As of late, the topic of dating etiquette has come into question around my office. Should a guy always pay? Should a girl always offer? The ladies at the magazine were definitely divided, which is why I commissioned a co-worker to come up with a few helpful tips to ease some of the awkwardness that arises at the end of the date.
THE FINANCIAL RULES OF DATING
Written by: Tara M. Guillaume
1. Guys, foot the bill on the first date, especially if you extended the invitation. Don't let the the tension build while the check sits on the table.
2. Ladies, let the man be a man. Your first date is not the time to proclaim how financially-able you are by picking up the tab. Concentrate on your date, not the check.
3. Ladies & gents - only accept a date from someone you are attracted to or could potentially like, not because you want a free meal. Anything else is utterly selfish and inconsiderate.
4. Ladies, there's nothing wrong with asking a guy for a date. Men love it. But be prepared to pay. Arrange with the maitre d' to have the bill sent directly to you or pre-pay the bill. Most importantly, don't expect for your date to pick up the check just because he's a man. While it's nice for him to pay, know that ultimately the check is on you.
5. Ladies, don't feel obligated to reciprocate "payment" with a kiss, sex, or cash.
6. Keep convo light around bill time. Don't speak about finances right before the check arrives - otherwise it sounds like you're leading him to pay.
7. Men, stop rifling through your wallet. Always come prepared for the date you initiated. Stop off at the ATM or your friend's house for whatever ends you need to pay for your date.
The B-Life Financial Dating Tips (just a few more):
- General rule of thumb - the man should fully handle the first 3 dates
- Ladies, don't just be polite and pretend to offer to pay if you don't have it. Once the offer is made, he might actually accept - whether you think it's appropriate or not.
- After a couple has gone on several dates (3 or more), the woman should start pitching in and cover some outings. Asking a woman to tip is a great transitional step to sharing financial responsibilities.
- Guys, if you're meeting your girl's friends for the first time in a social setting, offer the entire group a round of drinks on you (or coffee or pick up the lunch tab). A little bit goes a long way.