This article was originally published by AskMen UK. Try and do the gentlemanly thing, and you could end up looking a sexist dinosaur; split the bill, and the only thing you could end up kissing goodbye is the chance of a second date.
Indeed, you need to tread carefully. To get to the bottom of this thorny issue once and for all, we asked 10 women for their opinion on the matter — from a feminist commentator and sociologist to model and porn star.
Wallets at the ready, chaps. The Dating Coach Her take: Modern men should do things old school. The Journalist Her take: A woman, if accepting that scenario, should go well prepped to pay all bar bills thereafter or, like I did, arrive with a bottle of something lovely in a gift bag, thanking him for a wonderful eve in advance. The Sex Blogger Her take: When guys try to pay it's often deeply awkward: I offer to pay half, he insists, I get frustrated because I earn my own damn money and I can spend it how I like — then he continues to insist and I feel patronised.
We usually never see each other again. You should always split the bill on a first date. Insisting your date pays implies you don't want to be there, or your time's worth more than theirs. Paying for the other person implies that you think very little of yourself — you have to give them something other than charm for them to like you. If you're worried about money, go somewhere cheap [the pub] or free [a museum].
Leave expensive treats for when you know each other better. The Stand-Up Comic Her take: If someone suggests the Eiffel Tower restaurant they should stump up for the airfare and meal and pick somewhere less tacky. Or the man should pay because men make As long as paying doesn't come with any type of 'expectation' then I think chivalry is fine. I would always offer to split the bill or pay the whole thing but I shouldn't because men earn more… Also maybe pay for the condoms as well.
The Glamor Girl Her take: If I had to pay or go halves, that would put me off a man. No having dinner at his house either… a woman should be taken out and wined and dined properly. The Academic Her take: Chivalry involves rituals of men treating women with an elaborate regard and politeness, which serves to mask the fact that men dominate the public sphere and have social and economic power over women as a class. Payment on a first date also ties in to notions of ownership.
So the whole question is based on a very patriarchal set-up, and has substantial implications within sexual politics! I think that while some men may be fairly progressive about the payment question, culturally men clearly still have difficulty with women doing things equally. I would remind men that women are human beings to be respected, not commodities to be purchased.
The Athlete Her take: Many women earn more than their male partners — and I'm the first person to stand up and say I can do anything a man can do — but it just shows that a man is willing to protect and provide for the women if she were to need it. But I don't think the man should pay for every date after that.
Either split it or the girl should treat the guy sometimes and show him how much he means to her. The Showbiz Reporter Her take: Pay — for the right reasons. Of course, somebody does or the restaurant will be up in arms. That being said, if somebody wants to treat you — lovely! But that should be a decision from the heart, not the pants. The Feminist Pundit Her take: I guess it rumbles on because of all those dreadful dating books we've had [e.
There still seems to be a certain kind of guy out there who doesn't mind a token gesture to pay that he can instantly turn down, but who becomes downright butt-hurt if his date insists — in the 'chivalrous' manner he might adopt himself — on doing something nice for him. Which is not nice at all really! The Porn Star Her take: Insist on going all the way, fellas. Of course, if the date goes badly then the man can happily agree to split the bill, and also split ways. Well, the official AskMen take is, unless you specifically know that your date expects otherwise, you should offer and intend to pay for the whole bill on the first date.
If your date absolutely insists to either pay for you or split the bill, and is willing to fight you on it, just go with it. That being said, don't just grab the bill and make a big macho show out of paying.