Who picks up the tab?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Who picks up the tab?
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 4:52pm
Hi, I'm Kelli, and I'm new to this board.

When it comes to the question of “who pays?” on a date, I know it’s up to every couple to decide what they want. But I’m just curious how all of you handle this “issue” at different stages of the relationship. So here’s my question:

Who pays on the dates during the start of the relationship (and please define “start of a relationship” – first 3 dates? First 3 months?)? And who pays when you’re in a steady boyfriend/girlfriend relationship? Do you think it should be the man most of the time or equal sharing between both the man and woman?

I was thinking about this today. My bf is taking me to a basketball game tonight, very sweet of him. But he has paid for a lot of things lately, and I want to offer to pay for my ticket to the game, but I don’t want to make him uncomfortable. I admit he pays on our dates more than I do, but I ALWAYS offer to help - I don’t push it if he declines the help.

And I have picked up the tab on dates, he just tends to do it more often than me. I'm 29, he's 30, we both have good jobs, so there is no financial problem on either end.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 7:40pm
Hi Kelli! It's nice to see a new face!

(This is my second attempt..hope it takes!)

What I usually try to do is start by letting him pay, especially if he asked me out. As time goes on, I'll pay more. For example, on a second date, I would pay for the movie and let him pay for dinner. Eventually, I try to make it equal and take turns. However, there are some times when I'm just broke and if he wants to go out, he's paying!

Also, I never ask if he wants me to help, I always just either pay all or none. I also don't ask, I tell. When I took Joe out for his birthday, he mentioned paying and I just told him it was his birthday, and I was paying. That was the end of the discussion. In your case, I'd pay for both tickets. It makes the situation harder when you just pay for your own. To me, it doesn't feel like a "date" then. That's just me, though. Just tell your boyfriend that you're paying tonight, and then do it!

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 9:38pm
Actually, I struggle with this one myself. I try to offer to pay but no man ever lets me. In fact, it becomes a contentious issue. "I want to pay but I don't want to offend you". I work for a charity tho - and most men I date have good paying jobs. I work two jobs just to keep things afloat...so thats why. But once in while, I say I'd love to treat you...and they let me pay. And I almost always offer...but I've been on 3 dates with one guy and I've given up trying to offer. Why bother when I know he's got lots of money and he's made it clear he likes to pay?

Good luck and let us know how it goes! Go.