Dating Etiquette: Paying for dinner/drinks/entertainment

posted 7 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

lauralaura123 :  I think for a first date, the person who did the asking should pay, like they are hosting.  After that i don’t care but think it should come out roughly equal.  If one person earns more than the other person and wants to do expensive things that the other person can’t afford, I think they should advise in advance that they can’t afford it and if the richer person wants to shout them they can.

Dh and I have a joint account for groceries, petrol and date nights.  We put in an amount each pay day based off a % of each person’s  income.  Then we will arrange a date if we can afford it.

I don’t think men should he expected to pay for most or all dates anymore.

Post # 3
1196 posts
Bumble bee

On the first date both should be prepared to pay their own way. If either wants to offer to pay then that is cool. After that if both want more things then taking turns. Obviously financial situation  affects this but this would be my general guideline

Post # 4
334 posts
Helper bee

On our first date he paid for dinner and I paid for the movie. During early relationship like first 1 year we pretty much did equal like he would treat me then I would treat him and we take turns. I started school and after we moved in together he mostly paid for all because I was in school and did not have a lot of money but I would save money and pitch in for something every couple of months. Now I just let him pay for weekly dinner date and I save my money for bigger vacations and such. 

Post # 5
755 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Our deal is whoever picks the restaurant/plans the date pays 🙂 we have combined finances for our mortgage and bills but still have our individual accounts for anything fun. Trips we always split maybe one of us will pay for flights the other will pay for the hotel etc. In general, I would feel very uncomfortable if he paid for everything but I know couples who do that

Post # 6
1512 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

One of the things I love about my bf is that we never had the awkward who is paying moment. I offered to cook for our first date and he contributed to the food and brought wine. 

Since then, we agreed that he pays for all dates and eating out, but I pay for all groceries and weekly food. Works out well. I love not having to wonder who is paying and trying to reach for the check and trusting to find the balance between offering to pay without making it uncomfortable. 

Post # 7
3090 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

lauralaura123 :  when I was dating I usually let the guy pay on the first date if he was the one who asked me out. If I asked him, I’d pay. And then from there I would try to take turns each time we went out. 

Fiance and I don’t really track it antmoan because it doesn’t really matter that much, but we do still try to take turns paying for stuff. Half the time though we can’t remember who’s turn it is so we just default to whoever it was that wanted to do the thing. 

Post # 8
573 posts
Busy bee

My view is if you ask me out, I think you should pay. If I ask you out, I’m paying.

Post # 9
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

He paid on our first date.  On the second date he insisted on paying again. 3rd date I got the movie he got dinner.  After 2 years, we pretty much alternate for dates.  Probably is skews a little his way.  I like to fight for the check.  I told him I hope we never stop. 

Post # 10
1834 posts
Buzzing bee

lauralaura123 :  Honestly i wouldn’t want to date a guy that didn’t offer to pay for most of the first dates between us. Why? Because for me it shows his qualities that i want in a partner. Now I always offer to pay but yes i guess i do expect them to pay. They don’t have to, but then they probably wouldn’t get another date. Simplest way to describe it would be a gentleman’s test. Yeah I have my own job and make my own money, but I still want to be with a man who was raised to pay for dates and treat women well. A guy who makes a stink about paying isn’t a guy i wanna date. 

My reasoning for why the guy should pay for lets say the first 2 dates maybe even first 4? To me it indicates how generous of a person he is, it shows that he isn’t tight fitsted with money, he finds value in taking me out and getting to know me. It also proves to me to some extent that he can afford to do nice things and has a similar lifestyle to mine which is important to me. I believe when first dating the womans time is valuable and the man paying for the dates is him saying he acknowledges that, and is willing to put forth effort to get some time with the woman. I also think that wooing a woman is still basically how the dating game still operates. The woman is the prize and the man does what he can to woo her. 

Yes we are heading towards a more equal balance between the sexes but regardless of how much progress is made i still believe 100% that how men go about dating and falling in love doesn’t change and hasn’t. Men still want to feel like they are earning what they are getting from the woman. Men still look at woman in a more logical way in that they want to know if that woman helps them achieve their goals or not. Men look for value, and we all know as a society we value what we work for. We teach that to our kids, so we can’t be surpised when that is how we also date. Women for the most part also date the same way, we like to be pursued. Yes the amount we liked to be pursued changes from woman to woman but still the way we actually date hasn’t changed much. 

