The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating



People on this site just LOVE to argue about who should pay for dates -- especially first dates. I've gotta say, the sheer level of raw passion surrounding this subject is entertaining to see.

In any case, I've got answers for ya.

First date: NOBODY should pay.

Yep you read that right.

The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating

No one should pay for a first date.

Because a first date shouldn't cost anything in the first place.

I mean... This is pretty simple, no?

Just go on a date that doesn't cost money. And is actually INTERESTING.

Do you live in a city with any kind of downtown, or any kind of walkable area? Just walk around and explore stuff.

Gawk at things.
Make fun of people.

Have *gasp* actual conversationβ€”that isn't forced, because there are so many things around you to prompt it.



Laugh together.

Play together... and you'll stay together.

The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating

If you're the active type... do something active together. Do some sort of outdoor workout, or go on a cool hike.

Still plenty of opportunities for conversation -- but even better, because there won't be "awkward silences" that are pregnant with anticipation for someone, anyone, to just say something. If you're doing something active together, conversation and silence will weave together seamlessly, without awkwardness.

The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating

Not only do these kinds of dates cost $0.00... but they're also much more dynamic, much more fun, much less formal, and much less awkward altogether.

Oh, yeah, also... If all goes well, and things get physical?

You won't be weighed down by a whole stomach full of restaurant food, either.

(Really -- does *anyone* wanna go at it after eating an entire restaurant portion? Serious question here...

I speak only for myself, but there are exactly two things I ever want to do after eating in a restaurant, and those are (1) go to the bathroom, and (2) take a nap.)

I mean... seriously, I have never understood the idea of dinner as a first date. Never understood it in my life.

Like, what the...?

What if it doesn't go well -- as many first dates don't? What if there's just no chemistry (which, I'd imagine, is an especially common problem for people who meet online)?

Well... then you're stuck at a table together, awkwardly eating, in awkward quasi-silence... for a long time... with basically zero distractions of any kind.

The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating

And even if that kind of date does go well... If the two people aren't great conversationalists, it's still awkward AF.

There's very little in the environment to serve as a conversation starter -- and, let's face it, a restaurant isn't exactly the world's most dynamic or exciting environment, either. So, if there are awkward silences, chances are they'll just grow, and fester, and become more silent and more awkward.

Oh, and, restaurants are expensive, too. What an awful idea.

First dates should be free.


But... eventually you'll end up going on dates that cost money. What then?

Later dates: Just go with the flow.


That's the answer everyone has been looking so hard for.

The RIGHT way to go about this is... not make it a big deal.

That's it.

As a couple, you NEED to be able to handle this sort of thing smoothly, naturally, and without drama or passive-aggressive bullshit.

The specific parameters of exactly HOW you handle it are irrelevant. That's going to vary from couple to couple, and from situation to situation.

Some people are more concerned than others with equity, in general. They may just have a strong sense of "fair play" that extends into every little corner of their lives. They may have suffered the indignity of having a previous partner feel entitled to sex just because they'd paid for a few dates -- as though dating were just some drawn-out form of prostitution. Or they may have been taken advantage of, financially, in the past and so they're understandably sensitive about these things. Who knows.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some people are just generous by their very nature. These kinds of people may be deeply hurt if their partner doesn't let them foot the whole bill, at least sometimes -- in the same way most of us would be hurt if someone rejected a gift or a heartfelt compliment.

Last but not least, in some couples one person earns far more than the other, while in others the two people have similar means.

Hopefully, the point here is obvious: One size does not fit all.

But, whatever the agreement is, the most important point is that it shouldn't be a big deal. It should come naturally, as part of the dynamic of a healthy relationship.

If you NEED a "rule" for who pays what and when, then your relationship isn't going to work.


Let's face it, people -- This is a pretty trifling little issue, in the big picture. It's something that SHOULD be easily resolved with -- at the most -- a few lines of chitchat, a wave of the hand, and a little mutual understanding.

If an "issue" this insignificant is enough to cause ongoing tension in your relationship ... I'd hate to see how you'd weather real financial issues together. Or any real issues, for that matter.

Not a good sign.

You should be able to resolve this quickly and easily. However you resolve it.

The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating

Also -- Even if both of you are totally on board with splitting expenses, it's still super tacky to split the bill every time. Getting literally separate checks? Even worse.

Just so ... petty.

Like, really? Why can't you just have one person pay, with an understanding that the other person will get it next time. Or, one person puts it on her/his card, and then the other person just covers some other expenses (a tank of gas, some drinks, some groceries, whatever) accordingly?

