Mrs. McGee. Asking someone is an invitation, and as such, the inviter should be offering to pay. I wouldn’t invite someone to go out somewhere and expect them to pay, unless it was a large group going together as a group.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      100% agree. The person who asks another out on a date is “inviting” the person out. And a person who invites another person out – to eat, to see a show, whatever – always pays. always.

      If you invite someone to your house for dinner you provide the meal, you don’t ask them to bring something (really close family members maybe exempted).

      If you invite people to a (wedding, baby) shower you’re giving for someone, or to a dinner at a restaurant birthday party for someone turning 50 (or 75, 80, 85, or 90 – these are the only ages it’s appropriate to have a birthday party as an adult) you pay for everyone you invite – you never ask them to pay for themselves.

    • FerretGirl says:

      Yup. I agree. Took a while for me to get that through to my boyfriend!

      “Babe, you want to go get a drink after work?”

      “Yeah, but I don’t have any cash.”

      “No worries, I asked you so I’m paying for it.”

      “But! But. You’re the girl!”

    • watch me boogie says:

      Agreed. And for subsequent dates that don’t really have an asker, take turns paying, or each pay their own way.

      In the past, if a guy asked me out for dinner and I ended up not liking him, I’d pay for my share of the check. It seemed shady to take a free meal from someone and then say “sorry, not interested.” (This is why I will always be poor.)

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Damn. Cloning can’t come soon enough for me. Are you willing?

  5. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Asker pays.

    • Anachronism says:

      Agreed. I think this is how things should work. If you ask somebody out to do something, I think you should plan on paying.

      If you think about it, if you are asking somebody else out and setting the venue, there is a decent chance that you will like the activity more than them, so pay for it! It leaves a sour taste in my mouth when a girl asks me out, we go do something that is fairly expensive and not terribly my thing, and then she does not grab the check. Even if I really like the girl, I’m not thrilled for paying for things I really wouldn’t have done if not for her.

      However, the above is really a “in a perfect world.” Response. In reality, I know the societal expectation is still that I, as the man, pay, and soe when I go on a date I am prepared for that, and will attempt to pay when the bill comes.

      My tip for women- If you want to pay for the first date, intercept the check before it hits the table. Once it hits the table, many men will feel quite obligated to pay on a first date, because they usually don’t know you well enough to know whether they will be on the outs if they don’t.

    • dorianh49 says:

      Hey, eyebrows, time for an avatar update, right? You had your baby around the same time my wife had ours, and he’s 16 months old now. Does that still qualify as a baby? We just found out we’re going to have another one, though, so we’re trying to stop referring to our toddler as the baby, now. :)

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        I know, but I’m the laziest avatar updater EVER! I’ll sit with the same one for YEARS.

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        Seconded, we want to see another baby picture!

        And congrats, dorianh49! Ours were 23 months apart, and it’s crazy how as soon as you see your first born after having the baby, she’s “instant big kid”.

  6. Bernardo says:

    As a man i almost always pay. But in manhatten Ive noticed most women seem to want to split the bill or at least offer to. i find that kinda nice sometimes. Others offer to cover it next time. Ive had a few dates where we just pay on after an other and its kinda nice sometimes.

    • 339point4 says:

      I think that, in general, the asker should pay. If I am asked out on a dinner date, I expect him to pay (and vice-versa). If I offer to pay half, it’s most likely because I had a lousy time and would prefer he not pay my part.

    • chocolate1234 says:

      I’m married now, but that’s how I always was. I always wanted the guy to offer on the first date, but I felt very uncomfortable having someone play my way, so I’d offer to either split the bill or at least pay the tip. If he said no, then I would insist on paying the next time. Most of my friends are the same way. We make our own money and want to pay our way – no mooching!

  7. humphrmi says:

    I always went with the “whoever asks out first” rule. In fact, not once did I ever have a misunderstanding. I think maybe three times in my younger days, a woman asked me out. In all those cases, they were quick to grab the check – pretty clear that they expected to pay. On the other hand, if I asked someone out, it just seemed cheeky to expect that they pay. Of course, I’m talking about first dates… subsequent dates, I usually went with the “lets split it” or “you paid last time, I’ll get this one” plan.

  8. Supes says:

    Guy should offer, at least if he chose the location (if the girl chose the place and it’s pricey, splitting is fine).

    If the girl turns him down, it’s incredibly rude if he insists on paying anyway. No means no.

    • lymer says:

      What if the chick turns him down and doesnt want to pay… :(

    • Hoot says:

      I think the guy should always, no matter what, offer to pay. Chivalry is hopefully not dead. The woman is perfectly free to either play into the chivalry or to insist on going another way. I mean, there is always room for dutch later on down the line.

      • Richard says:

        It’s less about the financial consequence of a first date over the length of a relationship than it is about fair expectations and the reality that the guy will probably have multiple first dates with different people before finding someone that is appropriate for additional dates. If you are paying for a reasonably nice meal every week (or more often) for first dates it rapidly adds up.

      • SunnyLea says:

        “Chivalry is hopefully not dead.”

        Oh, I rather hope it is. This pedestal is uncomfortable.

    • 44 in a Row says:

      Honestly, it depends on how she says no. On 90% of the first dates I’ve been on, my offer to pay is met with the response of, “No, it’s fine.” If I then say, “It’s okay, I’d be happy to,” 90% of *those* times, the response is a bright smile and a thank you (assuming it was a halfway-decent date). So I think the corollary to “The guy should always offer to pay,” is that the girl pretty much always offers to split it, even if she doesn’t mean it.

      • Supes says:

        See I never got the impression girls have a social obligation to offer to split when a guy offers to pay… Perhaps I’ve been wrong to take it at face value all these years.

    • Anachronism says:

      “If the girl turns him down, it’s incredibly rude if he insists on paying anyway. No means no.”

      But the problem here is I think there are a lot of girls that will make a perfunctory offer to pay, because that is the modern expectation, but at the same time will be miffed if the guy doesn’t pay.

