The Emotions of a First Date:

First dates in general are awkward and emotionally exhausting. Not to mention, the effort of getting ready for a date.

Some girls love dating, but for me, Karen, and a lot of our other girlfriends, we all hate it. We just wished we could go about our business and a great guy will just cross our path.  You don’t have to agree, but dating is so much work.

I try and avoid dating like the plague and getting a first date isn’t very easy.  After weeks, sometimes maybe months of hassling, I break down and say yes.  Only to get to the end of the date and as the check comes your date says, “How do you want to do this?”  And at that moment, everything freezes and I’m struggling to respond.

The Story of a Date Who Split a Bill and Didn’t Tip:

After my last dating spree over two years after I broke up with my previous boyfriend, I haven’t really dated since, maybe here and there but not often nor serious.  I had one person who I would say I really cared about.  We dated for a while, but after 8 months realized we are not on the same path right now.

I met J out a few months ago and he has been texting constantly asking if we could meet up.  Last week, he even pulled the “please just come see me. No expectations, just a nice dinner and conversation. If you don’t give me a chance, we will never know.”

He insisted on dinner and drinks.  I asked just to do coffee, but he kept insisting on more.  With someone being so persistent, I caved and said yes to a 1 hour date. I told myself at some point, I have to get back out there, well lesson learned, thirst quenched…I wish I was home and at the gym on a Friday night.

So through the date, we had a nice conversation. He spoke about how he has had horrible luck dating, no one wants a second date, and that he hopes that no matter what at the end of the date I would tell him how I feel. At the time, I didn’t have an opinion (Wow, ick, meh).  I ordered a small entrée and a water, on his end, he ordered an appetizer, drinks, and a dinner entrée. Once the meal ended and the check was placed in front of us, he said how do you want to do this split?

I said, you asked me out first. He said, well, but it’s just easier to split.  Then I said that we should split based on our order, but he refused.

I held my tongue based on what I wanted to say because I believe a guy should always offer to pay for a first date, but that doesn’t mean I don’t offer to pay half.

I pulled out my credit card and waited in silence until the check came back.  I put down my portion of the tip and I noticed he just scribbled something quickly and shut the checkbook.  I made a comment and asked if he wanted to keep the customer copy, but really it was to see if he tipped and he didn’t.

After the Date:

Some people mentioned, maybe he split it because he wasn’t into the date or he believed we were just going to be friends.  First off, that’s no excuse for not tipping, but that wasn’t the case.

As we left, he tried to ask where we were going next. I made up an excuse that I had to go to Sephora.  He told me he didn’t mind waiting and wanted to walk me to my car. I told him, I’m fine and who knows how long I’ll be trying to buy make-up.  He hugged me and told me he hopes to see me again the next weekend.

After he left, I called La Sandia with my check number since I kept my copy and apologized. I asked them to call me so that I can add his portion of the tip onto my card.  It’s not her fault she served a cheapskate.

I thought I would never hear from him again.  Once I got home, he even texted me to say thank you for such a great date and that he’s home safe.  He asked me if I was and that he hopes we meet again.

In my moment of anger, I really wanted just ignore the text, but I decided to respond.

I replied and said I don’t usually do this, but since he asked for my feedback, I would like it if we never saw each other again, not even as friends. Normally I would not give you another thought, but thank you for being so kind and “splitting” the meal so fairly when you asked me out and secondly, thank you for not tipping the waitress.  Bye.

The Conversation:

This sparked a huge conversation in our group of girls about men who split the bill on the first date versus who doesn’t.  I have been fairly lucky, I’ve only had a guy split the bill 3 times in my life. The first time was in college and I don’t think he knew what to do, the second guy was 2 years ago and we never spoke again, and then this guy. But I’ve never had someone split a bill unfairly and NOT tip the waitress.

What does it say about a man if he chooses to split a meal on a first date?

  • It sets the tone of how the rest of the relationship will go. If he’s willing to split the bill on the first date when he should be doing his best to impress you, what else will he split in the future?
  • It might not be a date in his eyes. There could be some miscommunication where you aren’t actually on a night, but just hanging out.
  • He might not be very interested.
  • He can feel that you are putting him the friendzone, so to cut losses, he splits the bill.
  • He’s possibly cheap.
  • He’s just a jerk.

There is no right or wrong, but everyone does agree that if a guy asks you out, he better pay.  For Karen and myself, it is one of the main things we look for if you want a second date.   For other’s it is not that big of a deal. If you ask a girl out, then you are taking it upon yourself to pay for the date.   Some girls will feel completely opposite because we are equal, but I don’t believe that.  I still think men should open doors, hold your hand crossing the street, and offer to help you carry your bags. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do, and as part of that belief, paying for a first date is included and I will even go further to say for the first few dates, he should always offer to pay, but after a few dates you should offer to pick up the tab or if he refuses to let you pay (a winner), offer to get you guys coffee or dessert.

My friend Idalia made a great comment.  Being a girl is extremely expensive, some hair product, make-up, and face cream can run a girl $100 easily.  For all the maintenance us girls go through, the least a guy can do it make us feel a little special by picking up the tab and making it known that our effort is worth it.

Idalia doesn’t see is as a negative or positive if the guy splits the dinner bill on a first date or not, but she does feel more comfortable taking turns paying for things.  For example, if you go to dinner and the guy picks up the entire bill and then takes you out for drinks, feel free to pick up the tab there.

Sarah believes that the guy should always pay for a first date and that it’s fine to offer to pay for something such as coffee, but mainly it should fall on the main until you get into a relationship and after that it doesn’t matter.

I also wanted to share what our other friend believed.

weras

As you can see there are so many different viewpoints on this topic. And interesting how things have changed from our parent’s generation.  In their day and age, there wasn’t a concept of splitting bills on a first date, but now the lines of what is acceptable and what isn’t so black and white.

Below is a fairly good guideline on when to split on a date.  To split or not to split, that is the question of the day. What are your thoughts?

who-pays-on-a-date

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