He pays, she pays

Today’s post is about the age old question of who pays on a date.  Now there are varying opinions on the subject.  I have a traditional, old school, older friend who says men should always pay, especially on the first date.  I tend to agree about the first date.  If he can’t pick up the tab, what does that say about him? 

I’m dating someone now who pays.  He pays for everything.  Saturday we went to an open house at the EBA artists’ collective, ok it was free.  We then went for bubble tea, he paid.  Then on to a concert where he also paid and bought drinks.  I get the impression I’ll never have to open my wallet with him.  Now that’s not a bad thing as I’m between contracts at the moment and funds are uber tight.  But what would most of my female peers think?  Would they be ok with letting a man pay or would they insist on paying their share, half?

As someone who has been on my fair share of dates, ok maybe more than my fair share, I’ve seen some pretty funny stuff when it comes time to settle the bill.  I had one guy at a bar say: “Ok I’ll pay for this drink, you get the next” on a first date.  There was no next, I quickly hightailed it out of there.  My traditional older friend said: “Screw him, if he makes a fuss over the first drink he ain’t worth your time.”

I have a girlfriend who pays in function of who invites whom.  She invites, she pays.  I don’t know, not terribly romantic is it?

What do you think?


5 thoughts on “He pays, she pays

  1. Marc says:


    Not being on so many dates, I would agree the man pays for the first date. However, the following dates can be discussed as to what, where, when and how it is paid (if there is a cost associated) Some things are free!!!


  2. Jay Dubs says:

    It’s 2008. Not paying for anything sets up an inequality in the relationship, first date or no. Inequality is so last-generation. Why should date nights be any different than going out with friends? j.

  3. Christine says:

    Ah-ah, can’t pass on this great opportunity to share my little story. I had a visitor last weekend, a guy who was my very good friend with benefits when I was in university. I had not seen him for probably 10 years. So, the guy shows up for the weekend without a bottle of wine, a little gift, I don’t know, something… Maybe it’s me but I always bring something when I intend to crash at someone’s place for the weekend. I enjoy good things so I always have lots of wine, beer, spirits of all sorts (particularly whisky, yum!), and also lots of good food, which I love to share with my friends, and everyone else, actually. I had prepared a nice dinner with moose and dear meat for the night he arrived and we had lots of beer, special wine out of my cellar, digestifs, Spanish coffee, etc. It was nice to reconnect after so long but I wasn’t sure I was still interested in the benefits. I live in the market so the next few days, we spent time walking around, buying stuff for meals for the rest of the weekend. I have a generous nature so I will typically always have my wallet ready. He did not once offer to pay, not for anything. I even took him to LCBO and kept asking if he wanted to buy anything (hint-hint!), to which he would simply answer “no” while I was holding wine that we needed to prepare the meal and beer that we had talked about. The only bill he picked up was at a pub in Chelsea on day 3, and the only reason he did is because I turned around 180 degrees on my rotating stool when the waitress brought it.
    The relevance of this story: Big, big turn off. I am generous but not stupid. I will always offer to pay, first bill or not, and I am happy to. It doesn’t matter if you are a man of a woman anymore, just as Jay pointed out. It is nice when both participate (or at least offer) and although it is acceptable that the “richer” one of the two picks up more, it shouldn’t be demanded, or even expected from the other. The best thing that can happen to me on a first date is fight for the bill.

  4. Jacob says:


    The way I see it is not how much we spend that makes a difference instead it’s how much we make or plan to make in the future.
    What’s better to see than two people fighting to pay the bill … isn’t it a sign of generosity to be a gentleman?

  5. Luisa says:

    Hi there…

    As someone with more traditional views on dating, it seems most proper that the man always pay for the first date. On a second date, the woman may offer.

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