There’s that awkward moment at the end of every first date. You’ve finished your dessert and sipped the last bit of your glass of wine, and the check arrives. In order to not seem like a cheapskate, both you and your date reach into your pocket or purse to attempt to pay for the dinner.[related]
But who should really pay the bill?
Some people would say: Hey, it’s 2017! Men and women are equals and should split the bill, especially if the date is a more casual affair. Some men, however, would feel emasculated if — God forbid! — a woman were to pick up the check or even attempt to do so. He would insist on picking up the check and then create an awkward moment. And if you’re playing by that old-fashioned rule, well, who pays for the bill on a same-sex date?
The answer to any bill paying queries on a first date is actually really simple. Whoever initiated the date is the one who should pay. According to the etiquette guide Emily Post, that is the true answer, and it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
The person who asked the other on a date technically extended an invitation. They (presumably) picked the restaurant, so the evening is a reflection of their wants: both wanting to spend time with the other person and wanting to eat at a certain place. And if you were interested enough in someone to ask them out, you’ll probably want to make a good impression by covering the tab.
If you’re feeling awkward about not ponying up for dinner, don’t worry! You can offer to buy some drinks at the bar or pay for movie tickets after the meal. And if you want to make sure you make a good impression on that first date, click here for tips.