The Bottom Line on Who Pays
Men-If you ask her out you should pay. If you don’t know her well (met online) it is perfectly acceptable to meet for coffee or one drink. You are not expected to buy someone you don’t know a meal. It is appropriate in 2017 to have a first date be a coffee date. If a woman is offended by this I suggest you move on and see that you dodged a bullet.
- Ladies-You should always offer to pay your half. It is a gesture that shows him that you do not expect him to pay. It shows that you respect him and yourself enough to make the effort. When he declines your half of the money simply say thank you.
- Men-If you like her after the coffee date invite her to dinner and you need to pay for the dinner. You are in the courting stages and should be making an effort to show her a wonderful time. You don’t need to pick an expensive restaurant. Obviously not a fast food chain but perhaps a nice Thai Restaurant.
- Guy and Girl-Now you are dating. And dates should be balanced. I would suggest you take turns paying as opposed to going Dutch. It just feels better when you take turns treating each other. Cooking a meal together is one of the best and affordable dates where no one has to pay (with the exception of the groceries).
- The only exception to this is if one of you has a much larger income and there is a clear understanding and no one feels they are being taken advantage of. If she makes $200,000 a year and wants to take a cruise with her new boyfriend she can offer to pay. Especially if he tiled her bathroom floor or helped with a home project. It would be perfectly reasonable for her to say “I really want your company on this cruise and appreciate all you do for me plus I just got a big bonus and want to treat us.”
Some of this may seem unfair, conflicting or a double standard. But it is the right thing to do. And if you are looking for a healthy, happy relationship this what you need to do!