Who pays?

After splitting that final piece of chocolate fondant with date ice cream, the bill is gently placed in the middle, and suddenly there’s an awkward pause.


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Most of time, the man quickly reaches in with that “don’t worry, I’ve got it” look, yet there is an unsettling feeling that perhaps you should’ve at least offered to split it. Many still expect the guy to pick up the bill after a first date, there’s something traditional and chivalrous about it, but in the era of Me Too, should we scrap old traditions and insist on paying half, or perhaps the full amount?

According to a survey conducted by a US-based dating company Elite Singles revealed that 46 percent of women expected or wanted the man to pay on the first date, while 18 percent thought the bill should be split. The rest remained indifferent.


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Clearly more of still feel that the first meal together should be a freebie, but for others this old-school dynamic doesn’t hit the mark. Now that many of us are holding down stable jobs, paying bills and rent, and can splurge on a cheeky Net-A-Porter order, do we really need a guy to pay for our meal?

There’s also a question of male ego. If he is really keen to pay and yet you push to contribute, you could be upsetting his masculinity – after all, why wouldn’t you want to feel looked after?


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The overall feeling at EW HQ is that if he wants to pay on the first date let him, and then offer to pay for the second date (if there is one).

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