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What he expects you to pay for on the first date

Paul Fowler is a digital marketing specialist with and a freelance writer based in Berlin. Passionate about culture, travel and tea, his writing has taken him all over the world (including a 3 year stint in Colombia) and seen him...

be cool with your cash on date one

From SheKnows Australia
Traditionally the script for a date was always more or less the same: Boy asks girl out, they go on the date, boy pays. As Bob Dylan once sang, however, the times they are a-changing.
woman paying bill at restaurant

Every man is different, but generally these days men are much less likely to consider it set in stone that they'll cover the whole bill — in fact many of them find the notion very off-putting.

The assumption that they will provide the whole night doesn't just give off a sense of cheapness, it also stamps on the years of work women have put in to be seen as equal. A date these days, after all, is much less the guy's attempt to woo a woman than a recognition of mutual attraction. Plus, it's hardly out of the ordinary for women to ask men out on dates.

That said, while many men won't expect to pay the whole bill, they're also hardly about to give up their sense of being the "manly provider" by allowing you to foot the whole thing. Equally, many still want to be seen to be chivalrous by paying at least the majority,and some just get a kick out of treating a beautiful lady to a delightful night.

If it sounds confusing it's because it is, but there are some foolproof tricks to keep him and you happy with how the date went financially.

So what's the etiquette when it comes to paying? Providing the date is going well, here are some great tips (if it's not going great, just split the cost 50/50 and get out!).

A coffee/ice-cream date

Offer to pay half, but if he insists then be gracious and let him. Be sure to be just as determined to pay for coffee on date number two, though.

A dinner or lunch date

If you decide to go out to dinner, offer to pay 50 per cent of the bill. There's a high chance he'll refuse your offer and you should accept his generosity with a big thank you and an offer to pay for drinks in the next place you visit. If it's lunch, suggest going for a coffee or dessert and cover that.

A non-spending date, such as a walk

Sure, a walk shouldn't cost money, but if sparks are flying then there's no doubt you'll end up doing something, even if it's just having a coffee. Take the initiative and suggest to him that you go for coffee and that it's your treat. He won't forget your generosity and it'll no doubt pay off in the long run (next date: a fancy restaurant!).

A cinema date

Everyone knows that the cinema experience is one of the most overpriced dates you can go on, but it's always a winner thanks to its simplicity. Your best bet at the cinema is to get in there early and offer to pay for the tickets. If he insists you don't, assure him it's best if you pay for that since you're going to take full advantage of him at the popcorn stall.

A museum/gallery date

In Australia these are generally free, or at least low in cost. If he offers to pay whatever minimal entrance fee there may be, accept graciously. It's not much, after all, and you can grab the coffees when you go for a chat about the exhibitions you've just seen.

A concert date

Going to a concert is a great idea for a date if you share a mutual interest in a band, or just in music generally. More often than not tickets will be bought in advance and probably by him. If this is the case then arrange to meet early and buy a round (or two) of drinks before getting into the gig (where drinks will be at a premium!).


The easiest thing with a taxi is to offer half, but don't be too worried about letting him pay the whole thing, especially if you've been very Australian moneyconscious about sharing the rest of the bill throughout the night.

If the date ends up in a hotel...

Keep ahead of the game by splitting everything completely down the middle. You made the decision to go back to the hotel as a smart, independent woman and you'll be treated as such.

Generally it's always a good idea to offer to pay half and if he insists, be sure to pay for something as a token of your appreciation. Every man is different, of course, but for many it's no longer about being pretty and laughing at his jokes. Most men want to see you're smart and independent, so why not start showing him on date number one?

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