Who should pay on a first date?


So, you’ve scored yourself a date. You finally have the chance to spend some quality time with that guy or girl you’ve had your eye on for ages now. However, the whole time you’re out with them, something is nagging at the back of your mind – who pays? At some point, that check is going to be put down on your table (if you’re going out for dinner, that is) and someone will have to deal with it. Should it be you? Let’s find out…

What the statistics say

Unsurprisingly, the general consensus when it comes to paying on a first date is that it’s the man’s responsibility. We say unsurprisingly, because just a few decades ago there was never really any question about whose duty it was to cover the check. 78% of respondents to a 2017 survey believe that this still stands, and the money should always come out of a man’s pocket on a first date.

That might sound somewhat behind the times in this day and age, and this isn’t the ultimate answer. While there is nothing wrong with a guy paying for the date, there’s a fairer way to decide who should do it.

Future dates

Whatever is decided, there should always be a genuine feeling of gratitude expressed by the party who doesn’t pay. Going forward, you can extend that gratitude to footing the bill for the second date (providing there is one). Alternating who pays is a great way to maintain a sense of equality in the partnership and ensure neither person feels they’re contributing too much.

You’ll find that once you cross over the hurdle of who pays the first time around, it’s much easier to open up a conversation about what you should do in the future. If you’re both interested in each other and want things to work out, it’s important to communicate openly. Even if someone is very set in their ways and refuses to share the cost of the check, they still want to know that their generosity is appreciated. More often than not, they’re doing it because they really like you.

Whatever you decide, know that there is no right answer. If you still can’t agree on who should pay, just split the bill. It will save you both more money and will set a precedent for potential future dates.