Men and women have different views about going Dutch on a date. ‘Going Dutch’ means both parties pay equally for the cost of the date. In the United States it’s widely accepted the man pays the bill while in most of Europe and Australia the practice of splitting the bill is often practiced. In Germany, Canada and Australia sharing the cost of a date is normal practice where both people have a similar financial status. The tradition of men always paying for a dinner date is considered old fashioned by many and dating couples generally take turns paying a bill or agree to divide it. Young women in many urban areas tend to decline accepting men paying or will often insist on paying for the following date. Some women object or can even be offended by a man offering to pay for the date so men often have to make judgment call on a date by date basis. While what is expected can vary according to the country and culture, dating is still viewed by many as being steeped in the tradition of a man pursuing and wooing a woman.
Who Asked Who for a Date?
It is widely accepted the person who asked should at least offer to pay the total bill. Asking someone on a date means you are assuming the role of host (or hostess) just as if you had invited a potential partner to your home for a meal; you wouldn’t ask for half of the costs for the ingredients!
What Type of Date Is It?
There is a big difference between two friends hanging out and going on an official date. Men and women can make a variety of assumptions when it can be a lot easier to ask and clarify before meeting up. Before going on a first date the general rule is for a woman to decide to allow the man pay. It may seem old fashioned but there are still traditional men who believe in paying for a date and insisting on going Dutch can send the message you’re not interested in him romantically and just want to be friends. The status of the activity should be understood by both parties to avoid awkward moments when its time to pay. Whether to go Dutch or not can depend on the type of date it will be with the factors of location, time and probably cost taken into consideration. On a casual date a woman can offer to split the bill or take turns buying the drinks but when a man asks a woman out for a standard dinner date she can offer to go Dutch but its courteous to allow the man to pay without making a fuss. If he has pushed the boat out with a high end romantic dinner followed by a night club or late drinks a woman can sincerely offer to go Dutch. If he insists on paying the bill in full gracefully accept with the intention of covering the costs of the next date – its not worth the hassle of making a big deal out of whose paying.
Whatever your views on going Dutch, you should know after the first date if you’re interested in seeing him again for date number 2. Agreeing or even insisting on going Dutch can depend on your levels of integrity and if you want to see him again. If you decide a second date isn’t viable it’s fair to politely offer to pay your half of the bill; this can be a subtle way of letting him know you’re not interested in seeing him again, at least not romantically. When a woman pays her own way it can convey the message to back off without being direct or rude. If a woman decides to go Dutch on the first date because she isn’t interested in seeing him again romantically this puts her in a good position to refuse any further meetings with a clear conscience.
When there are a series of dates and a relationship seems to be developing a good general rule is a woman should offer to pay by the third date. With many women now being as financially independent as men, certain guys naturally expect a degree of equality in the Dating Game. While they’re happy to pay for the early dates these men often appreciate a woman offering to treat them as well! A woman can assert her independence while allowing a man to show his interest and good manners but it can be a delicate balancing act at times. These situations have the potential to be result in awkward or even embarrassing conversations, but if you don’t feel comfortable discussing sharing the costs of dating this don’t bode well for any future relationship as conversations about finances will eventually come up.
Most men want to show a woman a good time and make her feel special but there are some men who will spend generously on a date but will be looking for a return on their ‘investment’ relatively quickly. If you identify this type it can be tempting to let him wine and dine you knowing what he’s after but this strategy can back-fire badly. Maintaining your integrity will help you avoid any bad feelings or drama; if you’re not interested walk away regardless of how much money a man is prepared to pay for a date. Many women still believe a guy should always bear the cost of a date, especially the first one and this is prudent requirement in the Dating Game. If you’re asked out to dinner on a first date and he suggests going Dutch that really should be the last date. Many relationship experts agree men should pay for the initial dates if only to give him the opportunity to show off his gallantry and good manners which are qualities most women appreciate!
Nigel is a contributor to the movie documentary ‘Looking for Love’ released in the UK on the 21st August 2015. Please check the official website for screening times and dates.
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Author Nigel Beckles