Why are men EXPECTED to pay for the first date?

There are probably too many of these floating around. But I just heard of a new US survey.

Apparently the #2 mistake men make on the first date is that they split the bill or go dutch, even if the girl offers to do it.


Last I checked, if I'm handing my money out to someone, it's a gesture of charity.

I don't mind paying, but as long as she takes it as a kind gesture, and that it isn't a one-way street. The stats show otherwise.

Apparently, if you pay for yourselves, like you would in any normal situation, it's a MISTAKE. Sub-Par. Cheap.

Wait, a guy is cheap if he doesn't pay for a girl, be a girl isn't cheap if she doesn't even want to pay for herself? Is it some sort of apology payment? "I'm sorry for being a guy." "I'm sorry for asking you out."

I'm sorry I sound angry. I just though this was an ideology that people agreed was outdated.


Here are a few more links:




Most Helpful Girl

  • I think its just more of a social norm at this point. I wouldn't get offended if a guy and I split, it wouldn't be a deal breaker but in the back of my mind I would probably wonder if we were just friends or what not.

    IMO its more of just a type of chivalrous act, one of the only ones left.

    • Yeah, I agree. I'm not too opposed to "chivalry" in terms of just being, you know, flirty and courteous to her, knowing it isn't in vain or filling some expectation or standard to meet. But please don't take something as immaterial as a relationship and try to taint it with something as material as money.

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    • Oh, sorry, I wasn't referring to you with that last sentence. It was rhetorical.

    • Oh OK, gotcha.

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 9


    i think a guy should pay for the first date, why? because he invited the girl to dinner. you can't invite a person to dinner and then ask them to pay, that doesn't make any sense. that's like inviting guest over to your home for dinner but you ask your guest to cook. that doesn't make any sense. when you invite someone to dinner you suppose to handle it. now when it comes to a relationships I do believe in the girl paying sometimes. but when it comes to the courting stages the man should pay. women already help do and pay for everything at least men can do something as simple as court us.

    • You do realize, I'm not saying the woman should pay for everything. Just pay for her share.

      And let me ask you this: When was the last time YOU invited a man out for dinner?

      Most girls who say what you just said are also the ones who believe men should make the first move. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

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    • I'm just frustrated because it seems like you aren't even trying to understand where I'm coming from. I've seen girls give me some good reasons to pay in the past, some of which made a lot of sense.

    • what reason did they give you?

  • A man paying for a date is like a small investment. I notice the guys who trip about having to pay for my dinner, yet still want to see me and possibly try for sex. It makes me wonder about what their motivation is for asking me out. Are his expectations that our dealings should be of minimal effort, and he doesn't care to show me a good time? If so, then I weed guys like that out quickly by refusing to see them again. A guy who pays for a date is showing, OK at least he appreciates my time enough to be chivalrous and show me a good time. It doesn't have to be an expensive first date, but my alarms go off when I hear a guy balking at buying dinner. It makes me wonder how he views me if the idea of paying for my dinner the first date is such a negative task. It makes me wonder, if I continue seeing this guy, would he be cheap? If I had kids with this guy, would he be the type to trip about providing for us as a family? Basically I'd think I was wasting my time with him and that he didn't think that highly of me, if he did not want to show a gentlemanly gesture.

  • really just deal with it. You asked the girl out and she said yes, so you pay, you just do, and if she has to pay or split, yup she is going to think your cheap and be a little turned off, most likely anyway. ITS JUST THE WAY IT IS GUYS STOP TRYING TO CHANGE IT.

    • Sounds like someone enjoys their free lunch^

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    • What a boss.

    • Journeyman1126 below just brought up a good point about it being a subtle, yet revealing gesture.

      If he makes a big deal about it, he's probably overdramatic. If he pays he's generous. Two of the make-or-breaks for women.

      In the girl's case, she's either a woman of appreciation, or self-entitled expectation. Two of the make-or-breaks for men.

      In this girl's case, she would have failed the test.

  • biggest turn of is a man stingy with his money. If he can't shout her on a first date, imagine what he'll be like with money in the future?

    • If a girl can't even pay for herself on a first date, imagine what she'll be like with money in the future.

    • she should offer to pay. but the man should shout. well if you want to impress a woman I suggest you pay for most of it ;-) I speak for a lot of women when I say this.

    • Well I agree that you'll impress people by paying for them.

      What bothers me is that a guy is considered cheap if he DOESN'T pay for her meal.


  • Traditional

  • common curtesy

  • Because you're a guy

    • Okay, then you should make him a sandwich and do his dishes. Why? "Because you're a girl."

      You'll need better reasoning than that.

    • Don't be stingy. Cough up the money.

  • Because you asked her out

  • my boyfriend paid for our first date, but I also sincerely offered to pay. Furthermore, we didn't go anywhere pricey. And after that we've always either I pay or he pays (alternating) or he pays for the movie, I pay for dinner or the other way around. Unless its a special occasion we generally keep things fair. I could never disrespect his money. I even felt bad he paid for our first date. But its a nice gesture or at least I feel it is.

    • You don't have to feel bad about it. Just don't expect him to do it.

      It sounds like you have a good system, and you two sound lucky.

    • thanks, I'm extremely fortunate to have him :)

    • you are a wounderful person you've actually given me a reason why its OK to pay on the first date

      but only if its with a women of your calibre not these other fools, who think it's EXPECTED

      when they didn't contribute nothing to our pockets!

