BULLSH!T Discusses: Who should pay on the first date?

5-who-pays-first-dateThis may come as a surprise to men, but whenever girls come back from a first date, one of the first questions from friends is always “Did he pay?”

It’s a debate that has always divided people. And a lot of the time you can break it down to three types of people:

1) The ones who say things like ‘if he doesn’t pay for the first date, there won’t be a second.’ 
2) The ones who unequivocally believe that the guy should pay for the first date, but any date after that is fair game
3) The ones that are happy to go dutch and pay their own way.

While back in the day it may be common and safe to assume a guy would always pay, the modern era proves a little trickier – times are a’changing. There are people that cite feminism and equality and others that argue chivalry for their individual reasons, but at the end of the day, there’s still a huge, awkward dance over who pays the bill at the end. And if there’s going to be a second date…what the hell happens then?!

BULLSH!T decided to get into the thick of it, and discover what people really think about who should foot the bill.

image14“I wouldn’t think less of a date if they didn’t pay. I would expect that the girl should seriously offer. For some reason, I also expect that the guy should seriously suggest paying. But I don’t think that the result should be that the guy actually pays. It’s nice for both to offer. I don’t want to feel like I owe anyone anything. I also love the feeling of paying for a guy’s drink or food and setting the precedent that it’s a level playing field. I’ve had guys forcibly pay for everything and suggest that I’m emasculating for not allowing them to take care of me. I’ve also dated guys who wouldn’t try to get a job and then let me pay for most things. Neither appeals to me. I just love buying things for people when I like them.Cyndall, 22.

You know what makes this question even more confusing? Being a dude who dates other dudes. I’ve been at this same-sex dating thing for going on 4 years now and it still hasn’t gotten any easier to decipher. In an ideal world, every situation would see both halves going dutch – but sometimes it’s nice to offer to pay. It’s a pretty quick and effective way of letting the other half know that yes, this is a date – and yes, you did have a good time. In my experience, the person determined to pay will always win out in the end – it just depends on how much of a faux-argument you want to front up first. The only real insight I’d offer, regardless of the genders involved, is that the best arrangement is that whoever isn’t paying for dinner picks up the tab on the drinks. Either way it’s still one of the more awkward aspects of 21st century dating etiquette to negotiate.” Harrison, 22.

“It’s really quite difficult to say what a person ‘should’ do when it comes to paying for or splitting a bill for a date, especially a situation as delicate as a first date because, at the end of the day, it’s entirely dependent on the individual situation. If for instance you’re working and seeing someone who is out of work or studying, it’s obviously pretty unfair to expect them to pick up the tab. By the same token if it goes beyond a first date and the same person picking up the tab becomes a regular theme, that’s a bit unfair regardless of circumstance. At the end of the day if you don’t at least offer to pay for your own share on a first date, regardless of gender or situation, you’re a pretty ordinary human being and probably shouldn’t expect a second. ” Matt, 24.

“Despite egalitarianism, feminism, and all the high minded-isms we now stand for, there’s still something sacred about courtship.” I think it’s chivalrous if a man takes you out and pays for everything. Of course you always offer (you know, the awkward wallet dance at the end of the first date). However, I have absolutely no intention of paying. I have even gone on a couple of dates because I have no money (IDGAF). I don’t expect men to pay for everything all the time. I just think that them wanting to pay to take you out should extend to the first few dates as it is a nice, gentlemanly thing to do. Regardless of whoever asks who out. However, after a few dates, I am a firm believer in splitting the bill or taking turns as I’d feel bad if someone always paid for me. I’ve got my own money too, damnit.” Stacey, 23

tab.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox“Just a quick tip: I don’t care how chivalrous you want to be . Don’t pay for every date. Seriously. Don’t. Let them pay on occasion, or start splitting costs. I paid for almost everything with someone I dated once. It made the eventual break-up just that little bit more of a bitter bill to swallow.” Liam, 24

“First date is generally always a split the bill type scenario. I think as long as you have a mutual understanding of each others price ranges (e.g. if you’re both students, I’m assuming you don’t want a three-course dinner, followed by a private firework show), then going dutch is the best way to do it. I’m coming from the position though that a lot of my first dates have always been super casual – coffee or drinks for me is the first date norm. I did let a guy pay for the whole thing once, mainly because we went out for coffee, he decided on whim to get a $25 lunch and considering it was 3pm I had already eaten. Going dutch it fine, but I’m not all that keen on splitting the bill while I sat there watching him eat food while sipping a latte. Just sayin’.
I’m not going to pretend it’s not nice when a guy does pay for you though a few dates on. But if they do, I like to make sure I buy them drinks later, or shout them dinner another time.Tahlia, 23. 

“If you invited a guest over for dinner, you wouldn’t make them cook, right? Eating out on a date shouldn’t be any different – if you ask someone on a date, you should pay because you’re the host; and if you get asked on a date, you shouldn’t pay because you’re the guest. And assuming you and your potential partner are compatible (and, preferably, sane) and further dates ensue, that same host should continue paying for meals. Why? Because if they don’t want to see their bank account dwindle rapidly, they’ll have to stop wussing about and decide if they’ll break off the burgeoning relationship (thus saving themselves some cash) or take it to the next level (thus spreading the costs more evenly). Vincent, 22.download
Words bought to you the BULLSH!T team, and assorted ring-ins who were happy to throw in their two cents. What are your thoughts on the issue, faithful BULLSH!TERS? Let us know in the comments below.


3 thoughts on “BULLSH!T Discusses: Who should pay on the first date?

  1. Is this a thing now? I must be getting old and out of the dating scene for OMG almost 20 years now. Anyway, I agree with Vincent. If you ask (girl or guy asking girl or guy), you pay, unless you make it clear up front that it’s dutch. If you don’t and expect to split the bill, that’s just rude, how that going to assure date #2? It probably won’t.

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