Dating 101: Who should get the bill on the first date?

Who should pay the bill on the first date? Is it up to the man, to the person who asked the other out, or should we play it fair and split the bill in half?

Tricky as it may be, there are some fundamentals when it comes to dating in the 21st century that every modern gent needs to come equipped with.

We now navigate a world where breaking stereotypes and clichés is necessary for us to continue evolving. However, this becomes particularly delicate when looking at how we should go about offering (or not?) to pay the bill when asking a person out on a date. Should you split it? Should it automatically be the person who asks the other out on said date? Should gender play a role in the decision? Here's what some dating experts have to say about the matter.

Should the 'man' always pay?

The idea that the 'man' should always be the one to get the bill, especially on a first date, is something that predates many of us. But is it time to ditch this antiquated practice? Well, according to Anaïs Ito, a self-proclaimed staunch feminist and dating connoisseur:

Even though I am a staunch feminist, I do think the man should get the bill on the first date. I know it's "wrong" and "unfeminist", but for me it's just an old school, classy gesture or a sign of respect.

And added:

It will let me know that maybe he was close enough to his mother or father, who told him to always pick up the first date bill... it will show that we most likely share similar values of dignity and respect, that he cares, and maybe also show that he's into me in a more serious way.

In other words, upheld traditions can be a sign of shared values and thus have the ability to strengthen a connection.

The person should decide for themselves

On the other hand, other dating gurus make a fair point when they say that everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their own money. Asking someone out on a date in no way contractually obliges you to pay for the whole bill—whether that be tacitly imposed on to you by gender, social codes of conduct etc. Instead, the gesture should come organically and genuinely if the person decides to do so.

Ultimately, what we see here is that there is no right or wrong answer—people have their preferences, and the dating landscape will never have a clear-cut way to go about things. Our best advice is to follow your gut feeling; if you judge the person you went on a date with to be worth it, then do it!

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