If you have to literally split bills every time... this says more than you think about the health of your relationship (and what it says ain't good, either).

In the real world, expenses have a way of popping up, and they have to be paid by someone. VERY rarely will both "someones" be right there on the spot, to pay half apiece. The vast majority of the time, someone just has to cover it -- and then you work it out as a couple later.

So... you should be able to do the same thing with the cost of dates. If you just can't go out without splitting it, then, eventually, you'll need to take a good hard look at whether you have the necessary trust and understanding to sustain a long-term relationship.

The good news: If this IS a problem right now, and you can successfully move past it together -- that says a lot about your ability to handle future issues as a couple.

The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating
The REAL Answers to "Who Should Pay?" When Dating
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Most Helpful Guy

  • MrOracle
    I've been saying this here (and elsewhere) for YEARS.

    About half of the time, my first dates are virtually zero cost. We'll fly a kite at the park, or we'll go listen to a local band play, or make a picnic, or swim/hot tub, or play a board game. What we're REALLY doing is creating space and time to TALK and get to know each other, and that really doesn't have to cost a lot.

    But I've also had first dates when we've gone bowling, play pool, gone to the shooting range, miniature golf, drove to a beach or the redwoods, etc. Those usually come about because the girl expresses interest in one of those things, and so we'll go do it and have fun - and it's rare that she doesn't pay at least a portion of the bill at her insistence.

    What I virtually NEVER do is the "dinner and a movie" as a first date, because, damn, that's just no imagination at all AND you can't really talk much that way either.

    Plus, as @redeyemindtricks mentioned and as I've said many times, those bigger, more expensive dates will have a LOT more value to the girl - AND she'll be a lot more comfortable - if they happen a ways into the relationship rather than right at the beginning (unless he's a gold-digger, and then, that's also good information to have). See, girls often feel uncomfortable if a guy spends a lot of money on them on the first couple of dates, because they're afraid (often justifiably) that he'll figure that she OWES him something in return - sex and/or a relationship, and most girls don't want to feel obligated or even in danger.

    After you've been dating a while, though, she'll actually APPRECIATE a nice restaurant, or a weekend trip, or whatever, and it will MEAN more to her - so SAVE IT for someone who has proven worthy of the investment, and use your BRAIN instead of your wallet to show her a good time on the early dates. The thing is, MOST women are going to respect and desire you MORE if you do, too.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Those last 2 paragraphs are TOTALLY on point.

      (Assume you meant "unless she's* a gold digger" -- although that was clear enough)

    • MrOracle

      Yes, that was a typo... oops!

    • haha no sweat, like I said it was plenty clear from context.

      Quality post, as always.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Stardust143
    I should just refer people to this take when that question's asked again.

    I've always thought the first date should be either free, or low-cost, like coffee, ice cream, drinks, and a nice walk, or checking out a cool festival together, going to a free open air concert, free day at a museum, art exhibit or garden, take a walking tour, go to a farmer's market, picnic at a park, etc.

    And when you do start going on dates that cost money, this is spot on:

    "But, whatever the agreement is, the most important point is that *it shouldn't be a big deal*. It should *come naturally*, as part of the dynamic of a healthy relationship."

    Dates should be about getting to know each other and/or spending time together first and foremost. If you put so much stock into who pays what, and are worrying about that the whole time, or you've got some kind of gender war playing out in your head - rather than making a connection with the person you're on a date with - you're going to have problems.

    Only thing - I wouldn't suggest hiking for a first date, unless you already know each other fairly well. A lot of girls aren't going to be comfortable with that (especially online first dates), but there's plenty of other fun, free/inexpensive dates you can go on that are more in the public eye.

    Good take!
    Is this still revelant?
    • "If you put so much stock into who pays what, and are worrying about that the whole time, or you've got some kind of gender war playing out in your head - rather than making a connection with the person you're on a date with - you're going to have problems."

      ^^ Amen sissy!

      Incidentally, I have same thoughts about how everyone is over-thinking the "dominant" and "submissive" parts of sex, after the whole 50 shades phenomenon. Like... fucking can't even just be fucking anymore, because everyone is obsessed with trying to figure out whether it's "submissive" to eat pussy, or whatever. LOL I was thinking of making that a take, too.

    • And @lightbulb27 made the same good point you did about outdoor dates, etc.
      I'm just a dinosaur (I've been married since 2001), so the whole idea of someone you've met online but not IRL didn't even cross mah mind.

      Even if I were single today, I *still* wouldn't online-date -- I depend way too much on in-person chemistry, which is absolutely impossible to determine from online interactions. So... yeah that possibility was about as far from my mind as humanly possible. Appreciate yr raising it.

