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Who Should Pay The Bill?

Dear Sugar
I have been on three dates with this really great girl. We met at a friend’s birthday party and immediately clicked. I got her number and asked her out a few days later. Our date went really well; we had excellent and steady conversation, great sexual chemistry, and lots of laughs. I paid the bill, drove her home and kissed her goodnight. I asked her out on a second date which wound up going just as well as the first date.

A few days later, she called to ask me out. She picked the restaurant and drove us to dinner. Again, we had a great time. When the bill came, we were both still finishing our wine so neither one reached for the check as I was under the impression she was treating.

This standoff lasted quite a while until I realized she wasn’t going to offer to pay. I ended up paying the bill and took her immediately home. I was so shocked I honestly don’t think I will ever ask this girl out again. Am I overreacting? What are the rules when it comes to paying on a date? Peeved Peter

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Peeved Peter
There are no set rules to dating. Every person is different and every couple has their own views on dating etiquette. Typically, when the man asks the woman out, especially on the first date, it's customary that he pay. However, in this day in age, anything goes. I feel whoever initiates the date should be responsible for taking care of the check.

I understand your irritation; chalk it up to poor etiquette, but are her tactless table manners worth giving up on that same girl you liked so much on the first date? Some girls, like this one, are firm believers in traditional old-fashioned values, i.e., the man always picking up the tab. Perhaps someone should remind your gal pal that we live in the 21st century and it's OK once in a while to treat if you are both employed.

I think it was a pretty lame move on her part, but she was sending you the message that she wanted you to treat. I'll bet she thought that if she picked up the tab this time that she would be setting a tone with you. Clearly, she doesn't to ever be responsible for the bill. I will say, even if she didn’t intend to pay, at least she could have gone for the fake wallet grab!

