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Thread: Who Pays on the First Date? No One Knows Anymore, and Itís Really Awkward

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    Who Pays on the First Date? No One Knows Anymore, and Itís Really Awkward

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-pay...=fbads&nan_pid

    There was a time when Tinesha Zandamela would dig around for her wallet at a first date, anticipating that the guy would insist on paying.

    That was before she went out with one who ďforgotĒ his wallet, or the one who requested to split the check 50-50 after eating nearly all the food. Now when the bill arrives, she sits still, not even attempting what some call ďthe reach.Ē

    ďIf you reach, you could end up with the entire bill,Ē said the 23-year-old in Provo, Utah. ďNo one is going to stop you.Ē


    The popularity of the dating app and others like it means single people are going on more first dates than ever. Many women say they have stopped doing the reach because they are not only more likely to end up splitting the bill, but also more liable to cover all of it. Now when the check arrives, both people often brace themselves for a gunfighterís staredown.


    The rules arenít complicated, according to etiquette experts. ďIf you invite, you pay,Ē said Diane Gottsman, author of ďModern Etiquette for a Better Life.Ē ďBut the reality is that the other person may not know the rules or realize itís a date.Ē
    Alexz Poole, a 30-year-old lawyer, said that since moving to New York four years ago, she has noticed a gradual change in the way the reach was being received. At first, her dates would typically intervene and pay the bill, she said, but over time she ended up covering more than her fair share.
    At a recent drinks meetup, she asked her date if they were planning to order food since they hadnít specified beforehand. His response: ďDonít you have food at home?Ē


    I'm glad my dating days were in simpler times. Don't get me wrong, some women did want to pay on some dates (which was appreciated). But, the expectation was the guy paid and I'd always grab the bill even at the risk of being called a Chauvinist Pig.

    The custom of a man paying on a date is a relic of chivalry that is several centuries outdated and connotes ownership, said Julia Long, a sociology lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University who specializes in feminist theory. ďWomen are not commodities to be bought.Ē
    Ms. Zandamela, who considers herself a feminist, said that since women still tend to earn less than men, it isnít unreasonable for guys to cover dinner and a movie. ďThereís a huge gender pay gap,Ē she said. ďThe least a guy can do is pay for a date that he initiates.Ē
    These two sentences are a summary of the dilemma.... if a man pays, he's a relic and is "buying" a date. If he doesn't pay, he's not acknowledging the real struggle of the wage gap. ("Excuse me, are you an "ownership" feminist or a "wage gap" feminist? Great first date conversation... ) At least, he'll know he's never right which is makes relationships easier ;)

    If you're dating what do you expect? If you're a parent, what do you tell your kids?

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    Being it, y'all! Lizzie Beth's Avatar
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    I'd tell both my daughters and son to be prepared to pay in full and actually pay at least their half. If their date is horrible, consider it a fair price to be rid of them. If it's good, it's an investment.

    I'd tell my girls to be wary of the guy who is happy to buy them drinks but not dinner. And my son to be wary of the girl who never, ever offers to pay.

    I would think that after a few dates they'd have more of an idea of what the position the other person might have on the subject.

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    Moderator Shaena's Avatar
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    I am an old fashioned girl. I like chivalry. I don't consider it an insult or ownership. I recall offering to pay when I was dating because it's the polite thing to do, but never being taken up on it. I don't know as I would have gone on a second date with a guy who asked me to go out, but did not pay for it.

    That being said, I do expect my daughter to have the means to pay, and offer to pay. I never went anywhere without the ability to take care of myself, I expect the same from my daughter as well.

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    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    I honestly don't get why this is such a Big Thing, other than that because everything is now a Big Thing. Be prepared to pay for your food. If you don't like that the person you are with wants to split the bill, don't go out with her or him again. If you don't like the way s/he wants to split the check (50/50 when you only ordered a salad), suggest that you each pay for your own meal. (Is that person really likely to push back for 50/50? Probably not.) And then don't go out with them again if it's a big deal to you.

    Be prepared to buy your own dinner, and if you don't like the other person's approach, consider it a sign of incompatibility and don't see him or her again. EOD.

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    Full Sponsor GiftOfFlavor's Avatar
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    I was told once "He'll pay all of the bill coz you have all of the vagina."


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    Full Sponsor maurinsky's Avatar
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    My husband and I decided to go dutch on our first date when we made it over the phone.

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    Are we perpetuating Anglo slurs against the Danish people?

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    Full Sponsor RealCranky's Avatar
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    I don't think we say "Dutch" anymore, do we? Although I *do* have a Dutch door. And how did the Danes get in here? Are we splitting pastries??

    Anyway, back when I was dating, in Ye Olde Olden Days, it was understood that if the gentleman paid, he was expecting some pay back. But now dating seems to involve free sex and no dinner...
    nesha ;-)


    Down with the Tsar!
    Time to storm the Winter Palace...

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    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    I honestly don't get why this is such a Big Thing, other than that because everything is now a Big Thing. Be prepared to pay for your food. If you don't like that the person you are with wants to split the bill, don't go out with her or him again. If you don't like the way s/he wants to split the check (50/50 when you only ordered a salad), suggest that you each pay for your own meal. (Is that person really likely to push back for 50/50? Probably not.) And then don't go out with them again if it's a big deal to you.

    Be prepared to buy your own dinner, and if you don't like the other person's approach, consider it a sign of incompatibility and don't see him or her again. EOD.
    Yeah. And why am I getting the insinuation of offensiveness that the woman might end up paying for the whole meal, or 50/50 and not eat as much, but expecting the man to cover the bill is okay?

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