    • Totally with you on the 50 shades stuff! I'll have to check that take out then haha.

      Yeah, I tried the online dating thing briefly, mostly because a ton of my friends were on apps like Tinder and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about lol, but I'm the same way about chemistry - can't get a sense of whether I'm into someone until we meet in person. I have a serious boyfriend now though, who I met just going about life haha, so I don't have to worry about that anymore.

      But yeah, just thought I'd throw that bit out there, glad it could add to the discussion!

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • RJGraveyTrain
    Amazing contribution and excellent logic as always! This is a really different and interesting concept to the whole "who should pay" debate that no one truly thinks about. Over all well done!
  • PT1911
    I've always maintained that whoever does the asking out pays. Like that's just being a good host lol. Some blue cuck anon called me a feminazi for that. Triggered me man. Triggered me.

    Anyway, this certainly opens my mind on first date ideas, thanks!
    • lol... you're welcome

      "Whoever does the asking out pays" LOOKS like a sensible enough rule, except a lot of women seem to operate under the rule that the man should *always* do the asking/inviting/whatever. In which case that rule becomes... a lot less fair.

      I mean, I absolutely understand the desire for male *leadership*, but that isn't the same thing as "the guy has to make all the decisions/invitations". And leadership has NOTHING to do with money or paying bills.

    • PT1911

      Hahah yeah true. The whole "who does the asking thing" is probably a discussion for another take.

      >" I mean, I absolutely understand the desire for male *leadership*, but that isn't the same thing as "the guy has to make all the decisions/invitations". And leadership has NOTHING to do with money or paying bills."

      True dat

  • jameson187
    Once I turned 21, dates with girls I met out would usually be getting a drink or two to talk. I always paid. It wasn't too steep a price to see if they seem decent or not. First dates to dinner, unless you really know there able to hold a solid convo is a horrible choice. I don't mind paying the first 2-3 times but I'll let them pay for themselves to buy a drink after. It should go both ways if it gets serious with a relationship.
    • "It should go both ways if it gets serious"

      ^^ At the very least, both people should benefit.

      The exact form of that "benefit" varies from person to person, couple to couple, and situation to situation.
      Some people care less about even expenditures, and more about other kinds of benefits.

    • jameson187

      From past relationships to my present, we take turns paying for dinner and when we grab drinks. Maybe it's because we have "adult jobs" compared to college kids without decent paying jobs were that time things were somewhat different. If a guys exclusively dating a girl or vice versa someone's taking the other for a ride if they're still not having to pay everytime they go out. Just my view of things.

    • Afrochick


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  • mikemx55
    When the male cashier also knows your pain:
  • Goldie757
    Great take. 👏👏👏

    I've always wondered who the are these guys taking women to expensive restaurants for a first date. I think it might be an American thing. In the UK the majority of first dates seem to be a couple drinks in a pub.
    • Compared to all the other countries I've lived in, the US does seem to be the one place where people are averse to doing ONLY drinks as a first date.

      It occasionally happens -- and it's more common now that trendy wine bars and such are a thing -- but, yeah, that's more common in other countries.

      You gotta remember that the US has this weirdly schizo relationship with alcohol. This isn't a place where people learn to drink in moderation (like in, say, Italy, where most people are accustomed to having wine with family meals and suchlike).
      Most people in the US learned to drink by SERIOUSLY binge-drinking -- and basically hiding it (since alcohol enforcement here is WAY more strict than anywhere else in the world). So socially you'll see some differences from the rest of the world.

  • SovereignessofVamps
    I <3 your first date ideas since they're free but I think this is simple. Go dutch until you're exclusive. Then when you are, whoever's idea the date was pays for it.
    • tyber1

      This seems the most fair solution.

    • The notion of going on lots of dates with someone BEFORE being in some sort of exclusive relationship... seems kinda weird, tbh.
      Like, friends with benefits? Fuck buddy?
      Nothing wrong with those kinds of arrangements -- I certainly had my share of them, back in the day -- but they weren't the kind of thing where you'd actually go out with the person.

    • @redeyemindtricks not lots, just causal dating.

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  • Octavius
    Free dates are always good ones.

    The way I see it is if you don't want to spoil your partner. You're probably with the wrong person. Couples should fight over wanting to be the one to pay instead of wanting the other person to pay. Man or woman if you don't like to spoil the hell out of your significant other then something is wrong with your relationship.
    • I agree with the *spirit* of this comment -- basically, in a good relationship, we should naturally be giving of ourselves.

