who pays on a date?

stolen from Tales From the Restaurant

this question came up on my Facebook page last week.  you can read the whole question and go ahead and “like” that by clicking anywhere on this sentence.

there’s a prevailing theory of a 60/40 split out there that i think i can get behind.  the idea being you pay for dinner, she grabs the tip.  you buys drinks, she gets the cab.  she buys the movie tickets, you get the popcorn and junior mints.  but i like this plan for different reasons that avoiding “subjugation” or “flaunting money” which tend to be the reasons given.

i like a very flexible 60/40 split because…

1.  it helps to maintain the manly role of a guy in the relationship.  face it, in most cases, you are going to be the primary bread winner eventually.  *coughbabiescough*  and it also shows your desire to take care of her and be her support.  it’s mental more than financial.

2.  it avoids keeping tabs.  if you try to go 50/50 all the time, you start keeping a tally of who does what and that can just cause tension.  boo!  hiss!

3.  it allows her to contribute.  what about that isn’t awesome?  a girl who wants help out and partner with you in taking care of things is indicative of a keeper.  it shows self respect and lets you know she doesn’t intend to bleed you dry.

when should you pay 100%?  you should plan on it all the time.  be ready to pick up the bill for everything if you ask her out.  especially on a first date.  do not let her pay for anything on a first date.  if she insists, and the date went well, let her know you’ll consider it next time.  see what i did there?  i just gave you an in for your second date.  boom!

if the first date is a train wreck and she offers to split the bill, you can do that.  however, i think it’s better if you go ahead and pay to end the night on a “man-up” note.  that way when she tells the story, you still have a +1 in your column.

girls, the first date rule also applies to you if you ask him out.  you should be ready to pay for the whole thing.  but when he offers to pick up the check or contribute something (which he should if he’s decent), put up a minor protest (which he should argue with), then let him.  make sure you pay for something.  do not let him take care of all of it.

okay, i will admit to being out of the dating game for a while now, so let me know if i am completely off about this.

what did i get right?

what did i get wrong?

what other rules would you add?

do you think 60/40 is fair?

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15 comments on “who pays on a date?

  1. All I know is that you should always pay 100% of everything when you’re out by yourself.

  2. Chris says:

    I have this suspicion that if I offered to pay on a girl-asked-first-date, and she “put up a small protest”, there’s a risk I may misunderstand her protest and take her at her word.

    How much arguing over the bill is required before it gets silly?

  3. G Fresh says:

    I like these rules. As a guy who can’t really afford to maybe be as lavish as he’d like all the time when taking a girl out, these are good. Now to find a girl who likes them as well. 🙂

    Combine this with your awesome or awkward date ideas https://guidetowomen.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/awesome-or-awkward-date-ideas and you’ve got the makings of a really fun night.

  4. silly_G says:

    Like this! Some of my girlfriends say that they always make the man pay on the first date. My guy friends are going broke as they play the field! Thinking of these poor saps in my life, I always split the tab.

  5. Charmaine Stanley says:

    I often offer to help pay and I am rebuffed, it’s getting to the point that I just don’t offer. What does a girl do about that?

    • just let them know you’d really like to do it. sometimes guys panic and feel like they’re being tested, so they all but grab the bill and eat it like some contraband note passed in social studies.

      make a joke of it to put them at ease. something about the economy or a tax write-off or having to face your mother who raised you better.

      it is okay to let them handle it on the first date though. it can be a matter of pride.

  6. nathan says:

    I really wish the drama on both sides of this issue would drop away. Guys that get wound up when women offer to share the bill need to chill. And women who expect men to foot the bill all the time need to chill. It’s a first date – split the bill or offer to pay, but whatever happens, stop making it into a make or break issue.

  7. will date for free food says:

    Love this post! And I agree with you on every front.

  8. silly_G says:

    If they insist hard, I do not persist so its uncomfortable..but try! Why don’t we just make it easy with a rule that all first dates are a nice long walk by the lake, No rallying for position required 🙂

  9. ThatGuyKC says:

    Great insight and advice. I know more than a few friends who could’ve benefited from this in college.

  10. Randy says:

    I agree. Guys should pay for the first date. It’s just polite. You invite someone to do something, you foot the bill. I mentioned this on my own blog the other day (pay for the food and pay for everything else, too). Should the relationship progress, it becomes more of a mutual “let’s do something together,” and the bill can be shared at that point. I like the 60/40 idea, though. It does make you feel like more of a man if you pay a little bit more, as silly as that sounds.

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