What is proper etiquette when paying for a date?

I've always been confused on this topic. Can someone (preferably a girl) answer this. Like, on a first date, should we split the bill? or should I pay? How would it change as we went on more and more dates. Also, how big of a deal breaker is it if the guy doesn't pay for all of the bill. How big of a deal maker is it if the guy DOES pay all of the bill.

Just some info if it would help

I'm 16 years old, and date girls around my age.

We both are from well-off families

We don't go to super expensive restaurants.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • It is my opinion that the guy should pay on the first date. Nine out of ten girls would probably agree with me. Splitting the check just kills the mood. However, if things progress, I think it's nice if the girl picks up the tab once in a while- it is 2009.

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What Girls Said 3

  • Always pay on the first date! It isn't the money factor, but a lot of girls take it as you not liking them that much if you don't pay on the first date. Then, they become confused as to if it is really a date or not. I am a server, and every time a guy says "seperate checks" he always gets a dirty look from the girl with him. You should also pay for the tip too. Oh, and always tip 20% unless you want to get horrible service the next time you go out to eat there.

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  • No.The guy should pay. It's a very traditional and gentleman like gesture. It also depends on what you mean by splitting the bill...because there's the "i pay for mine, and you pay for yours way..." and then there's the "we both order whatever and split the cost in have no matter what."

    personally for a first date I don't think either one of those is a super choice. The guy should just pay. It's polite and I think it's kind of romantic.

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  • For the first date, I would say that you should pay. As you two get closer, then that may change, may not.

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What Guys Said 5

  • Traditionally, guys have been expected to pay. Theoretically, this is beginning to change. Practically, though, the etiquette of the first date is pretty much unchanged. I've found that it's still greatly expected that the guy will offer to pay for the meal. Often, the girl will offer to pay half or chip in or sometimes even pay for the entire thing. This presents the opportunity for the guy to either, 1) wave off the offer and pay for it all anyway, or 2) politely accept. Really, both are acceptable (since she technically offered), but the second option can be a pitfall if the girl was merely trying to be polite. I think it changes in different situations with different girls and you just have to use your intuition to determine which option is best at the time. Trust your gut.

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    • This is a good route to go. I personally tend to tell a guy that I can pay my way. I appreciate the gesture of a guy offering to pay for me. but I don't want to be seen as the type of girl that just goes on dates to get free stuff. if a guy REALLY wants to pay, I let him. but overall, I try to split the bill. if you try to pay, and she doesn't want you to, she'll let you know. it's always better for you to offer, though.

  • It's a bit confusing, because the rules about this kind of stuff have changed drastically over the past 30-40 years. But here's my rule of thumb:

    Pay for dates, because it's the gentlemanly way to behave. But at the same time -- and this is VERY important -- if you behave like a gentleman it's vital that she behave like a lady. This is one of the rules that's changed in the last few decades. Women still want a gentleman, but they'll also feel no obligation to behave like a lady. Girls will often expect you to behave like a "man" (by paying the bill), but then they'll not hold themselves to the same standards of behavior. It's a double-standard.

    So now and in the future, this can be an excellent filtering technique for you to avoid brats.

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  • The guy should always pay, I don't give a crap what reasons or what, he should always pay, and if you can't pay then don't go out to somewhere you have to pay. One of the reasons why having a girlfriend at a young age is lame. You're too sporatic, one minute you want this, the next that, one minute you're with this one the next you want that one.

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  • I think the person who does the asking should pay, unless the other person insists that they split the bill.

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    • And, by "asking", I mean, asking out on the date.

    • But what about every date after that one? so on the first date, I ask, and I'll pay, but after that?

    • Well, I guess it will probably continue that way unless she decides to ask, until you get into a steady relationship, at which point you can discuss what to do with that, I guess. I don't know. You should ask her what she wants you to do at some point.

  • Personally I think the guy should pay for the entire date, and if you start a relationship then you can start splitting things more often. It may be a double standard, but by a guy paying, he shows both that he can provide for the girl, and cares about her.

    I'm not a girl but I would imagine the girl not giving the guy a second date if he didn't pay or tried to split it, since the first date is the guys chance to impress the girl, not usually the other way around.

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