Who Pays For Dinner?
Once upon a time, when the cheque arrived at the end of a meal, the man paid. This was a given, socially accepted and understood by all. But the onset of feminism has clouded the waters somewhat, leaving many men almost afraid to offer to pay for dinner in case they are labelled chauvinistic. On the flip side, women often regard men who don’t offer to pay as skinflint – peril awaits with both options. So what’s a man to do?
When the cheque arrives, the best advice is to wait a second and see how the girl you’re on the date with reacts. Some women may automatically move for their handbag, in which case you know she at least wants to contribute – still offer to pay, but don’t force the issue. If she’s looking around the room and at anything but the cheque, chances are she’s an old-fashioned girl and expects you to pick up the tab.
When setting off on a date, always be ready for having to pay. Never assume – even if the girl seems to be very big on feminism – that she will pay. If she was expecting you to pay and you’ve not brought your wallet, it’ll probably be the death of a promising relationship. If you are paying yourself, do it quietly and discreetly and never imply that she in any way now “owes” you. Ridiculously, some men do do this, even if it is just with a cheeky comment.
In most situations, however, the girl will offer to pay fully or at least contribute. In these circumstances, insisting you want to pay is fine – but only do it once. Anything more than that and you’re bordering on insulting. If after your first insistence she still wants to go Dutch, accept it graciously. It is then critical that you don’t fall into the trap of trying to decide who ate what and paying for your own food – simply halve the bill between you, even if she did order more. If she does want to itemise what was ordered, go with it and be honest.
At all times, no matter who ends up punching their PIN number into the machine, be gracious and appear generous – but never insistent. The best thing is that, over time, this problem will solve itself as you get to know each other. So even if the first cheque arrival is uncomfortable, the next one will be ten times easier.