      Because a first date is all about not screwing up, and making it to subsequent dates where you can actually get to know the person, I think the safe play is for the male to male to make an offer to pay, even if the female makes an offer.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      I usually just start paying. If they want to grab the cash out of my hand and put it back in my pocket, fine (and a great start to a first date!), but…let’s face it. Free food is awesome, so nobody does this.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        Grab the other party’s money off the counter, shove it back into their purse or pocket, put your own on the counter, other party reciprocates, repeat several times.

  9. Tim says:

    Nice job assuming everyone’s straight, Consumerist …

    • humphrmi says:

      Wow, good catch. I know a few regular commenters who are LGBT.

      • Shadowfax says:

        Although, in their defense, if two homosexual men go out on a date, the guy pays by default. And if two homosexual women go on a date, the question is rendered null.

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          The usual punchline I’ve heard is when two lesbians go out on a date, which one rents the U-Haul so the other can move in? I always thought it was a joke until the day a friend’s date showed up with some things to keep at her place — on the second date! Guess I just never got the clingy ones.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          “Lesbian Dine and Dash” sounds like it would make a great B movie.

          • PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

            “B” movie…sounds a like it should fall much lower in the alphabet…

            What can I say? It’s a sunny Friday afternoon!

    • quijote says:

      Except the question is whether the tradition of the guy paying in a hetero couple should be retained. Gay couples may still wonder who should pay, but the question isn’t complicated by the issue of traditional sex roles.

    • RxDude says:

      If 2 gay women are on a date, should the guy pay?

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      I wonder, should vegetarians reply to Consumerist stories about meat-laden foods with “Nice job assuming everyone eats meat”?

      I’m SOOOOOO glad the LBGT folks I know aren’t so freaking sensitive. Life does not revolve around sexual preference.

      It revolves around musical preference.

    • Snaptastic says:

      Don’t get all bent out of shape about PC-ness. Granted they COULD make the article all inclusive of every potential pairing out there, but then it would lose alot of the gist and draw attention to other issues that people may take issue with.

      I wouldn’t even read the article if it read:
      Should the guy/gal/trans/bi/hermaphrodite/neutral/neutered/fixed/animal always pay on the first date with a guy/gal/trans/bi/hermaphrodite/neutral/fixed/neutered/animal?

      • Tim says:

        It’s not about being inclusive; I think that the question of who pays in a heterosexual first date is a pretty important question and definitely relevant.

        It’s about assuming that everyone who goes on a first date is either a man going on a first date with a woman or a woman going on a first date with a man.

        It’d be like writing a post about menstruation products and asking “What menstruation product do you use? Pad/tampon/cup/reusable pad/etc.?” Not everyone menstruates.

    • Anachronism says:

      The question is about whether traditional gender roles are still relevant.

      Being that same sex relationships by their very nature transcend traditional gender roles, I don’t see the point in your statement.

      I’m not aware of traditional norms for who pays in same-sex relationships, and my parents/friends/etc never sat me down and explained traditional rules on who pciks up the checks for same-sex relationships.

      I have no problem with same sex realtionships, and am actually quite interested in hearing what the norm is for who pays in that situation. I just don’t think it applies to the presented question.

      • deadandy says:

        Such a progressive post from someone with your name.

      • Alex Brewer says:

        As a gay man, the convention I usually use is that on the first date I let him pay if he offers and asked me out, and I insist on paying if I asked him out. After that it’s usually, switching off or splitting the check however. This doesn’t apply when there is a significant difference in financial situation, however. For example, if I’m on a date with someone a bit older with a full-time job who orders a cocktail I, the 19 year old college student am not paying…

    • OnePumpChump says:

      If there are norms for homosexual relationships, there is no reason that they should be identical to those for heterosexual ones. While it may be a discussion worth having, it should be a separate discussion unless and until some consensus is reached regarding whether the options not applicable to homosexuals also do not apply to heterosexuals.

      • Tim says:

        I agree completely. And I think it’s completely valid to ask about who should pay on an opposite-sex first date.

        But when someone assumes that everyone going on a first date is either a man going with a woman or a woman going with a man, it only re-enforces the idea that heterosexuality is what’s normal. What if the question were, “Who pays on a first date, the butch or the femme?”? Well that would be ridiculous, because not everyone on a first date is a butch with a femme or a femme with a butch, obviously.

        • Im Just Saying says:

          Given that homosexuality accounts for (last I heard) 10% of the population, I’d say heterosexuality is the norm. Also it’s necessary for the propagation of the species, which also makes it normal.

          Niether of those statements promote one over the other, they merely recognize the difference.

          • dilbert69 says:

            Heterosexuality is NOT necessary for propagation of the species. Getting sperm into a woman’s uterus is necessary for propagation of the species. There are various ways of accomplishing this.

    • jackbishop says:

      I venture we can figure out how these social norms apply to gay people as well:

      When gay men go on a date, the man pays. When lesbians go on a date, he doesn’t.

      Hope that cleared it up.

    • Kingeryck says:

      The world is still hetero-centric. Get over it. We can’t make every single discussion everywhere completely PC or we’d spend an entire paragraph covering every sexuality/preference/gender/role/etc/etc/etc.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I didn’t see any comments from atheists saying, “Good job assuming everyone celebrates holidays, Consumerist!”

      Should vegans, vegetarians, and people who hate fast food be offended that Consumerist had a fast-food burger poll?

      Is it really necessary for their to be an extra “For those of you for whom this applies” clause for every poll? Does that even matter here? Would it really be a bad thing for someone who’s not straight to have an opinion on this even if it doesn’t affect them?

    • Munchie says:

      The gay population is less that 6% of the overall population. They are barley big enough to consider.

  10. chefboyardee says:

    Equal rights means equal rights. That means even split. The guy paying is a throwback to the old days when men were “ranked higher”, made more money, etc etc. If I’m supposed to treat you as my equal, then I’m going to treat you as my equal, which means you have no reason not to offer to split it.

    That said, I always pay on the first, and every, date (well, not that it matters anymore, as I’m married). But it should *not* be expected.

