Who Pays On The First Date?

Who pays on the first date? Should it be the man or the woman? This is one of the world’s biggest debates when it comes to dating these days. Why? Because dating has become such a part of everyday life. Swiping right or left and scheduling 3-5 dates a week is the thing to do now, right? Or, is it? In this article I’m going to give you different scenarios and some feedback for you to understand a little bit better who should pay on the first date, when the woman should pay, and when the both of you split the bill.

I’ve interviewed thousands of women on this topic and let’s just say the majority say that a man should pay on a first date! Ouch! Pretty harsh right? Well, listen to what I have to say and how to really get this to work in your favor!

I enjoy reading your comments below so please comment after you read this blog and share your feedback or questions.

Who should pay on the first date

Let’s first discuss why a man may pay on a first date and then we will get to the “Who should pay” scenarios. Generally speaking, a man pays for this first date because he is either that type of guy or he wants to impress a woman. These days a man pays for a date because this is how he was raised, he feels guilty, or he thinks that he isn’t a man if he doesn’t do so. Which by the way is something that I completely understand, but I am going to talk about why this happens and how to open up the conversation around this sensitive topic. I conducted two surveys not too long ago about who pays on the first date and asked 200 men and women. I gave them the choice, asking if men should pay or if the woman should pay. It was shocking!

Almost 80% said the man should pay. Then I conducted another survey to a new group of men and women and asked if a man should pay on a first date or does it depend on the situation?

Shocking! 90% said depends on the situation. I bring this up because nobody discusses what the situation actually is… So let’s talk about the situation here on this blog!

I am going to give you some insight on how most women think about a man paying on a first date. I’m here to give you the honest truth so don’t attack the messenger. Women typically want a man to pay on the first date because they say this expresses interest from him. If she likes him but there is no connection, women will ask to split the bill. Women think that if a guy is really interested, then he will pay on the first date.

Topic #1: Men should always pay on the first date:

I know a lot of you are going to roll your eyes, but the majority of women want a man to pay on a first date. This does not mean that you have to take her out to a 5-star dinner; but you should take her somewhere you feel comfortable with on the first date.

Guys, I’ve been working with you forever. When you find a woman you are interested in, the majority of you will not take her somewhere where you didn’t put any thought into. Now I know a lot of you will say women are all gold diggers, they use you for your money etc. But last time I checked, women are making money and more independent than ever these days.

Watch that video about “Fixed and Growth Mindset,” then watch “Why do I Keep Attracting the Wrong Women” if this is happening to you. Remember, I say this because I want you to be happy and this is what I do for a living so I know there are a lot of good women out there waiting for you!

I do believe there are exceptions to this topic #1, but we will dive into that further down in the blog.

Topic #2 She asked me out does she pay?

Women are asking out men these days. When a woman asks you out, she is going to be willing to pay most of the time. I believe something you can do to show interest and really impress her (especially if you like her) is kindly ask her if you can pay (if you can afford it) and if she still insists then you grab the drinks, tips, or dessert afterward.

Also, if you choose to let her pay, then I encourage you to pick up the rest for the night if the two of you do something after the date.

Topic #3 She always wants to split the bill with me.

Here is where you can contribute some humor and fun towards this. You can hand the credit card to the server as you go to the restroom. You can pick up the drinks at the bar, or you can also plan something for the both of you and, “Say this is my treat.”

Women love when a man can take control with a sense of wit and integrity. This is if you want to pay for the bill and don’t want her to do it. If this happens and you are not 100% ready to pay the bill, then accept the fact that she wants to split the bill with you and take things slow. When a woman asks to split a bill, sometimes it’s because she is being nice and sometimes it’s because she is not really vibing with you.

Topic #4 She never pays on the dates.

“Apollonia, I’m always paying… How do I get her to pay sometimes as well?” I get it! As I mentioned at the beginning, I totally understand why you may feel like this. You might not mind paying on dates, but you want to feel a sense of appreciation as well.

So here is what I always recommend when this happens. Tell the girl you are dating to plan something that she likes to do. You can say it like this: “I want to see something that interests you, I want to see a part of your world. So I challenge you to take me out on a date.” Using the word challenge is great for attraction and you can also see if she is willing to reciprocate!

