Each month, Sparkology.com asks a curated panel of dating experts for their advice on a single hot topic as requested by our members.
THIS MONTH: “Should a woman offer to split the bill on the first date?”
All of our experts agree that the man should pay for the bill on the first date. However, offering to pay and actually paying are not synonymous. On the one hand, by offering you may gain additional insight into the man’s demeanor (will he accept? will he insist to pay himself? etc.). But don’t be too pushy with your credit card… because you may also be sending a signal that you are not enjoying the date. So: if you’re up for a fun little social experiment, make the offer. Otherwise, it’s safe just to expect the man to pay. In either case, remember to offer a simple “Thank You” with a smile to let him know you appreciate his gesture.
Here’s what our experts say:
Maria Avgitidis – No.
Men know the rules. If you cannot afford to date, you shouldn’t be dating. Since I’m sure I’ll get plenty of flack for this, let me just say I have an economics background, so, while some may say I’m anti- feminist, I say shut up– I’m more feminist then you’ll ever know.
How much does a man actually pay to get himself prepped for the courting of a new date? $4.99 on his Speedstick? Maybe he’ll splash a bit of cologne that his ex-girlfriend bought him. Women on the other hand have makeup, tights, matching undies/bras, creams, monthly wax appointments to hide the fact that we have uni-brows, sideburns, and chin hairs. Basically, all this bloody stuff just to look presentable, and not like a prepubescent boy. If you’d like the honor and subsequent pride to have a lady by your side, then men should pay for that privilege. On a pure cost-benefit analysis, the first date expense won’t even come close to what a lady spends to look like one.
Owner of Agape Match, a matchmaking firm based in NYC, which caters to New Yorkers and Greek- American singles. http://www.agapematch.com/
Donna Barnes – Yes.
If you can comfortably afford to split the check then I think it is nice to offer. It shows you want to be a partner. Most men won’t accept but if he does it can give you some insight into his philosophy.
Life & Dating Coach http://www.donnabarnes.com
April Beyer – No.
It sends the “I want to be your buddy” signal to a man. You aren’t earning any points with men (especially mature, successful, relationship ready men) when you offer to pay. It’s emasculating and neutralizes the date. Men would much prefer to see a smile on your face and hear a gracious “thank you.” That’s worth far more than your money.
Matchmaker and Dating & Relationship Coach for Women. http://www.aprilbeyer.com/
Laurie Davis – Yes.
Chivalry is not dead, but neither is politeness. Men should pick up the check on the first date, but women shouldn’t make assumptions, so reaching for your purse is best if he doesn’t immediately handle it himself.
Online Dating Coach and founder of http://www.eflirtexpert.com
Rachel Greenwald – Yes.
Women should offer to split the bill, but the man shouldn’t accept her offer. 84% of men in my research for “Have Him at Hello” said they intend to pay the 1st date bill, but they don’t want the woman to EXPECT him to pay. Therefore, men prefer the “fake-purse-grab” (“May I offer to split the check with you?”) rather than the blind eye (pretending not to see the bill)
NY Times Bestselling Author, “Have Him at Hello: Confessions From 1,000 Guys About What Makes Them Fall In Love… or Never Call Back” www.rachelgreenwald.com
Erika Ettin – No.
While I am a huge advocate of women e-mailing men on the online dating sites, I stick with the old-fashioned tenet that the man should pay on the first date. That said, when the bill comes, you have a few choices: 1) The “reach,” 2) The offer (“May I contribute?”), or 3) The assumption (“Thank you so much!”) Given that the date should only consist of a drink or coffee (no dinner on a first online date), I’d opt for #3. He may think it’s presumptuous, but it works like a charm, and you show your gratitude immediately. #2 is a close second. Just hope he doesn’t take you up on it!
Online dating coach and founder of www.alittlenudge.com
Evan Marc Katz – Yes.
You (and I) might hope that he picks up the check in full, but it’s polite to let him know that you don’t take him for granted.
Dating coach for smart successful women. www.evanmarckatz.com
Suzanne K. Oshima – No.
Ladies, chivalry isn’t dead, it’s that simple. As a Matchmaker, I am fortunate enough to hear what many men think and they tell me they do not expect a woman to pay on first date. Some men have even told me that they think if a woman offers to pay that it means she’s not interested in them. All he expects from you is gratitude and the words “thank you”.
Matchmaker & Dating Coach Dream Bachelor & Bachelorette. www.dreambachelor.com
Julie Spira – No.
There still is some old-fashioned tradition to dating and if the man asks the woman out, he should be prepared to pay for the bill on the first date. Offering to split the bill may be a kind gesture, but not on a first date, as it sends the message that you’re a “Dutch-Treat” kind of woman.
Online dating and relationship expert and bestselling author of “The Perils of Cyber-Dating,” CyberDatingExpert.com
David Wygant – Yes.
Absolutely, but don’t pay. Here’s the deal. Offer to split the bill, and if he’s a real man, he’ll pay the whole bill. If he accepts and allows you to split the bill with him, never call him back again, because he’s just a man-boy. So it’s a great way to see if you’re dating a real man or a man-boy. So always offer. It’s a great way to eliminate the pretenders.
Dating Coach & Founder of www.davidwygant.com
Do you have a hot dating or sex related question for our panel? Leave a comment below or send to firstname.lastname@example.org.