Michael 84

Who Pays On The First Date? The Man, Woman Or A Split? Here’s How To Know

Monday, 9th September, 2019

Let’s talk about the minefield that is dating. It’s a crazy, scary and big world out there. The first date is the first step.

You eventually find a woman, ask her out, and at the end of the date the cheque comes…There’s the awkward feeling and a small moment…

Who pays on the first date?

There’s of course a ton of advice, some traditional, some more modern. Traditionally It was always expected that men would pay for women for the first date, and in fact for all dates, but we’re in a whole new world now. In fact, we’ve been in the modern times for years now.

Here’s my guide into the first date, and the awkwardness of who’s going to be paying for it.

If You Ask A Girl Out On A Date, Be Prepared To Pay

If you ask a girl out on a date, you should pay. I am quite an old fashioned gentleman kind of guy, and I think that if you are the one asking a girl out, you should be paying. However are these old fashioned values out of place in today’s world? Kind of.

In my opinion, you are asking the woman out, in a date situation, so you should be expecting to pay. You’re offering to take her out, so therefore it kind of feels natural that you’d be paying, as long as it’s you taking her out.

Of course many will point out that the vast majority of the time, it’s the guy asking out the girl, so they’ll end up almost always paying, which is true. The answer there is that only ask out girls you really want to take on a date.

However, there is a BIG difference in you expecting to pay, and your date expecting you to pay. More on that below…

Side note: Make sure you look the part. Here’s what to wear on a first date

Date Night vs Out With A Friend – Make The Situation Clear

Sometimes the lines between a date and going out as friends can be blurred. There’s a few little signs you can have to make sure you know you’re looking to be on a date with a girl. First off, make it known from the outset, ask her out.

Since you’re asking her out, YOU choose the date. Pick something you can comfortably afford, and as already mentioned, be prepared to pay for the entire date. Drinks, bowling, restaurant, cinema…

Whatever it is, you’re taking her out, so ensure you can afford it.

If you’re out as friends, then she’s just a friend, just like a guy friend. If you treat your guy friends to things, there’s no reason not to treat her, but usually friends take care of their own finances, or at least alternate between paying.

If She Asks You Out On A Date – Who Pays?

So what if a woman asks you out, who’s going to pay? In the modern world, it’s not unheard of for the woman to ask a man out, however it is still in the minority. This is where you’d need to use your own judgement.

In the worst case scenario, a woman may ask you to take her to the most ridiculously expensive restaurant which you can’t afford, expecting you’re going to pay for it. Why? You didn’t pick out the restaurant, you didn’t even ask for the date.

It sounds like she wants you to fund her expensive tastes.

In this worse case scenario, turn down the date, or offer an alternative. This is not being cheap, this is being reasonable.

If she really wants to go out with you and not your bank account, she won’t mind.

In a normal scenario of a woman asking a guy out on a date, you should at a minimum offer to pay half. When the bill comes, offer to pay, if she offers or insists on paying half, that’s cool.

What If She Offers To Pay?

If she offers to pay, you can meet half way and split the bill, or offer to pay. You can work this into something cheeky like you’ll pay for this one and she can pick up the next one, or drinks. This of course depends on how the first date has gone.

If she absolutely insists on paying, rather than making a scene you could offer to pick up the next one.

How Is The Date Going? – This could dictate whether you offer to pay or ask to split the bill.

If You Like The Girl & The Date Is Good, Just Pay!

OK So you’re on the date, you really like the girl, everything is going good. The bill comes, what do you do?

Just pay!

This is another case of where you have to use your own judgement and figure out what you should do. In all likelihood, you should offer to pay, and pay the bill. Hopefully she likes you too, and it’s the first of many dates. Congrats.

The Date Is Terrible, You Don’t Want To See Her Again. Where Do You Stand?

If you’re on the date and don’t like the girl, and you think that you’ll not see her again, or at least, not want to, then you can consider splitting the bill. This is especially true if she is the one who asked you out, or if it was a mutual thing.

Still, in the real world, you should still be expecting to pay the bill, even though it may not be right. This doesn’t mean you will, but it’s always wise to be prepared. If so, just pay and get out of there as quickly as possible.

If she offers to go dutch, then cool, let her pay half. If you don’t think the date went well, chances are she didn’t either.

If she has attitude and is expecting you to pay, just pay the bill, take the moral high ground, and chalk this one up to experience. Never see or contact her again, and at least you have a story to tell.

What About The Second Date? And All The Other Times You Go Out

This is where it can get tricky. The general rule of thumb in the modern day is that you should take turns paying. If you’re going to a restaurant, you could alternate on paying. If your going out for drinks, you can buy in rounds and take turns.

As long as you’re on the same page, everything will be fine.

Under no circumstances should you be paying for everything, every time. This is the modern age, not the stone age. If you’re picking up the bill and financing every night out or activity, you’ll look and feel like a mug. Have more self respect, don’t be the doormat kind of guy.


So the verdict is, if you’re asking a girl out on a first date, you should pay. Not because society has told you to pay, but because you’ve asked her out, and want to pay. There is no real down side to this, as long as you’re taking control and picking out the date.

Usually if you offer to pay, the reaction she has is a good judge of character: She may offer to pay half, and then you can decide what to do from there.

If the date goes bad and you have a feel for the girl and it’s the gold digger vibe out for a free meal, you can always ask her to go dutch, knowing that she’ll probably refuse, so you’ll pay anyway. You leave with dignity and respect, she leaves with nothing.

You don’t need a woman who thinks, “you’re a man, paying for things is your job”. You’re better than that!

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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