😦😰😫 This article was co-authored by Lisa Shield and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden. Lisa Shield is a love and relationship expert based in Los Angeles. She has a Master's degree in Spiritual Psychology and is a certified life and relationship coach with over 17 years of experience. Lisa has been featured in The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, LA Times, and Cosmopolitan.
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😦😰😫 When the bill arrives at your table, do you reach for it automatically, or do you wait for your date to make the first move? Figuring out who’s going to pay on a date can be tough, but with a few guidelines in mind, you can dodge any awkward moments. Read this article to learn everything you need to know about paying for the first date and beyond.
Section 1 of 4:Paying for a Date: What the Experts Say
- 1Whoever asks for the date should pay the bill. If you’re the one who invited your date out, it’s polite to cover both of your meals. On the flip side, if your date set up your dinner plans, they’ll probably be the one to pay for everything.XResearch source
- If you don’t plan on paying for the bill, it’s still polite to reach for your wallet whenever the check comes. Your date will probably insist that they’ve got it, and you can thank them for taking you out.
- Is your date insisting that you split it, even though you want to pay? Avoid the awkwardness by saying something like, "I’ll get this one, and you can get the next one."
- If you're having a hard time accepting that your date wants to pay for everything, try to think about this in another way: remember that this is their way to show that they want to take care of you. Try to learn how to receive this gift.XExpert SourceLisa Shield
Dating CoachExpert Interview. 11 March 2021.
- 2After the first date, you two can split the bill. When things start to get a little more serious, both partners can share the weight of paying for a night out. The second, third, and fourth dates can all be a dual effort. If you two end up in a serious relationship, you can talk about who’s going to pay and when to split the bill whenever the time comes.XResearch source
- If you want to bring up who’s going to pay before you go out, say something like, "Since I got our last date, would you mind paying for this one?"
Section 2 of 4:Are men always expected to pay for dates?
- In modern dating, men aren’t expected to pay for every date. That’s a pretty antiquated tradition, and it’s fallen out of fashion in the past few decades. In fact, having the man pay for all of the dates can set a relationship up for failure—eventually, the guy in the relationship might feel like he’s being used or taken advantage of, which can cause resentment.XResearch source
- Having one partner consistently pay the bill can also create a weird power imbalance. The person being paid for might feel like they "owe" their partner, which isn’t a healthy set up.XResearch source
Section 3 of 4:Is asking to split the bill rude?
- No, asking your date to go dutch isn’t rude. However if you’re on a first date and you’re the one who made the plans, it can be a bit of a turnoff if you aren’t prepared to pay. If you’re the one who invited someone else out, make your plans for a spot that you can afford—that way, you can treat your date and make a great first impression.XResearch source
- If you do need to split the bill, just ask your date outright. That way, there are no awkward pauses as you and your date figure out who’s paying.
- Say something like, "Hey, would you mind if we split this?" or, "Could we go dutch on this one?"
Section 4 of 4:Who pays for the date in a queer relationship?
- Whoever asks the other person out usually pays. Try to stick to the "whoever asks" rule—if you picked the location, you can pay for the date.XResearch source Splitting the bill is also a valid option, especially if you and your date both insist on paying.
- ↑Lisa Shield. Dating Coach. Expert Interview. 11 March 2021.