What Guys Said 5

  • There's a few categories of dates to consider. Sometimes you've managed to score coffee with the cute new accountant. So you don't want her to think you just asked her out to get in her business skirt. Other times you need to walk the walk and pay, or do something in which to show her you'd be a provider of some sort. Invite her hiking and bring her a camel back to keep. Take her to a paintball club and pay for her balls.

    I don't have daughters because I'm such a man man. But I have a lot of sisters, etc and have had a lot of female friends. So here's a big secret: girls like presents. They show her something: rather than express with words, gifts express with actions. Buying dinner means she's at least as important to talk to as her surf n' turf.

    I'm a feminist and I still open doors, buy dinner, etc. You're not a hypocrite to women if you think they deserve equal pay and still want to pay for their way. It's how you say you respect them and want to do this.

    Google "opportunity cost" and you'll understand. This is an emotional economics problem, not an accounting one. There is no accounting in a relationship. You should keep your bank accounts separate, IMO. But otherwise you're sharing the expense of whatever else each of you could be doing. If you're really having a bad time, don't pay. She probably won't be back for a second date. If you're having a good time, paying shows her that her meal was representative of something else you could have done - watching the game with the guys, going to a bar, etc. but you'd rather be with her.

    I don't even date if I don't have a good cash flow, because I don't want to be the one getting paid for. She could have gone out with any of a dozen other men, and I know it. She doesn't have to prove she appreciates being with me. I'll know if she's keeping eye contact and sharing, listening, etc.

    Besides, she's got the vagina. We spend half our time looking at them online and the other half thinking about them, and she knows it. She's the one who provides the child and its nurturing once we manage to get in, and in turn whatever sperm we can produce gets itself in, and those little representatives from both of our bodies agree to go ahead and make a new little idiot who will wonder these things.

    I hate it when a woman wants to pay or go Dutch, because it means to me that she doesn't really appreciate what I'd be willing to give up to be with her. She's saying we're platonic friends. I'm in the friend zone. Dick under glass.

    That doesn't imply that if I pay, I'm getting laid. It means, "Hey big boy, you haven't f***ed up yet, and I like your vibe so far. At least enough to have dinner and maybe hang out afterward. Keep being a man and I'll slowly (or quickly) let my force field down and you can dock with me." It means she's open to the idea of me providing SOMETHING. Doesn't have to be money. Could be companionship, social circle, great sex, anything.

    • Right. I get what you're saying, here.

      I'm opposed, however, to the current dating methods which assume women are asexual and therefore their sexuality is far more valuable. We're seeing this proven wrong all the time.

      I used to run on that thought process, but I had enough after girls sat around and demanded I run in circles just to be a "real man". Basically, they didn't do squat for the relationship, because they assumed they had all the desirability and I had none.

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    • Haha. A sort of bullet vest you could say.

      I still consider it old-fashioned, but now I really don't mind.

    • i have to say something, if a women is expecting you to pay is an insult but if she's appreciating

      you doing that for her she is a woman see the difference... and what if you didn't offer to pay but you

      requested for you both to go out somewhere what does that mean?

  • Well you're the one who asked her on the date in the first place correct?

    Girls don't ask guys on dates...the guys do that for them.

    • If you want to follow that logic, then girls should pay for me being the one to make a move. But I don't think that way, either.

      This isn't about one person earning the others' presence. It's about two people discovering each other.

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    • And that's why I hate feminists.

    • See below answers comments, to avoid misunderstanding of my comment

  • I've said it before and I'll say it again, women only want equality when it benefits them. When it comes to doing to the unpleasant stuff that guys are generally responsible for, they want no part of it.

    • ^so true. That's why I'm not a feminist.

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    • My mistake- I like true femenists, who want to be equal with men. I hate feminists who want to BE men, and refuse to take the important roles in society females play. Men and women should be treated equally, but it's an undeniable truth that there are some things only men can do/are better at. The same applies for women. No normal man can ever hope to bear a child. But no normal woman can ever release the spermatozoa that makes the child possible.

    • Yeah, my stance has been to always do what motivates you most, instead of trying to fit an expectation. I've seen guys who love taking on traditional female roles, and women who love the traditional male roles. So long as they distribute the work according to what motivates them, and appreciate each others' help, they should be good to go.

      But we have a rash of businesswomen trying to "date up". and others saying all the work should be 50-50. That's inefficient and stress-inducing.

  • Stop taking first dates to dinner.

    Buy her a drink.

    Problem solved

  • A wise man in my life told me that on the first date, the man should pay NOTHING. Not a cent. However, it is tradition for men to pay, maybe as a sign of chivalry. This may also go back to when men had the money, and women had none. Try finding a modern-minded girl who isn't so shallow that she mooches off you, and understands that you're doing her a favor, not following some insignificant rule.

    • no disrespect but that wise man that told you that wasn't so wise. how in the hell can a man invite a woman on a date for dinner and then not pay for it? you invited her

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    • Nice point. There are tons of free date ideas.

      And yeah, I totally disagree with the idea that a girl should "pay for my presence". After all, don't I also receive HER presence?

    • Yes, that's how I take it too. I took her out to enjoy her presence as much a she went to enjoy mine.