The Rules for Who Should Pay for Dates
6 First (and Second) Date Dos & Don'ts
Dear April Masini,
I’m going on a first date and I'm really nervous about it. I especially hate the end of the date when the bill comes. Who should pay? Should I offer? Should he pay? Should we split it? I need some quick first and second date tips."
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Whose Treat?,
Money matters. Most marriages break up because of differences in sex and money, and anyone who thinks money -- and who pays for a first (and second) date -- doesn't matter, is fooling themselves. The first date sets the tone for the rest of the relationship. It also gives each person another clue into who their date is and how they behave with money. For instance, if the date is dutch, there is a strong possibility that the rest of the relationship will be at least 50/50 in terms of money -- and more. In fact, women who take part in dutch dating, will often find themselves doing more of the work in the relationship if there is a marriage and children, for the simple fact that men can't have babies, and there is no 50/50 in that endeavor! Most men who allow their date to pay for half of a first date are either not that committed to the date or else will expect to be taken care of later on, down the line.
The only time that this is NOT true is when a woman asks a man on a date -- which I do NOT recommend. Whomever does the asking, does the paying. And women should not do the asking. Sorry ladies. That's the truth if you want to be in a committed relationship with a man.
Men don't want women who are too easy to catch. Remember -- men want to feel like they won a prize in their woman. If you act like you're the party favor instead of the sought after first prize, he's going to treat you like the party favor -- something that's given to everyone for just showing up. So consider yourself first prize, and make him work for you so that when he does win you, he feels like the conquerer and the winner. Believe me -- he'll want to pay for your dinner because it makes him feel good.
Knowing all this ahead of time will eliminate the jitters and anxiety that come from not being sure about how you're going to handle the check-paying on a date. Believe me -- there are enough things on a first date to be nervous about. This is one that you can let go. For some great ideas for fun first dates, check out my book Ideas for A Fun Date .
Below are some First Date Rules to make your relationship go more smoothly.
April's First (and Second) Date Dos and Don'ts:
First dates can be ignitable or real duds -- and the trick is that sometimes the ignitable first dates fizzle out and fade away while the real duds just take longer to get going and slowly boil. Here are some tips to make first date conversations get you where you want to go -- learning about your date and having fun doing it.
- Ask what you want to know. Why bother with superficial questions that riff on that old standby, "What's your major?" If you know what you want in a relationship then you won't waste time on a first date or a first date conversation.
- Tell the truth, but don't give your entire unedited autobiography during dinner. The idea is to go back and forth in a conversation. Be aware of who's doing most of the talking. If it's you, stop and ask some questions.
- Relax. It's great to want to impress someone, but if you spend the entire date on your Christmas dinner behavior, you'll have kept "the real you" from them, and maybe even vice versa!
- Don't focus too much on talk about what "your type" is, and why you've been unsuccessful up to now. By describing your type, you may be insulting your date -- besides which, if you're so sure of your type, why are you out on a first date?
- Don't be rude or use questionable manners. Don't say, "Shut up," "Get out," or any other playful put down -- and don't curse. Learn to communicate without these crutches. Besides, no man wants a woman who has bad manners. He wants a woman he can introduce to his business colleagues and friends and have them feel envious.
- Don't start asking your date to commit to a party in August, a weekend in September, and meeting your friends at Christmas -- on the first date. Even if you like this other person a lot, stay cool. Don't play all your cards at once, and don't make commitments so far in advance on a first -- or second -- date.