Should you pay for the first date?

How to decide between treating her like a princess or like an equal

First dates are awkward enough, particularly when it comes to paying. As a man, should you automatically pay for the first date?

There is not a universal answer to the question of whether or not the man should pay for the first date, particularly for the fraught dinner date. This article will help you decide on the right answer for your situation.

Bring enough money to cover your date

You do not know what she is expecting. She could be a traditional girl who has assumed you will foot the bill; this being the case, she may not even think to bring sufficient money. Even if you would prefer to split the bill, have enough cash that you are able to pay for the entire date if need be. Above all, you want to make sure that you are able to pay for the date. If you cannot budget for it, suggest a cheaper date.

Yes, you should pay for the first date

You should try to pay on the first date. However, keep any negotiations around this short. An argument about paying is annoying and awkward for both parties. You should initially offer to pay; if she is really intent on paying her own way, let her. If you are too insistent on not letting her pay, she may actually be insulted. It depends on how she expects to be treated. Frankly, you have no way of knowing. Do not assume- she may come across as independent, but she wants someone to take care of her; equally, a conservative and feminine girl may want to pay for herself so the relationship proceeds at a slower pace of her choosing.

Should she pay if she asked you out?

Etiquette dictates that the host pays. So, if it was her that asked you on the date, one could argue that it is proper for her to pay. And, if she uses that logic to insist that she pay, let her. So she does not get a bad impression of you, you should then tell her that you will pay for the next date.

Consider her circumstances

The matter of who pays does not just come down to her (and your) expectations. You also need to consider your relative financial positions. If you are a professional and she is a student subsisting on waitressing jobs, you should pay for the first date. If you are both sitting on decent salaries, or are both struggling through a student lifestyle, then it may be more appropriate to go Dutch.

It can appear that paying for her, because you know she cannot really afford a night out, sets up a power imbalance between you. However, this will be a problem with age gap (or financial gap) relationships regardless of who pays on the first date. Also consider that a younger woman going for an older guy is attracted to that security, which you have the perfect opportunity to demonstrate.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at:

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