Who pays?

My friends and I are having this active debate right now.

The topic was: “On a date, who usually pays?”

This question was derived from my conversation with CL the other night.

We were talking about mundane things, when the topic veered towards dating. “When I’m on a date, the girl and I usually go dutch,” he mentioned.

Now, putting this conversation in context, CL and I are going out for the very first time very soon.

Hence, blame it on my conservative Filipino background, but when I heard him say this, I was really caught off-guard. Honestly, I am more comfortable when guys at least insist to pay for the first date.

It shows their interest…

…that they want me to see this get-together as a “date,” and not just “hanging out.

For example, if I’m totally not interested in a guy, I would most likely insist on paying for my share, indicating that I’m not obligated to go out with him the second time. In general however, I usually allow guys to show their gentlemanliness by allowing them to pay for the first date, with me giving back the next time, either by treating them the next time, or footing miscellaneous expenses such as the taxi fare or popcorn.

But as my friend JD had said, “It all depends on the culture.

In our culture,” he stated, “It’s usually the guy that pays and asking to go dutch could mean different things. Maybe he’s cheap, maybe he feels it’s not really a date but a friends thing or maybe he wants it to appear that you are both equal. In the Philippines, guys would be expected to pay outright.

However, in the more modern Indonesia,” he added. “At first, it’s not abnormal to go dutch, and later on, the guy would start paying more anyway. They would pay more later because later dates means you guys are closer and more likely to get together.

There’s no right way,” he summarized. “It’s a matter of preference so there is no right way to do it

My Western friends offer a different perspective though.

When my Canadian guy pal heard this, he vehemently replied, “Most girls are still living in the 1960s. Girls want to be treated well (equally) in terms of everything else, except for picking up the check. This whole idea is a cultural relic that only the cheapest of the cheap ass women hang on to! The idea of the guy paying just went out of style when women started becoming more independent.”

“Put it this way,” he continued. “If you demand that the guy always pays, then you are insisting that he pays for your company! And do you know what that means?”

And he’s not alone with this mindset.

Most Western guys feel that as woman are now more financially capable and demand equality in most areas of life, it’s just fair that they pay for their own share too.

Sigh, maybe am just more Filipino than I thought.

For me, it’s not about buying the pleasure of my company. I mean, I don’t go out with guys because they pay for expensive meals… there has to be something else there to keep me occupied, otherwise, I’d just stay home and entertain myself with a good book.

I am no gold-digger, and I can financially sustain my own without a guy taking care of me, or paying every single time.

However, I also believe it’s gracious for men to insist on paying if they can afford it, at least most of the time. Maybe it’s the invisible rules and norms that’s been subconsciously ingrained into my head, but simply said, I can’t really explain it, but just feel that it’s good manners and gentlemanly thing to do.

As there are no right or wrong ways to do it, I can only say what would make me feel comfortable.

For example, I feel uncomfortable if a guy pays ALL the time. It shows some expectations that he is buying my company, and I’m obligated to show him a good time (which a guy does anyway, regarding of the circumstance).

Likewise, I feel uncomfortable if we split the check all the time. Call me a prude, but I am just more attracted to chivalrous men. Going dutch all the time indicates that we’re merely hanging out, and I have no obligation at all to see you as a romantic interest. Simply said, telling me how much I owe after the first date makes me feel uncomfortable.

Furthermore, I see it as a sign that he’s not really that interested and he’s just being practical (e.g., he won’t see me again, so why waste money impressing me?).

Instead, I stand in the middle.

Yes, I admit I am still quite conservative in such that I somewhat expect the guy to handle the bill at least, on our first date, with me graciously offering and actually treating him the next or 3rd date around. Yes, of course, I will still graciously offer (though I do hope I will be gently rebuffed), but overall, majority of the bill would be foot by the man, BUT I will still do my part by taking care of miscellaneous expenses such as the taxi fare or popcorn.

When I go out with CL, I will not expect that this will happen though.

However, it would be especially nice if it did.

Regardless of the outcome, I refused to be bothered by the “Who pays?” issue as I will, as always bring enough moolah to take care of my share in case we actually did go dutch.

Who foots the bill is just a minor part of the date, and will just let him worry about that, with me deciding what to do when we get to that point.

Instead, I would just concentrate on having a good time and getting to know him better.

Which is exactly the reason why I’ve agreed to go on the date in the first place anyway. πŸ™‚

So anyway, comments would be appreciated.

