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Who Should Pay for Dinner? Dating Advice from the Old and New Schools

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INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT

Upscale. The place is full but it’s still intimate. A MAN and a WOMAN sit at a table as they finish a piece of cake. By the flirtatious look in their eyes, they’re feelin’ each other. Mucho.

Woman
That was delicious.

He smiles.

Man
Yeah, I could definitely eat that every night.

She blushes, clearly liking the implication.

Man
I’m glad you finally let me take you out.

Woman
Me, too.

A WAITER comes by and leaves a check on the table. They both look at it, not knowing what to do.

Have you experienced this situation before? Are you about to go on a date and feel nervous about what to do when the bill arrives?

Don’t worry, we’re about to break it down.

William (Old School): Back in the day, it was automatic that the guy would pay for the bill. When I asked a woman out, there was no hesitation on my part in terms of paying for everything. I was raised to take care of my lady and I did just that. But, there were things that I looked out for when the check arrived:

*Did she expect me to pay?
*Did she offer to contribute to the meal?
*Did she thank me for paying?

I always looked out for these things because it said a lot about a woman. If she didn’t even try to contribute, or say thank you, I felt like I was cheated. And it always told me she would probably act that way in a relationship. So, I always say the man should always pay for the meal while looking to see what the woman does. HOWEVER, if you’re always going out, allow her to pay every now and then.

Lauren (New School): My dad made some good points, but that was WAY back in the day. Times have changed. I don’t think it matters if you’re a man or a woman. What matters is who did the asking out?

The Man said to her: “Thanks for finally letting me take you out.”

So, he should pay because he asked the Woman out on a date. I am strict about this because it should be balanced. The guy or gal shouldn’t always pay. If you’re going out on a date every week then it’s not cool if one person is always paying. Plus, that ends up being a lot of money. And in this economy who can afford that? Just being real!

What if you both are on a budget? What if you both don’t have that much money? What if the above situation involved two women or two men?

If you begin dating someone on a regular basis, eventually you two will form a routine. Naturally, one person will plan a date and then the other will do the same. If it’s one-sided, consider moving on or letting that person know that he or she needs to step up their game.

Lauren and William: So, we’re giving you two different opinions. Remember, though, no one is right and no one is wrong. The most important thing is doing what you’re comfortable with while also making healthy choices. So, feel free to pay if you’d like. Just make sure you’re not the only one always hitting up the ATM.

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About HowtoGetRealDating

  • Michele

    I am a Marriage Proposal and Romantic Date planner. I think definitely in the beginning of a relationship a man should pay for the first few dates. It can even out later :)

  • monika r

    i dontn care what year it is a man should pay for dinner. after all, we have the babies, are pursued for the sex, have to take more risks, make less money for doing the same work, have to get prettied up for the date – is that not fair. i think it is!

  • Jackie S

    I’m “old school” but an independent thinking female, who prefers to pay for or contribute to paying the bill. I feel I’m more empowered and in control of the outcome at the end of the date.

  • nunya

    Bunch of stupid women out for a free meal is what it seems like. Women should always contribute in these times. It’s not like we have a hunter/gather economy, everything costs a lot, and typically women make the same or more.

  • lenana

    I would not go out by myself even if I had money. I am going out with my man because he wanted me to. A real man always pays for his lady and shouldn’t expect ANYTHING in return as it’s her giving him a favor of accompanying him. If it was my suggestion, I would offer to pay or at least split, but again a real man will say “it’s ok, I’ll take care of it” in 95% of cases.

  • maryjae1

    I guess I’m a little ole-fashion with a contemporary flare! I believe a gentleman should always be expected to pay, particularly if he is in pursuit of a lady. Once she gets a feel of his genuineness she won’t mind contributing. Only expect what one is capable of giving.