I will say that even on the first date if I at any point realize that I do not like the guy and don’t want to go on a second date I will insist on at least paying for my half as I don’t like to feel like i owe someone when I don’t want to owe them. I also don’t let random guys buy me drinks for that reason. And once in a relatioship I am generous with offering to pick up the check and split things. 

Post # 11
11474 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

The person who asks and plans should pay. After we became serious it didn’t really matter since it was all eventually going to be the same money anyway.

In the beginning, H had a much bigger discretionary spending budget than me, and usually insisted on paying, despite my consistent attempts. But reciprocity does not always have to be monetary or split to the penny. It can also mean cooking a meal, planning a fun activity, or being supportive in many other ways, large and small. 

Post # 12
6264 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

ladyjane123 :  “To me it indicates how generous of a person he is, it shows that he isn’t tight fisted with money, he finds value in taking me out and getting to know me.” 

Couldn’t they be thinking the same about you, though?  I feel like if I were a guy and a woman didn’t pay for any of the first four dates, I’d probably start to feel used a bit. It’s a more old-fashioned perspective you are sharing overall though  it doesn’t really seem to it today’s society well, IMO

lauralaura123 :  the gender pay gap, as most people understand it, is wildly inaccurate because there are many factors unaccounted for, which I will not get into here. Any guy who pays because of that is being patronizing and oblivious.

Guys pay because it’s traditional. As with all traditions, those expectations are changing with the times. I wouldn’t dream of not at least offering to pay. If the refused, I insisted on tipping for dinner. With my husband, we just alternated who paid for what. Now he usually pays for meals because he’s faster whipping out his wallet and it’s all ours anyway. Besides, I covered most of our down payment… he owes me at least $30,000 if we want to be nitpicky 😉

Post # 13
1834 posts
Buzzing bee

skunktastic :  I don’t worry about what they think because I do always offer to be polite but they insist on paying. With my current boyfriend I insisted on paying for the 4th date to show him I was happy to pay as well. Yes it is a bit traditional but I want more of a tradidional guy. I never wanted to be a mom who also worked so I am happy with finding a guy who is also more traditional. It worked because my boyfriend is happy with me one day being a Stay-At-Home Mom or work, whichever I want. My mom worked until they had kids and I loved how close knit our family was and how my mom was a Stay-At-Home Mom with us kids. My dad even passed up a promotion at one place he worked because he made it clear he wanted to be around for his kids growing up and be home every day at a decent hour. I want the same for my kids that I had. 

Post # 14
1071 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

I have never gone on a date where I wasn’t prepared to pay, and I would always offer to cover my part of the bill. In general, I feel like a lot of PPs have stated – that the person who does the asking should be the one to pay.

When Fiance and I first started dating, I believe she paid for the first date, since she asked me out. But we established pretty early on that neither of us like the idea of one person bearing the brunt of the dating costs, so I would treat her sometimes, she would treat me sometimes, and a lot of the time we’d just split the bill between us.

This is still how we operate. If I really want to go out to dinner or something and ask her to go, I’ll generally pay, tho she always offers to split it, and it’s the same the other way around. Sometimes she’ll tell me she wants to treat me to dinner (or I’ll tell her that) and it’s understood that whoever is “treating” will be the only one paying.

Since you asked about how this works in same-sex relationships, I’ll say that in my experience, how Fiance and I do things is fairly typical.

Post # 15
1005 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

lauralaura123 :  Love this post!

Agree with PP… The one who mustered up the courage to ask should host the date, which includes paying for it. The hosted should chime in to pay for their half (will likely get denied) or they should offer to pick up a dessert or the next activity. The one asking & paying is demonstrating their interest in the one being treated by thoughtfully planning something special or fun. The hosted partner shows their appreciation by offering to help pay or reciprocating by covering something else.

Once you survive a couple dates and get into a grove, it should naturally fall into “going Dutch.”

Things I don’t like:

– A dude asked me to pay for my half of our second date, after he planned everything and then realized he didn’t have enough cash. I was able to cover everything, but (since we are on WB), it’s like showing up to a wedding and suddenly being asked to cover your meal. Gross.

– A dude denied me to pay because he was the man and it wasn’t right for me to have to pay for myself. It’s cool to say you have the bill, it’s shitty to imply that I should not be able to take care of myself. I made more money than him anyways, soooo…

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