Who Should Pay on First Date?
HOW TO AVOID A GREAT DATE FROM TURNING SOUR AT THE END: Who settles the bill?
Ever had a wonderful date that got spoiled at the last minute when the waiter arrived with the bill?
You had an awkward moment?
What happens there can potentially have a strong effect on the future, if any, with your date. How can this money issue be dealt with in such a way that there are no "sour" feelings?
Who should pay that bill?
The issue of who pays for the bill is mostly a cultural and courtesy issue.
There are cultures in which it is simply not accepted to let a woman pay the bill. In other cultures it is considered a question of fairness that each person pays for himself or herself.
I have the fortune (or misfortune) to be Dutch, so personally I could always claim, "since I am Dutch, I would like to go Dutch.". Always worked and is actually very fair I find (but then again, I am Dutch).
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What can you do to avoid a great date from turning sour when the bill arrives?
Avoid the bill from arriving at the table. Simply briefly excuse yourself after finishing dessert and settle the bill with the waiter without your date noticing. This way the issue is dealt with and no need to discuss it further.
One way of avoiding an awkward situation at the end of your date is by settling the money issue before the date. If you are a man that would not like the lady to pay the bill, make clear that you would like to invite her for dinner. The one who invites, is expected to pay the bill.
If you are a woman who would like to pay for her own part or settle the entire bill, state this clearly when you are first discussing where to go on your date. You can say; "I would love to go out with you, but only if you let me pay (or pay half the bill)".(Note: say this in a nice way, the tone is important). This way the issue is clear.
It is a matter of courtesy that when you are invited on a date, you do not choose the most expensive restaurant or the most expensive things on the menu.
I have spoken to many people about the "who-should-pay-the-bill" issue and, although times and dating habits have changed, it is still true that:
General rule for men: expect to pay for the bill unless your date expresses she prefers a different arrangement.
General rule for women: when invited for a date, you can expect the men to pay, be reasonable in your menu choices and always have your credit card with you (just in case you happened to go on a date with a guy who did not read this)
Enjoy Your Dates!
Trea Tijmens is a successful international matchmaker and effective dating coach with a wealth of experience. Questions or comments? Do not hesitate to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org