A Guy's Guide to Splitting the Bill

In the world of dating there are no regulations that help us single folk make sure we are getting it right, and the absence of some sort of written doctrine results in a myriad of problems, some of which cause irreparable harm to a prospective relationship. One that seems to pop up again and again in my dating life occurs when the check hits the table. Money is a funny thing, the root of many of the world's evils and the cause of many fights and breakups. So with the understanding that I cannot speak for every guy (since some are cheaper, or more frugal or just plain weird), I am a going to spell the bill situation out as I see it.

Date One: Yes, Make the Offer
Most men want to treat on the first date. He wants to show that he is in fact a gentleman. This fine young man will reach for the check when the conversation has settled a bit, pretend to check the figures, and take out his wallet. What should you do? Ask if you can contribute by paying the tip or part of the bill (be prepared just in case he takes you up on it). This is your way of acknowledging his gesture. We just want the offer. A sweet thank-you is also appreciated. That is all men really want -- some simple recognition. But, do not go further than making the offer -- do not insist on paying your half, even if you're having the worse time of your life. This is like saying to the guy, "I could never be interested in you."



Dates Two and Three: Actually Making a Contribution
Out for dinner once again, maybe a movie this time, or bowling or a dance club, etc. Some money is being spent somewhere. Again offer to contribute. Again say thank you when he insists on paying. However, this time find some way to make a contribution. Examples: Buy the popcorn at a movie, buy a round of drinks at a bar, buy some ice cream after dinner. Many guys will say that is not necessary, but it is definitely appreciated.

Dates 4 and Beyond: Time to Insist
Most men like when the women take the wheel for a night or two. Once you are "dating," you should plan a night and insist on paying. This gesture again is a nice way to recognize that you appreciate your guy being generous on dates one through, and now it is your turn. A nice guy will offer to contribute and it is okay to reject his contribution.

Variables
(1) You make more money than your guy; (2) your guy is a student; or (3) your guy is unemployed. In these cases, I think, you will need to insist of contributing more. Most guys still want to treat despite these circumstances, but you need to at least let him know that you are willing to pay. Offer a couple of times. If he insists on paying, let him for a couple of dates, say thank-you and recognize that you are with a true gentleman, one who wants to treat him women right even when it is tough on his bank account.

Of course there are the guys who will readily take up your offer to pay, ask you for half of the bill, or claim that they left their wallets at home and ask you to pay the whole thing. I can't speak for these men, and hopefully, you ladies won't have to speak to too many of them.

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