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Who Pays on the First Date?

How to Gauge Money Habits on the First Date

We experience such a flurry of emotions on the first date — happiness, excitement, and maybe a little bit of nervousness. These reactions are all normal given that this probably is the first time you and your date are spending quality time with each other. I know many of my girlfriends play back the date in their minds, trying to analyze the guy’s actions, and some of you may start thinking about signs that reflect a person’s money habits. Here are some to watch out for:

If he pays for the date: If he asked you out and if he pays, he’s probably a traditionalist, which can be a good thing if you think men should pay for the first date. It’s also normal to go dutch so don’t panic about it and immediately jump to the conclusion that he’s stingy. If he's expecting you to pay, he might just be cheap, or maybe he thinks you ought to pay if you asked him out. He can also be low on cash or you might be misinterpreting things and you might actually not be on a date.

If he pulls out all the stops: If he's spoiling you with a one Michelin star dinner and some kind of extravagant entertainment after, you might have a cause for concern if he's a starving artist. He might be living beyond his means or living on daddy's paycheck. Alternatively, he could be saving up money for this one special occasion, but a first date might be a little too early for all of this pomp and circumstance. He could also be a successful high flier and have the deep pockets to afford to splash the cash on you.

If he uses a coupon: In the era of daily deals, using a Groupon is not anything out of the ordinary and it doesn't mean you need to start categorizing him as an extreme couponer. Using a coupon might carry a stigma though, and some girls might see it as being too cheap to pay full price for a date. But that's not always the case, so don't judge a man by his coupons!

Read on for more signs.

If he's a poor tipper: Although one may immediately jump to the fact that the guy is miserly, perhaps your date is from a country or culture that doesn't tip. Or maybe he doesn't believe in or understand the act of tipping. If he's going to pay for the date, a good solution is to offer to cover the tip. If this guy seems like a winner, wait until you get to know each other better before bringing the topic up.

These signs are quite general and sometimes it takes time to see what a person is really like, so don’t jump to any conclusions unless your gut insists on it. What money habits on a first date are red flags to you?


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