      I don't necessarily agree, however, with the idea that "giving" has to necessarily extend to money.

      First, money is a complex topic that's emotionally fraught for many... and everyone's version of being "giving" is different. Some people view "giving" through the lens of time, emotion and effort, and would view the attitude you're describing here as sort of tacky tbh.

      Second -- and more importantly -- if someone has seen firsthand a case in which "spoiling a partner" HAS ACTUALLY MADE that person spoiled, then, she/he is naturally going to exercise restraint with future partners... no matter how generous her/his nature might be by default.

  • AriadneSky
    I've said the exact same thing. you are the only other person i've seen say it though. ESPECIALLY #1, never got the eating for a first date. it's the opposite of what id want to be doing. before during and after.

    great take!!!

    • Right?
      Also, I have the kind of physique where you can literally SEE when I've eaten a big restaurant meal (very tall and very slender -- I literally look noticeably "softer" and dumpier after I eat lots of food at once). Not even kidding, lol...
      Quite apart from the whole feeling-too-full-to-get-frisky thing, that's not exactly conducive to feeling sexy ahahah

      Thanks for the kind words <3

  • Bandit74
    I agree. I never understood why a guy would want to take a girl they just met to an expensive restaurant for a first date anyways. It's just awkward and makes you really vulnerable to being used.
    • "It's just awkward and makes you really vulnerable to being used"

      I mostly agree, although, honestly, I don't even see why someone would WANT to "use" you for a meal... no matter how much of a gold-digger they might be.

      I mean... it's not like you can keep a meal and keep wearing it? I don't get it.
      Like, srsly don't get it. It could be the coolest restaurant in town, and it could be "free" (for the person not paying)... and that STILL wouldn't make it worth the awkwardness. Nor the sheer waste of time -- I could be doing other shit with that time, y'know?
      (Unless you had a heartless user who just liked expensive food THAT MUCH... lmao)

    • Bandit74

      They do exist...

      Also if a guys keeps going on dates that lead nowhere , over time he end up wasting a lot. It's just not nessesary. Especially considering the same girls he feels like he has to wine and dine have probably hooked up with or dated guys who didn't spend a fraction of what he is.

    • baha that's hilarious... I didn't watch it all the way through (I just jumped to various random points -- same thing I do with all youtube videos over 45 seconds or so), but, I did see the part where she talks about spreadsheets. Spreadsheets! ahahah

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  • YourFutureEx
    No girl is going to fuck you if you make her ready for her long awaited first date only to climb mountains and won't spend a single penny.

    Guys should start by paying (generally) and then they could share.
    • "No girl is going to fuck _you_ if..."

      Careful with yr pronouns there.

      If a girl wants to fuck you, she wants to fuck you. Buying her dinner isn't going to ignite her sexual desire for you... lol

      In fact, I'm just gna go ahead and declare -- based on my own experiences, and those of my girlfriends, and those of guys like my little brother (who's bedded hundreds of women) -- that a woman will be *less* likely to fuck you after a first date where you've thrown lots of money around.

    • Girl have standards. (As your teammate and a lot of other girls say)
      You cannot use "If". If a girl wants to... If she already wants to fuck me, what's the point in reading this take then. This is bound to happen one way or another. Duh!

      Not saying to spend a lot and showing her money power. It's surprisingly so hard to fit a simple thing in your mind lol

  • Puppylove94
    awesome take!!! i agree with almost everything you said. I will say though that I have been on plenty of first dates at a restaurant and they haven't been awkward. when it comes to the paying situation, i do the exact thing you mentioned for the later dates. people get so caught up in their independence that they forget that paying for someone is just a kind gesture that will be reciprocated if its the right person.
    • "people get so caught up in their independence that they forget that paying for someone is just a kind gesture that will be reciprocated if its the right person."

      ^^ Yeah.

      Although I'd be careful to draw a line between "independence" and... just plain mistrust, or avoidant/antisocial character in general.
      True independence unnecessarily gets a bad rap from people who confuse it with those things. I wrote about that in my opinion here:

    • And thanks for the kind words <3

  • Tenseven
    @redeyemindtricks Spoken like a true, mature adult. This is how it's done in the real adult world. ❀️❀️❀️❀️

    • haha "mature adult"... ya know, sometimes I actually stop and reflect on the idea that I'm responsible for the lives and well-being of my three little human beings, and I kinda freak out a little bit.

