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So, Who Should Pay On A Date?

Updated on August 31, 2016
Rather would cross stitch a heart than go with a cheapskate on a blind date.
Rather would cross stitch a heart than go with a cheapskate on a blind date.

So, who do you think should pay on a first date? When I was younger I wanted to be treated like an old fashioned lady and have men treat me on dates. I never asked them too, but in my first few relationships, they actually offered. There was one time I bought dinner for my first boyfriend and he balked at the idea of me doing that. However, after we had been on again and off again for a year that began to change. He made comments about how there is women's lib, but as long as a guy is still paying for the meals everything is okay. To be honest, I was taken aback by his response because, in the beginning, he had been so insistent upon paying, but later on, he resentfully listed every purchase he ever made. Honestly, I never have appreciated men who itemized purchases for others because I never thought this way. Back in the day, I was willing to treat a guy friend or any friend to some lunch or an order of fries, but that was until I discovered people keep a running tally of who paid for what.

Men Who Like Women To Pay For Them

Honestly, I really do not agree with this approach either because I have found some of these men to be exceedingly cheap. Once I dated a guy who started dropping hints about how cheap he was, and he seemed to have no qualms about me footing the bill on many occasions. Basically, the only thing he did not want me to pay for was the gas he spent to go on dates. This behavior became weirder on a trip we took to Las Vegas, and often I wondered why would someone go there if they did not want to spend money.

His reasoning behind wanting the woman to pay more than half was that he was really cheap. He was still living at home and his mom paid off his credit card, which he shared with me during one of the few dates where we paid. He loved to be treated to meals, and he jumped at the opportunity when I had a coupon to go to a restaurant. Never mind that after the date I discovered that particular restaurant charged ten percent complementary tip on top of the fifteen percent tip I had already given them, but I would never tell Mr. Cheapskate. Basically, after that experience, I never wanted to date a man who was too excited to have the woman pay.

Paying For Myself

In my third relationship the man was very generous, but later on, he threw that up in my face. Finally, I discovered I really do not want to be treating a man or keeping score, so now the easiest way to keep track is by paying for all of my own things.

The last time I even allowed a man to buy me a cup of coffee on a first date he later guilt tripped me about not kissing him. Did he really think I would do that? He may be an attractive guy, but he revealed to me that he had been dating a woman on and off for nine years, and he just wanted something intimate with me. Oh, I was very happy when he went away and did not call anymore, especially since he decided he would not get payback for his cup of coffee. In my dating life allowing a man to pay for even one thing has usually resulted in guilt trippy comments on their part, so now I only want to pay for myself.

On one particular first date I insisted on paying for my own sandwich, and later he asked me why I did that. Honestly, I am sure glad I did because he continues to try to flirt with me, but he made it clear last year he did not want to have a relationship with me. Having paid for myself made me feel confident though because he could not use the paying for the date excuse to guilt trip me. Not that I would give into that, but paying for your own food, movie ticket, and snacks gives you control ladies. If a man offers to pay for the meal you often will feel obligated to go to a movie or out dancing when he suggests this afterwards, but if you pay yourself you can feel free to leave at any time. Of course, you should always leave any date that makes you feel uncomfortable, but if you are meeting a nice man you are just not hitting it off with it feel callous to just eat and run.

On my thirtieth birthday, I made a resolution to no longer date. I am very happy single, and most of my not so fun memories are connected to dates or semi-relationships. Even though I am thirty I still feel I have never had a real genuine relationship where a man loved me. I only ever felt like an object to men seeking casual encounters, even though I have never thrown out there that this is what I am seeking. I see other women going on to be respected, courted, engaged to, and married, so I would only want to spend time with a man if things were going that way! There is someone like at the moment, but he does not notice me, so I have to get over that.

I decided I no longer want to worry about dating at all. This way I feel I am a free agent and have control over what I say and do. Besides, we can go somewhere cheap and it does not have to cost money. One big mistake we made with this economy was feeling we always had to go out and do things that cost buckets of money, but growing up I never depended on these type of activities for amusement. It was not until I was around college friends who felt this way that I started to feel I was missing out on something.

Now that I am getting back to some of the more solitary activities of my teens I feel more content with the world. The friends I still have around are only really close ones, and they are good people who do not have to do decadent things every second of the day. Sure I do many things alone, but at least I am not becoming a statistic with a revolving door of men coming in and out of my life. If I am to ever date again I want to meet him in real life and I want it to be a natural occurrence. I do not want him to be some guy who sees me walking and stops me to ask for my phone number, which I think partly explains why many of the men I date have weird expectations of me. However, since I am not overly attractive women I do not have a large pool of suitors, so I would rather have an almost non-existent trickle in hopes of finding something special. I do not expect it, but at least it will be according to my terms. Honestly, I will not compromise in any relationship and will live my life practically similar to how I have as a single person.


