Who Should Pay on the First Date?

Posted By Wendy

Alright, let me be real for a second. Logically, rationally, I know that we live in a different world than in the chivalrous days of the past. For that, I am mostly grateful. I don’t want to be considered weak, fragile, gentle…someone who needs protecting. I got that shit covered. I am glad for the progress that has been made in the name of feminism, and I consider myself a proud feminist who will consistently, and sometimes doggedly, fight for the rights of women everywhere. The right to equal pay. The right to equal positions of power in the business and political world. The right to birth control and fair family planning.

While these large battles rage on, however, small “advances,” if you’d like to call them that, have been made in the dating world. It’s no longer a man’s game. The woman might ask the man out. The woman might get the digits, or sleep with the man on the first date and not call him back. And, more and more, the women are splitting the check. All good, right?

I’m down with most of those lame-o dating rules being broken, but there’s one time I think an old rule is worth keeping, and that’s on the first date. Call me crazy, but I still think the guy should pay. Do I have a legitimate feminist reason for this? No. I just think it’s common courtesy. If a man asks me out, suggests a place to go for dinner, and then asks for separate checks, I’m going to be turned off. And look, this is completely unfair, but even if I’m the one who asks the guy out, I’m still going to be disappointed if he doesn’t at least offer to pony up on date number 1.

Is it a deal-breaker? No. If he is an awesome guy and we have a great date, then I won’t shut him down for date number 2 if he asks if we can go Dutch. But little synapses will be firing off in my brain warning of this being some indication of his personality as a whole. Is he cheap? Super budget-conscious to the degree of constricting? Does he not appreciate women? If all goes well on the second date, then it’s likely that anxiety will melt away. But, if I may take you on a trip inside a woman’s head for a second, that little memory will be tucked away for God knows how long, and three years down the line, if something in the relationship fails, a woman may bust out the “he didn’t pay on the first date” memory and use it as a cautionary tale for all future dates. Yup. It’s mental, but it’s the straight truth.

At the end of the day, paying on the first date is a nice gesture. It’s a way to show someone a little generosity of spirit. It helps to tell a woman that you value her (though if you don’t have respect for women, then paying on the first date won’t do jack). Men, do yourselves a favor, just suck it up and pay the first time. If things work out and you end up in a relationship, a good woman will happily treat you to dinner herself many more times to come.

Posted By Alex

You know how if a man sleeps around, he’s a playa? And If a woman sleeps around, she’s a whore? That rule sucks, right? Right, because it’s completely unfair. As is paying for God knows how many fucking first dates with nothing to show for it besides impressing some random woman. Um, no.

Personally, I don’t mind paying for the first date but the problem here is that women take advantage of it, just as guys do of sleeping around. I can’t count the number of times I’ve paid for the first date only to find out I was dead on arrival. She was never into me and here I am, stuck picking up the tab. Fuck that. I’ve been there way too many times and it sucks every time.

I’ve been a good guy most of my life. Never treated women poorly and always minded my dating manners. I’m not patting myself on the back here because all men should treat women properly. It should be the default. The problem therein lies with women who see this trait in the guy and decide to exploit it. I don’t mind opening doors for you because it costs me nothing, but why can’t you at least meet me halfway and go Dutch? It’s as fair as it gets. Women shouldn’t look down on men for offering to go Dutch, just as men shouldn’t look down on women who sleep around.

I say it’s high time we change some of these preconceptions.

-Men and women who sleep around should both be referred to as whores and playas. Yes, together.
-Go Dutch on the first date.
-If you like each other, don’t wait three fucking days to call.
-Giving it up on the first date could mean three different things:
a) You’re both whores.
b) You’re both playas.
c) The two of you might be Batman.
d) You are both really into each other. (haha, wut)
-Don’t be an asshole.

The day women finally put their foot down and decided that all these ridiculous rules were not copacetic is also the same day most men realized they shouldn’t have to pay for the first date. Moving forward sometimes has its drawbacks but at least now you aren’t considered half of a person (which, when you think about it, what the hell is wrong with most men? I was going to go with “wrong with men back then?” but have you seen some of the shit that men continue to say about women now? It’s mind boggling.)

Ultimately, going Dutch is fair and nothing is more important than that. Just because something is a rule doesn’t make it the law.

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28 Responses to “Who Should Pay on the First Date?”

  1. Amanda

    I’m a sucker for chivalry. That’s how my husband won me over. He paid for our dinners. He called me, I didn’t have to call him. He opens the car door for me when we go out on dates, etc. Now I’m not some helpless woman obviously but it’s nice to still have that little bit of differance where a man is a gentleman and a woman is a lady. At least when it comes to dating.

