The age old debate: who should pay on a first date? It's the battle of the modern and the traditional when it comes to modern dating etiquette in the initial stages of dating and what a "date" even means in today's world. During this week's brunch talk, we debate whether the man (in hetero relationships) should still pick up the bill, why we need to stop with the fake reach, and how to plan dates where the expectations are more clear upfront.
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#brunchtalk: Who Should Pay for the First Date?
00:00:00 - 00:05:09
This episode is made possible by drizzly. We're always celebrating something in the summer. Weddings, birthdays, showers, graduations, Wednesdays, the list goes on. And finding the perfect gift for those celebrations can be tough, or at least it was, because now there's drizzly, the number one app for alcohol delivery, with drizzly, you can compare prices on the largest selection of beer, wine, and spirits. Then send them out to that special summon in under 60 minutes or scheduled up to two weeks in advance. It's basically the ultimate gifting cheat code because drinks are basically the ultimate gift. Think about it. When's the last time you returned alcohol? Never exactly. So if you're looking to spend more time celebrating and less time gift shopping, download the drizzly app or go to drizzly dot com that's DRI dot com to find their perfect drinks without breaking the bank today. This episode is made possible by sugar break. I have a confession. 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Now for our listeners only get 15% off your entire order, just visit sugar break dot com slash dateable and use the code data for 15% off. This applies to any products on the site. Again, just go to WWW dot sugar break dot com slash dateable and use a code DA TE ABL E for 15% off your entire order. The dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that The Huffington Post calls one of the top ten podcasts about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about everything from sex parties to sex droughts, date fails to diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host UA Shu, former dating coach turned dating sociologist. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Kraft chick as we explore this crazy dateable world. Friends, welcome to another episode of brunch talk by the dateable podcast where your host UA and Julie and during the week we have our main episode on the dateable podcast where we feature a story or an expert or a topic and then for brunch talk of your new to this, we answer a burning listener question. These are burning. They're burning so bad, herpes doesn't know what to do with them. Just like what you want to talk about over bridge. But it's so nice to be back and I'm so nice that we keep these episodes going. We experimented with this in the beginning, this used to be part of our main episode in our intro and then Julie had this brilliant idea of taking it out and making its own and I think it's working really well because then we can answer these questions in a more timely manner. Yeah, and we go deeper. I think when they were in the main episode, it was definitely not 20 minutes that we talked about this. It was probably right. But yeah. So sometimes it just did do it to justice. And it got lost in the shuffle, so calling it out has been a good thing and what we've heard from you all and keep the feedback coming with this is that it's a nice little. It's like an appetizer, you know? You get the appetizer, the small episode on Sunday, the full entree comes on Tuesday night Wednesday, depending on your time zone. There you go. Then what do we finish with dessert? Should we have a third show? You know, maybe. After dark. See what happens. Sounding board after dark. That's where it happens. Oh, that could be an interesting spin off show where we just talk about the most sexy and nontraditional topics or taboo topics. It's an idea. I like this, I like this live brainstorming that's happening. And then we air it after midnight. This is great. This is a peak for all of our listeners into UA and I's daily conversation. What if we did this? What about this? It's a good call out for anybody who's curious and been following our journey is that we love creating content. That is our thing. And we want to keep creating content. So the podcast definitely is a piece of that, and we want to just do more. So, you know, we can open this up to other people who want to brainstorm with us. If you have other ideas for content that we could be creating, you can always email us hello at dateable podcast dot com or you have a burning question just email us there as well.
00:05:09 - 00:10:01
And there may be a few things in the pipeline that we can not disclose yet. Maybe. So a few things up our sleeves will just say that. I hate it when we have a secret and we can't tell people. I hate that. I know. Okay. Well, brunches for secrets. And I will go to our own brunch, but you can share your secrets at your brunch and this question today is I think has definitely been at our brunch before. We have spent hours talking about almost this time. Almost every brunch. Yes, almost every brunch. You and I and also brunches with other people. This is the burning question of modern dating. And the question is, who should pay for the first date? Yes. And for more contacts, the submission we got. I recently went on a great first date with a guy. We had a really fantastic time together. He found a new restaurant in town in both the drinks and conversation was flowing. But then when the bill came, he didn't offer to pay. And when I suggested splitting, he graciously took me up on it. Now I'm feeling turned off. Should I be feeling this way? Did I write this question? Yes, was that me? Ten years ago. Ten years ago. Signed you a shoe. Yeah. 'cause that sounds exactly like me ten years ago. And Julie knows this so well. I used to have very strict ideas on who should pay for dates. These gender roles that have been ingrained into my head for a decades, I wanted to act out these societal norms in my head. So I always felt like the man should pay for the first date and subsequent dates. I've since changed my tune, thank goodness, but ultimately this question is about really is about intentions behind dates. So I truly believe that both people going into a date, both people should have the willingness to pay for the date because they are so excited to spend time with this person. But if we're falling back on a general rule, the one that I've found to work out pretty well is whoever asks out the person, whoever is doing the asking out, well, ultimately, pay for the first date. I am so mixed on this one. I feel like this one tears at me all the time. So hard. Because for multiple reasons, in theory, it doesn't make sense that you wouldn't split it. And like even I was thinking for this example, okay, this person, the man in this, is a hetero situation. Suggested this restaurant. So he should pay. He doesn't know where financial situation. He picked it, and there is a side of me that doesn't believe that because the beginning of a relationship, you don't really know what where someone is. But then so that would follow the logic that you just said. Whoever plans it should pay for it. But then on the other side is a lot of times it's collaborative. Sometimes it's one person throwing it out that we should meet up. The other person kind of riffing off that and then you find a plan. Who in that case would pay? It just gets a little hairy, right? The other side of it is, you know, if you really want an equal partnership, like why are we holding dating to different standards? Why do we feel like one person should own the finances? If that's really what a modern relationship is that we want. Of course, if that isn't what you want, then maybe you have different views on this, but we hear all the time people that say, the number one thing to me is an equal partnership, get like this submission, get upset when the person does not pay. The man does not pay. And it's such a double standard and I'm not saying it talking down because I've been here myself and is this feeling of like ick in a way, but where is that coming from? It's coming from society. It's coming from the fact that we were told that this isn't how it is, like that like men pursue women, but all this stuff is so outdated. Yet we hang on to it. And I think especially our generation that's kind of at the cusp of more modern and traditional, really struggles here because you kind of have these counter thoughts going at all times. So I think it's how do we break away from what we think we want or what we think should happen to getting to the root of why is this happening and what does this actually mean? Because sometimes it's not always what we think should happen is what's actually best for ourselves, finding a partner and a budding relationship. And that's the most dangerous part is when you set up yourself for disappointment, you expect one thing and the person who is expected to read your mind does not do the thing that you want them to do and then all of a sudden you're no longer attracted to them.