    • Reader101 says:

      Yes in theory. However, women are still paid significantly less than men.
      In my 20s when I usually made more than my dates I usually offered to split it or pay all of the bill. But now that my dates make significantly more than I do, I offer to split it as a gesture…but I’m not impressed if they take me up on it.

    • theduckay says:

      “made more money, etc etc” You do realize that men still make more money, right? Theres no such thing as perfect equality…men and women aren’t the same whether or not the feminazis chose to believe they are.

      If you’re all for “equality” why do you still pay for you wife then? Because its the sweet thing to do, right? Thats the point. I’m all for splitting costs etc, but the whole “she wants equality she can pay too” argument is getting so old.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        You’re right. Women’s wages are what, 80 cents to the man’s dollar? By that math, men should pay 60% and women 40% of the bill, including tip.

        • theduckay says:

          It depends on the situation. My boyfriend makes double my salary, so he usually pays but I pay off and on as well. It shouldn’t really be as cut-and-dry as some people are making it out to be. It shouldn’t be thought about so much as to bring in all this women’s rights garbage. Its just a date!

          • chefboyardee says:

            Then if it’s “just a date”, why don’t you pay? Explain to me the logic of the man paying just because he makes more money. If she wants to go on the date so badly, she can save up, just like if I want a HDTV, I can save up.

            Yes, men make more money. That doesn’t mean they should have to pay more. I make more money because I’m skilled and spent the past 15 years honing that skill, not because of inequality in the workplace. Women in the same position as me at my company make exactly the same amount I do (yes, I’ve asked them). By your logic, if my girlfriend makes less, she should buy me $20 worth of birthday presents, while I should get her $100 worth for hers because I can afford it. Doesn’t work that way. We both want to go on the date, we both can pay for it.

            Yes, I pay because it’s the sweet thing to do and it’s how I was raised, and how most women were raised, so it’s habit. Because the idea that “men should pay” is stuck in the head of most women in America because that’s how they were raised, I have to or *I* look like the asshole. That doesn’t mean logically I agree with it. I don’t see why the man has to be “the sweet” one and pay. Women can be sweet too.

            I actually lean towards “asker pays” since it was their idea, but I wanted to see what kind of response I would get from my first comment. /troll

    • babyruthless says:

      When I started dating Mr. Ruthless we were making *vastly* different salaries. We decided after not too long that the fairest way to split was for me to pay about 10% of the time, and him about 90% (he was a budding engineer. I spent my summers working retail). To me, that was always fairer than 50/50, since I didn’t earn anywhere near what he did.

      Practically: it meant that he picked up the checks for dates, but if we went to Blockbuster, I’d pay for a movie or two.

  11. pop top says:

    This article was probably a bad idea…

  12. Erika says:

    It should be split evenly, or at least, pay for your own meal. Women have been fighting for equality, but having men pay for meals feels like a set back. I work, so why can’t I pay for my own stuff?

    • chefboyardee says:

      Thank you for giving honest perspective from a logical woman. I got blasted for saying the same thing…

  13. annalisa says:

    I usually offer to split it but if he says no, I won’t argue. Unless it’s a bad time, then I really insist on splitting the bill, hoping he gets the hint!

    • teke367 says:

      Thats actually how I would take it if the girl insisted on splitting the bill. I guess it would depend on the context, though. Depending on how the date went, or how paranoid I am that day, I probably would assume “insisting to split the bill = not having a good time.”

      I think “whomever asks pays” is probably a good idea, but regardless, I would generally try to pay the bill either way. But there is a fine line between “insisting” and “being pushy.”

      • aloria says:

        I ask to split the bill because I don’t want to look like a mooch or someone interested in a meal ticket. It’s no indication of my level of interest.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Both of us grew up with our parents as examples. My parents worked full time and so did his. The understanding was that it was a two-way street and it was fair that you take care of each other, not one person taking care of the other.

  14. The Brad says:

    Whoever asks the other out should pay for the first two dates. Date number 3 its either split even or the other one pays.

  15. mcs328 says:

    The man should pay but the women should make an honest effort to pay.

    • BettySage says:

      Do you define honesty by motives or movement? Because I always reach the the check, but secretly…

  16. Khaos_Child says:

    Whoever asked the other out should pay but both parties should atleast offer. If you think about it is extremely rude for someone to ask someone out and then expect them to pay.

    Sara: Hey Mark you wanna go see a movie this friday?
    Marc: Of course
    Sara: Ok, just be sure you feed me first, then buy me some popcorn, and of course by my ticket too. I am after all going on a date with you.
    Marc: What about aferwards.
    Sara: WTF OMG, men are such pigs.
    Marc:…ok… so you want me to buy you dinner and a movie ticket and snacks but then you expect I ask for nothing in return…

    • Khaos_Child says:

      lol i misspelled afterwards

    • Destra says:

      Dude, check yourself. In no way is the price of a meal and tickets equal to a night of sex. The person paying for the date is in no way entitled to sex, regardless of their gender. And if you’re going out with an asshole who asks you out on a date then expects you to pay, I’d say move on- she or he isn’t worth your time.

      • RandomHookup says:

        I didn’t see any reference to a night of sex. Some insinuation maybe, but he could have been referring to drinks or walking holding hands by the shore.

      • Im Just Saying says:

        Destra’s right, a hooker is probably cheaper.

      • chrishickman says:

        I don’t think his point is “paying 100% of the date means you get laid afterward”, it’s the duality of the attitude that it’s ok for a woman to expect that a man pay for everything, and not ok that a man expect sex, as both genders have exhibited said behaviors from time to time and not always in relation to the other.

        Or in other words, while it’s not ok for a man to expect sex because he paid, it’s not ok for a woman to expect the man to pay regardless of the reason in this day and age (though there’s decorum involved with who asked who, chose the location, etc., as described in other posts).

  17. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    I feel like splitting isn’t a date, it’s a work meal with a colleague. I suppose if it’s a first-meeting date, splitting is okay, but if you already know each other and one asks the other on a date, the asker ought to pay. Otherwise it doesn’t really seem like a date.