  2. echavez

    Men should pay. I almost always paid for Gaby in college, mainly cause she was poor. I tease her about it but i also took pride in doing that for her. Even if a date went bad for me, i would still feel obligated to pay. Seems like Alex had a few bad experiences which may have changed his stance on this particular issue. I never had a bad date or a date who seemed to run up the bill. If i had, i would probably vote for him after sharing a similar experience. That being said, i agree with Wendy. I respect Alex’s viewpoint and he makes good points. If women want to be treated as equal, then take on half the bill.

    • Gaby

      True Story. He used to call me Penny because that’s usually all I had in my wallet :(

      I’m truly appreciative of having had a very generous boyfriend. And, I think i did my best to reciprocate by making him dinner whenever possible, nevermind that half the time the chicken was raw. But, that being said, I think that if I were single now, with a career and disposable income, I would feel like it’d be my duty, as a feminist, to split the bill or pay for a date on my own.

      I’m sorry for Eric because he really got pwn’ed. Jack in the box and Tilly Gorts aren’t cheap :)

      • Ozzy

        Not to mention dinner for his roommate as well… Alex! The proof is in the video, the Cribs video. Gonna go watch that now.

        • gaby

          that’s a great video. And i only offered him food because i was an a-hole to him minutes before.

  3. Melvin Is Still Chivalrous

    I agree that on a first date, the guy should take care of everything. Yes, it would be nice if the girl would offer to pay, ya know? At least give the guy a chance to politely turn the offer down. Don’t just expect him to pay. Yes, there are women out there that do exploit the nice guys. That’s why I believe that the first date should always be creative and moderately low priced. This is my test for the women I date, as they may potentially be my girlfriend. I used to think that if I took a girl out to an expensive restaurant and go to lavish events, that she would be super impressed and maybe things would lead to other things. WRONG! I found out the hard way. I would drop all sorts of coin to get fricken nowhere! But hey, you live, you learn, right? Of course. SO, now my first dates typically involve something from a free event to a moderately priced meal. Yes, open doors for her, stand when she leaves, stand when she comes back, give her your jacket if she’s cold, you know, all the great gentlemanly gestures.You find out quite a bit about the opposite person when you have no money to spend. You find out if they’re a money grubbin ho/playa, or you find out that that they’re sweet and down-to-earth and actually likes you for you.

    • wtg22

      Right on, Melvin. I personally love a first date that’s creative and low-priced. First, it helps to deflate the pressure. Second, it feels like a great opportunity to have fun and get to know a person. And third, it doesn’t set up all these high expectations that get dashed as soon as the guy feels comfortable with you. I remember my first date with an ex was like…over the top. And it was wonderful, obviously. But for the next three years that we dated, we never had a date that came remotely close to that again. And I was a little bummed. Like, okay, when you are trying to sleep with me, you go all out, but now that you have me, it’s Chinese takeout?

    • Ozzy

      Seriously man? I agree many things you said, but standing up every time she leaves and returns? I don’t know about that. “Oh hey, I dropped something. Oh, never mind, it’s just my penis.”

    • echavez

      Paying is one thing.. but “open doors for her, stand when she leaves, stand when she comes back” is just kissing ass. Matter of fact, women should be the ones doing the impressing. Good men are hard to find right? Unless u get a BJ then all that effort is allowed.

  4. David Buchta

    You can’t champion equality and then pull a double-standard. If a woman asks me out, of course I’m going to offer to chip in when the check comes, cuz I’m nice. I’ll get the next one, or I’ll pay for the drinks or tickets or ice cream or prophylactics or whatnot, because that’s fair.

    But if she’s like, “No, I asked you out!” I’m not gonna fight her. If you can vote, hold office, take any job you want, be the breadwinner, you can pay halfsies for our date. And I shouldn’t have to be worried that you’ll pin some scarlet D for d-bag on my chest if I don’t pay for all of it.

    Or if not, and the dude is obligated to suck it up and pay in full on the first date, then the chick should be obligated to “pony up” and pay him back for it, right? Call me crazy, but if I have to go through all the trouble of asking you out, making the plans and reservations, and bankrolling the whole thing I should get something in return. But I’m all for women’s rights.

    See how wrong that sounds?

  5. Zamir

    Wendy, last time I heard when you aren’t paying you pick the most expensive plate. Guys shouldn’t play. do I look like Oprah?

    • wtg22

      That’s some bullshit right there. My dad told Alex that I like to order the expensive dishes, and now I’ve got a bad rep. Let me just defend myself for a second: I have expensive taste, period. When I go out to dinner, my eyes gravitate toward a dish, and then I’ll sigh and see that, of course, it’s the most expensive on the menu. Do I sit there and order King Crab legs every time I go out to eat? No! Especially on a first date with someone I don’t know very well, I would never pull that dick move. Now, my dad sits there and orders an appetizer, a salad, an entree, a couple drinks, a bottle of wine, dessert, and espresso. If he’s going to go all out on dinner like that, then I’m gonna order a fucking steak, dammit.

  6. Matt

    The guy should always pay. However if the girl asks the guy out she should offer to pay but the guy should still pay.


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