Did You Know

Survey Shows Almost Everyone Agrees On Who Should Pay On A First Date

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When you're single, nothing can be more daunting than going on a first date.

Prior to your first one-on-one outing with a potential suitor, there are several questions swirling in your mind, such as, will they think I'm attractive, get my sense of humor, or even feel a connection?

While these are all valid inquiries, another question many of us may wonder is, who will pay?

In the past, it was seen as an act of chivalry for men to foot the bill, but in modern times, it's more common for a couple to go Dutch, or alternate every date.

But, that may not be the general consensus.

"No matter how independent you are, it’s nice to feel a little bit taken care of."

In a 2017 survey conducted by Money and SurveyMonkey, nearly 4,450 participants were asked if they believed men should pay on a first date.

A staggering 85% of men agreed they should cover the costs, while only 72% of women concurred.

Couple on a dinner date
sasint/Pixabay

According to Talia Goldstein, founder and CEO of Three Day Rule, the matchmaking company recommends their clients take traditional approach when it comes to covering the costs of a first date.

“We encourage the guy to pick up the bill. It might feel silly, antiquated and outdated in a world filled with strong, independent women, but there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of tradition.

Understandably, this can feel one-sided, daunting, maybe even unfair.

No matter how independent you are, it’s nice to feel a little bit taken care of — even if it’s only picking up a drink at the bar.

As long as the woman is grateful and not presumptuous, the guy will likely leave feeling good about this."

That being said, Goldstein added that if a woman offers to split the bill or pay the entire costs, it should only be done in sincerity.

"They should only offer to pay when they are happy and willing to," she told HuffPost. "Guys can be literal, and in today’s environment, confused on the rules. So they may take you up on paying because they think you truly want to."

However, these results conflict with the ones found by the dating app Badoo.

"Confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in a prospective partner."

In a survey of 2,000 18-30-year-old women, the dating app found that 65% prefer to pay for the outing, and another 75% have also made the first move.

"Confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in a prospective partner," Badoo psychologist and dating expert Claire Stott explained to Huffpost. "Women that take initiative and pay for dates exude self-confidence."

"Equally, men who are confident should find no issue in women who take control in this way. This reinforces each gender's actions; only unconfident men would see it as a threat."

Stott added that women understand men always footing the bill can cause a financial burden, and don't want to take advantage of their date.

"Dating apps mean that people are dating way more than they used to," she said.

"For men to adhere to the traditional (and outdated) view of paying for and initiating dates all the time, they are likely to face emotional — and financial — burnout."

"Modern women are aware of this and for the most part, don’t want to take advantage."

In a Reddit thread, one user asked this question, and the answers were overwhelmingly in favor of splitting the check.

"Whoever asks for the date should pay. The other person should offer to pay (or at least split) when the bill comes," one Reddit user said. "It would be rude for me to ask someone on a date and then make them pay for it."

"I think you should simply split the bill, unless someone insists. Personally, I’m uncomfortable with letting others pay, so I usually appreciate the offer but decline," another person explained.

Someone else chimed in, "Both people should chip in if possible. If one pays for everything and something goes wrong in the relationship the one who has always paid for everything will feel like he or she was being used."

“It’s not seen as platonic as it is in the straight community."

In 2016, a Match.com survey revealed that out of a sample of more than 1,000 LGBTQ singles, 62% believed the person who instigated the date should open up their wallets.

"The trend is for the one who initiated the date to pay, but splitting is also a viable option." Goldstein said. "It’s not seen as platonic as it is in the straight community and can even help prevent first date awkwardness."

"However, if one person pays for the first date, the other person should aim to be the one who pays on the next date."

Alex Williamson, head of branding at the dating app Bumble, agrees with Goldstein's sentiments, but added there's nothing wrong to be treated every once in a while.

"Most same-sex couples I’ve spoken to celebrate the fact that there are no rules, and most of the time, they choose to split the bill," Williamson said.

"But it is always fun to be treated to a nice meal, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation."

[H/T: Huffington Post, Independent]

Do you usually pay for the first date? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com