Paying for Dates

You read my post on Cheap dates and now you’re wondering about the etiquette behind paying for dates. Well guess what, I got your back.

This post is for the fellas and the ladies. Keep in mind that I will be brutally honest with you. Sorry I’m not sorry in advance.

So just to start, here are some things that apply to everyone regardless of gender/sexual orientation

  • If you ask someone on the date, you’re expected to pay for the ENTIRE date. There is an exception to this rule BUT don’t try to be slick and make someone plan the date that you suggested so they feel obligated to pay. 
  • If you were asked on a date and expect someone else to pay, you have to do The Reach. The reach is when someone offers to pay and you reach for your wallet or purse. It’s mostly just a gesture out of politeness. It works wonders, trust me.
  • Always expect to pay for your meal. I know I said that whoever asks is expected to pay for the date but you should always have enough money to cover your half of the bill. I’ll get to this when I talk about the exception

Just to get it out of the way, there are some times where paying for PARTS of a date are cool. If you’re doing dinner and then drinks you can always pick up post dinner drinks. This is a good way to say “Hey I’m independent but also interested”. When I take a girl out for dinner and drinks and she gets the drinks, even if it’s 10% of the cost of dinner I’m immediately more attracted to her. Independence is sexy ladies, just sayin’.

One exception to paying for an entire date is Indifference to ever seeing that person again. Here are some examples

You ask someone out for a first date and you just are not feeling it. Doesn’t matter the reason you just want to get the hell out of there and never see  this person again. If they do the reach, let them pay. This might sound like a dick move but you know what, who cares? Worried about being a Gentleman/Lady? C’mon now!

Who are you trying to impress?

Will you ever go on another date with this person? Does their opinion matter to you? Do you like wasting money?

If you answered NO to all these questions why pay?

You’re essentially buying drinks for a stranger. You want to feel good about yourself after the date? Donate the money saved to a charity, buy a family member or friend something nice, treat yo’ self to a McFlurry. That McFlurry will taste SO much better than the buyers remorse you’ll feel after paying for your terrible date.

Just to be clear though, if they DO NOT do the reach, asking them to pay is poor form. I’m not very judge-y (because I’m Indifferent) but even I will judge you for that.

On the other side of the table, if you’ve been asked on a date and you’re just not feeling it you should definitely insist upon paying. This might be a controversial opinion so just hear me out.

Dating, much like any relationship, should have a certain equality to it. If you’ve been dating someone for a very long time you occasionally split checks, or alternate paying for events and that is normal. If someone asks you out they probably see a potential for something long term there. If you don’t, do you think you deserve to be paid for your company? I’m sure you’re amazing and all that but lets be real here. If you asked someone on a date and you liked them and they weren’t into you wouldn’t you prefer to have some extra cash in hand to comfort you after your rejection?

Now don’t get me wrong, you should insist to a point. But in my experience the girls who will not let you pay for an entire first date aren’t that interested in a second date. I always feel much better about a rejection when I have an extra 50 dollars in my pocket to buy McFlurry’s with.

Good luck out there.

9 thoughts on “Paying for Dates

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    • Nice tips D! Love this post! What about if you (the girl) reaches and then there is a little convo about it and the dude gives in and lets her pay for part. Should that even occur? you know i’d prefer to keep my money for the cab (if he’s lucky may a cab home from his place). What are your thoughts?


      • Hey Bendy! So I’ve been in the situation that you described so I’ll give you my insight. There have been dates where I’m interested in a girl and it seems like she’s interested in me and we have a little conversation and she insists on paying for her part of the date. You want to avoid having these conversations but they are bound to happen in two cases: 1)The girl is incredibly independent and refuses to let you get the whole bill and is interested in you or 2)The girl is incredibly independent and refuses to let you get the whole bill and is not interested in you.
        If she’s into you and the date is ending and she paid you should suggest a night cap at another location that is convenient for her to get home from and absolutely refuse to let her pay (ex. “My mom would kill me if she knew I let a woman pay for a date”). If she can’t do a post date drink, tell her that you’re planning for and paying for the entire next date, no exceptions.


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