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Paying on the First Date


It's your first date with a lady. Should you pay for everything? Should she pitch in for part - maybe her food, or drinks? Should she pay if she invited you out? What if you don't like her, or she doesn't like you, and it's obvious you two are never going to see one another again? What other factors should be taken into consideration? I recently queried the readers of The Don Juan Newsletter for their opinions on Paying on the First Date. This is what they had to say.


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I have just completed my first year of marriage. Before marrying at age 30, I dated several people and was engaged 7 times (including my husband). Here is how I have always handled the paying thing.

You have basically 5 situations:

1) M and F are already pre-acquainted (meaning you have met and hopefully spoken in a non dating situation). The person who asks should pay.

2) Same as above except they know each other from work. Then they should both pay.

3) Blind date initiated by F or friend of F. F should plan to pay for both; and M should offer to go dutch. The couple then decides.

4) Blind date initiated by M or friend of M. M plans to pay and F offers to go dutch. Again couple decides together.

5) If it as been decided that M or F is paying and person not paying sees the payer ordering cheap (the lowest price on the menu, $5.99) but you want the Surf n Turf deluxe (highest price on menu $25.99), offer to go dutch or just order cheaper.


Now here are some of my dating rules.

1) Find out what the payer is ordering and try to keep your cost within $2.00 of that.

2) I hate it when a guy drinks too much. If you would usually drink a pitcher or two with your meal, DON'T. Ask the F if she would like to share a pitcher of Bud, if she agrees get 1 pitcher and make it last until the main course is served (or better the entire meal); always ask the lady before ordering a second pitcher (regardless of who is paying, you don't want to look like a lush do you?).

If the lady declines the offer to share a pitcher, just order by the bottle and limit yourself to (say) three bottles over the meal. Or you might ask if she'd prefer Wine instead of Beer. And whatever you are drinking (alcohol wise), if you are 1/2 way through glass 2 and she/he is still working on glass 1, you need to slow it down.

3) Do not, I repeat DO NOT, flirt with anyone except your date. I personally have been known to empty a pitcher on someone's head prior to storming out of a restaurant. If you are on a date give that person your full and undivided attention.

4) If you are at a place that everyone knows does not serve alcohol (i.e.: McDonald's or they have a big sign on the door reading 'sorry no beer or wine'), DO NOT ask for it.

5) Do not say you will call if you won't. I hate when a guy does that.


I would pay for everything on the first date as a matter of fact because I would feel weird if I suggested otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some idiot who gets taken for a ride by women, I never get played or used but the first date is different....in short paying for everything makes you seem grand, sophisticated and elegant.

However it is very nice when a girl volunteers to buy the second drink, it shows that she is considerate and sincere....and we all like that right?


The man should pay for everything on the first date, including the tip. No matter how bad it's turning out, let it be a learning experience. Chances are you'll get to know your potential romantic interests a little better before going out to dinner together.

If she insists on paying, and you like her, tell her she can pick up the tab the next time. That way, you can be assured of a second date if she likes you enough.


Yes, the man should pay for everything, especially if he is the one who asked for the date. I lose respect for a man who expects me to pay, and don't feel loving towards him at all.

However, if the woman asked HIM out, she should pay for the date, but he can offer to pay for some things.

Truthfully, I hate when I have to pay for a date when he's asked me out...I think LESS of the man and think he's CHEAP and TACKY. But I will sometimes ask a man out and be prepared to pay for it. Or, if he's out of work, then I'll foot the bill. But don't expect me to all the time!


It is really nice when she offers to help pay, but I don't believe that I have ever, or will ever accept; at least not on the first date, no matter how bad or good it goes. However, once in a relationship, I not only will accept it, but expect it as well.


For me, it's better to still pay your full attention to her even if it's really obvious that she doesn't like you, or you don't like her. Since women are more emotional than men, in this way she might put some interest in you.

Or maybe if you don't like her at first, maybe she is not that beautiful as you've expected. Upon pursuing to talk to her, you might see her in a different way other than physical outlook. There are a lot of women who will keep you smiling and laughing in many things. With this you will find her attractive and very nice to be with. For me, it is still better to date a simple women, rather than a women who has a face of a beauty queen.


On a first date you should never put yourself in a position where paying for everything would add up to be a lot of money. Dinner, maybe a movie, ok - but nothing else. After that you should find something to do that doesn't cost money.

If you realize you don't really like her, then don't pay for anything. What's the difference right? But not to be rude, you can pay for something that is not really expensive - coffees, a snack - you know. But if you really like her you still shouldn't spend too much either, because then you can look like you're trying too hard to impress her. And if you don't spend enough you will look cheap.

On a first date, If you really like her, you shouldn't spend more than $50 on her. if you don't like her but don't want to be rude split the cost of everything, and then maybe buy her something small.


You should always pay, no matter if she invited you, you invited her, you don't like her, she doesn't like you, whatever.

Although she may not like you, one of her friends might, and depending on what she says about you, you might have a date with her friend, and might not. Plus that new girl at work you've been eyeing may be her friend. And when girls "talk" they share a lot more than guys do.

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