Dates are usually all fun and games, until that awkward moment comes where it’s time to foot the bill. Are they going to pay? Are you? What if the restaurant doesn’t split bills? So. Much. Stress. Lucky for all of you lovely readers, we’ve got you covered for this sticky situation. Not sure who should be paying for the first date? Keep reading, and stress no more about the dreaded dating dilemma.
Let’s get real for a minute: there’s definitely pros to picking up the bill as a woman. Not only do you get to flaunt your independence, but it’s also a total power move. By picking up the bill on your lonesome you’re showing your date that you care enough to shout their meal, and also that you’re not using the experience as an excuse to mooch a free dinner.
On the other side of the coin, if your date wants to pay, be sure to let them know you appreciate the gesture. It’s also important to recognise that this is a privilege, and not necessarily something you should feel entitled to if you continue to date in the future. Small gestures are often so underrated.
Personally, I’ve found that some men really don’t respond well to being challenged over who should pay the bill. If you have insisted multiple times but they still want to pay, promise to get it next time. It isn’t entirely unheard of for guys and gals to go on dates just to score a free meal.
Definitely be weary of this if you’re just starting to get to know someone and notice that they never offer to pay. Gents, realise that the free-meal tactic is most definitely a thing for some women, so be cautious if it becomes a habit.
So, Who Should Actually Pay?
In all honesty, it really depends on the dynamic of the two people dating. The best advice is to make sure you’re establishing a relationship as equals. Splitting the bill whenever possible will definitely help you out in this sitch – and honestly, in this day and age, why shouldn’t two people split a bill?
If you don’t get the opportunity to split it, make sure to shout the next date, or a few drinks after perhaps? Or at the very least, say thank you. It’s also important to mention here though that just because someone pays for your date, it doesn’t mean that you ‘owe’ them physically. Be wary of men or women who try to manipulate these situations to make you feel like you’re indebted for accepting a kind gesture. These are the kind of people you’re best to avoid.
Why Balance Is So Important
Without setting a precedent early on in the relationship that you both see each other as equals, you are laying the foundation for what’s likely to be a toxic relationship later on. Who wants to date someone that isn’t an advocate for gender equality?
The best relationships are ones where both parties feel like they can be the best versions of themselves when they’re together and have a shared positive experience within each other’s company.
With all that being said, ultimately, who pays for the date really isn’t important. What matters most is making a conscious effort to treat your date fairly and as an equal, no matter who’s taking care of the bill.