Your Guide To Planning A Dutch Date: Meaning, Etiquette, Tips

Dating experience | | , Writer & Editor
Updated On: April 25, 2024
Dutch date

The first date is bound to make you feel butterflies in your stomach. There are already multiple things to stress about and the bill shouldn’t be one of them. All your focus should be on being the best version of yourself and impressing the other person. However, if the bill is generally your concern, then we suggest you go for a Dutch date.

What is Dutch dating? Does it have anything to do with Dutch-style dinner? No! So, what does it mean? You have gone through the dating rules and etiquette books and consulted your committed friends, but none of them told you about this idea. Even your takeaways from your past dating experiences, if any, don’t give you any clue related to this.

We understand that the self-taken pressure to make everything look perfect on your first date can really make you panic. You can’t afford a single goof-up from your side, as you want to make a long-lasting impression. So, is it advisable to plan a Dutch date? Before we delve into the depths of this concept, let’s understand the Dutch date’s meaning and its concept.

What Does Going Dutch On A Date Mean

Who should pay on the first date? This is a burning question these days. Should a guy pay on the first date? Well, Dutch pay puts a full stop to a number of dilemmas you might be facing regarding the expenses of your first date.

So, what is Dutch dating? Going Dutch is a classic term associated with restaurant dining etiquette in Western countries when people on a date pay for their share of food and activities. Hence, instead of pondering over who should really pay while dating, both parties split the bill equally or pay for the items one has ordered.

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So, now that you know the Dutch date meaning, let’s find out the answer to: why is it called going Dutch? Well, the origin of the term is disputed. There are multiple stories related to its origin available on the internet. Some claim that the phrase found its origin in the 1600s when the English thought the Dutch to be too penny-pinching. In fact, the English considered them so miserly that they believed and hated the idea that the Dutch made women pay for their own share of dinner on dates.

Meanwhile, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase originated during the 17th century, during the Anglo–Dutch wars. It is mainly a term of mockery that emerged due to the enmity between Dutch and the English.

In the modern world, it aims to break unwritten rules on who pays on a date. Financially independent women wish to get over stereotypes that suggest only men should pay on dates. Even though there is a long way to go in terms of gender equality, the present generation must know about the right dating etiquette and practices involved in Dutch dating.

To understand the Dutch date’s meaning, let’s assume that you shared appetizers and desserts. In that case, you split the bill down the middle. Similarly, if you are on a movie date, you pay for your individual tickets. This concept of sharing bills has become a common practice in modern dating to promote a level playing field and gender equality.

Dutch Date – Rules And Etiquette To Get It Right

Dating excites all, irrespective of their gender. Women wish to look their best and men pump up confidence for the big day. Even though it seems amazing to go out on a dinner date with someone you’re interested in, there are chances that it might not turn out as expected. What if all your planning, preparation, and money go to waste on a date?

There’s a wise option available out there: Dutch dating. Interestingly, it has nothing to do with dating a man or a woman from the Netherlands. It is an economical way of dating that allows you to split bills and manage your own expenses. While Dutch dating can be a great choice for both partners, there are some rules and etiquette you must follow:

Related Reading: How To Impress A Girl On A Date

1. Put the proposal to split bills in advance

It’s wise to ask, “Are we going Dutch?” well in advance. While Dutch dating has become quite popular among the current generation, it’s not mandatory that the other person likes to date that way. Proposing for a Dutch date early helps you make up your mind in case they reject your proposal to split bills.

A Reddit user explains, “I like the idea of paying for myself or better yet I’ll pay for the first date and I’ll pick where we go. Then I don’t owe him anything. If we click then we could take turns selecting next date locations and whoever picks the date pays. Dates don’t have to cost a lot either. But they do need to have some thought put into them. I’m okay with dating within your means if you put effort into the date.”

2. Be prepared to share the load

Just because the person participating has asked you out, it doesn’t mean they are obliged to bear the entire expense. It is better to assume that you are going Dutch on a date. It will help save you from disappointment and prepare you in advance.

A user on Reddit called agrees, “It’s just my assumption that I’ll pay for myself. But there have been times when I’ve paid and times when dudes have. I think another poster said that she follows the guideline that the person who did the inviting pays. There are times when I’ve followed that. Though I agree that it’s probably true that dudes who are actually into a woman will want to pay, but I really don’t personally care.”

3. Go Dutch if on a casual date

If you are not sure whether it is a ‘proper’ or ‘actual’ date, then opt for Dutch pay. Casual dates have become much more common now, where men are no longer expected to pay the entire expense. This way, you won’t feel guilty for paying the entire bill or for letting someone else pay on your behalf, especially if you mutually decide not to meet anymore. Just simply ask, “Are we going Dutch?”

4. Choose who pays for what

If you are the one who is scared that you might be seen as ‘stingy’ for proposing to split the bills, then no worries. We have got your back. Instead of splitting the bill equally, you can pay for an entire activity and let the other party pay for the second paid activity. For example: you can pay for the meal and let the other pay for the movie tickets. This might work well with those who are not in favor of the Dutch date concept. This also turns paying into a fun game.

