Who pays for first date?

who pays

A few years ago, I went out with a woman three times in a few weeks. We had great chemistry, and despite the fact that I was a representative of the customer service at JDate pulling in just $ 30K, I paid for everything. First date was $ 60. Second date was $ 90. The third date was brunch the day after the second date. She had ordered a dozen bagels and then realized she had forgotten her wallet. No big deal. An innocent mistake. She generously offered to pick up our next date.

She called me at work the next day to tell me in a room that looked like fun. She said she was busy at work and asked if I could know if there were tickets available. No problem. I called the theater and learned that there were only six left. What a guy to do? No big deal, I bought a pair of tickets and it was thought to have dinner before going out.

After lunch $ 40, she put her credit card and went to the bathroom. When she returned, she noticed that I did not put on my credit card to withdraw or cut the check. On which she looked at me and said, with a ton of venom and no hint of irony: “What am I, your sugar mama?”

Yeah, being a man is not always the most rewarding thing in the world. But what you gonna do? I stopped to question what is “fair” and decided to embrace the system I inherited. In this system, a guy pays no doubt, and if a woman offers to pay, it is supposed to say no. At least the first few dates. Or as long as she is wooed. Or maybe ever. It depends on the woman. We can never know if we relax our guard and allow him to collect a check. And by then, it is often too late to justify your behavior.

This is a dilemma that and there is no right answer. Until now. As a coach your Friendly Neighborhood single dating, I’ll give you the definitive rulebook on how to negotiate this delicate territory, once and for all ….


SA: You have to want to pay me.

Yes, and generally is the case. Be generous, especially to someone you love is an incredible feeling – right up there, I told myself, with everything taken care of by someone else. The only time I forgot my wallet on a date, she has graciously picked up the check and told me not to worry. This was both very smart and very appreciated.

Him: She expects me to pay for everything.

Yes, and that the precedent was set long before your birth. Do not fight, just do it with a smile, because if you do not, you do not get another date.

Her: he must pay, especially at first.

This logic is a bit from here. Why pay man? Because it’s chivalrous? Consider that the knighthood began at a time when men and women did not work. Women literally could not pay. Thus, men picking up the check sprang from necessity, not out of kindness. It has since been codified in the code of a gentleman, which is considered very bad taste to question. I have no doubt, but look like you are angry that I’m not even putting in place?

He: But she asked me out.

So what? If the label indicates that you pay for the first time and expects you to pay for the first time, and you can afford to pay for the first time, then pay for the damn first date.

SA: No matter what he does. A gentleman always pays. He says what he thinks of me.

If a guy makes a ton of money, I can assure you, it’s his absolute joy and pleasure of every spring for a last drink and spa treatments. But there is a big difference between being cheap and being poor. Cheap means the guy asks the woman to pay for the fish when he ordered the cheapest chicken. Poor requires that the guy has trouble if he has to pay rent for five days in a month. Put yourself in his position: it is hard to blame him for wanting to substitute checks.

My solution is, unsurprisingly, an ambiguity. All try to understand each other.

Guys, be as generous as possible, not only because it is waiting for you, but because it’s really rewarding to be “the guy” and make life easier on her.

Women have sympathy for the student or graduate school can not afford to be as chivalrous as he wishes. You may not be our sugar mamas, but please do not take it for granted that we are your ATMs, okay?

Postscript: A version of this article was written five years ago. Since that time, I am in a much better position to be generous. I still favor men who can not choose blindly every single check.

Slightly revised my position that pays on a first date is:

He grabs the check immediately.

It does the scope of “false”.

He waves off and insists on payment.

She thanked him for his generosity.

End of scene.

Assume the man can not afford safe, this script should play every day during the phase of the court.


You, as a man, can not be angry if it does not offer to split. If you offer to take it out, expect to pay for everything, and be pleasantly surprised if you do not need.

You, as a woman, can not be angry if he accepts your fingertips. If you offer Split, and it lets you divide (or even pick up) the audit, it did absolutely nothing wrong. This is not a game or test, unless you treat it as such.

One last important act for men: It does not matter if it’s coffee or dinner, if you do more or is more, if you asked him out or she invited you out. You can never go wrong by paying.

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