Who pays on a date: The answer

So now, let me answer some common questions that I get asked all the time about this topic.

“Apollonia, what if I’m broke, should a woman offer to pay on a first date?” Well, to be 100% honest with you, you need to focus on a purpose and yourself. You don’t have to be rich, but you do have to have a little more money left over for you to not be living from paycheck to paycheck. If this is you, then it might not be time to be dating right now.

You need to focus more on you, your goals, your personal aspirations, career, and purpose. Think about it. The same goes for a woman. You may not want her to be broke and wind up having to pay her bills. If you are just strapped for cash here and there then the date does not have to be expensive. Get creative and do something that is easy on the wallet!

The next most common question I get is, “Apollonia, what do I get out of paying for a date?” The answer is NOTHING! It’s not about making sure you’re going to get something out of it like a kiss or more. There is no entitlement here just because YOU paid. Let things be natural.

“What are some great places for a first date I can take her that won’t break my wallet? I’ve made a video about this which I will link here. Remember, you can always take a woman somewhere simple, like a cafe, grabbing a drink, having dessert, or a walk in the park so the both of you can get to know each other.

What I’m talking about in this blog is who pays on a first date, so if you have a woman that you are dating and she never pays, then it’s really time to start communicating your expectations. This is critical to values and to the process of you setting the tone for a future relationship. I know I have more men followers than I do women, but if you ladies are reading this please understand, just because he offers does not mean you shouldn’t insist.

Men will start to appreciate when you offer or contribute. If you don’t ever offer, what happens in a man’s mind is that he will believe that you will never offer. It does not mean that you will have to pay or that they don’t want to pay. But what it does mean to a man is that you may not value his time and appreciate him, and that’s not a good feeling.

Who should pay on a date?

I do believe in going 50/50 as the dates go on, and if this does not happen then it’s time to communicate. Communication is healthy if you want to set the standards and have a strong relationship. Communication is key to getting to know someone and it can also be the most challenging part of a relationship. I would encourage you to say something like, “Next date, is your treat!” See how she acts. Then follow up with saying something like, “Surprise me.” Make it fun, lighthearted, but challenging.

Now, I want to be clear about something. There are different types of women who have different interests and I know women well. I am not saying all women are like the examples I am going to give you below, but in fact, a high percentage of them are. So it’s important to understand the type of women you have or the type that catches your interest.

I asked a couple different women and here is what they said.

Fashion Blogger- A conservative man will always pay and that’s what I want. I want a conservative man. That’s a big turn on!

Model- A man should always pay, if he doesn’t that means he isn’t ready. I’m not impressed.

Artist- I don’t care. I always ask to split it.

Tech/ Introvert- Typically the nerdy type. Says I will ask to pay but he shouldn’t think he is buying me or getting something out of it if he pays the bill.

Athlete: I appreciate the gesture and will feel it out depending if I like him and how he responds to the check.

The key here is to understand what you can afford. So many men think that they have to take a woman out on a five-star dinner on a date but that isn’t really realistic – especially if you are going out more than once a week. That is of course unless you don’t mind and you enjoy this.

What I believe is important is that you get to know the woman and if you do enjoy spending time with her and getting to know her, then plan something that both of you can enjoy. I also recommend for you to read my blog about First Date Conversations. Then download my free manual on how to get to know a woman’s true self.

Also, remember to go into your dates with positive energy, and have fun! This is magnified and will make the woman comfortable and in turn, you comfortable as well. This is a big part of the attraction process and traits that women look for and love in a man. If you choose to pay on a date then do it with dignity and class as I know most of you will.

There is something special about a man taking the initiative and going after what he wants.

Your Coach,

Apollonia Ponti

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  1. Men paid for dates in the previous generations because they were bread winners and women were homemakers. When will we evolve beyond that mentality? As a guy who has been on many first dates in his life (online dating) it is really discouraging to meet someone you know instantly you’re not interested in, then watch as they order up dinner (when you just invited them for a drink), or a really expensive glass of wine, and then be stuck with the bill. It makes us not want to date. It makes us feel unappreciated. As a professional and manager, I am all for women to be paid equally! So I think it is time for women to show men they are appreciated too and pay equally! Your article focuses on how women feel but how about more consideration about how men feel too?

