If there’s one never-ending dating question, it’s this: “Who pays on the first date?”
Luckily, after over 10 years of helping men get and keep the woman they want, I found a simple answer to that question.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to create a great impression when it’s time to pay the bill, no matter your budget.
But first, let me tell you a few things so you understand the reasons behind what I’m about to share with you. A common misconception is all women expect men to pay for everything on a date.
While that’s true for some so-called ‘Gold Diggers,’ it’s not the case for most women.
Gender equality or should the man pay it all? What science is saying…
Multiple studies have shown most women don’t want men to pay for the first date.
But they would accept it if a man would offer to do so and didn’t mind when men paid for them in the past. This is also confirmed by this informative video from KamaTV. They asked random women in the streets of London if they wanted to see their date pay for them.
So it’s actually men who expect the man to pay for the first date.
Over 300.000 singles have been asked by Elitesingles, a dating app, who should pay?
62.63% of all men said the man should always pay on the first date. But a word of caution, those studies have been conducted in the US.
And people around the world have different opinions about who should pick up the bill on the first date.
Cultural differences: who pays on the first date in different countries?
Cultural background plays a huge role.
In some cultures, the man is almost forced to pay on a date due to crazy high expectations. So if you travel abroad and ask a girl out, always consider the local costumes.
For example, in Eastern Europe, it would be considered rude for a man not to take care of the bill. Women feel not appreciated if the man doesn’t pay. But not so much in western countries. *Lucky*
Let me tell you what I mean:
Most women want to avoid the pressure of feeling like they owe you something.
Like… that you’d expect sex for your money/kindness. Hence, they might feel guilty if the man pays for everything, especially if the date doesn’t go well.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
So it’s no surprise many women stop contacting you after a date when they feel it wasn’t great. Since they might feel very uncomfortable thinking about how you’ll react.
Another thing I want you to consider is women earn less than men on average.
The gender pay gap: why women indirectly pay more for the first date
According to Pew Research Center, an average woman earns 84% of what a man makes.
There are various reasons for it, among them that men tend, on average, to have higher-paying jobs than women.
But despite having less money in the bank, women tend to spend way more on their appearance than men. Think about all the makeup, clothes, shoes, and whatnot. They buy all this stuff to look pretty for you. And compared to a $5 coffee, it’s nothing.
Random fun fact: Economists even use an indicator, the lipstick index, to determine how well an economy is doing based on lipstick sales.
So yeah, women spend a fortune to look good.
Now, where does this leave you?
What should you do now?
Split the bill?
Let her pay?
Or tell her you’ll visit the toilet quickly and then run away?
What to do on your next first date?
If only there would be a machine that would make it possible for you to read her mind.
Is she one of those women who want you to pay, or does she insists on splitting the bill?
Since there’s no way of telling, I decided to share three tips to help you leave a good impression no matter what the woman thinks.
In other words, follow those three tips, and you can’t go wrong.
Tip #1: Avoid a classic wine and dine date
First of all, if it’s the first date, keep it on a low budget.
Forget fancy restaurants and regular movie dates. It creates too much pressure on her. The woman will constantly worry about if she picked the proper outfit and what sexual activity you expect of her for paying for such an expensive meal. This pressure felt by women has been confirmed in studies.
Plus, you both won’t act naturally around each other.
The date will feel more like a job interview, where both parties dress up nicely and try to impress one another.
But the ultimate goal of a first date should be to get to know the real her. For that reason, I never call the first date a “date.” I ask her to meet up instead. We both know what it means, but meeting up implies less pressure. So I can get to know her true self.
Leave wine and dine dates for your future anniversary.
For now, meet for a quick coffee instead, especially when you both met via online dating. She and your wallet will thank you for it.
Now, if it comes to paying the bill, you’ve got two options:
Tip #2: Pay the bill and don’t make a big fuss about it
If you don’t mind paying, just tell her you’ll pay, and the next time it’s her turn.
