Ladies if you go on a date these days it’s best to assume you’ll be picking up half of the tab. The recession and the independent woman movement have poked a nice size whole in the free dinner perk that used to come along with a guy asking you out. If you go into an outing thinking you can leave your wallet at home, you may be sadly mistaken—and embarrassed. It’s best to just assume you’ll be paying for your entertainment and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised if he picks up the bill.
I don’t necessarily think a guy has to pay when he asks me out, but what I hate is when I take a chance and go out with someone I don’t really want to and then end up not only having a bad night but wasting money on bad company as well. You know it’s all bad when the check comes and he doesn’t even reach for it. That happened to me on a horrifically bad date at a wine bar. When the bill came, my “date” made no effort to touch it. I eventually reached for the bill and threw out my half, which prompted him to say, “yeah let’s just go ahead and split this bill and then I’ll take care of the cab back to your place.” Boy stop.
A friend of mine hasn’t had much luck in this area either, and because she thinks a man should always pay if he asks you out, she’s decided to hang up her little black dress and skip out on dating altogether. After a slew of dutch dates with various men, one man ruined it for the rest. Not only did he insist they split dinner at the spot he suggested they dine, but when they went to play pool, he racked up a nice drinking bill that he didn’t even have enough cash to pay for. For my friend, that night was more like double dutch and she wasn’t feeling it.
I had to ask a few of my guy friends about the rules of paying on the first date after our experiences and although they said most times they would pick up the tab the first time, if a woman offered to split the bill or even pay for the whole check, they would gladly take her up on her offer. And just to make sure my guy friends weren’t being cheap like their male counterparts my friend and I were encountering, I had to see what advice men were getting about first date etiquette. According to Men’s Health, the only time a guy should feel completely obligated to pay the bill is if he whisks the girl away to a secret location, otherwise, “Guys, if you’re with a lady who insists on going dutch on the first date, just take her up on it.” So what’s the takeaway here ladies? Never offer to pay. Although take it from me, that strategy could have you sitting in a restaurant for hours trying to pretend there isn’t an unpaid bill on the table.
There is some good news when it comes to men and their wallets—they’re definitely still willing to splurge on drinks for a woman at the bar. Unfortunately, you can clearly see the ulterior motive in that move.
Have you noticed men are less inclined to pay the bill on dates lately? Do you still think it’s the man’s responsibility to foot the bill on a first date?