  18. Shmoodog says:

    I think “Whoever asks the other person out should pay” is fair, but then again, it would be gentlemanly and good etiquette for the man to pay even if he was asked out by the woman.

    Open to a situation by situation interpretation, but if a guys is the one asking, he should be the one paying. That is just how it seems right in my head.

  19. wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

    Asker pays, and as a “forward woman” this could be kind of expensive for me when I was younger. I understand where guys are coming from when they get sick of always paying.

    That said, my husband figured out that I was used to taking care of myself on dates pretty quickly, and proceeded to spoil me rotten by paying for… well, a trip to Europe was a good start! It was different for me, and I let him know he didn’t have to do all of that. He said he enjoyed it, so I let him. Worked pretty well, I’d say.

  20. theduckay says:

    I just think its nice and gentleman-like when guys pay/offer to pay. I feel like I’m being taken care of. Then again I’m old-fashioned and a huge fan of chivalry (not to mention my boyfriend makes twice the salary I do). That being said, I do pay my half most of the time as well as paying for the whole meal here and there.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Chivalry is fine as long as guys don’t get stupid about it. One of my college friends would literally run ahead of me to get to the door first so he could open it for me. It drove me nuts. He couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want him to open the door every time, and he said he had been taught by his mother to always open the door for all women, friend or date. After a few months, he stopped running ahead, but I suspect that he was still uncomfortable with how thoroughly “modern” I was.

      • theduckay says:

        haha yea thats a little over-the-top. I’m more for chivalry in the sense that its showing you care for someone more than thinking you’re “obligated” to do that kind of stuff. Theres a difference between little small things like pulling a chair, holding the door open, etc and demanding to do that each and every time in an almost neurotic fashion haha

      • apd09 says:

        No, he was running ahead to open the door for you so that it someone goes bat shit crazy inside the building he is not in the line of fire. It has nothing to do with chivalry and all to do with looking out for number 1. ;-)

    • Snaptastic says:

      *nod* I would also agree. It sends out a sign that he is making an attempt to take care of me–which is a small gesture that still says alot. It may seem a bit old fashioned, but in terms of the social environment, offering food is one of the most basic ways that interest is conveyed.

      If the guy doesn’t offer to pay, then I give him the same consideration that I would give any other friend. This sometimes has caused trouble though where a guy is interested but doesn’t give any hints that I pick up on–and I end up thinking of him more as a friend than an actual romantic prospect. This isn’t a bad thing, but it has led to drama since I am the type who is oblivious to anything less subtle than a billboard and fire engine.

  21. SkittleKicks says:

    Who ever asked, pays. That way, there’s no sticker shock later – the asker has the opportunity to control costs up front by choice of place.

  22. spazztastic says:

    I would, if I ever get a date…

  23. Metachronal says:

    Asker pays.

    Lets not half-ass the whole “equal” thing.

    • Snaptastic says:

      Only when males can get pregnant will I say that relationships are truly equal.

      • OnePumpChump says:

        The treatment men get in family court makes relationships equal.

      • drizzt380 says:

        When men get to live as long as women on average, I’ll consider relationships equal.

        Of course, women can choose to prevent pregnancy, but men can’t choose to live longer.

  24. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Whoever did the asking should pay. It’s polite and it covers everybody, gay couples included.

  25. Groanan says:

    Whoever is more willing to pay for sex should pay for the first date.

  26. Mcshonky says:
  27. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Women should insist on splitting for the first few dates. Too many men think the way Marc does in Khaos_Child’s comment: “If I spend money I’m owed sex”.

    Protip: Treating a woman like a whore on the first date is a bad idea.

    • BettySage says:

      Second date is absolutely fine, tho. ;)

    • aloria says:

      Yup, I always try to split the check, and if the guy refuses, try to make up for it by buying the drinks after or offering to pick up the check on the next date. It does say something about a guy if he gets offended at the offer, or worse, gets a pissed off “you owe me” attitude in terms of hooking up simply because he insisted on paying the whole bill.

      • Snaptastic says:

        Yup–if a guy pulls the “you owe me” card, I consider that proper grounds for labeling him a douche and discontinuing all further interactions with no regrets.

    • Doubts42 says:

      aww that’s so cute. pretending like the whole dating thing isn’t a negotiation for sex anyhow.

      • aloria says:

        Aww, how cute. Abstracting social interactions into a completely lopsided oversimplification of how things really work.

        • guymandude says:

          Aww.. isn’t that cute… ignorant that Sigmund Freud built an entire formalism around just that(getting laid).

          • aloria says:

            Being a pioneer of anything means that a good portion of your theories will be eventually be abandoned for more accurate models, as a good bulk of Freud’s have.

    • dangerp says:

      No, women should graciously accept when the man offers to pay for everything. Then, if they act like they are owed something, then don’t go on a second date.

      A guy offering to pay should be a gracious gentlemanly gesture. If it is anything less, then that man is not a gentleman and doesn’t deserve further dates. On the other hand, not allowing a genuine man to pay for the first date can be a blow to his character, and makes you look like a stubborn fem-nazi.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        A guy offering to pay should be a gracious gentlemanly gesture.

        Yeah, but unless the guy is someone the woman already knows well then she doesn’t know if he’s making a nice gesture or if he thinks he’s making a payment. There are other ways of finding out the guy is a jerk that don’t end with him trying to extract payment at the end of the night.

        Split bills and inexpensive dates until you suss each other out. That’s not being a Nazi, it just makes sense.

  28. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Guy pays. After all, the girl wouldn’t even show up for the hour unless she knew she was getting paid for it.

    • aloria says:

      I do this crazy thing called “not hanging out with people I dislike.” It works really well for me.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        You and everyone else. I’m so ronery… :'(

        (checking out these comments I really wanted a valid excuse to post this link but, short of a good excuse, I’ll just toss it out there.)

  29. Mcshonky says:

    this says it all.

  30. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    If a woman wants to pay her half on a first date then don’t expect any payback or favors later. She’s just not that in to you.

