You know the game. We know the game. It’s a first date. The check arrives. You look at the check. She looks at the check. You pick it up (maybe hesitantly), and the woman says, “Oh – do you want to split the check?” Maybe you say, “No – I got it.” Maybe you’re not really into the girl, so you say, “Sure – that would be great,” and she pulls out her credit card and places it into the check with yours.
So here’s the question: Does a woman actually expect you to pay for a first date, or does she expect to split the bill?
Jump ahead to:
Should You Split the Check if the Girl Offers to Pay?
Guys – Don’t be cheap. Even if the girl offers to pay, she expects you to pick up the bill on a first date. We’ve been told that we should offer to pay to be polite, so we offer to split the check. But we secretly hope that you will be a gentleman and reject our offer. If you take us up on the offer to split the check, we may even be offended.
If you want a second date with her, you absolutely need to pick up the bill. Even if you have an amazing job, a hot body, a fabulous sense of humor, and all the same hobbies and interests as her – you need to pay. If you make her pay for her portion of the bill, there is absolutely no way she’s going to go on a second date with you.
Should You Pay for a First Date If You Aren’t Into a Girl?
Let’s make things more complicated. What if you aren’t into her, and you have no intention of taking her on a second date? The answer? You still need to pay on a first date. Be a gentleman. If you asked her out, you need to pay – even if you aren’t into her.
Here’s the Rule: The person that asks for the date pays. Usually the guy asks for the date, so the guy needs to pay.
Paying for the date is the right thing to do.
I’m Sick of Paying for Dates. Why Should I Have to Pay?
I get it guys. Dating can get expensive, especially if you really want to impress a woman. But dating doesn’t have to be expensive. The best first date I went on was a date to I-Hop in college. I loved it!
Want to spend less than $5 on you date? Try one of these ideas:
- Ask a woman out for coffee.
- Ask a girl to get ice-cream.
Need date ideas under $20? Try one of these:
- Take a girl to the zoo.
- Go bowling with your date. Find out what night bowling is only $5-10 an hour.
- Find an inexpensive comedy show in your area.
Want to be spend $0 on a date? There are free ideas too so you don’t have to pay a dime.
- Ask the girl to on a walk.
- Go on a hike together. It’s an easy way to talk to get to know your date while doing something active.
- Challenge your date to bocce ball at a local park.
- Play a casual game of tennis.
- Find a free art gallery, and take a woman there.
In summary, no splitting the check on a first date. If you don’t want to spend money on a date, find a free or inexpensive date activity.
What if the Girl Absolutely Insists to Pay for the Date?
Let’s play out this scenario. The girl offers to pay for her portion of the bill. You say, “No – I got it.” She says, “no really – no big deal” and pulls out her credit card or cash. Then, what do you do?
In this case, go ahead and let the woman pay for her portion of the date. If you’ve rejected a woman’s offer to pay, and she offers to pay again – take her up on the offer. Just note that very few women will do this.
If the woman offers to split the bill, it’s likely one of these scenarios:
1) You are a nice guy, but she isn’t into you. She wants to make it very clear that you have just been friend-zoned. (Ouch!)
2) You are a horrible date. Absolutely repulsive, and she can’t wait to leave. (Hopefully not the case!)
3) She feels bad about guys paying for dates. It makes her feel guilty. She likes to pay her portion because it seems fairer.
4) She asked you out.
Read on for scenario 4.
Who Pays If the Girl Asks the Guy Out on the Date?
This one is tricky. What if the girl or woman asks you out on a date? If this is the case, you aren’t expected to pay for 100% of the total bill. In general, the person who asks for the date if the person who pays for the date.
But be very careful in this scenario. There are many nuances. A girl saying, “We should meet up sometime!” does NOT count as her asking you out on a date. This is simply a woman’s way of saying, “Hey. I’m interested in you. If you ask me out on a date with specific time and place, I will say yes.”
If a woman says any of these things, she is NOT asking you out. She is simply letting you know that she is interested, and that you will not get rejected if you ask her out on a date.
- We should meet up sometime!
- Hey! What are you up to this weekend?
- I love margaritas. We should get one sometime.
- Want to do something this weekend?
- Want to meet up soon?
As mentioned above, there are so many nuances when it comes to who should pay – if the woman initiates the date.
When You Should Pay 100% - Even If She Asked You Out
Here are the scenarios where you should probably pay for 100% of the bill, even if she asked you out.
- It’s a cheap date. If she asks you out for ice-cream or coffee, go ahead and pay for both of you. Yes, she asked you out – but $5 or $10 won’t hurt you. It makes a much better impression. She’ll be delighted that you paid.
- She went out of her way to meet you. If she drove 30+ minutes to meet you somewhere close to where you live, go ahead and pay for the date.
- The date involves buying tickets to a concert, comedy show, or sporting event. This is a super gray area. If you want to make a good impression, offer to buy both her ticket and your ticket. She’ll likely cover the drinks or snacks at the venue.
Scenarios Where You Should Split the Bill 50/50
Here are the scenarios where you should pay your potion, and she’ll pay her portion.
- She asked you out, and she chose the restaurant. It also happens to be a very expensive restaurant.
- She asked you out, and she suggested you do an activity together – like go to the zoo, check out a museum, or see a concert.
When Should She Pay for the Date?
Here are the scenarios where she should probably pay for 100% of the bill.
- She asked you out and already bought the tickets for the event/activity. If she does this, make sure to offer to buy a drink or snacks at the venue.
Have Any Awkward Situations, Where You’re Not Sure Who Pays?
Have any tricky first date situations, where you are unsure who pays? Write in the comments below or send me a message. I’d love to know!