We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the night and the apprehensive waiter or bartender neutrally sets the bill down directly in the middle of you and your date.

You make a half-ass move for your purse and your date fumbles around, pretending to forget which pocket he put his wallet in.

You both avoid eye-contact, but stare intently at each other beneath curious eyelids.

It’s kind of like the adult game of chicken. One of you will eventually crack and reach for the bill.

The financial aspect of a date can be a little tricky. You might be finishing up the best date of your life—or, maybe, your date showed up buzzed and ate the last two pieces of quesadilla off of your plate. Regardless, for many, the money side of the evening can be a determining factor in the overall rating of the date.

When women started burning their bras and demanding equal rights in the ’60s, the men in America tightened the grip on their wallets, vowing to do their part to further women’s rights by allowing the ladies to financially pull their own weight.

Over time, the rules of “who pays for a date” have changed, and we currently live in a world where anything goes. Some women still demand to be treated on the date. Other women are adamant about taking turns paying or splitting the check. And, on the flip side, some men – not wanting to be disowned by their mothers – grab the check before it even hits the table. And still other men consume three drinks for every one that his date orders and still feel comfortable offering to “just split it” when the pricy bill gets delivered.


No matter which category you fall in, always keep the following rules in mind:

1.)    If you splurge, don’t expect your date to. A small salad and a glass of wine is nothing compared to four scotch-on-the-rocks and a sirloin steak. If you ordered it, own it.

2.)    If you chose a $$$-rated establishment, be prepared to shell out a little more. Don’t expect your date to compensate for your expensive taste.

3.)    Always bring a little extra cash. Even you if came out the loser of the “let me get this one, no let me get this one” game, offer to at least cover the tip. Show that you appreciate your date’s generosity and vow to pick up the next one.

9 Responses

  1. Laura Hamel

    I agree with your 3 rules. My usual rule of thumb is, who ever suggests the date and place should pay. On first dates it always really nice when the guy pays, but in a relationship I am happy to go 50/50.

  2. Marc Laupretre

    Glass ceiling no more. Women should pay on first dates.

  3. Erin Jones

    I don't feel like this would help you much, would it? 😉

  4. Jason Jung

    Define "went well"?! lol … I think it's based on who invites, what the occasion is, how well you know each other, both parties financial situations/or if a couple, what your agreement is for sharing expenses are… and most importantly – if either partner is willing to hand peel the other's chicken skin. That said, when in doubt: Dude should definitely be a gentleman!

  5. Leanna Long

    "Went well" is definitely a complicated thing. I would agree it is dependent on many factors but I guess I'm just traditional in the way that the guy should offer to pay if: the occasion is defined as a date, it's clear there's mutual interest,It's the first or second date and if a couple then there should definitely be an agreement on how to share expenses. I certainly don't think the guy should pay all the time but if the guy peels the other's chicken there is no doubt he's more than a gentleman and that means much more than paying for anything;)

  6. Jennifer Egbert

    Each point is just as important as the one before. Dating is challenging enough – factor in the $ situation when paying for the bill and it gets even more complex!


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