  31. rubicthecube says:

    If I invite someone out, I insist I pay. If she insists on splitting, I’ll say “I get the check, you pay the tip.” That hurts less on my pocket and makes her not feel like a mooch.

  32. mandarynn says:

    If a guy asks me out to dinner, he should at least offer to pay. Then I would usually repay by buying drinks afterwards!

  33. MB17 says:

    From some of these posts, you’d think a date is business arrangement. When I ask a girl out, I like to pay. It’s not because I’m a traditionalist, and it’s not because I expect her to “put out.” I pay because I like her, and I want to do something nice for her. If she offers to pay, all the better–that gesture just reinforces why I asked her out. I still insist on paying though.

    • dolemite says:

      Yeah, but I’ve been on plenty of dates where the girl got Lobster, wine, appetizers, etc, and at the end of the night, I got a hug meaning “do not contact”.

      I’m not saying I expected any sex or anything, but I know for a FACT there are a large percentage of women that go out with guys just to get free expensive meals. Usually the younger ones, but the fact remains.

      • aloria says:

        That’s the risk you take when you ask someone out for dinner. Don’t want to take that risk? Take her to a museum or for cocktails instead, and if things are going well and she seems into you, then ask her if she wants to grab dinner.

        • AlphaLackey says:

          You speak almost as if there’s no chance of the woman feigning interest on a cheap date to see if the next one gets more expensive.

          Obviously this is not an indictment on all women, or even on the majority. The fact remains: some women feign interest because they like free stuff. And “be paranoid” is hardly a solution.

      • theduckay says:

        Yea I don’t agree with those types of girls at all…I think thats terrible. I would venture to say that most of us (hopefully) are not like that though. I would feel incredible guilty if I bought some super expensive crap and he had to pay. Even now if my boyfriend is offering to pay for dinner, I’ll try to get something on the menu thats on the cheaper side because I feel bad lol

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        You need to adjust your screening procedure; there are plenty of girls out there whose parents taught them to always order the chicken on the first date. :)

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        I never understood doing anything expensive on a first date, especially when both people don’t know each other very well. It doesn’t have to be the dollar menu but it certainly shouldn’t be someplace that averages $50 a person.

        Frankly, I would not feel comfortable with someone I don’t know very well spending that kind of money on me.

    • theduckay says:

      “I pay because I like her, and I want to do something nice for her”

      Exactly. +100. It really shouldn’t be anymore complicated than that. Most girls aren’t money-grubbing bitches that want their boyfriends to pay for everything, as guys seem to think they are. I’m sure most (myself included) would offer to pay half. The whole “women’s rights/equality” garbage that some guys throw around as an excuse not to pay is irritating. If its that much of a pain in the ass for you to pay for this girl (that you supposedly “like”) on your first date, then maybe you shouldn’t be going out on a date.

    • aloria says:

      Exactly. People here are treating dates like some sort of legal prostitution or binding contract, not two people hanging out to get to know each other better because they interested in one another.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I have learned that some guys can become resentful of women who either have money or don’t particularly care for many traditional social norms. A lot of Southern guys are still raised to think that you should take care of a woman – well, that’s nice and all, but I had grew up with very strong, educated women, and parents who worked full time, so I grew up very opinionated of how I was going to lead my life. I was very up front with everyone who ever expressed interest in me that I was never going to be a housewife, and some people had a problem with that.

    • summeroflove says:

      You win.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:
  34. palace_gypsy says:

    What are these “Dates” of which you speak?


  35. bee8boo8bop8 says:

    I never thought about this in depth. I’ve been on one first date in my life and married the man. My husband always insisted on paying. He still insists he hands his copy of our credit card to the waiter instead of mine. We have completely shared bank accounts. I don’t get it either.

  36. peebozi says:

    there are a ton of cheap bastards on here…

    guy should make the effort to pay and if she puts up a fight then split it or let her pay, whatever she wants.

  37. JohnDeere says:

    only if he wants another date.

  38. gqcarrick says:

    I was always raised that the guy pays for dates. Although my last few girlfriends liked to pay every other time, or leave the tip for the waitress or buy dessert, one of those combinations.

    • common_sense84 says:

      You were raised by bigots that think women should be locked in the kitchen and should not work.

  39. Richard says:

    Asking person pays isn’t really valid for first dates as a way of addressing equality because of the cultural expectation that the man will be the person to request the first date. So it’s really just another way of propagating the problem.

  40. jaazzman says:

    The guy is paying for it his entire life…

  41. ill informed says:

    i’ll pay for myself. you pay for yourself. that’s equal.

  42. common_sense84 says:

    Nope. The man pays only if the female is a prostitute. Otherwise it’s half and half.

  43. texabyte says:

    I’m gay. The guy will always pay.

  44. FrugalFreak says:

    I refuse to participate in this double standard world. Men have to bare the security of the women and children oftenplace and though it is viewed as that is gender instincts, I disagree with it. Men want sex, women want security, and women hoard the sex over like a dangling carrot to get the benefits. That equates to flawed societal in my opinion. If women work, have equal rights,vote, equal right to own property, they should also pay half of relationships and that includes dating. But we all know women rarely ask and will get asked out and they know this.

    • theduckay says:

      you seem like such a gentleman. Your girlfriend must be proud. Oh, you don’t have one? …I wonder why.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      As a man compelled by the need to be completely honest, I have to admit that men want


    • Tim says:

      *slow clap*

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      Uh … try dating women that don’t hoard sex?

    • RandomHookup says:

      “hoard the sex over”

      I don’t think that is the word you are looking for (though I once knew a woman who hoarded sex). I think “lord the sex over…” is where you were going.

  45. gparlett says:

    If the guy doesn’t pay, it’s not a date. Cut and dried.

    If a guy offers to pay and the women refuses let her pay and then never speak to her again. It is not worth wasting your time with people who do not know how to accept a gift with grace and who don’t understand the basics of manners.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      It is not worth wasting your time with people who do not know how to accept a gift


  46. terrillja says:

    I’ll twist the question some: Who pays when you have dinner with the other’s parents at their invitation? I’ve always gone with the offer to pay my part, but wondering what others think.