Join The Conversation
Vsugar Vsugar 10 years
Yeah, I never pay - well, that's not really true, but it's rare, and only when we are really boyfriend/girlfriend. I don't think it's as much a rudeness thing as it is an old-fashioned thing. I also had a boyfriend once who complained that I never paid for anything, but he made LITERALLY twice as much money as I did, and so I never really thought about it - is this a possible explanation? I can understand that the gesture is nice, but maybe she wanted to take a first step by asking you out on a date, rather than just being pursued. I would let it go and give it some time. If you find that in other ways she is rude, or selfish, or stingy, you have your answer - ALSO, don't forget that women analyse EVERYTHING, and maybe she spoke to someone before the date who told her to let you pay because men always like to be the pursuers and her asking you out AND paying might come accross as too aggressive?!??! I mean, REALLY. Maybe she got some bad advice. I would forget it and learn about her character in other ways.
jnicole jnicole 10 years
I think she should have paid, she asked him out, and everything. I dated a guy that said on our first date "the guy always pays" he even made fun of some kid that was letting his girl pay. So in our case I liked to rub that in even 2 years later..... but in this case that girl should have paid she was pretty rude for doing that.
Regular_Lady Regular_Lady 10 years
She ASKED + she PICKED THE RESTAURANT + she DROVE = she PAYS. I agree with Valeri. More than likely, she just wanted to see him again and proposed a date. HOWEVER, if she couldn't swing it, she should have offered to cook dinner or suggested something extremely low key - but on her dime.
pinkangelmonkey pinkangelmonkey 10 years
talk to her. i have a couple female friends that are used to the man paying but wouldnt mind paying if the subject was brought up. dont be mad when you paid since it was the first time that happened and it clearly isnt a pattern. i always pay when its my idea. or if we are doing dinner and a movie i get one or the other. you cant be mad when you dont know her reasons. but dont throw away something if you felt something just because of her manners...that would make absolutely no sense at all.
getstinko getstinko 10 years
2 things. 1. she's a total loser for not at least offering, guys really should pay because you are courting her and because gentlemen should pay - but she should at least fake interest in paying. 2. don't continue to throw expensive meals at her unless she starts asking you in for a night cap
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
In high school, we had sorority dances, where the girl asks the boy to the dance. The boys always paid for the limo, and dinner. Maybe, it is a southern thing. :? Other than that, I never asked a boy/man out...I waited until they asked me out. This was a million years ago, before the feminization of men took place. I don't think you should hold it against her. If you are going to get upset over this, do her a favor, and don't ask her out again. Trust me, after we pay for the clothes, shoes, make-up, hair & nails...your still getting the better end of the deal. I think it is fine for the girl to pay for coffee, or lunch but, during the courting period it is really important to be a a gentleman....well, it's always important. This is just my opinion, take it for what it is worth. :)
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
"hi! i found this really great restaurant and i'm dying to try it out. only problem is i can't afford it so would you take me?" sounds like she's 12. if this girl wanted to simply see him again she could have invited him to the park for a picnic or over for lunch or out for coffee. this is worse than just bad manners, it's a sense of entitlement to whatever she pleases at his expense. i'm old school but in old school we beat the occasional spoiled brat butt for misbehavior.
DearSugar DearSugar 10 years
I feel like once in a while it's ok to pick up the tab for a guy while a lot of my friend's disagree. My father used to say that girls have to buy make up and accessories, so a man should buy you food. But Dad is old school and chivalrous.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Exactly sweet once ur a couple its different but it sounds like they are still courting. lol Now Froggy went a courtin is in my head. Hazel perfect way to put it. It doesnt make her selfish esp when we dont know her side of it. jmo -------------------- -------------------- Watch us play secret santa, and every tuesday fab find for our wishlist!
hazel_eyes_smile hazel_eyes_smile 10 years
She definately should have paid, however, I wouldn't end the relationship over this. If she's truly wonderful, over-look this for now. Maybe she's old-fashioned. Maybe she was raised to let the gentleman pick up the tab. Maybe you make more than she does so she feels you can afford to treat her. You won't really know until you ask her, and you can't really ask her until you know her better. The next time you ask her out, say something casual, like "I'll get the dinner, you get the movie and the drinks, okay?" Gently set the boundries before you actually go out, so she knows where you stand. Think of it as a test: If you guys can compromise over this, then you will be able to compromise over larger things when you're actually a couple. Good luck!
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I agree Blue. I think she should have paid for half the date since it was her idea. Everyone likes to be wined and dined but it was her idea to go to dinner in the first place.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
it just seems weird to me that she wouldn't even offer to pay for something, it sounds like she's taking advantage of him. maybe it's the area i grew up in but i never met a couple where one person was the sole responsibility of treating the other to dates. it feels kind of self-centered and child-like.
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i do not think i ever paid for a date while i was still being courted. however when we were boyfriend\girlfriend id chip in or pay but by that time his money was my money anyway hahahahahhahaha lol jk
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
It also depends on how she asked him out. If she was take me somewhere it was expected, if she said join me then I see where hes coming from. But ALOT of people are raised that way so it isnt considered rude to them. I know because I was raised in the south and its expected that the gentleman do the courting its very old fashioned but ya know? Also it could have been a test old dude. Some women want to test you out, if she thought there was more to you she could ahve been seeing how youd act and if youd come back around you might have passed. Never know some women are weird -------------------- -------------------- Watch us play secret santa, and every tuesday fab find for our wishlist!
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
i've always gone dutch. one pays for the movie, the other pays for the dinner. it's weird that she would ask HIM out and not even offer to pay. poor manners indeed.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Ive always went with the guy pays but the guy also asks out. So I wouldnt know real rules. Im pretty old fashioned though and alot of girls are... Sad you might miss up mrs right because of how she may have been raised. -------------------- -------------------- Watch us play secret santa, and every tuesday fab find for our wishlist!
JessNess JessNess 10 years
I always have the policy that the one who asks a person out pays but I always offer to pay at least my half and if he insist on paying then Im not going to stop him
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