      I used to be more worried about failing at motherhood, since I didn't really have any role models (my mother died when I was 2, and all of my living close relatives were male)... until I realized that all of the other new moms were "winging it" just as much as I was ahah

      I actually feel more like a kid now than I did as an actual kid, tbph. I had to grow up pretty fast, since we all had to pitch in to make ends meet -- and, on top of that, I was dealing with manic-depression, and my brothers and I had to bury a couple of our friends. So yeah, sometimes I feel less "mature" than I did when I was fifteen ahha

    • But, yeah, coming from those humble beginnings, I do get... highly amused when people are all worked up about this kind of shit

    • Tenseven

      @redeyemindtricks I am so sorry to hear about your ma. 😞 Obviously you've grown up to become a mature lovely person despite the hardships.

      Hell, I know what you're saying too. I'm STILL winging it at the motherhood department and my kids are old enough to fend for themselves (ehh for the most part) and if you ever wanna compare 40s immaturity tactics with me, you're on girlfriend! πŸ˜‰

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  • RedVulcan
    Finally, someone else who thinks the first date should be free. I'm 16, haven't had a job yet, where the heck am i gonna get the money to pay for dinner? Brilliant free ideas too, great myTake overall!
  • AlwaysBelieving
    Where do you come up with this stuff? As in it's really good I think. I saw the movie of the below trailer.
    • Hah thanks. Basically took a reply I wrote to a question here, and expanded on it (I'm beyond rotten at coming up with topics cold)

    • Same here. At times it's a thing of "ooo... That response give me an idea for a thread (either a "my take" or a question).

  • ice_vampire
    Its a coincidence. I think exactly the same.
    I always thought how people kiss or have sex after a date in the restaurant and having full stomach and smelly mouths... LOL

  • Spiorad_Aisce
    Brilliant take - I totally agree with "Go With The Flow" premise for how to pay for later dates but the free/cheap first date is just a fantastic idea
  • Mangolover
    I'm sorry but I don't want to go hiking on a first date. I would rather wear a red dress with my favorite pair of red high heel pumps and look dolled up.
    • I'm more of an "indoor enthusiast" too -- and ahhhh how I love clothes -- so, I'm pretty much with you here. But, trying to cover everyone's bases.

      Red dress huh? Daring...

  • This is awesome.. There is another article on here called "Men, this is why we won't date you" that makes women sound like selfish entitled children. On my wife and i's first date we went dutch, Partly because i didn't have much money at the time.
    • ahah my first few "dates" with my husband didn't even get out of the bedroom. (We had about 15 hours together when we first met, and then we were long-distance for over a year... and you can probably imagine what happens when someone as oversexed as me has to wait 4-6 weeks to see someone again)

      Lol we were already talking about marriage by the time we went on anything resembling an actual date together.
      Our first actual "date" was to a children's playground in a public park, at 2 or 3 in the morning (= when there was no possibility of actual children appearing on the playground). That didn't cost anything, and it was fun.

  • Asingh
    Best take on the subject. I'm more of a person who likes to walk in a romantic exclusive place with someone as a first date, in the day time rather then the night. Usually away from everybody as you can start to build trust with someone quickly, and it's not stressful. I personally hate the idea of restaurant dates, they just sound so awkward/boring/confined/tiring. Like why not try to actually enjoy yourself.
  • Andronhel
    I have always kind of had this idea that if I'm doing the inviting I'll be doing the paying and vice versa. However the dates that cost nothing but time between two parties have always been the best kind.
    • "However the dates that cost nothing but time between two parties have always been the best kind."
      ^^ Indeed.

  • ParamountArmada
    yes defiantly, free is best, but i expect if both have the money the check should be split, but if she doesn't have money than i have no problem paying, but only if its on a second date because she can ditch me on the first, and i dont go to fancy restaurants ether, buffets are better.
  • ManOnFire
    You got a good point on the first part, that it should be about doing something together. I always prefer dates where we can be active and do stuff we like.

    However, I really can't say dinner dates are necessarily as terrible as you're saying. For people with not a lot of depth inside and a lack of an ability to have something to talk about, it will be awkward for them, yeah. For me I love going out to dinner with anyone, girlfriend or not. You get to sit and talk for a long time long after you've eaten, take pictures, tell jokes and stories, so for me that's not a task or boot camp.

    I really don't have an issue with guys paying for the date. I know a lot of the guys here complain about it, but there is nothing unfair or emasculating to me about a man to pay for my date. It's simply a chivalrous gesture that I think too much time is being wasted on debating.
    • "For me I love going out to dinner with anyone, girlfriend or not"

      ^^ Then you're probably a much better conversationalist than most. And/or you just don't feel "pressure" on a first date, as much as a lot of other guys might.
      These are good things, of course, but those qualities are more rare than you might think.