    • ill informed says:

      i’ll offer the dad to pay for myself, but they usually want to foot the whole bill

    • theduckay says:

      I’ve never had to pay or even offered to pay in any situation involving parents (someone else’s or my own). It just seemed to default to them paying…I didn’t even think twice about it haha

  47. BigBoat2 says:

    Simple move for guys: Offer to pay. Say very clearly that you want to pick up this one to get a second date, and she can get the check then.

    This move is gold, and utterly sidesteps gender roles while still allowing the guy to look the gentleman! Worked great every time, including my first date with my now wife.

    • gaberussell says:

      Agreed. “This one’s on me; you can get the next one” – it’s classy, fair, and sets up the next date, without getting into the gender equality muck on the first date.

  48. ChilisServer says:

    I preferred to split evenly, but I would not refuse the guy’s offer to pay unless the bill was pretty high. I’m married now, so it doesn’t matter who pays anymore. ;)

  49. Kitteridge says:

    Look, I think down the line an even split situation is ideal, or at least a trading off of who pays what.

    But on that first date there is, even in the best circumstances, a little posturing. And even the most “modern” men like to think they can take care of their date, while even the most “modern” women like to be taken care of a little. It’s when these roles are considered expected in all circumstances, at all times, that you start getting gender friction. A guy who at least offers to pay on that first date is heading in the right direction; after that, everything’s negotiable.

  50. Karenpuppy says:

    If he earns $1 to my $0.75, then he can always pay. It helps even out the wage gap.

    • evnmorlo says:

      As long as you put in the extra labor make that even too

    • AlphaLackey says:

      If you were really doing the same job, with the same workplace expectations, with the same qualification, with the same education, for the same number of hours per week, yet still only getting 75 cents a week (which is not the case) then there would be logic to your sentiment.

  51. EmanNeercs says:

    What’s all this talk of splitting – I say pay for your own crap! I cover my own bill and you can cover yours, because seriously, who wants to cover a stuffed mushroom appetizer they didn’t even touch?

  52. Destra says:

    It makes me very pleased that equality comes through here on Consumerist. Whoever invites the other out, must pay for that night’s (or day’s) activities. Andy, hey, it works for homosexual and gender queer couples as well! Even better!

  53. dangerp says:

    Guy always pays if he wants the lady to know he is a gentleman. If you aren’t interested in showing the lady respect, then go ahead and give up the duty.

    Of course, this tends to go hand in hand with the man asking the lady out for the date in the first place. Even if the lady is the first to express interest, or ask to ‘get together some time’, the man should put out the invite.

    • Destra says:

      Guy always pays if he wants the lady to know he is a gentleman.

      Then how would a gal let the gent know that she’s a lady? The best way to show respect is to treat men and women equally.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        A little flash works, although if she’s shy she can also present chromosome test results.

  54. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Whomever initiates the date should pay. Then, the next date, the other person pays and so forth.

    The reason I feel the person who asks should pay is that if you’re asking someone out to a nice restaurant, it’s unfair (and impolite) to assume they are going to pay.

  55. Illuminado says:

    Only if he wants there to be a second date.

  56. suez says:

    I’ll at least offer to split the bill, but if he insists, I won’t push. If the guy takes up my offer on the first try, I’ll admit that sometimes I’ll look twice at him and wonder if he’s that cheap.

    If it’s a first date and I’m not sure about the chemistry yet, I insist on splitting the bill. I don’t want to be in any way under any “obligation.”

  57. brinks says:

    Guys pay for stuff? Really?

  58. ogremustcrush says:

    Depends on whether it is a planned date or spontaneous. For the former the asker should pay, for the latter, either splitting is fine or one of the parties can take care of it with the implication that the other should do so the next occasion. At least that’s how it works with my girlfriend, although at the beginning there was a lot of races to see who could get their card to the server first. I’d actually say for the very first date splitting might be best because it removes any implication of obligation on both parties and lets them focus on finding out if they like the other person enough for more dates.

  59. cheezfri says:

    OK I’m a female over 40, so I do still cling to some of the old-fashioned beliefs. I think it’s nice for a man to be a man and ask the girl out and then pay for the date. That being said, I’m well aware this is the 21st century, I have my own money, and things don’t always work that way anymore.

    Seems perfectly ok for the woman to ask the guy out, and perhaps throw in “my treat” just to ensure everyone is clear on who is paying. Better not to have any awkward miscommunications. If it’s perfectly clear that I’m on an actual date, and the man has asked me, then I let him pay when the check comes. But if it’s any more ambiguous than that, I at least try to pull out my wallet and pay for my half unless he says differently.

    As to “putting out”, well there’s no good way to word that, but neither party is entitled to any “putting”, no matter how much money had been spent. But I certainly wouldn’t lead a guy on and make him pay for multiple dates if I didn’t think the relationship was going to go any further in the “putting” department :)

  60. evnmorlo says:

    It would be so much simpler if you could just invite them to eat at your place for the first date.

    • MB17 says:

      Why can’t you?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        That only works if you already know them well enough to trust them. If it’s someone you only know very casually or if you used an Internet dating site your first date should be in a public place.

  61. Blious says:

    There is absolutely zero reason for the guy NOT to pay but a woman can pay if she is far and away more wealthy

    The guy should ASK though

  62. UnicornMaster says:

    It’s like a punchcard for sex right? Three dates and you can redeem it for sex right? Or you can redeem it earlier for smaller gifts?

    All kidding aside, why is this even a question? The guy should always pay unless in that rare instance the girl asks him out, and even then the guy, who accepted her invitation for a date, should at least offer to pay–repeatedly until she really insists on paying.

  63. willowannelyra says:

    Asker pays because asker plans. The other person may not have known the invite was coming and usually has less say in the details of the event. That makes it significantly harder for them to budget for the 50/50 split than it does for the asker to just plan a date they can afford.

  64. pinteresque says:

    Dinner and a movie. One gets dinner, the other gets the movie.