Related Reading: 12 Best First Date Tips For Girls

5. Don’t make it a big deal

How to politely say going Dutch? If someone proposes to split bills, no need to make a fuss about it. On the other hand, if you are the one proposing a Dutch treat, mention it casually. Both have to understand that it is a common practice in the modern dating world. Talk openly about your thoughts without making the other person feel awkward.

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6. Don’t argue if the other party insists on paying

Though you made up your mind on Dutch treat and your date partner insists on paying the entire bill, let them do it. Avoid entering into any kind of argument if they insist on it. You can repeat that you prefer splitting the bill, but avoid making the first-date mistake of bickering over and over or it will end up as a bad experience.

7. Remind your date about splitting bills

Is going Dutch offensive? No. So, you can politely bring up the idea to ensure that you both are on the same page. This helps you avoid any embarrassing situation when the bill arrives. This will also let the other person know that you actually meant it when you said you want a Dutch date.

5 Tips For Planning A Dutch Date

Since now you know the concept of Dutch dating better, it is advisable to plan it well. Make sure you give your hundred percent and not disappoint the other person. We live in a fast-paced world. And with super-easy dating apps and options, the potential is infinite. I am sure you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity that could turn into a lifetime connection.

Splitting bills doesn’t stop a man from carrying a gift or a bouquet of roses. These are small things that make the difference. Even though there is no sure-shot success after the first date or even the first few dates, there are some tips that will help you leave a long-lasting impression even on a Dutch date:

1. Give options

Give your date plenty of options about the schedule, place, activities, and what to order. Since it is something you mutually agreed on, it shouldn’t look as if you are imposing your choice. This becomes even more imperative when you’re planning a Dutch treat.

2. Get a feel of their interest

Before giving them options, it is crucial to know what kind of person they are and what might interest them. You can accordingly decide on the paid activities and restaurants.

Related Reading: Every Girl Should Do These 5 Things On Their First Date

3. Mutually decide how you’d like to split expenses

Talk about different ways you can approach a Dutch date. Either you can split the bills of the entire date night or one can pay for the dinner and the other one can pay for a movie or any other paid activity. You can discuss with your date partner and figure out which approach works best for both of you.

4. Be polite

Nothing can beat politeness and kindness when it comes to impressing someone on a first date. Make your date feel special and be attentive to them. It is important to be kind to the waiters as well. Do not forget to thank and tip them for their service before ending your date. Most women and men like to go on a subsequent date with those who are polite.

5. Keep cash handy

You might never know when your card or mobile might not work due to a technical snag. In that case, you won’t want to trouble your date, right? You wouldn’t want it to seem like you’re using the oldest trick in the book to get out of paying for your share. Hence, do not forget to keep enough cash in your wallet. Nobody on a Dutch date likes it when one person pays the entire bill.

Is Dutch Dating A Good Idea?

Should a woman offer to pay on the first date? Does it matter who pays on the second date? Dutch dating eliminates all these queries that can ruin your romantic chemistry on this date. Is going Dutch offensive? Might be, for a few. But you should know how to politely say going Dutch to your partner. A little straightforwardness never hurts anyone.


  • You can order whatever you want: Going Dutch helps you get rid of the awkwardness about ordering something expensive, as you are paying for yourself. Also, split the bill meaning that you are not required to discuss your finances with someone whom you have just started dating. You both order as per your budget and enjoy the date
  • It’s gender neutral: In this era, we must promote gender equality. Independent working women are capable of paying for their expenses. They don’t need anyone’s support. Sharing the cost also means you have more chances to go out often without burdening one partner
  • No hierarchy in the relationship: Going Dutch removes unsaid expectations and eliminates the chances of a hierarchical relationship in which mostly the man pays. It also establishes a level playing field as no single person pays all the time. In Dutch dating, both are equal and no one can impose any authority over the other

Related Reading: Top 15 Mistakes Men Make On A Date – Are You Guilty Too?


  • It could be a bad experience: First dates are meant to be special. But for some, while planning a Dutch date, the calculations might create some stress. Research conducted by Alksnis, Desmarais & Wood in 1996 says irrespective of their gender, participants agreed that paying for themselves resulted in a bad dating experience
  • Hard to make romantic connections: Dutch dating creates a platonic relationship between the participants. If you are splitting bills in the first few dates, it will be difficult to establish a romantic connection

So, yes! Going Dutch is a good idea as it makes the situation comfortable and fair for both parties. Both the partners are free to make decisions on place, food and activities according to their budget.

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Key Pointers

  • Dutch dating has started gaining momentum in the world of modern dating
  • It allows you to split bills with your date partner or mutually decide on who pays for what
  • However, not all like the idea to go Dutch on a date
  • It’s important to propose a Dutch date to your partner in advance

Dutch date also eliminates the role of money as the primary reason for someone to accept your date proposal. It gives you the confidence that the other person has agreed because they are genuinely interested in you. But at the same, it feels blissful to be treated well during a date, especially if the other person initiated it. One should mull over the pros and cons of a Dutch date before deciding to opt for it.

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