      "I really don't have an issue with guys paying for the date"

      ^^ A lot of men don't (and more than a few women don't, either -- although this mentality is obviously more common among men).

      This of course is one of the many possibilities that fall under the whole "do whatever comes naturally, as long as it's not a big deal" thing.
      The only possible snag is if you find yrself out with a woman who feels distinctly uncomfortable at the thought of the man paying for her. (That would be me, for sure) That'd be the reverse of the issue that's normally complained about, but it would still be something that would need to be navigated.

  • EmpatheticLady
    Amen, sista friend. I definitely agree with the thought of just covering each other's meals and then letting the other person pay the next time. I'm even cool with splitting the bill if you really want to be that fair. I have never kept track of who paid what when I've gone to dinner with my boothang.

    "Well, I paid $35.23 this time around, and you only paid $29.50 the last time. You still owe me." That just sounds ridiculous. Sure, someone may end up paying a bit more one time versus the other, but it shouldn't matter if you really care for the person. It all should just about even out in the long run.
    • Indeed!

      I once went out with my brothers and a few of their friends, and one of the friends and his girlfriend -- it was actually his girlfriend of a few months, not even just some random date -- literally started to freak out when they couldn't split their bill *exactly* according to their *exact* expenses (like, because they didn't have enough small bills, or something).

      It was soooo most awkward pony. Srsly one of the top 5 most awkward social moments I've ever seen (they were making total fools of themselves in front of about 16 other people -- we were pretty much all doing that "no, I'm totally not staring... OK I'm staring" thing, the same kind of thing you do with really bad car accidents ahah)

    • Yeah, just accept that, "You know what? I got both of our meals tonight, baby. You can get 'em next time."

    • Was that meant to be a response to the male anon thread (where I also talked about "next time")?
      If not, search the page for "next time" -- it's pretty uncanny. Great minds think alike, and all that. (:

      I actually had to break a freakin' FIVE so they could "square" their bills! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Not even kidding, I had to spot them 4 singles and 4 quarters! Loooool
      These two were... uhm very "colorful". (They met at an AA meeting, to give you an idea...) They were absolutely hilarious to watch together, for all kinds of reasons. I gotta ask my brother if they're still together πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  • lightbulb27
    Good thoughts.

    Agree about eating dinner and getting physical, especially at more mature ages.

    I disagree about first dates and hikes, and walks and such unless you already know the person. I like the idea, I'd do it, but try to find a girl that will sign up for that. Suggesting that online and you'll get dumped fast or blocked. Must ease into those situations, girls/women are skitish creatures by nature. You may be a lot more confident than most. Good thought, won't work consistently. Meeting in some social safe place where she can bolt (run) on her own seems best.
    • You're very possibly right. I have no experience at all with online dating, so... that sort of thing just didn't even come to mind, tbh.

    • Its the worst invention I've ever seen:) Be glad. How long have you been married... just curious.

    • 15 years, 4 months, and change. <3

  • xDocilexFaeriex
    Beautiful!! I agree. by the way vanilla dude and I broke up!!! Dating scene... here I come!!
  • sp33d
    People on this site just LOVE to use titles like:
    "The REAL reason for [whatever]

    Most frequent arguments I've seen:
    1. He's a man, it's tradition for him to pay
    1.1 "I'm an old-fashioned girl"... he should pay.
    The latter being..
    [a pile of shit]

    2. The man paying shows willingness to make effort [ xD ] .. refer back to 1.1 and attached illustration.

    I believe it's all a matter of communication. Something as insignificant [on an emotional level] to complain about is simply a sign of immaturity.
    • About the title... I couldn't think of anything more catchy in 20 seconds. But hey, you clicked on it, so... (:

      "Something as insignificant [on an emotional level] to complain about is simply a sign of immaturity"
      ^^ Yep.

    • Good!

  • HauteBrilliance
    I agree!! People make such a big deal out of who should pay it's ridiculous.
    • Yeah. Bad sign for resolving similar issues later in a relationship.

  • Likes2drive
    Things I have to look forward to again since I'm back in the dating scene I guess but gives me a few ideas and pointers, but nice take though😊
  • Cosytoasty
    Agree about the later dates. Honestly i find ADULTS throwing a hissyfit over $20-30 hilarious... if you have a job, who pays for a normal priced date shouldn't even matter.

    Dinner isn't a good idea for a first date i agree. Its too formal. Lunch or a coffee is fine in my opinion, you're not dressing up and its spontanous (no booking tables etc). Your alternative suggestion is excellent however, if you can find something to keep busy and you just drop in the interaction between - its much easier to open up to someone that way. Its basically a premade icebreaker.

