DEBATE: Should you expect a man to pay on the first date?

Should a man pay on the first day? Does it not matter who pays? Two of our writers go head-to-head – let us know which one you agree with!

Why you SHOULDN'T expect a man to pay on the first date

Kayleigh Dray
Closer Online's Deputy Editor Kayleigh Dray thinks we need to forget about a man paying for us on the first date - period.

So apparently it can't be true love if the man doesn't pay for us on our first date, eh?

I call bulls**t. And I don't care who knows it.

Who on earth has the arrogance to go into a date assuming that some guy we've only just met is going to pick up the bill at the end of it all? And, more importantly, why have we decided that the last word in romance is a free dinner?

Love is free - and, call me crazy, but I'd much prefer a guy who didn't have to rely on the contents of his wallet to show me that he respects me.

You know, by listening, by asking questions, by not answering his mobile phone at the table, by being interested, by showing up on time… all that kind of stuff.

Relationships are about equality, fairness, and mutual respect – and please note my use of the word MUTUAL there, because it's an important one.

Men need our respect, just as much as we need theirs, which is why I always go in on a first date expecting that we'll be sharing the bill come the end of it.

It's not just about being a fierce independent woman (although what' so wrong with that?); it's also just good manners. Would you ever go to meet a friend or colleague and assume the bill is taken care of?


Don't get me wrong; I don't mind a guy offering to pay on the first date. It feels nice for whatever reason (maybe because I rightly or wrongly correlate that with my date's level of interest) - and who doesn't love a free dinner?

But if he doesn't offer to pay?

Well, I think I'm smart enough to realise that being treated like a lady ISN'T all about what money can bring to the table - it's about how someone makes me feel.

And, if he really is the kind of guy I want to date, he should respect me for offering to go dutch - not feel embarrassed or put out by my cool independent sensibilities.

Stop feeding into this outdated assumption, everyone – stat!

Should a man pay on the first day? Yes he ABSOLUTELY should

Jack White
Closer Online writer Jack White thinks by letting him pay, you’re simply letting him be a gentleman. And what’s not to love about that?

This doesn’t mean you're any less of a strong, independent woman – it’s simply a mark of respect on his part.

I hear women constantly complaining that chivalry is dead: he didn’t hold the door for me, he didn’t call when he said he would, he didn’t offer me his jacket when I was cold.

But then they go all Beyonce when it comes to the first date and insist they don’t need a man to pay for them.

Him paying on the first date is about a lot more than your own financial security. It’s about showing that this “thing” is going to be a lot more than a dinner between strangers.

Why not let your maybe-future boyfriend wine and dine you intitially?
Of course, if you absolutely have no plans to see him again, stand your ground and pay half of the bill. But if you can see something blossoming, don’t get off on the wrong foot.

Put yourself in the guy’s shoes. He’s been bragging to all of his mates that he’s finally got that girl to agree to go out with him.

He bigs up the location, more than likely drops the amount it costs for a standard meal for two there, and shows up, looking like an excited puppy.

And then, after a perfect date, you practically hit him with your bag as your scurry for your purse, in a rush to show him you don’t rely on anyone.

Not only is he going to feel emasculated, but he’s going to be embarrassed when he comes clean to his mates that ‘she paid’ and also, no matter how much you don’t think guys worry about this stuff, he’s going to be questioning whether or not you like him.

If you don't allow a man to pay on the first date, you can no longer complain that chivalry is dead
Marni Battista, founder of DatingWithDignity.com, said: “A lot of women think, ‘if he takes me out, then I own him something’. You don’t owe him anything…just allow him to play because that’s a part of dating.”

After the first couple of dates it’s more than acceptable to insist on paying half, but never any more than this. Unless of course it’s his birthday or you’re treating him.

Being strong and independent doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be treated like a lady. They say the most gorgeous thing a man can be is chivalrous, so why not let him? It’s the mark of a true gentleman, in my opinion.

Closer magazine cover