A question like this can change any group conversation to a heated debate, surprisingly. So many different opinions and different reasonings as to why.
Me? I’m not fussed either way. If a guy insists on paying I’ll let him. If I offer to split the bill and he agrees I won’t get offended. It doesn’t faze me either way.
However I have friends who disagree wholeheartedly. One saying that if they’ve gone to the effort of asking them on a date she expects them to pay – basically it was their idea therefore they should foot the bill.
Another friend thinks that it should be split because of feminism. Full stop. I’m not sure what’s feminist about it, but that’s how she feels.
Talking to a few male friends they all said they would insist on paying because it’s the right thing to do. The right thing? I get it’s more traditional, but tradition isn’t always necessarily right, or for that matter wrong.
The waters get even muddier when you throw in an expensive location – the person who suggests an expensive restaurant should be the one that pays, apparently. It’s too embarrassing to tell someone you can’t afford a certain restaurant so you should definitely split it or the person who initiated the location should pay, says another.
After a quick search on google it turns out that several researchers claim that when a man pays for dinner his expectations of sex go up. Are there really blokes out there that think that in exchange for a meal they should expect sex? I think they’ve mistaken dating for prostitution.
I could be wrong, it could be that if a woman allows a man to pay for dinner it’s a subliminal signal that the date is going well..? No? The weirdness of humans really is interesting.
All of this debating really does scream of sexism (so did the majority of my friends responses to my questions). But another aspect of society’s sexism is that we generally assume the man will always want to have sex with the woman.
This all seems to boil down to the fact that no one can win. Whether the man pays, the bill is split or the woman pays. Someone is going to feel ripped off, p*ssed off or emasculated by what’s taken place.
The answer.. don’t sweat it. Whatever happens just go with it and realise dating is no longer black and white. The lines are as blurred as ever and who pays on a first date is the least of your worries.