    Funny story i watched a date today in Starbucks and the guy was awkward asf, the girl was looking everwhere but him lol. The only time the poor girl laughed in 2 hours was when he went to get their drinks and i looked at her and rolled my eyes. If that had been dinner that'd def have been even more awkward.
    • "Honestly i find ADULTS throwing a hissyfit over $20-30 hilarious"

      ^^ My first instinct is to agree, although I've known more than a couple 20-somethings with truly fearsome student loan debt to whom $30 could legitimately be a big deal.


      How'd the girl last TWO WHOLE HOURS of that? Mah lawd...
      I mean... it's the age of smartphones ffs. There are plenty of non-bitchy ways to get out of something like that. "Oh! My friend just texted me, she needs me to ______ -- sry I gotta run"

      Two hours dammnnnnn. Girl should start valuing her time more lmao

    • Cosytoasty

      Ah of course i forgot US tuition fees are no subsidised like UK ones hahah. It's like $50k pa for Stanford isn't it? I paid Β£9k for my entire degree.

      As for the girl i honestly don't know how she decided to stay... must have been brought up with good morals and stuck through it just be polite. I was actually cringing hearing their exchange - it was like he had brought a literal list of questions and was interviewing her... NO followup whatsoever after each one.

    • Hey, what's this shizz about "good morals"? LOL I don't think letting someone waste yr time is a moral issue. In fact, one could mount a decent argument that it'd be *more* moral to be brutally honest with the guy, so that he'd actually learn for the next time.


      uhm well, there was a news story about how the tuition at USC (fairly prestigious private school, a few miles from me -- best known for athletics, but academically solid, and probably THE best place to go if you're sure you want to stay in the LA metro) just surpassed $50,000/yr this past year. So, I imagine Stanford is at least that expensive, if not a bit more.
      Out of curiosity, why Stanford?

      Until that news article, I really didn't have any idea how expensive undergraduate school was. (I knew it was expensive -- and I know how much loan debt some of my friends have had -- but still didn't have firm numbers.) I'm a college dropout who actually had a full-ride scholarship while I was in school, so, I never really

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  • QuestionMan
    That's a brilliant idea.
    Exploring, why didn't I think of that?
    • It's super fun. Unless you live in some tiny-ass town, there are *definitely* tons of little hidden treasures right in yr own backyard, so to speak.

    • I live in a big city and always try to go out with friends and explore when I can.
      Never thought of doing that with a girl though since I don't really know a cool place to go and wouldn't want to feel lost.

    • Well, the whole point of exploring is that "feeling lost" isn't really a thing... right? I mean, getting lost is kinda the whole point.

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  • kelvinmed
    🙋🏽 I'm all up for fun spontaneous connection driven first dates, especially outdoors one
  • CancerianMan81
    you know I was thinking @redeyemindtricks I was thinking why have a dinner date at home
    • You meant "why NOT have a date at home", I presume?

      That's a cool idea too, although not every woman is going to be comfortable going over to yr place right away before getting to know you a little better.

    • yeah that's what I meant

    • thanks by the way @redeyemindtricks

  • Kuraj
    Sorry, disagree completely on here.
    My expenses are my expenses, yours are yours.
    No drama, very simple.

    Saying things like "other person will get it next time" is really just hoping in disguise that the one who paid will offer to do so again, and again.
    Or that your "next time" will be when you go out for $5 ice cream as opposed to the $100 dinner that he just paid for you.

    I'm honestly surprised for the amount of praise you got for this, because I think the sentiment you are gravitating towards in the second part is very clear.
    There is no such thing as splitting expenses before you are sharing a house and having kids.
    And saying things like "If you have to literally split bills every time... this says more than you think about the health of your relationship" is just emotional blackmailing.
    • Kuraj

      To put it bluntly, if I met somebody who would suggest that financial policies are a reflection of the health of the relationship.
      They would get dumped on the spot.

    • "Saying things like "other person will get it next time" is really just hoping in disguise that the one who paid will offer to do so again, and again.
      Or that your "next time" will be when you go out for $5 ice cream as opposed to the $100 dinner that he just paid for you."

      ^^ ... nope lol
      So much nope.

      You must have had some VERY bad experiences in relationships with "users"... because this is not how the huge vast majority of people would read these interactions (even here on GAG, where people are *much* more jaded and cautious about relationships than randoms in the general population).

      Splitting checks every time ISN'T "simple". It's factually more complicated than just having one person pay, with the understanding that the other will just get other stuff (and/or has already gotten other stuff). And it's... well, it's petty.
      That's what it is. It's petty.
      It says a LOT about the character of the person involved.

