Who Should Pay on the First Date?

By: Rosie Valentine |

Heather Rutman, author of the tongue in cheek book “Girls Guide to Depravity” claims that there is no greater libido killer than a guy who insists on splitting the bill on the first date. The question of “who should pay” on a first date seems to be a never ending and highly contentious discussion in the dating world. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the matter. Here’s my take:

I once went out on a first date with a guy, who when we arrived at the restaurant blatantly told me that he wasn’t going to order anything because he was broke. It was dinner time and I was hungry so I ordered a meal. The first part of our date involved him sipping on an ice water, watching as I ate a giant bowl of spaghetti. If his goal was to immediately kill all romance and make things as awkward as possible, he succeeded. This happened years ago when I had less dating experience. If the same thing had happened today, I probably would have walked out. Instead, I’ve chalked it up to a learning experience.

I’m not a materialistic girl by any means but I do abide by the following rule:

If you ask me out, you should be able to afford to treat me. 

I guess I’m old fashioned in this sense but I love it when a guy immediately reaches for the bill on a first date. With that said, I don’t automatically assume a guy will pay on the first date. I always politely offer to chip in. However, I love it when he refuses and says “don’t worry about it!” It’s nice and it makes me feel special. If we continue to date, one of my favorite things is to treat my boyfriend to a meal at his favorite restaurant however, for the first date (especially if he’s asked you out) I feel like the guy should at least offer to pick up the bill. Whether you want to chip in as well is up to you.

As Rutman says in her book, during the first date he should be thinking about you and how lovely & charming you are…NOT about how much two beers is going to cost him at the end of the night.

When it comes to who pays on a first date here are my rules:

(Feel free to disagree with me here. This is just my personal take on the situation)

1) Whoever asked the other person out should offer to treat.

2) Don’t assume he’ll pay. Be polite and always carry enough cash to pay your way if needed.

3) If having someone pay for you makes you uncomfortable, that’s totally cool too. Be polite and speak up.

4) If you end up on a date with “Mr. I’m Too Broke to Order an Entree” do yourself a favor and walk out. From personal experience, the date doesn’t get any better. Just trust me on this.

Who do you think should pay on the first date?