    1. Paying for the first date means you’re nice and generous and if you think it’s wrong to be generous that says more about you than your dates. AND If you find yourself not liking them during the date the least you can do is pay for their meal or drink to thank them for their time. *eye rolllll

  2. Thank you so much for this. I was so confused whether I was thinking too much. A guy wanted to split the $17 bill, and it was a drawback for me as I was wandering cant he even spend that after inviting me over for a drink. He ended up paying as I was offering my coins but I had no interest over him after. He insisted that I can buy a drink next time, which i am looking forward to. I think he should have politely offered to pay the bill. He insisted we should meet soon and wanted to spend more time with me. But I just lost the interest and found him so cheap. Thank you for your article because I really wanted to hear this.

    1. Hi Um. Thank you for taking the time to read Who Pays On The First Date. Glad you found this article helpful! Keep dating and having fun on the dates, the right one will show up. You get to practice with the rest until then.

  3. I (a male) never pay on the first date, we split. However, I never ask out, we simply arrange to meet (with online dating it’s that simple). But I do have to say: sometimes she refuses to pay (not my problem, I just leave after I pay my part, unless I know she really can’t pay… never happened).
    I think it’s a great way to stipulate at the beginning what I want and expect from the relationship (initial test of the sort). I just refuse to pay for her time when we are just meeting each order. Her time it’s not more precious than mine! If I were to pay, I would expect something in return (yeah! I’m talking sexual stuff)!
    I could argue with #golddigger and #doublestandards but it really depends on the situation, I simply can’t generalize. I suppose every girl wants to be treated like a princess (but I also want to be treated with respect), but in this modern age, of gender equality, expecting the man to pay is simply objectifying women (they do have the means to take care of themselfs).
    If I want to treat and pay for her, I do it if she deserves it, but I do expect to be treated the same way.

  4. I’m a feminist and all for women’s equality but I get so tripped up over this because women are still making only about 80 cents to men’s dollar for equal work, which is beyond frustrating!! There is also the biological inequality of having to carry the pregnancy, give birth, and breastfeed, which I have seen firsthand so many times at work!! And all the other issues with being female with double standards, being judged more harshly for our appearances, being more expected to become mothers, etc. It’s for all these reasons that I think men should pay on the first date (or even the first 3-5, assuming they go well. I definitely agree that a woman shouldn’t take advantage of a free meal/snack if she’s not interested in seeing him again!) I wish I could change the way I feel about this, but I’ve tried and it hasn’t budged. Apollonia, do you think it’s ok to have this view, or am I just being selfish?

    1. Hey Lucy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and reading Who Pays on the First Date. It’s really biology. I don’t see anything wrong with the way you’re viewing this and it seems like you’ve spent a lot of time on it. It’s great that you wouldn’t take advantage of a guy.
      At the end of the day, men love to hunt and chase, and it’s primal and it’s okay for a woman to want to feel pursued. Nothing wrong with this.

  5. Used to pay for dates. Never again here’s why:
    1. Every man does it (enough said)
    2. When you pay for dates, what you’re saying unconsciously is “I’m not good enough” ” I want to impress you , please let me pay for your time ”
    3. Women who already like you wont care if you pay or not. The women who do care , are women who didn’t like that much to begin with
    4. The only time a man pays for food is if she comes to your house or possibly if you come to her house depending on her personality.
    5. Do you really think women care if guys like diddy, drake , Idris or DiCaprio paid for their meal? Hell no! The ladies would just be happy to breathe the same air as them.