    It used to be a great litmus test for me when I was dating – if I went out with a girl who expected to have the evenin handed to her on a platter, they probably weren’t going to be a person I was going to be able to tolerate as anything close to an equal in the long run.

    Now that I’m done with casual dating, though, I take my girlfriend out all the time. It’s something you do out of love, not out of want, and she’s just as likely to grab the check before I do.

  65. stock2mal says:

    Women wanted equal rights, let them have equal rights. The askee should not have to pay. If I ask you to come to my house for dinner, should you have to come to my house and cook my dinner?

  66. BradenR says:

    It’s all a matter of family tradition. In ours NO, all children were expected to go dutch treat until they knew the person well enough and would be as comfortable paying for two as accepting a gift of an evening out. It has it’s advantages. Girl power!! Neither party can demand anything, on the basis of you owe me. I walked out on several dates when the evening wasn’t going well. Paid my own way so nothing to regret.

  67. TacomaRogue says:

    On first dates I always at least tried (offerd) to pay for my own drink/meal/ticket/what have you, unless I was the asker, then I paid the whole thing unless the guy offered to split. In paying my half there was never any obligation to have a second date. I learned that lesson after a HORRIBLE first date that the guy insisted be followed by a second because he took me to such a spendy place (dispite my wishes).

    These days Mr. Rogue and I just split everything, we make about the same ammount right now so we just take turns.

  68. jariten says:

    The pursuer PAYS…period.

    This is normally the guy.

    It may be the girl….unlikely, but I’ve seen it.

    It is quite unlikely that both folks are trying to get each other at the same time to the same degree.

    It becomes more dicey later in the relationship if they are both at the same professional level…but that also rarely occurs.

  69. susannahID says:

    If a man asks out a woman, he is extending an invitation. He will be hosting someone for an evening. That does man paying discreetly and not taking on a big expense that makes a date feel uncomfortable. Not a big deal, just a simple way of enjoying an evening.

    A few of the posts here sound angry with women for taking advantage. Maybe the posters have gone on dates with women who were impolite, unfriendly or unkind. A person who behaves like that is not a good guest. Ask out a friendly woman who is polite and kind. That is the way to enjoy a date and not feel angry later over who paid. Who knows – that could be a woman to introduce to mom and dad.

  70. Senchou says:

    My ex always paid; he insisted that it was his duty as a gentleman. But I always paid for dessert, or drinks, or some smaller treat that we enjoyed together. It was a way I could contribute without him feeling he wasn’t being a proper gentleman.

  71. ariven says:

    whoever does the invite should pay. :)

  72. dilbert69 says:

    I’m a dude (last I checked). I once dated a woman with whom I would take turns paying for dinner. One night, she took me to a more expensive place than our usual range of choices. I mentioned this, and she smiled and said, “That’s okay, I’m expecting you to put out later.” As I recall, she was not disappointed.

  73. dilbert69 says:

    I’d also like to point out that the “split it” or “the asker pays” conventions work equally well regardless of sexual orientation, so that’s another big win.

  74. nocturnaljames says:

    Gender “equality” is only sanctioned when it benefits females.

  75. Amnesiac85 says:

    This is tough. I’ll be honest, I always paid on my first dates. For me, it just felt like the right thing to do.

    However, for some, they may not like that. It’s always good to at least offer. (I’m a guy)

  76. Not Given says:

    My cousin dated a poor farmer. He had family land to farm and a house to live in but not much cash. My cousin worked a low paying job, so they didn’t go out. He would come over nearly every night and she would cook dinner. The cost of all the food was starting to hurt, so she told him he needed to buy some groceries once in a while. The next morning he showed up at her door with a large bag and put it on her kitchen counter. It was a deer, cut into quarters. She said it took all day for her to fillet it out and wrap it for freezing.

  77. The Marionette says:

    It depends on the person. Personally I’ll always pay on the first date unless the person is so inclined to pay it themselves. None the less, in the end if you end up marrying the person you’ll fight over who pays for dinner anyways haha. My gf and I don’t argue too much about it right now, but it’s getting to that point, but I always pay =)

  78. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I was always a split evenly girl. I found that when guys paid, even for cheap dates, they seemed to think they had some sort of power or that I owed them something. When I insisted on paying my own way, it seemed to keep us on even ground. Oddly enough, I always had better relationships with guys when I started it out paying for myself. I even married one of them.

  79. yurei avalon says:

    Well, I’m a girl and I don’t get to do much asking out, usually the guys come to me first, though I’m not afraid to speak up if I see someone I’m interested in. But if someone asks me to go out to with them, I am expecting them to pay or at least pay half, if they asked. When I invite a friend out, I do so with the full intention of paying for both, being that I am inviting them to come. I am always willing to split though either way :) As of yet though I have never had a guy allow me to pay on a date though despite my best attempts to wrestle my wallet into it, I always get told to “put that thing away”. It seems like most guys get insulted if you try to pay, at least for the first few dates, like it goes against their pride. (But I always carry some form of payment, just in case something happens.)

    After dating for a while though, they tend to loosen up and be much more willing to split or let me buy them a meal out. :) I’ve even had guys say what a novel and nice felling it is to be treated by a girl, lol. So I chose split though I feel t hat if someone invites you out of either gender they should probably be paying.

  80. bwcbwc says:

    For general dating, whoever extends the invitation should pay. The culture that has built up around the first date pretty much translates this as “the guy always pays”. Most of the time the guy does the asking on a first date.

    One good thing about “the guy always pays”, on a blind first date such as through a dating service or singles ads, offering to split the tab is a sure way for a guy to express disinterest without actually saying so.

  81. Mina_da_mad_child says:

    F-ck that! I got the puss you want. You need to seperate yourself from the rest of the herd and show me why you’re a good mate. The guy should, at the very least, offer to pay for the first date. Is it sexist? yes. But the world is unfair and with all the crap that women have to deal with, getting a free meal every now and again is a small drop in the bucket.

    In short, paying for the first date is the best way to ensure a second one.

  82. EatingSteak says:

    I don’t say this very often, but I actually like Maxim’s answer to this one:
    > If it was your (the guy, presumably), you pay; if it was her idea, offer to split it.

