Dating Rules: Paying Etiquette

Yay rules! Yay, dating!

Oh, wait. The opposite of both of those.

I’ve been having this discussion lately with a few people about who should pick up the check on a date.

It’s the consensus that the man should always pay on the first date. A few months ago, I was watching “How I Met Your Mother,” with the roommate and one of the characters was turned off because the woman made no move to pay on the first date. I turned to my roommate and said, “Wait a sec, a girl is supposed to offer to pay on a first date??” The thought had never crossed my mind. I mean, I’ve always watched my dad pick up the bill, no matter what. I just assumed a man pays on the first date (and a good number of them thereafter. And since I haven’t made it past the third date with anyone, there’s been no need to cross that bridge). My roommate informed me that I am supposed to at least make a move like I’m fighting for the check. My “Hitch” says that I am supposed to offer on the third date, and he should decline if he’s a gentleman.

So I figure, I’d better get to the bottom of this before I actually find someone to go past date #3 with.

Internet, am I wrong? Am I too old fashioned? Should I be offering to pay on a first date or the third date or any date? I am of the mindset that the man pays for most dates while he is wooing me. At some point, I, of course, would start offering because I would start to feel like a mooch. Or if I initiated the date, I should pay. Maybe I should Google this. Is it on Wiki?

Rules. Rules. And more rules. No wonder I can’t seem to master this dating thing.

4 thoughts on “Dating Rules: Paying Etiquette

  1. Hmmm. Now this is interesting because I hadn’t even thought about it. Considering I haven’t been on a first date yet.. but I, also, assumed the man is supposed to pick up the check. Isn’t that customary?

    Having said that, when thinking through a first date, I *would* probably offer to split it. That way, I have an out if the date hasn’t gone too well. Like.. oh I’ll pay my share – if he takes me up on it, I know that things aren’t going any further. If he doesn’t (which is the correct response!!)… then there you have it.

  2. I think it should be who made the plans for the date…. IE: If I asked him, I would gladly pay(although I wouldn’t ask or make plans, unless we had been together past the “first dates”)

    So I guess that wouldn’t help this situation, but if a man wasn’t willing to pay or gets turned off by the fact that I didn’t reach for the bill then we aren’t ment for each other.

  3. I too have had this question, especially since I live in a place where women have rebelled and want to pay their and do their own things and men have gotten comfortable, so to speak. At the beginning of dating here I was shy so I offered to pay my share and (they let me!) One even split it before I even asked! Then I got comfortable and as they reach for the check I always reach for my purse which gives them a hint that I’m willing to pay without me actually saying anything and then I ask if they need any help as I check myself in my compact mirror or apply my lipstick.

    Men want to feel like bigshots like they say in that TV series, and if you don’t at least “act” like you appreciate the meal they’ll think you’re just there for the free food.
    What I do works well for me as they think they got to turn down “my offer to pay” when really no guy is going to ask a cute girl for ‘help’ to pay a meal.. yes.. it might be a bitchy move or just clever

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