That way, she’ll feel comfortable and (most likely) agree.
If, for some reason, the woman keeps insisting on paying as well, then split the bill and pay half.
Don’t try to argue over it.
This way, you can’t go wrong. The women who insist a man should pay are happy. The girls who instead pay for themselves are happy. And as a side bonus, it’s already implied there will be the next date.
Oh, and if you pay, don’t try to impress her by giving a huge tip. I saw some students of mine doing that. Instead, pay what you’d usually pay when you’re out with a friend. No need to flex here and show what a confident man you are.
And if she wants to invite you, then graciously accept.
Tip #3: If you’re on a budget, just be honest with her
If you’re on a budget or the woman earns more than you, there is no need to be hung up on traditional gender roles.
Just be honest about your financial status.
It’s okay if she pays the bill.
When I was a student and had almost no cash, I went on a date with a woman who was 4 years older than me and already had a job. Instead of pretending I’m Mr. Big Shot, I simply told her at the beginning of the date:
“I only got 3 euros in my pocket. But don’t worry, I’ll take you to a place with the best tap water in town.”
She laughed and said: “This is on me. Someone has to feed you, poor student, with a free meal.”
Don’t let your male ego stop you from having a great time. She’ll appreciate your honesty. To her, it’s refreshing from all the guys who’re trying to impress her.
If you still insist on paying, mention you’re on a budget anyway. The girl will cherish you spending your last cash on her. It’s a more meaningful gesture than a filthy rich guy buying her a fancy dinner.
Here is a quick recap of what to do:
Who pays on the first date?
Offer to pay for your date as a man, especially if you find yourself in a county where it’s expected of you. Avoid fancy dinner dates and meet her for a coffee to make it easier. On the other hand, you can also tell her the truth that you’re on a budget.
And more often than not, she’ll gladly ship in or pick up the check entirely.
Remember those two options for all your upcoming first dates, and you’ll be fine.
Who should pay shouldn’t be anything to dwell on during your date.
Congrats, you got past the first date, but who should pay for all the future dates?
Who should pay within the relationship?
The short answer: You both should share the financial burden.
Does it mean you need to contribute the same way all the time?
Not at all.
Remember the gender pay gap. You’re probably earning more than she does. So it’s nothing wrong with paying more often than her. But here are some more tips to avoid unnecessary arguments over who pays what…
Tip #1: Don’t take her contribution for granted
I was in a relationship where the girl bought me a video game for my birthday.
She paid around 50 euros for it. I was happy as a fat kid in a candy store. Why?
Well, because of the game. But also because, at the time, she was working in a low-paying job. 50 euros was a lot of money for her.
And she decided to spend it on me.
I could have been a total dick, considering I bought her a more expensive watch for her birthday. But considering she earned less money than me, she made a more considerable sacrifice than me.
So I told her how much I appreciated this gesture.
Tip #2: Don’t make her feel guilty for earning less
Also, if you earn more than her, consider going to cheaper restaurants and on more affordable holidays.
Some women will feel bad you spent so much money on them. And a few women might even resent you for being more successful than they are. But if you don’t want to restrict your lifestyle because you worked hard for it, here’s something you could do.
Tell her it brings you joy to make her happy without expecting anything in return.
Tip #3: Don’t lie about your finances
Did you know that according to studies, money issues are one of the leading causes of why couples break up, and marriages fail?
I witnessed it firsthand myself. I’m not proud of it, but I constantly lied to my first girlfriend about money. I was broke but didn’t want to admit it to her. I was afraid of being seen as weak because I believed: “The man is supposed to look after his woman.”
Well, all my lies did was create stress and distrust.
So I decided to never do it again. It’s simple, if you don’t lie, you don’t need to remember the stories you told. I learned this lesson from same-sex couples I knew.
They naturally seem to be quite open about their finances than straight couples. And this is not only my experience but also appears to be confirmed by some research.
Your Efficient Dating Advisor,
Herman The German