Good-looking daters actually expect free meals?! Well... yeah. Pretty much, says a new study.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, researchers from the University of St. Andrews placed 245 men and 171 women in hypothetical dating scenarios. First, the subjects were asked to judge their own attractiveness—how pretty or handsome they imagined themselves to be. Then, the participants were shown 12 photos of potential dates, some beautiful and some unattractive, and were asked to decide who they would rather have pick up the tab if they went for dinner.
Most subjects were totally fine with splitting the check, as 47 percent of men and 50 percent of women said they would prefer such a situation. However, of the men and women who thought themselves attractive, a trend emerged: they were more likely to want their dates to foot the bills instead of chipping in. First Date: Who Pays for Dinner?
Furthermore, if men thought their dates were attractive, they were more likely to insist on buying them dinner. But there was a handful of handsome guys in the study who didn't mind one bit if the ladies paid the tabs for their dinners.
One of the psychologists conducting the study, Dr. Michael Stirrat, explained the results: "The more attractive people in that context are just going to get more interest, so they need to make less effort in that situation either to meet people, or get a chance to impress people, so it does make sense that more attractive people would be less willing to pay. They are going to have more opportunity so they can be more choosy."
Another finding from the study? The more attractive a female found her date, the more she wanted him to pay for the meal. The idea was this: If the handsome guy picked up the tab, it meant things were going in the right direction. The ladies were less concerned if unattractive men footed the bills, since they weren't planning on romantic futures with them. The Number One Place To Meet Your Future Husband
"The women responded to this as a signal," Dr. Stirrat said. "They would rather that a more attractive man paid for the meal than a less attractive man because it seems to be that they saw this as a signal to further pursue the relationship. If you keep it reciprocal it's like saying I'm not really interested."