Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jan 1, 2014 12:16 AM

Do you think that a guy should always pay for Dinner on the 1st date?


I feel that most often us guys should/do pay the whole bill for at least the 1st date, but perhaps there could be exceptions here or there, right? I mean, what if the girl's the one that's calling you, desperate for a date & you finally decided to give her a chance, should you still pay for her in full? In another case, what if your boss asked if you'd take his daughter out, would you still pay for the date even though he's been a cheapskate to you…lol? Another case could be perhaps that the girl's quite rich & you're pretty much just getting by while working your a$s off at work, ya hear? Outside of most desperate girls, I still think that it's probably wise to just stick with buying her Dinner for the night. What is your take on this topic?

  1. Personally, I think whomever asks should pay the first date, and that men and women should be free and able to ask each other out, in either direction. So if the girl asks the guy, she picks up the tab. For first dates off of things like internet dating, it's much simpler if each person pays for their own food and drink - it's a getting to know each other meeting, rather than a romantic date at that point.

    I don't think there should be special rules based on whether you really like your date or are just tolerating him or her - "You're only a 5, and I only pick up the tab for 7 and above" kind of thing.

    In reality, in current society, it's a bit of a minefield, as different people have different preferences. Stepping outside of the guy asks/guy pays on the first date does potentially carry quite a penalty - if you ask a guy out, and he wonders why no-one is willing to ask you out, or sees you as too aggressive if you insist on paying. On the other hand, if you ask a woman out, and when the bill comes you sit back and wait, odds are high that there's not going to be a second date.

    The old system has it's problems too - when men earned money and women didn't much, it made sense for the guy to pay, but now it puts a disproportionate financial burden on the guy in the casual dating around phase (although the cost of making yourself pretty for dates adds up too). And it came with unpleasant expectations - don't order the steak unless you plan to put out, and the like.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

      For when it really tells something of a person, I'd think that it was sexy &/or thoughtful to notice the other person asking to pay for everything no matter who you are. Times change, but true love/care in my opinion never will.

    2. I am male, and I have always paid for the first date, be it lunch, dinner, drinks, whatever. I would also venture to say that I pay 90% of the time, probably more often, on subsequent get-togethers. Generally, I pay unless my date insists on covering or contributing to the tab. I guess I do this because I think it chivalrous, it is a cultural more I grew up with, my disposable income allows me to, and money is a triviality when all I'm trying to do is get some drinks in my system, eat some good food, hang out and get laid.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MonMauler

        Sorry, but most of us who are worth actually spending time with aren't going to whore ourselves for the price of a meal that we could afford on our own.

        I didn't think there were still men who expected sex in return for dinner.

        I paid for a first date -- because it was his birthday, and because I offered the invitation. 22 years later, I'm still married to him. (He paid for lots of dates, too).

        1. re: sunshine842

          sunshine842, I didn't either!

          Sounds like the "3 date rule" someone told me about.

          Congratulations on 20+ years of marriage and that's a lot of meals.

        1. Only if she shows me her rack. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) Seriously, I always offer, twice. If she insists on splitting, I conclude she is not interested in me.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mwhitmore

            or maybe she's been out with MonMauler's kind, and doesn't want you to think that she can be bought for the price of a steak.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I never think that a person can be bought. But an inability to accept hospitality does not bode well.

              1. re: mwhitmore

                on *that*, I agree...but don't forget that her resistance may not be because she's incapable of accepting hospitality -- it may be a very different motivation.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Fair enough. Nowadays it is sometimes difficult to determine if a social encounter *is* a date or first date. So you send signals. My offering to pay is a signal that I am interested. 'Let's split it', said more than once, I presume to be a 'Let's be friends' signal, so I won't push for a second date. But it is a 'rebuttable presumption' if, for example, she suggests another meeting.

          2. Great topic:)
            If I asked a man out I would offer to pay. If he let me pay without even a little back and forth banter, I would call him cheap! Lol
            My bosses daughter now... wouldn't even think of taking her out. That's got danger written all over it right? But if you must, pay the bill!

            5 Replies
            1. re: parkerjaxmollymo

              Yeah, it is quite something although not too surprising that that many people would've responded to my thread like this here. According to the bosses Daughter though, if she's hot & could talk her Daddy into perhaps giving me a bonus, then hell yeah, it'll be quite nice! If she's nasty though, I just might have to quit that job & leave town.

              1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                "If she's nasty though, I just might have to quit that job & leave town."

                Well, then let us all pray this misfortune doesn't happen. After all, I hear the employment market is pretty thin for people looking to work in contrived 1960's sitcom plots.

                Seriously? Boss's daughter?

                1. re: amishangst

                  Whatever needs to be done. I'm definitely not working just to have/carry another nasty, futile headache of a relationship. I'm definitely more responsible than that.

                  1. re: ShowUsYourRack

                    I cannot imagine a worse place to work than for someone who thinks that his daughter is such a waste of skin that he has to hope that one of his employees will take her out as brownnosing.

                    It's unethical, bad business, speaks poorly of the daughter and worse of the father -- run, don't walk.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      A lot of Bosses (whether Fathers or not) are real dirt bags sometimes.