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    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I think the way you date sounds fair and practical for me.  I too prefer paying for my own movie ticket and treat etc, especially after I learned early on some men resent ever having paid for a woman.  One man told me he went on a blind date with a girl he considered way too expensive, but the interesting thing is he offered to pay for her fair ticket, her dinner, the movie, and he did not say no to any of these things.  I think both parties need to communicate their expectations before going on a date so there are no false expectations.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I like it when a guy is polite enough to pay on the first date, especially if he made the first move. But on the other hand I feel awkward letting someone else pay for my food or movie tickets and would really prefer to pay for my own. When a guy takes me out, it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation for him, I guess. xD

      Great hub!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Happy World,

      Glad you feel that way.  Honestly I really am not looking for someone right now, but if I even go on a date they have to be extraordinary.  Part of the reason that I wrote this hub is because last night I was walking and again after several months hiatus some guy approached me when I was walking and asked for my phone number.  I basically am tired of this and just wish they would leave me alone as in my experience no man approaching a woman walking usually has good intentions. If it is that easy for a man to approach a woman then I suspect they do this with many women.


      I am not the only person my age who has not enjoyed dating.  To me this is not an issue, as long as the guy knows right off the pat I will be paying for my own things and he can pay for his own.  To me this solves the age old debate of who pays because there are some men who are resentful of it even when they divorce their wives.  Personally I do not want anyone to feel I owe them something, and on the other hand I do not want anyone to feel the owe me something either. 


      Honestly I stopped dating when I turned 29 because I did not see the point.  That is great for all of those women who want to continue to date, but I would never want to be in my forty and fifties going on this same merrygoround. 

      I have never drank or smoke, so the bar was really not my scene. Where I ended up meeting most people was online or when I was walking some would get out of their cars and beg for my phone number.  To me neither of these venues have been successful because the men had real casual expectations, and I am just not into that.  I agree with you by not needing a man to complete myself, and as I said in my hub I almost feel like these women are becoming statistics.  I just do not understand how a woman needs a man, and I have even had younger co-workers act shocked I did not have a boyfriend.  I basically told them I do not see the point and it was not contingent on my happiness.  Most of my life I have been single and most of my icky memories revolve around dates. 

      From time to time I just like to write about these issues because I feel single people who are not necessarily dating need a voice here on Hubpages.  There are many topics on mothers, married women, but what about single women that do not have kids?  So from time to time I just like to write about these issues.  I appreciate your great comments.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      10 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Back when I did date, I'd purposely grab the check on a first date, and if the guy balked or made an anti-women's lib comment, I never went out with him again.

      SweetiePie, maybe there's a Prince Charming out there for you, maybe not. It's not the end of the world if there isn't. But if you're doing what makes *you* happy, then there probably is. Too many women think they have to be someone they're not to attract men, then can't understand why the prince turns out to be a toad in disguise. And bars are absolutely *the worst* place to meet guys!!

    • packerpack profile image

      Om Prakash Singh 

      10 years ago from India, Calcutta

      Nice Hub. Seems you didn't have good experience so far paying bills on dates are concerned. I have never been in any relationship but I am clear about this issue (I don't consider this as an issue at all), I am all cool paying bills and am not in the habit for keep a track for how many times I have paid and for whom. But if my GF would like to pay that too would be cool with me.

    • Happy World profile image

      Happy World 

      10 years ago from Slovenia, Europe

      SweetiePie I totally understand you, but I feel the same as Matt. It just feels good when you give or take care of others without any expectation. But it's true we don't need to spend a lot of money while we are together. Walking in nature is for me the best date.

      I know you will find your special someone!

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I respect your opinion Matt.  Mostly I wrote the hub because of a forum discussion that got me thinking, but I really do not date anyway.  I am sure men enjoy a woman paying for them once and awhile and there is nothing wrong with that.

    • Matt Maresca profile image

      Matt Maresca 

      10 years ago from New Jersey

      Don't get me wrong, I definitely don't keep score. I just feel like paying sometimes and if a woman were to feel like paying for me, I would not have a problem. It's a personal preference and everyone will always have your own. Just do whatever you feel comfortable with. And you obviously do, lol, that's why you wrote this hub.

    • SweetiePie profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA


      I am glad you enjoy speaking of a balance, but for me I just want to pay for all of my own things personally. Maybe if I was making a large income I would feel more generous, and back when I did I was, but I soon learned people tally and keep score way too much. Honestly there is nothing wrong with a woman paying for herself, just as long as the man is willing to do the same. However, I am the type of person that is very single, so this might not work for most.

    • Matt Maresca profile image

      Matt Maresca 

      10 years ago from New Jersey

      Interesting. Personally, I like paying for stuff for people in general. It feels good for some strange reason. On the other hand, it also feels good when I have someone buy me stuff because it makes them feel good for some strange reason. I think there can be a balance between man pays, woman pays, and both pay. Just my own thought.


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