Who Should Pay on a First Date?

Should I pay? I would like to say, “Yes. Of course.” We are equal after all and we’ve fought long and hard for our rights.

Now here’s the truth shhhh– I think it’s just fine to let somebody else pay on the first date. In fact, I like it. I know, I know. I shouldn’t have these antiquated expectations. Well, I do. I just think it’s nice and it kind of balances the masculine/feminine energy. My feminist point of view of freedom is that we are free to be women in any situation. We never need to be in “a man’s world”. We need to make it a woman’s world too. Or even a gender-neutral world where everyone feels comfortable being whoever they are.

I actually randomly surveyed about 25 men with this question. All of them said that they felt comfortable paying on first dates for sure. Here’s the interesting thing; the men I spoke to were either financially comfortable, very wealthy or starving artists, all said that they expected to pay on dates and didn’t really mind it. They also ALL said that they really appreciated it when the woman offered to split the bill or pay. Even if they didn’t accept, the offer made a difference in how they thought the relationship would progress.

That being said, I do always offer to share the bill and if we meet at a coffee place I sometimes try to get there first and buy my own.

After the first date I think it isn’t fare for the financial burden to always be on the man, unless he likes it that way. If you’re not going to offer to split the bill or leave the tip, maybe just bring a bottle of wine at a BYOB or for later on in the evening.


I am in independent woman, in my 40’s. I make my own money and my own decisions. And when it comes to first dates, I wouldn’t say no if my date insisted on paying but I always offer to split. And when it comes to second and third dates and beyond, I insist on splitting.

Apparently there is a terrible trend happening on dating apps, like Tinder, where women are going on dates with men merely for free drinks and dinner. According to a Q&A Article in The Financial Diet, “…not everyone uses Tinder in the same way. Some people are looking for true love (I just recently attended my first Tinder wedding, actually!), some people are looking to hook up, some people are looking to meet someone with central air conditioning for the summer, and some people are looking for free dinners. Yes, free dinners. And I have a good friend who has a, let’s say, dubious ethical relationship with the act of going on seemingly-real dates with guys in the interest of free steaks, cocktails, concerts, and other “going-out” perks. We’ve argued quite a bit about this habit of hers, but never come to a place of agreement.” Read this article for more of this story. It’s not good for women.

C’mon! We want equality. And acting like this is 1. freaking men out and 2. demeaning women everywhere. Let’s not do this.


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