There are two types of people in the world: those who think that the man should pay the bill on the first date, and those who think that the idea of the man paying is outdated.
Who pays on the first date? Should it be the man or the woman? This is one of the biggest debates in the world when it comes to dating these days. And why? Because dating has become an integral part of daily life. Swiping right or left and arranging 3 to 5 dates a week – it’s commonplace today, isn’t it? Or is it?
At first glance, there seem to be few things less incompatible than dating and finances. Isn’t talking about money a real turn-off for a potential partner? Well, the answer to this will be yes and no. Ultimately, dating is about getting to know someone and learning to make decisions together and few decisions are as important as how you handle your money.
Too many people fail to consider money or finances as an important factor when falling in love. Initially, that’s understandable. But just like other elements that can make or break a romantic relationship – trust, communication, and healthy boundaries – how you talk to your partner about money needs to be built slowly and considered over time.
Who should pay on a first date?
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s estimated that 42% of singles will dine out to celebrate. For heterosexual couples treating themselves to a romantic evening out, it’s still usually the men who foot the bill. Although this may sound like a good deal to the female companion, it’s not. Research has shown that this cavalier tradition must end if women are to be treated as equals in the workplace.
Let’s first discuss why a man may pay on a first date, and then we’ll move on to the “who should pay” scenarios. Generally, a man pays for a first date because he is either the type of man or he wants to impress a woman. Nowadays, a man pays for a date because that’s how he was raised, because he feels guilty, or because he thinks he’s not a man if he doesn’t. That’s something I completely understand, by the way.
In a love and finance survey conducted by Money and SurveyMonkey, a whopping 78% of respondents said they think men should pay for the first date. And, perhaps surprisingly, men (85%) were even more likely than women (72%) to think men should foot the bill. Even after the first date, men tend to pick up most of the tab, and say they feel guilty about accepting money from women.
A similar study conducted in Nigeria revealed that it is a wrong move for a lady to foot the bills on any date whatsoever as such behavior will hurt a man’s ego. They said that it was simply un-African for a woman to take care of the bills.
The irony of it all is that Nigerian men berate Nigerian women at every opportunity because of this problem. They ask when will women stop depending on men for money and when will they start paying or even sharing the bills on dates like their Western counterparts? These are the same men who accuse women of being unwilling to share or pay the bills, but consider it un-African for a woman to do so. How can it be that you want women to share bills in your minds and even say it, but frown and get angry when they do? Amazing right?
In my opinion, I think this question will best be answered based on what is generally applicable in the region you reside. It’s easier that way because everyone will adjust to accommodate whatever cultural pattern in play with respect to who should pay on the first date.
Here are 7 reasons why you should always allow a man pay on the first date.
1. It’s sexy
Like it or not, ladies are still attracted to potential partners based on similar principles as our ancestors in the cave, and being a “provider” is one of them, especially when we’re making instinctive, primal decisions. (Also known as: do you dig the guy or not).
2. It’s a true test of character.
The “buy at the first dinner” doesn’t mean he’s going to carry you for the entire relationship, and you shouldn’t expect him to. It also doesn’t mean he’ll do the same on the second date, but it does mean he values you enough to be generous.
3. Let him be the provider (this has nothing to do with sexism).
Boundaries are confusing enough these days, but allowing your date to pay means you’re allowing him to flex his manly muscles, take care of you, and take romantic control.
It may sound old-fashioned, but allowing a man to take care of you, even if it’s just a token gesture in the form of a meal, is far more conducive to chemistry than shouting him down when he dares to buy you a few glasses of wine and a burger.
4. You don’t owe him anything
If you think your date is expecting sex at the end of the night because he bought you a drink or meal, then you shouldn’t be looking at your values, you should be looking at your men’s choices.
5. Don’t confuse manners with gender stereotypes.
Allowing a man to hold the door for you or pick up a bill doesn’t mean you lose the right to vote, it just means that sometimes it’s okay to enjoy the old manners.
6. If he can’t afford to spoil you on a first date, he shouldn’t be there
If he can’t afford to foot the bill, he shouldn’t be at the restaurant. A few drinks, a visit to a gallery or a walk in the park are all perfectly respectable dates that don’t cost the earth. If dinner was his decision, he should say so.
7. It means he likes you
Read about what it means to “Go Dutch” on a date, here