First date politics – who should pay?

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It’s first date night. You’ve arrived at a fancy restaurant, tucked into a lavish meal and exchanged pleasantries across the table and perhaps a glass of wine. Swell.

That’s until your face begins to flush as the waiter strolls over to hand you the bill – do you offer to pay it all? Contribute just your own share? Split it down the middle? Or do you let the lucky bloke opposite you stump up the whole lot?

According to research carried out by Ocean, four in 10 women think the man should pay on a first date. Six in 10 believe the bill should be split down the middle and just 1% think the woman should cough up the cost of a first date.

So, what do you say?

“I would always offer to split it, but I guess the person who asked for the date should pay?”Hayley C, 33

“I think you should go Dutch and split it down the middle.”Christine W, 27

“In this day and age, it should be 50/50.”Katy A, 32

“I definitely think it should be all equal – they should split the bill!”Emily B, 24

“Absolutely depends on who asked who out! I’m all about equality so we need to throw away the old school thoughts about the man always having to pay!”Nadia R, 29

“Going Dutch is the right way to settle a bill on the first date. It’s 2016 and the days when it was expected that the man should foot the bill are long gone.” Linzi N, 26

“Well, I’m old school – I think a guy should pick up the bill on a first date, even if it’s a bad one and even if there’ll be no second date.”Jelena S, 38

“I think it should be the man who pays on the first date as it shows generosity, initiative and that he wants to impress you and continue on to a second date.”Anastasia L, 30

“I’m very traditional. If someone’s asking you to go out with them, I would kind of expect them to pay. I would still offer to pay half but wouldn’t expect they would take me up on it.”Sarah N, 30

At the other end of the table, men were much more likely to offer to bear the brunt of the bill, with almost two thirds willingly taking out their wallet to cover the cost of a first date. Just over one third thought the bill ought to be split and, as with the women we spoke to, just 1% of men thought women should pay the whole lot.

And what do the guys say?

“I don’t think either should feel obliged to pay the bill, but if I genuinely like the person a lot then I’d probably offer to pay the entire bill. I don’t feel like the man should be the one to pay the bill no matter what though. In most cases I think it should be split in half.”Dan G, 22

“I think it should be split down the middle to set the precedent going forward.”Chris R, 33

“The man should pay, but this shouldn’t mean that this will be taken for granted every time.”Stelios C, 34

“I think if you’re still gauging whether you like each other it’s a bit unfair for one of you to pay for everything. If she just assumed I’d be paying for everything on our first date that would be a bit of a red flag for me.”Simon T, 31

“It no longer matters who pays, although I think it’s nice for the man to offer first.”Steve H, 38

“This is dependent on each scenario. You have to gage the person you are with. I think old fashioned kindness goes a long way. Ultimately whoever you date, if they are a person you value or want to be with, the gift will keep on giving far beyond any monetary value.”Christos S, 41


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