  83. AlphaLackey says:

    Shouldn’t it depend on the woman in question?

    If I was asking out a woman who was traditional and aspired to be a domestic goddess of a housewife, I’d offer to pay without a second thought.

    If I was asking out a career woman who sought equal treatment by society, I’d ask for separate cheques without a second thought.

  84. BillyDeeCT says:

    At least in my area the women I’ve met were all too eager to spend the guy’s money and never interested in reciprocating. I say split the check and if the woman is interested in pursuing things further then the guy should offer to pick up the tab. I have a buddy who had been on way too many first dates where it was pretty obvious the woman was only there for the free meal. That’s a sad statement on the women in our area.

  85. sweetgreenthing says:

    I guess I’m old fashioned. I did aspire to domestic goddess status, so a split check situation on a first date would not have led to a second date. I expect the asker to pay, and I did not do any asking. My grandpa told me not to call a man first, let him call me and I stuck to it. Second and third dates are more negotiable. I would offer to split or buy drinks or dessert further into a relationship. The man I married only allowed me to pick up drinks on our first date after paying for dinner and a movie himself- and I am now, happily, a housewife.

  86. TalKeaton: Every Puzzle Has an Answer! says:

    Personally, my girlfriend asked ME out. And when the time came on the first date, I did offer to pay. If she had objected, we could have worked something out, but I think the guy should at least offer (and if she does object, continue to offer). But don’t push the matter so hard that it’s going to have a negative impact on the date itself, especially if she doesn’t want you to.

  87. laughingweek says:

    The asker pays. And you know how I can prove it? I’m gay. Absolutely no antiquated social construct getting in the way of logic.

  88. Thebestdudeeverr says:

    Women always want to be “equal” yet they don’t want any of the responsibility!

  89. hawkeyerant says:

    I always offer to split the check… and will gladly pay if taken up on my offer. However, I insist upon it if I know I never want to go on another date with the guy again.

  90. RanChan03 says:

    IMO i believe it’s ALWAYS the person who asks the other person out who should pay.

    1. Because you are inviting them out to hang out with you.
    2. you are taking them out to something that they might not like.

    Forget all the thinking notion that Oh all guys should pay for the girl. Those days are LONG gone and over, and anyone who still thinks that needs to get with the times.

    Whether it’s a Guy or a Girl. Asker should pay.

    Equality and all that jazz

  91. miss_chevious says:

    I’m going to throw my hat in the “asker pays” ring. If you ask me out on a first date, then I expect you to pay for it (I’ll have money with me just in case, but I’m not planning on using it). And likewise, if I ask you, then I’ve got it covered. Once you start seeing someone regularly, you can make whatever adjustments work for you as a couple (based on money, or values, or what have you), but initially? Asker pays.

  92. greekinthecity says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever commented on this site, but since I was having a long conversation on this exact topic with some friends (which…obviously makes me an expert) I thought I’d give my $0.02.

    My opinion? Think outside the box for a second. I’ve avoided this “problem” for the past five years or so because I realized I absolutely hate dinners on a first date. Ok so you’ve met someone in a bar (or ball game, library, coffee shop, laundromat, opium den, wherever) and you ask them out. I value my time more than anything else, so I ensure I allocate it with good company. So say you ask this person to dinner on a first date. He/she might be a total disaster of a match. Its happened once or twice that I have a great connection with a girl the first time I meet her and she’s the devil’s sister when seated at a fine japanese restaurant (rude to the staff, dead quiet, not drunk enough). Anyway, it happened enough times for me to just stop doing anything expensive or massively time consuming on a first date. Find a date that leaves you an escape hatch if its not going well and won’t burn a hole in your wallet since in my opinion the guy should pay for a first date, the girl should ALWAYS genuinely offer, the guy should refuse, and after that first date you see how the dynamics work.

    The solution? Grab two cups of coffee and a bar of chocolate and sit on a park bench. Talk. Laugh. Wear a tshirt. You’ve just spent 10 dollars on a date. You can leave whenever you want and don’t have to wait til your date eats one pea at a time and then orders dessert until you’re feeling stuffed and unsatisfied spending lots of money and about an hour and half with someone you barely feel a connection with. So you’re in the park. If he/she turns out to be a dud, no harm done. Much better than worrying what type of food the date likes and how much you should be spending. And hey, I’m no cheapskate. I make more than most of the girls I date, and once I figure I really connect with a girl, I have no problem taking her to a great restaurant, because I know I will enjoy her company and the food. By that time, the check-paying dynamics usually work themselves out. As a side note, if after the first date you’re still paying for every date, find a new date. In my experience my best relationships have been ones where the spending ratio is around 70% guy, 30% girl. In some, its been 50-50. In some, its been 30-70 (she was older and awesome).

    In summary, don’t do dinner on a first date. See reasons above. If you’re a guy in a heterosexual relationship, you should take enough cash to pay for two on the first date (in my case, $10). Be offended if she doesn’t even offer to pay but politely refuse if she does offer. If she insists, either tell her she can get the bill the next time (if you want to see her again) or allow to split. Don’t let your ego get in the way of a good time. Definitely do not argue about who gets the bill. Procreate responsibly.

  93. Thalia says:

    If he doesn’t offer to pay, I’ll think he’s a cheap bastard. If he lets me pay, after I say no need to pick up the entire check, I’ll know he is a cheap bastard. I usually split the bill when dating, except for one guy who let me pick up the first check (after he asked me out), he paid for every meal after that.

    Whoever is not the asker, regardless of gender, should offer to pay for their share, but should agree to let the asker pick up the check. The only exception is if the non-asker is poor, and that’s been discussed. When I was a student a guy took me to a very fancy restaurant & I told him ahead of time that I couldn’t afford something like that, but would be happy to pay for coffee or a movie afterward.

  94. coren says:

    Whoever asks should at least OFFER to pay.

    I also play by the three times a charm – anytime I ask someone out, and when it comes time to pay they say they will three times, I let em. I’m not gonna force them to have free food.