Who Should Pay the Tab on the First Date?

A hotly contested subject with ChicagoCheapAss.com’s writers is: Who should pay the tab on the first date? The girl? The guy? And why? Take a look at both sides:

Rob Johnson, representing a Male’s Opinion:

The simple answer- its depends.

On what? It depends on how familiar you are with the person you are meeting. If you just met someone at the bar, going on a first date or in a relationship, there should be a different expectation to buy someone drinks, dinner or pay for a  night out.

If you are going out with the hopes of meeting someone, that is to date or hookup, I would not buy or accept drinks. Until you know that there is a genuine level of attraction between you and the other person, don’t invest too much of your money or energy.

Too many women use their looks or fake sense of interest in a man to their favor. This mindset to dating tarnishes the allure and spark of potentially meeting someone. Just like the man who assumes you own them something because he bought you drinks.

When you first begin going on dates with someone, it’s a good idea for the guy to pay. Its a simple act of flatly, that is not only respectful but shows that you have a vested interest in getting to know your date and build a sense of attraction.

Once you are going on dates regularly, it is fair to rotate who pays. I typically follow the rule of thumb, whoever initiated the outing, should pay.

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Mallory LePage, representing a Woman’s Opinion:

Should men take the lead and pay for the first date to maintain a slight bit of traditional dating to allow women to practice being courted?  Here lies the debate of who picks up the tab for the first date. In a poll conducted in 2013 by LearnVest and T.D. Ameritrade, 55% of men said they thought the man should take the check while 63% of women expect the man to pay.  There is noticeable gap of inconsistency here.

From time to time, I find myself having similar conversations with both men and women.  Men often complain that they have to spend an enormous amount of money on numerous first dates whether it is dinner, drinks or both.  In these conversations with male friends and relatives I’ve found that they haven’t really put much thought into what women invest in for a first date.  In the defense of women, my dispute is the amount of money and time that we spend annually on products and services to maintain the way that we look in attempt to charm an attractive suitor.  Recently, I sat down to calculate the approximate amount of money I spend annually on hair upkeep (cut and color), hair products, hair appliances, makeup, face products, nails and that monthly visitor.

The results were staggering.  Annually, I spend roughly $5,000 on the bare minimum. This does not include products or services that men may also utilize including facials, massages, manicures/pedicures, clothing, jewelry, shoes, birth control, fragrance, gym memberships, body lotions, undergarments or lingerie.  I would consider myself to be in the median of this number.  There are women that spend much more than I do especially if you’re factoring in any form of Botox but also women that spend much less time and money.

A man paying on the first is not meant to undermine the strides we’ve taken for feminism and gender equality. As long as women are giving birth, there should always be some variation of obligatory practices that men should abide by including opening doors, allowing women on and off elevators first, arranging the evening, walking on the traffic side of the street and paying the bill on the first date.  Keep in mind; this is just the first date, beyond the first date or even first round of drinks it’s more than appropriate and acceptable for the woman to step in.

So who should pay the tab on the first date? Share your opinion in the comments!

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