Thursday, 26 March 2009

Dutch, split, one or other; Who pays these days?

In the interest of helping my dear mother with a query she has, and given that she's been out of the dating game for nigh on forty years, and me for close to nine, readers I appeal to you for help.

Our question is simple:
When you go out on a date who pays?
Particularly in consideration of these factors:
  1. Who initiated the date?
  2. Is it a one-off date or is the relationship of some duration?
  3. Is there a significant difference in incomes (and/or financial obligations) between those involved?
Thanks in advance for your assistance in this matter.


Anna said...

I tend to take a bluntly Marxist approach to these matters - from each according to his (sic) ability, to each according to his (sic) need - but then, I don't get out much.

I'd probably be concerned if a bloke offered to pay for me (I'd suspect it was a way of saying 'I expect sex'). There's probably a generational element in all this, though - the meaning of the gesture would be different for an older person perhaps?

Azlemed said...

i have been out of the scene for so long that I arent sure what the rules are anymore, we used to split the cost of would pay if we were the one inviting etc... but we were both students and broke so there was no difference really....

Anonymous said...

Easy, for a first, you ask and you pay and and if the datee has a conscience they should try to pick up the tab for at least their share of the drinks. Long term 50/50 and in a situation where dater and datee's incomes are inequitable the higher earner picks up the lions share of the tab.

Kelly said...

When I first started dating my partner we would take it in turns. I think I offered to pay the first time, he insisted and I agreed on condition that next time I would pick up the tab. We were both earning about the same at the time. But if not we would probably have just alternated between cheaper and more upmarket places.

It's quite nice to feel that you're "treating" the other person rather than having to split the bill every time. I sometimes do this with mates as well.

Sanctuary said...

As a guy, I think that if you ask a woman out on a clearly romantic date and you REALLY REALLY like her and want to impress her, you pay for it all. Think of it as a courtship display, and like all courtship displays it IS done in the hopeful expectation of sex at some subsequent time in the future.

For second and subsequent dates It just depends. Hopefully you've passed enough information backwards and forwards to work out what you are both comfortable and the relative economic position of the two of you. For example, if you decide to split the bill and if (usually, don't crucify me) she earns a fair bit less you pick a restaurant appropriate to that, or you pay the appropriate percentagee of the bill.

Lucy said...

Bearing in mind that the total number of what you would actually call dates I have been on is...very small, my partner and I always split equally or take turns to pay. If one of us has just come into more money than usual, or if it's an activity that one really wants to do and the other is so-so on (e.g. a particular movie) the initator will pay, but otherwise it's always been strictly fifty/fifty.

Byron said...

About 6 years ago I went out with an East European woman who expected me to pay for everything, also to do things like open doors and walk on the side of the footpath closed to the road. I thought it was really strange, especially the footpath thing.

Since then though I think with everyone I've dated we've each paid for our own food/drinks/tickets etc and I've never thought anything of it, though I like 'dates' where little-to-no commerce takes place, like going cycling together or a trip to the beach

Anonymous said...

First date = split it, or one person pays for the meal, the other for drinks etc
Subsequent dates = take turns

I have friends with whom I take turns paying for movies, dinner etc. It is nice. When I started seeing my husband he always paid which was nice too (one time he was visiting the city I lived in and spent his hotel money on a restaurant that turned out being more expensive than he expected, he paid without a murmur and was all set to spend the night walking around until his bus the next morning without telling me... awwwww), but he pays for his friends when he goes out too so that is just him.


anna c said...

To me it depends on the phrasing - "can I take you out to dinner" is different to "would you like to have dinner out". Really, I think the key thing with someone you don't already know reasonably well is keep it as cheap as possible, just makes everything much less problematic.

I actually don't like the idea of paying for yourself every time once in an established relationship - I like getting treated, and I like treating my partner. We tend to just choose the activity according to our ability to pay - at times one or other of us has been able to afford dinner out for both of us, and then the next week the other with less money might take the other for desert in a cafe, for example.

Anonymous said...

I've always assumed people pay for themselves. If I pay for someone else it's because they're broke or it's a treat rather than as part of a sexual transaction. And negotiated in advance, rather than at the point of payment.

I have recollections of people I was interested in becoming less interested at the point they found that out, but nothing definite, partly because finding that out makes me much less interested in them. My partners tend to be at the bolshie end of the spectrum... my current "Australian born Vietnamese Catholic girl" fits many stereotypes... especially the sporty, smart, organiser ones :)


hungrymama said...

I've done very little official dating and most of it was as a poor student. I think it's generally wise that, for a first date, the person who does the inviting or chooses the venue should be prepared to pay the full tab especially if they choose something pricey without knowing their date's financial status.

I've usually either done turn and turn about or each paid for one part of the date (eg one pays for the movie the other for dinner) and if there was an income discrepancy then the better off one would pay for the more expensive part of the date.

Juliet said...

I agree with most of the other women here- taking turns feels like the best way to do things. My new boyfriend is Russian, and apparently the tradition there is that the inviter pays (this also applies for groups of more than two). That tradition used to only apply to males, but now many females have started inviting friends out and paying for them.

Julie said...

I should just clarify that I didn't write this post because my mother was after advice for herself. She was pondering the situation of a friend of hers who has been in a relationship with a gentleman for some time and insists that he pay for all their dates. Mum wondered if that was the norm these days or not.

Thanks for your responses, I shall pass them on!