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Now that I'm dating again, the issue of who pays comes up. I'm all for equality and had the full belief that we should split costs. Then that issue of the the gender gap in pay came to mind. Early 2018 reports came out with women's earnings being 80.5 cents for each mans dollar. It is those extra dollars from which discretionary spending comes. I know I took time off my career to care for children, tanking my own earning potential, while my ex's earning potential increased. Perhaps it is reasonable for higher earning individuals to pay more for dating?

Stephanie99 8 Aug 23

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No..just no


I have some guidelines I tend to follow - I feel for the first meet it's best to do something neutral that cost nothing - say a walk, a museum or something. Later if it continues, the one who invites can pay. And if you wish to go dutch, agree beforehand to eliminate those awkward moments !


I'm enjoying the comments here. I am old school on the matter and am always willing to pay. If a woman wants separate checks or to split the bill, or even announces that this is her treat, I'm happy to go along. I understand there are a variety of thoughts on this, and I never want anyone to feel uncomfortable.


I have never asked a date to pay, I just assume I am if I invited them to go out. If they offer to chip in, or pay the tip, I won’t argue about it. If for whatever reason they invited me out, then I will offer to pay the tip at least. If the date is going Dutch, then that should be discussed before the bill arrives at the table, I would think. Given that getting a date for me seems to be harder than what many people seem to have finding a sex partner, what do I know?


As a gay man, generally it is assumed in the gay datign world, that the check is split, unless someoen says otherwise beforehand.

That is something I did not know. 🙂


How exactly would that conversation go over during a date? "So, here's the bill. Now, Alex -- what was your NET income over the last year. Oh? You don't say. Well, mine was about $20,000 less than that. So, the way I see it, you owe $57.60 for this meal and it looks like I owe $41.30. Does that sound about right to you?"

I would absolutely offer and be prepared to split the bill and would offer my card. If my date insisted on paying, I would oblige. But, after a couple dates, if I am interested in and plan to keep seeing the person, I would not oblige every time and they would have to let me share the costs.

Now, if my date was rolling in dough and money was NEVER an issue under any circumstances, I'd let them have more of the checks if they wanted them. But, if I'm out with somebody in a similar economic boat, I'm going to participate in paying.


Expecting a man to pay because of higher earning potential is unfair and unromantic. Even if you earn less than him, you are capable of managing your own finances. If you can’t afford your meal don’t go.

I always make a sincere offer to pay my own way, but I can’t think of a single man who has ever allowed that on a first date—accept the gift but don’t expect it. Say thank you and mean it.

I agree. That said, I am going to be honest about my ability to spend on going out. On my budget, it would not be frequent. If the person has a higher income and more discretionary income, and wants to go out with me more often than is in my budget, it will be discussed and understood that I won't be paying more than x times per month.

I think beyond a few dates, those conversations happen -- or at least should happen -- naturally.

I wasn't saying that I expect a man to pay. It's whether or not I should insist on splitting the check. Usually my dates want to pay.

I’m so sorry—I meant “you” in the abstract, not you specifically.

@PaigeM Oh, thanks.


I think its a discussion to be had with the person you're dating. Usually I prefer to split.


As a gay man, that's the one advantage we've always had... it was either, for ourselves, or take turns, or sometimes one of us paid just because... but there were no expectations going in... The same goes with who does the dishes, cleans the table, vacuums (although I would do almost anything to get out of vacuuming). But wear each other's shoes without asking? That would always end badly.

Vacuuming is my least favorite too. I go for hardwoods because I don't mind dust mopping.

I also hate vacuuming -- and cleaning showers and bathtubs -- and mopping.

My simple solutions -- my robot vacuum does the vacuuming, and a house cleaner does the other stuff I can't stand, or for which I don't want to make time.

Doing dishes, laundry, and keeping everything neat and tidy is no biggie to me.

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