6/27/2012 3:20 PM
Earlier this week I found myself embroiled in a conversation about who should pay for first dates, when, and why. Since the conversation was held in mixed company, it shed some light on different viewpoints and I'm left still not knowing any hard and fast rules about who should pay. Here's a few of the arguments made...
On the feminist side of the fence were two women who said that it depends ultimately on who does the asking. When online dating, it can be a little awkward to figure out who did the asking, especially when the "date" is just an agreement to meet somewhere for dinner or drinks. Their logic was that if a guy asks you out, you'd (probably) expect them to pick up the tab (because progressiveness aside, a lot of people still think in old-fashioned terms), so when you ask a guy out, you pay for him.
The sole man in the conversation vehemently disagreed. He argued that whoever did the asking was irrelevant and that first dates should go one of two ways: either the man pays for the whole thing or the couple splits the bill—the woman never pays for the man on the first date. I tend to agree with him because I still think in that semi-old-fashioned way; I don't expect a man to pay for the first date, but it sure is nice if he does. That said, most women have no problem with splitting the bill on the first date, it seems.
But it's odd to think that women aren't ever really expected to pay for the whole thing and I wonder why that is—does it have to do with how your parents raise you and the culture you're surrounded by? Or are these opinions ones we form on our own when we're old enough to start noticing things like gender roles and dating etiquette?
One thing we all agreed on, though, is who pays later on in a relationship: split down the middle, more or less.
How do you guys navigate through tab-paying at the end of a first date?