Last updated on Jun 10th, 2021 at 04:54 pm

Today women enjoy a greater level of economic equality than ever, but this has made the dating landscape even trickier to navigate.

At one time, there would be no question about the man paying for everything, but that is no longer the case and that means figuring out exactly how to answer the question of who pays, and when.
When it comes to paying for a date, there are three options: either you pay, he pays or you â??go Dutchâ?? and split the check down the middle. The trick is figuring out which is the right option in each situation.

Generally speaking, itâ??s not really as hard as you think.  There are some general guides you can use to dictate the proper response when the bill comes.

When you should definitely pay
If you suggested the date itself or the restaurant where you wound up, then itâ??s only right that you should foot the bill, or at least offer to. Itâ??s hardly fair to nudge him in the direction of a pricey restaurant only to demur when the cheque comes.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

That will just make him feel bad and make you look bad, which doesnâ??t bode well for a continued relationship.

If it’s a first date and he does pay, if you want to see him again it’s a good idea to say, “The next one’s on me,” as this will ease any worry on his mind that you’re going to take advantage of his generosity.

What if you earn a lot more than him?

If there is an obvious difference in your financial status, that should also dictate who does the paying, but it can be a dicey proposition. Many men are put off by the woman being better off, so you should never lord it over him or make a big show of paying.

If you are indeed better able to pay, then just subtly reach for the bill and do the honours. If he insists on paying anyway, donâ??t fight him on it, but suggest that you go somewhere else for dessert as your treat.

Don’t assume he’ll offer to pay

Of course, you should never presuppose that heâ??ll want to pay. Always make sure that you have enough money with you just in case. This will help to avoid any uncomfortable situations. Whether or not you continue with the relationship after that is, obviously, up to you. But at least this way youâ??ll be covered. 

Generally, if a man wants to make a good impression on you, he will foot the bill. Many women are turned off by perceived stinginess in a man, not because of the money itself, but because of what the lack of generosity says about the man and how important she is to him.
In most cases, the rules of etiquette suggest that the man pay for the first date, but you should never take that for granted. If conditions dictate a change in the social landscape, then roll with it. Unless you are completely not hitting it off, you donâ??t want to allow money to become a major point of embarrassment. Roll with the punches as best you can.

When you should ‘go Dutch’

The one situation where splitting the bill is the acceptable automatic response is when an evening has started out as simply two friends getting together and romance blossoms spontaneously. In this case, the burden shouldnâ??t be on any one partner but rather shared by both of you to reflect the mutual attraction youâ??re now sharing.

If you’ve been dating for some time you can opt to split the bill on every date, or simply pay for your own food or ticket when you go out. Some couples also like to take it in turns to pay, but this is something you should discuss with one another when you’ve been on a few dates.

Deciding who should pay is really something that you need to play by ear. Gauge what the circumstances dictate, but donâ??t allow yourself to fall into the trap of feeling obliged to repay in kind romantically if he ends up footing the bill. Thatâ??s never a good way to start a relationship and with women able to take care of themselves financially nowadays, it should be a thing of the past.

Image courtesy of