Who should pay on a date?

Sourish Samanta
couple paying bill

And here’s the bill, sir

Have you ever dated a man? Well, if you have, then you would know that waiters will often give the bill to them. Casual sexism aside, this issue has a lot to do with gender politics. Usually the deal goes like “I am taking you out on a date, so I will pay for your food.” This seems fair, but is it? It also seems that women like to see men paying for the dates. But why should only men have to pay, when you can split the bill? The proportional splitting of bills is fair and square.

I remember a friend of mine said that if she was interested in the guy, then she would let him pay, otherwise the bill gets split. But why should there be a subtle hint for rejection when you can always be upfront about it? She explained, “It doesn’t help if you are upfront about it. Some men are not good with taking rejection upfront.” It seemed very problematic to me, since I always prefer to be honest, but it seems like these men, when rejected, slander the woman to other people. Well, that was as shocking as it can get, but coming back to our topic, who should pay on dates? Let’s have some insight with these beautiful little anecdotes that we received from people.

Related reading: Dating etiquette- 20 things you should never ignore on a first date

“My boss once asked me out”

So, my boss once asked me out one day and I said yes. Of course, there are complications when it comes to employee and employer dating, but we decided to draw some lines initially before we agreed on a date. I was deeply conflicted with the idea of dating him, but I went out anyway. I won’t lie; he seemed like a very intriguing person and our date went really well.


Representative Image source

But now I felt nervous when it came to the point of paying the bill. Of course, the boss was taking the check, but I restrained him. But he insisted that he pays, because he “took me out”. I was confused, but I did ask him why. He said that when someone asks you out on a date, the general rule states that they need to pay for the date. He also added that if it were me asking him out, he would have expected me to pay.

This was quite a nuanced scenario where we understood that it’s not about the conventions that men should pay, it is more the ethics that one follows when dating. Now, ethics must not be confused with someone’s conventional belief, but either can be regressive.

“We split the bill”

Guess who ordered the “B-split”? We did and I also apologise for that very bad pun. That night we split the bill, because we both were too broke to pay for the whole thing. So, we took one dish and shared it, with sharing the money. If this is not the perfect millennial dating, then I don’t know what is. We both liked each other, but we had to formalise things with a date. It was not like dates are necessary, but we did go on one. And we spilt the bill even without looking at each other or with any awkward silences. Trust me. It was very satisfying and guess what, we are still together.

Related reading: Has fight for gender equality affected man-woman interaction in relationships?

“He said that he’ll be back in a minute but he didn’t return”

I have been on many dates, but this was probably the most embarrassing date that I have ever been on. I met him on a dating site where I asked him out. He agreed. I thought that we were hitting off just fine. So I picked a posh restaurant for us to dine and we went in. I ordered wine and asked him to order what he’d like to. As the courses started coming in, we talked a lot, but I could see a discomfort in his eyes. Soon after that he said “Excuse me, I will be back in a minute” and left. But he never came back. It was sad, but I packed the leftovers for home.

After a week he called and apologised and said, “I wish I hadn’t agreed to go on such an expensive place, I felt embarrassed and since the guy has to pay for the first date, I decided to run away to avoid any further complication.” I was baffled, as I never would have asked him to pay in the first place and neither did he have to agree to an expensive place.

“Can I get the check, please?”

So, when it comes to paying the bill, it is always a nice move to read the circumstances and act on it, but I would still advise to divide the amount, because that seems fair and square.

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Vasudha Tripathi
Vasudha Tripathi June 8, 2018 - 11:36 pm

I think that paying the bill always create a very awkward situation but yes, I found it fair and square that pays one who invite one on the date. I did not like the idea of bill split. MAY be it is due to whatever but I just did not like it.

Salonee Jain
Salonee Jain June 8, 2018 - 2:44 pm

I feel it doesn’t matter whether a guy or a girl ask out for a date, the bill should be split between the two. That’s the best thing.

Radha Patel
Radha Patel June 8, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Paying on a date is one of the many big little things that depicts our mindset, our personality. It speaks something crucial about us : not how heavy or light our wallet is, but how much significance we assign ourselves as individuals. Further it also reflects that you acknowledge the other person enough to share the bill and splitting up the expenses. It reflects a sense of shared responsibility, a sense of comradeship which is built on such million little things.
A much needed take on the subject.

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