    Apollonia, I don’t agree with some things you say, but at the end of the day, most of the stuff you put out is great material, and you want men to be happy and in fulfilling relationships. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Toyin. Thanks for reading Who Pays on the First Date.
      It’s just primal. A woman is just assessing that you are capable of being the provider or not. At the end of the day, if you’re seeing the results that you want, then go for it! If you’re finding that you’re not dating the type of woman you want or things aren’t working out… I would just take a look at this.
      Also, people like DiCaprio, Drake, Diddy, etc not only pay for their dates, they pay for their friends around them. Because they are in the mindset that they want the people around them to enjoy their time and they already know that they are good enough. (Alpha mindset and an abundant mindset). They don’t need someone else to pay for them in order to make themselves feel better, right? That comes from the inside.
      Being able to take care of other people makes them happy. Again, at the end of the day, just love yourself and find fulfillment exactly.

      Wishing you the best,

  6. Hi Apollonia – this piece assumes the woman is with the guy because she wants to be there, right? For men like me who can’t get dates, is it appropriate to pay a woman to go on a date? I’d never ask any woman on a date because I’d be seen as a creep for sure. I’ve never paid for a date, by the way, but I’d really like to experience one date – not to kiss or more because no woman in her right mind would touch me – so this seems to be my only option.

  7. Okay if you’re on a dating site and the woman says friends first and see how it goes who pays on a first meet? Is it technically a first date or a meet? And many women want to get a guy just to buy them dinner/drinks possibly before going out with girlfriends later that night. So does the guy pay on a friends first and does the guy suggest splitting the bill when the check comes?

  8. two male dating coaches once said this: women already paY PLENTY BEFORE the date. they have mani/pedi, maybe hair done, sometimes new outfit. men do not realize how much the women have already spent to prepare for the date. so men should pay.

  9. I don’t bother with dates and relationships. Much more efficient (and cost-effective) for me to pay for a prostitute for the only thing I want from women and spend the rest of my money and time on myself and my own interests which almost never include the opposite sex just for the sake of it being the opposite sex. Each to their own, but I am not making my money to impress women who chose easy life and decided to not work as hard as men and then like that moron earlier on complain about wage gap. What, to take something like that on a date, listen to her nonsense and then after a few ours or feminist BS also have to pay. Fk off.

  10. A guy should not pay for a first date.

    Is is an antiquated practice.

    Why should a man buy a a dinner for someone that he doesn’t know if he even likes?

    1. Hi there! Thank you for reading “Who Pays On The First Date?” Just curious, why would he be on a date someone he doesn’t like?
      Apollonia’s Assistant

  11. I used to pay on first dates. But choosing not to now. Why?
    Too many women now from online dating will suggest going out to dinner or drinks to get something free with no interest in the man. And these women think this is ok to abuse a man because their time is worth more than the man’s.
    I have read the comments below and shocked to see how often women think the man is cheap for asking the woman to contribute. In this day and age how do you think the man feels having to ask you to contribute and then you lookikg for some coins, talk about cheap!
    With the emergence of online dating and the frequency of dating, the emergence of women going on for nothing else other than something free I have wisened up and now go Dutch the first 3 dates. I want to know what inhale with someone is genuine and not clouded by free food or drinks or abusing privileges. I want a rship built on trust and equality.
    Unfortunately most women want equal pay and rights and opportunities but aren’t willing to consider that this may mean men think differently too and want women, who traditionally stayed at home to contribute to financials like dating costs.
    We still live in the cake and eat it too phase and I emplor more men to treat women equally. Your time is just as important as theirs. So treat them equally.
    This doesn’t mean paying for them. By paying for them you are signifying their time is worth your money and your time is worth less than theirs. That’s hardly a good foundation for a lasting rship is it?

    1. Hello Matthew, thank you for reading “Who Pays On The First Date?”! Courtship is romantic and most women really find it respectable. Best of luck and take care 🙂

  12. Apollonia
    I just read your article and wanted to share. I’m over 60 and retired. Had a first date with wonderful lady, whom I met online and I asked out. She picked the time and location as I wanted her to feel comfortable. We had a great date. When the bill came she grabbed it saying “I got this!” Granted she is still working, and makes more than I ever did, but I was taken back by this. So after she got the gunfighter squint, we laughed and I told her I wouldn’t argue about it on one condition, that I would pay the next time. She laughed and agreed. Bonus!

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