In your humble opinion, who do you think should foot the bill during dates?

Is the first date any different from the next succeeding dates?

And if a guy hints on going dutch, do you think it’s any indication of lack of interest?

Thanks so much in advance for your comments!


Oh, a surprise from my Inbox today. Here’s some snippets of it:

Well, you said this (email) does it for you…..!

Lets see……

I’m a happyish reading sporty kind of a guy, loves truth and honesty, hates artificial ppl, attracted to intelligence and happiness (anyone you know?) loveskids, hates cats, looking for a potentially serious relationship, with a view to the big M, thoughobviously needs to take it slowly, step by step. Hates cheating above all else, old fashioned romantic at heart, wants to be a knight, believes in love, but isn’t exactly hopelessly naive either. Likes alive, trustworthy, intelligent, happiness, active, nonsmokers, sexy IN THAT ORDER, and has observered you are BIG TIME all, (with a little uncertianty as to no.2) so is hereby…

So… a date! Want one! With you! Will call you, cos well that is just the way it should be.

Don’t worry, it’s a friend.

I’ve met him, so we’re good.

Not some random stranger I’ve met in a bar and gave my email to (Don’t need to do that btw).

Actually, we were having some pepperoni pizzas and Long Island Iced Teas at Citizen Cain till 3AM last night with some other friends. It’s our crazy way of rewarding ourselves after a few hours of climbin’.

Totally fun, we were joking around and laughing. Aaaaah…

To tell you the truth though, I was quite surprised to get this email. And honestly started to freak out a little bit. πŸ™‚

Let’s just say that I don’t often get super-direct attention from guys who know almost exactly what they want. Most guys just want to play, are lost, or don’t know what they want.

“Sound like what you’re looking for,” my guy friend said, “Give it a try. Why not?”

Haha, you’re right.

Why not?

Let’s see where this goes.

My god, I can’t believe how my single life has morphed into…

The moment you’re accepting, content and happy with being single…

Guys just come totally knocking at your door! πŸ˜‰

It’s been a slew of dates so far, getting better and better as I go on.

At this rate, guys would have to book 2 weeks ahead (okay, that’s a complete exaggeration!).

But seriously, life is totally good.

And it’s indeed an exhilirating ride.


Have a good Friday now!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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7 thoughts on “Who pays?

  1. who pays ? πŸ™‚ should be the same way you are with friends right ? I pay one and maybe the other person pays one but it doesn’t have to be strict right ? If the other person is so insensitive as to always take and not contribute, its not really a trait that would help towards a freindship let alone a long term relationshp right ? πŸ™‚

    I promise myself that I will not try the ‘random stranger’ routine lol how bout the ‘hitch’ random stranger routine ? πŸ˜€

  2. Hey @l, with friends, it depends. I’m usually more comfortable paying alternatively (e.g., you pay this time, I pay the next). Hence, we’re not just sitting on the table counting how much change we get. I feel that’s just crude.

    A few friends prefer to go dutch, usually woman, but I’m more comfortable with the former. In general, if I earn substantially more than my friend, I pay most of the time, asking them to get me the next time (and hopefully in a cheaper restaurant). If a person lets you treat him/her all the time without contributing at all, there’s a problem so watch out for that person.

    What’s the “hitch” random stranger routine? πŸ™‚

  3. ooops… forgot to reply πŸ™‚ you know from the movie Hitch

    Chip trys to hit on Sara (a stranger)
    Chip (David Wike): “I couldn’t help but notice you look a lot like my next girlfriend.”
    Sara: “What’s your name?”
    Chip: “They call me Chip?”
    Sara: “Aw, you can’t get ’em to stop?”
    Chip: “That was funny.”

    Than Hitch jumps
    Hitch: “Now on the one hand, it’s very difficult for a man to even speak to someone who looks like you. But on the other hand, should that be your problem?”
    Sara: “So life’s kind of hard all around.”
    Hitch: “Well, not if you pay attention. I mean, you’re sending all the right signals: no earrings, heels under two inches, your hair is pulled back, you’re wearing reading glasses with no book, drinking a Grey Goose martini which means you had a hell of a week and a beer just wouldn’t do it. And if that wasn’t clear enough, there’s always the ‘bleep off’ that you have stamped on your forehead.”

    and further on ….