      Dude, I am exactly the same way with my friends, too, so this is

    • hardly "emotional blackmail" lol. If I go out with one or two friends, one of us will just get the whole check -- with the exact same sort of implicit understanding. (If it's a huge group, I might still put the whole thing on my card, but of course THEN people will start chipping in cash for their part.)

      Also, you're funny dude. I've literally never eaten a dinner in my entire life that cost more than $25, and I don't drink alcohol at all ever. So, if anyone would be playing the advantage game for a $100 dinner, it would be the other person, not me. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  • Cc1234
    Some of the best dates are free. Hikes, going to the park etc. more fun, less awkward and FREE.
  • Bitterpill
    Finally a sensible take on this subject. Well done!
  • Omar5881
    This take is magnificent, @EmpatheticLady #loosewithdignity 😂😂😂
  • Princeofanons
    Either split, the one who did the asking or the one who ordered a $50 steak or something
  • Bluemax
    Although it may sound like I'm disagreeing with you, I'm not.

    Whereas this applies to many, and is useful to many, it doesn't apply to me.

    A) I have never given a rats ass that I have paid for a first date. Ever. Nor have I ever insisted on paying for a first date. This goes back to when I was 14 and didn't have 2 nickels to rub together.
    B) I enjoy dining out. A lot. I can get busy after eating a full meal. As for not having anything to talk about, this had never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever happened to me. Ever. And I doubt it ever will. Even with dates that have had zero chemistry, even BAD chemistry, I have always been able to draw a person out to converse with me (and have on occasion been thanked for doing so).

    But that's just me and this is fine advice to many others.
    • In other words, you're that rare bird of a conversationalist. Excellent! Will serve you well.

      My whole not being down for gettin' down after a big meal isn't just physical.
      The physical is a sufficient barrier already -- but... dude... remember, I'm a fitness chick who's 6'2" and not even a buck fifty. You can also SEE when I've eaten a big-ass restaurant meal. And that? Is just all kinds of psychological oh-hell-no. (:

      I don't see where you thought I'd detect disagreement... lol

  • IVoidWarranties
    I thought i already answered this : 007 Style , I pay Gentile Man Style!
  • HarvestMoon
    Hardcore traditionalists need to perish so we can achieve gender equality.
  • Byakuyarko
    why can't the guy pay if it's his treat? And why can't the girl pay when it's her treat? And why the hell is going dutch so unacceptable?
    • "why can't the guy pay if it's his treat? And why can't the girl pay when it's her treat?"

      They can do whatever they want -- as long as it feels natural to *both* of them, and as long as neither of them makes a big production out of it. That's the whole point of the take.


      "why the hell is going dutch so unacceptable?"

      If you know you're going to be seeing the same person more than a couple of times, it's just... tacky. Really.

      I did my best to explain this in the take, but, basically... it's a microcosm of yr future financial habits. Expenses will come up, and normally one person will pay those expenses when they come up. If you get used to a situation where you ALWAYS split things ALL THE TIME, then, getting used to those kinds of real-world expenses can be unnecessarily stressful.

      Last but not least, it's good for couples to get used to making small sacrifices for each other. It's unwise to view every interaction as a zero-sum game.

  • LittleSally

    I like this option best. =)
  • 99percentangel
    I love this.
  • MasterofYou
    The Guy...
  • Flurr
  • Panay
    WOOOO Yes!!! This
  • Pilulu
    Why does everyone keep talking about this?
  • Anonymous
    Brava! Excellent myTake!
  • Anonymous
    Our first two dates were at a party.
    But whenever we dined out he would pay. On picnics I would bring food and drinks/snacks from home.
    After we got married, we put all of the incoming cash in one box, and all of the non-cash in a joint bank account with two credit/debit cards to access that same account. We've never had to argue about money.
    Although sometimes I wish we each had an allowance to spend on stupid stuff and to literally wast, but he says it's ok to do even that from our joint venture. Anyway. Whatever...
    • Well, sounds like it's worked out for you... congratulations on yr marriage!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I really love your solution to this paying the bill problem, and I'm truly amazed at the way you pay attention to what is going on around you and on GAG.

    • Thank you for the kind words, anonymous sweetheart. <3

  • Anonymous
    I wish you were running for president, i'd vote for you in a heartbeat. You are like the smartest most amazing women on this site.

    I salute you ma'am
    • Wow! Thank you for the kind words <3

    • Anonymous

      You are really welcome. I admire women like you. You go! :)