9 Women Reveal Whether They Expect A Man To Pay On The First Date

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Is Splitting The Bill Fair Or F*cked Up?
Love

What does going Dutch mean? In modern lingo, it means the man paying on dates, the first date especially. While it's always fun to be treated by anyone, date or friend, for many, when you go Dutch on a date, it seems like the "right" thing to do. It's not only fair, but seems completely normal in a society where the majority of people, no matter their gender, have an income.

However, there are other first date tips that explain that expecting the man to pay on a date makes sense, especially due to the wage gap. Why shouldn't he pick up the tab? It would even things out a bit, after all. Basic math, right there.

But here's what the ladies had to say about splitting the bill.

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1. If you asked me out, you should pay.

"It's up to whoever asked. After that, splitting works. But if it's something special that I've set up, it's all on me."

2. After three dates, split it.

"I think in the beginning, whoever asked for the date should pay, just out of courtesy, and the fun of dating. Because it's awkward to be like, 'I would really like to go on that fancy date you asked me on, but I don't have money to pay my half or something.' But then once you hit past three dates, it's fair to start splitting the bill, unless it's a special occasion or something." 

3. If he doesn't pay, he's a cheapskate.

"If a guy is the one pursuing me and on the first date we're having a decent time and he tries to go dutch, I'm not gonna say it's a dealbreaker, but I pretty much look at him like he's a cheapskate. Nothing sexy about that. If the guy pays on date #1 and we agree to go out again, it's 99.9 percent guaranteed that I'll pick up the check on date #2. It's really about the courtesy of the guy paying on the first date, and the tacit mutuality of back-and-forth paying after that."

4. Don't show up to a date expecting a free meal.

"I think it shouldn't be assumed that he's going to pay. I always accepted dates only if I knew I could afford me. Of course, now that I'm married, it's whichever one of us has money in the bank account."

5. Gender inequality comes into play.

"When women stop making 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, we'll go dutch. Until then, I am happy to help even things out by allowing men to pick up the tab on dinner."

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6. Splitting is always great, but it's a bit more complicated than that.

"I prefer to split on the first date, unless one person specifically asked and then planned the date without input, in which case I might be persuaded to let the other person to treat because they planned everything and invited me as a guest. But really, I prefer to split. That way we're both giving up equal amounts of time and money to check things out, and see if things will work out and if we want to do it again. Once we're a real item, then I'll get the check sometimes and he'll get it sometimes, and just go back and forth like that."

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7. Split it if it's casual.

"I think for early or more casual dates, it makes sense to split, or the person that did the asking can pay, at least the first time. After a bit, when things get more serious, I think it makes sense to take turns paying or to split the bill (whichever is more convenient). That being said, if I'm going through a tight budget month, I have no problem letting someone else pay until I'm back on my feet. I figure, karmically, it works out, since I tend to be generous with my money when I have some."

8. You better pick up the tab, or forget it.

"I'm old school. I think the guy should get the bill. Especially on a first date. If we've been together for a while I'm more open to splitting."

9. It's kind of complicated.

"I think in the end, you can't blame anyone for wanting a free meal. Yes, splitting is a wonderful idea, but it's really not that simple. It's about personal finances, a power struggle between men and women to attain equality, prove we can pay too, but still enjoy being treated, and what's comfortable for us. This is definitely a topic that won't find a complete resolution anytime soon, which is cool, because eternal mysteries are a blast."

RELATED: 4 Reasons Why Smart Women Offer To Pick Up The Check During A Date


Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She's a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post and others. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook for more.