    Hitch: “Because whose gonna believe that there’s a man out there that can sit down beside a woman he deosn’t know and genuinely be interested in who she is, what she does, without his own agenda?”
    Sara: “Yeah, I wouldn’t even know what that would look like. So what would a guy lik that say?”
    Hitch: “Well, he’d say, ‘My name is Alex Hitchens and I’m a consultant.’ But she wouldn’t be interested in that ’cause she’d probably be counting the seconds until he left.”
    Sara: “Thinking he was like every other guy.”
    Sara: “Which, life experience has taught her, is a virtual certainty. But then he’d ask her name and what she did for a living and she might blow him off. Or she might say…”
    Hitch: “I’m Sara Melas. I run the gossip column at the Standard. And then he’d ask all these penetrating questiens about it because he was sincerely if atypically, interested.”
    Sara: “No.”
    Hitch: “No?”
    Sara: “He’d be interested. But he’h se that there was no way he could possibly make her realize that he was for real.”
    Sara: “Well, he could be funny and charming and refreshingly original.”
    Hitch: “Wouldn’t help.”
    Sara: “Don’t you hate it when that happens?”
    Hitch: “Not really.”
    Sara: “They’d both probably go on to lead the lives they were headed toward. My guess is they’d do just fine. It’s a pleasure to have met you, Sara Melas.”

    only in the movies lol What I like is how it identifies the problems with trying to approach a stranger πŸ™‚

  4. hi raven! haven’t been able to visit your blog for the longest time! got busy ever since school started

    well for me, it’s a bit uncomfortable at first if the guy pays.. based on experience, my guy friends always offer to pay for everything, for instance, my guy “kabarkada” and i joined our class for an out of town trip and we ate at this resto for a stopover.. he insisted to pay. i’m sure there’s nothing going on there cuz he has a girlfriend.. hehe
    anyway, i also have this close guy friend who turns out to be one of my close friend’s ex. he always pays. all the time. last time we went out was 2 months ago. from dinner, to movie, etc he pays. so there. sometimes i also want to be the one to pay just to give something back ^^, but i dunno somehow it just makes me feel good that they offer to pay even if you’re not going out on a date, ‘cuz you know, maybe it’s just a way of making you feel that you’re being taken cared of.. heheh


  5. @l, thanks for sharing with us that scene from Hitch. Yes, I understand how difficult it is to approach a woman. However, I do think the best way to handle it is — just do it. Be genuine and just approach her. If u get blown off, that’s fine. As the movie says, “They’d both probably go on to lead the lives they were headed toward. My guess is they’d do just fine.” Life goes on. Things will be okay. Your ego will heal. But heck, who knows? If the girl is friendly enough, she WILL give u her number. Good luck!

    Jes, you’re right. My expectations must be a Pinoy thing. It’s not about the money per se, but making the girl feel more like a lady. Feeling protected sabi mo nga. Haha, sayang… there’s not too many gentlemen here! Haha, so u girls are just lucky back home! Good luck in school!!!

  6. I don’t really think expecting the man to pay on the first date and then more often than not afterwards is “standing in the middle”. It’s pretty old-fashioned, i.e., it’s not equal between the sexes. Your policy basically makes it impossible or, at the very least, a great burden for a man who earns less than you do to date you.

    The Canadian dude’s right. Equality isn’t something that applies only when it works out in your own favor. Still, most women still don’t make as much money as most men. Maybe the fairest way is for whoever makes more to pay more. If both people make about the same, then go dutch or take turns.

  7. Haha, thanks Mark for leaving a comment. The thing is, if the guy doesn’t make a move to pay, I personally don’t consider the brunch/lunch/dinner a date — instead, will think of the guy as just being friendly and we’re merely hanging out. If that makes me traditional, then so be it! Blame it for being born and raised in the Philippines! Whether or not it becomes a habit, or we take turns in the future is irrelevant. Having the guy pay at least for the first date takes the awkwardness off who’s taking care of the tab the first time you go out, and makes the first date a more enjoyable one for me. πŸ™‚

    If on the other hand I stubbornly insist on paying (and yes, this has happened), better watch out. Most likely, it’s because I don’t want the guy to think this was a date and want to lessen my obligation of going out with him again.

    Besides, I don’t insist guys to pay every single time. My SOP is to let the guy pay when he wants to and when he can, but I still pick up the slack and pay whenever I can. So it more or less comes out even in the end. What’s more, there are pros on having the guy pay on the first date. For one, it gives me the chance to counter-offer and say, “Next time’s mine,” which opens the door to a second date if I’m somewhat interested! And that’s always a good thing! πŸ˜‰

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