Random Inkings

January 18, 2008

Informal Dating Survey

Filed under: Random — Little Miss @ 5:41 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I was getting my nails done today and the topic came up of who pays for what when dating. It’s been a long time since I went on a formal date – and I hope to go on one in the future – so in preparation for that I have a question:

If the guy invites you on a “date”, whether for coffee or meal, who should pay for this? This assumes this is a first date.

a) The guy

b) The girl

c) Split the cost – each pays for their own

The girls I was talking with about this are Vietnamese and told me their custom is that the guy pays the whole bill, even if the girl brings along a friend, mother, her entire family, and even if this isn’t the first date. It’s a matter of honor for the guy. Of course, if it is just as friends, then they go dutch.

What say you, Internet?

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8 Comments »

  1. I’m Old School, so my answer probably doesn’t reflect today’s world, but if I was invited on a date I would assume the man is paying for everything. Now, if I was on a date and realized immediately that this was no love match, I would insist on paying my own way. I’d also pay my own way if I realized that we could be friends and nothing more.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is … if I knew I wanted a relationship with him, I’d let him pay, and not because I want a free meal. I’d let him pay because in a relationship it’s important that a guy feel he’s invested in it. And I don’t mean strictly monatarily! Oh, it’s complicated. I’ve read about a million books on the “psychology of successful couples” and if you want a much heavier explanation, email me. 🙂

    Comment by Wendy — January 18, 2008 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  2. Sorry I’m polluting your cute post with psychobabble.

    Comment by Wendy — January 18, 2008 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

  3. I love psychobabble. Really, I do. I tell my daughters that my book knowledge of relationships is excellent, but my practical knowledge sucks. When I get out in the real world of dating, I’m terrified and sixteen years old again.

    Comment by Little Miss — January 18, 2008 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

  4. Well, as a fellow psychobabbler you already know then: If you like him, he has to pay. It’s for his own good.

    Comment by Wendy — January 18, 2008 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

  5. who ever did the inviting pays, especially in the beginning and especially if it is something small. a weekend getaway probably calls for some sharing of expenses, but then one would also hope that the relationship is more established at that point. 🙂 granted, i have dated in 20 yrs….things have changed. back when i was dating, initially, i would let the guy pay. once it became clear that this was going to continue, i would invite the guy out and pay. when he would start to pull out his wallet and protest, i would say, “no, i invited you….it’s my treat. you can take me somewhere fabulous next time.” if the date is going to show, you buy the tickets ahead of time and let him pay for dinner.

    it is tricky. there were times when i knew i was more financially secure than the guy. sometimes i fibbed and said i could put it on my expense account….didn’t have an expense account, but it seemed to make the guy feel better. sometimes i would make arrangements with the restaurant ahead of time. i would tell them to not bring the bill to the table. towards the end of the meal, i would excuse myself to the ladies room, but actually go pay the check. you learn pretty quick which guys *want* to pay for everything and which ones are relieved to not have to pay for everything. for some guys, it is a matter of pride. most of they guys i dated were much older than i was and much more established.

    however, on any date, i always made sure i had money or a credit card….just in case.

    Comment by mermaids — January 19, 2008 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  6. I would agree with Wendy, initially the man, but if it’s obvious it’s a no-go, then be ready to pay your portion. Pretty much whoever does the inviting should probably pay. After a good first date, if he pays, invite him to somewhere/thing, and indicate you are paying.
    As a fairly recent internet-dater-turned-happily-married-woman I would recommend ‘Mars & Venus on a Date’ – it really helps you to understand how men and women think and relate differently – it’s kinda like a translator. All those things that we do to show that we are a strong, independant, I-can-take-care-of-myself women don’t necessarily make us appealing to a man (a worthwhile man that is). This was a big wake-up call for me.

    Comment by Jean — January 19, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  7. Great comments, peeps. Jean, I’m going to have to get that book. I’ve read the first one, but not the one “on a date”. Maybe there’s something I’m inadvertently doing, like you say. Hmmm. You figure it out, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Little Miss — January 19, 2008 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  8. If I’m invited and it’s going well, he pays.

    If I’m invited and it’s not going well, I pay my share.

    If I invite him, I offer to pay, but will compromise if he wants to split it, or insists on paying.

    All of this should be past tense. Now I stay at home with Tom, we watch old movies, and no one pays.

    Comment by moonbeammcqueen — January 19, 2008 @ 6:39 pm | Reply


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