The age-old question is who should pay the bill? Whether on a first date or third date, this can be a very tricky issue to navigate. Some might argue the person who invited the other party out to dinner or drinks should be the one to foot the bill. Some might argue (literally) when the bill arrives over who pays.
Some people are more focused on sitting there quietly and not making a single peep as the server sets the bill on the table. They’re silently hoping the server “coincidentally” places the bill in closer proximity to the person they are with, as if this will denote ultimately who ends up paying the bill. Then there are those who use the fine art of distraction and talk and talk as the server is bringing the bill over. Since the server will not want to interrupt them while they are speaking, the server will place the bill closer to the person who is not talking.
Does the Guy Pay?
Okay, so we know it’s not the 1950’s anymore, and women are just as capable, if not more capable, to pay their own bills and are independent. When it comes to paying for the bill at the end of your chicken parmigiana experience we’re not talking about women’s rights here, we’re simply talking about paying for those bread sticks. Paying for the bill is not a power play, it’s a generous act, a kind gesture, a sign of respect.
If someone is insistent on paying for the bill, it may be because they had such an amazing time and it is their way of saying thank you for your amazing company and conversation… it’s a compliment to you. Some are insistent on paying for the bill, and to that we say awesome! Ha! In all seriousness though, there are people who truly enjoy paying for the bill and feel fulfilled from doing so, so why deprive them of this feeling, especially if it is their love language?
When someone else pays for the bill it’s by no means a contract, and it doesn’t mean you owe them… unless they specifically say that you owe them (maybe in that case, you might want to reconsider the likelihood of them getting a second date). As a society who has become so self-sufficient, we sometimes loose track of the gift of doing something nice for someone else. Why is it we enjoy giving gifts to others so much, but sometimes have such a difficult time accepting a gift which has been given to us?
Do You Go Dutch?
If you are not familiar with the term going Dutch, that’s probably because you’ve never had to pay a restaurant bill in your life. To that, we are truly jelly. 😉 Going Dutch is simply when the dining parties either get separate checks for their meals or split the bill right down the middle. This is typically something that friends will do when going out to eat, but not a dating couple.
Going Dutch may be something a dating couple does for their very first date, but it is not recommended in the long term. A couple where one of the partners is less financially able to pay for the entire bill solo will also tend to split the bill. However, splitting the bill is usually a strong sign there will not be a second date, so if you want a second date, then prove it.
The Wrap Up
Look the bottom line is that no matter what you decide to do there will be no way to avoid that awkward moment when the server first brings the bill to the table. Regardless of the circumstances, just don’t be the person who excuses themselves to the restroom when the bill arrives to the table just so you can avoid the conversation about who should pay the bill.
We live in a society of people who are entirely too sensitive to the politics of things versus the meaning and purpose behind them. Sometimes someone offering to buy you dinner, whether a date, a friend, or a family member, is simply an act of their kindness. Accept this kindness graciously, but don’t expect it. Always be prepared to pay for your portion of a meal, or the possibility of picking up the entire bill, when going out to eat with others.