Love and Money: Who Pays For The First Date?

While you probably won’t be going on a first date anytime soon, now is a great chance to prepare. The world is changing fast, and so is the world of dating. Traditionally, the man has not only paid for the first day, but he’s been expected to do so. But the bounds of modern love are quickly shifting from tradition. So what’s the norm now, and how do you set your relationship up for success?

Let's Talk About: Who Pays For The First Date?

The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer here. Every couple is different and every first date is different. 

A 2017 joint survey by Money and SurveyMonkey found that most people (78%) think it’s the man’s responsibility to pay for the first date. Although this was slightly divided by gender with 85% of men and 72% of women reporting that the man should pay. 

But, the issue isn’t that cut and dry. A 2015 study published by SAGE Open found that 40% of women were bothered when men rejected their money, and 76% of men felt guilty accepting a woman’s money. 

As you can see, it can get pretty complicated. While it looks like the majority of people think that men should be paying more, don’t go into a date with the expectation that your partner feels the same. Some guys think that it’s sexy when a girl offers, and some women think it’s sexist when a man insists. Either way, it always helps when you’re on the same page.

Break It Down

Following a few simple rules can help ensure a first date runs smoothly when the check comes.

  1. If you’re the ask-er, expect to pay. Regardless of your gender, if you’ve asked someone out, go with the intention of paying.
  2. If you’ve been invited, expect to split the bill. Like we said, times are changing. If you go out expecting to split and the asker offers, everybody wins.
  3. If this isn’t something you two can compromise on, then there might not be a second date.

It’s Not Set In Stone

At the end of the day, it’s important to note that whatever you do doesn’t have to become the standard for the rest of your relationship. What happens on the first date shouldn’t set a precedent, and money should never mean power. If the guy pays for the first date but you feel bad, insist on paying for the second date. If things are going great but you always end up footing the bill when you don’t want to, it’s worth a conversation. 

But, if things are getting more serious and you still can’t come to an agreement on who pays for dates, then you may have a problem. If something this simple is holding you back, imagine how you and your S.O. will handle buying or house or paying for a wedding. The relationship between love and money only gets more complicated as time goes on.

Written by

Annie Echols

Last updated on

May 8th 2020, 6:29 pm

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