00:10:01 - 00:15:00
I've been there so many times where I expect someone to do something and they don't do it and then my vagina's dry because I'm like no longer interested. I personally feel like this is how do you view first dates? What have we viewed first dates as many celebrations, like a person's birthday or like an event that you want to celebrate? It is sort of a celebration because you're celebrating the fact that you're meeting a person that you have really jived with or would like to spend more time with them. So we're seeing it as a more of a celebration, I think there is something really cool about whoever's initiating this to say, I want to take you out for this thing. This meal, this coffee, this drink. That shows to me as the receiving end that you are taking you are the one that's taking control of this and you are the one pay. In some respect. I would do this with friends, too, if it's your birthday, let me take you out for your birthday. That's very clear that I'm paying for it. It does make sense to make this clear at the beginning of the date. So there's no, when the bill comes, I don't know, should I should I not? Just make it clear. If you're the one initiating, just make it clear to the other person that you are the one taking them out for that date. But when the bill does come, goes back to my first point, both people should have the intention of paying. So it's not the fake purse reach that I've done in the past. And then you go, oh, you've actually do want my credit card. It's a very authentic willingness to pay for that meal or whatever that check. And when the other person does pick it up, to show that appreciation also a mistake I made in the past that I was just entitled a little bit, just like, yes, you should pay without saying thank you, just really show that appreciation. So here's the problem though. I agree with everything you said foundationally, but everyone views dates so differently. So differently. Yeah, I could see people say, well, if I just met up with a friend, we would split it. I wouldn't pay for their coffee or I wouldn't pay for their drinks. And I think what you're saying is it's more of a celebratory event, but other people could say, you know, a first date isn't even a date. It's a meat and it's super casual. And you know, in today's world, I think the world when men always paid, they were probably going on a lot less dates. Let's be honest. And women did not have the same financial means. So there's so much different. The fact that we're actually still hanging on to this archetype is actually really fucked when you think about it because we were at a totally different world. And why is it fair that like okay, like if you're thinking this is just a first meet and like men have, I don't know, ten of these lined up in the next month, like should they have to pay for every last one? That's kind of messed up when you think about it. You know, we can make the argument that that's how you date is not doing that and building each one to be more of an event. But let's be honest, people all date differently and it's so hard to know on day one how this person operates and what else is going on for them. You don't know their financial situation. You don't know they're dating style. You don't know how modern or traditional they are. I mean, sometimes we've heard from men too. It's like, I don't want to offer because that's actually insulting to modern women. That art equals. It's just so hard to know. And I think we really what I gather from all of this is that we can't give everything else on the date was wonderful. Don't let this be the thing. Yeah, yeah. Don't let this be the thing, but I would also say it does make you more discerning in dating. Maybe you don't have ten dates lined up because you are the one doing the asking out. Maybe you don't want to pay for all those dates. It does make you a little bit more careful about who you pick to go on dates with. For me, this is just personal personal opinion. I don't like splitting the bill with my partner. It does, to me, splitting the bill is a very, to me. Personally, it's when you don't split the bill is one step away from being platonic. So my partner and I do not split the bill, we just take turns picking up the check or take turns, getting things for each other because it's that 80 80 rule is like you keep wanting to do these things for your partner. So maybe in dating, if we can see it more as not so much tit for tat but more like I'm willing I'm more than willing to do this and more than willing to pay for this. Maybe that's just a better way of looking at it so that you're not keeping tabs on people. I've told you this story, Julie. I've had friends who've been on dates where afterwards she didn't want to go on a second date with him and keep them owe her memo requested her for half of her wine during happy hour. I've also had friends who went out to dinner with someone and he picked up the check and afterwards when they out went out for tea. He got the tea and he made her pay for it because he's like, I got dinner so you're going to get my tea, which is kind of weird 'cause she didn't get any tea at all.
00:15:00 - 00:20:07
Just stuff like that. I'm like, it's because we're so petty with this stuff that it becomes that tit for tat. What if we're just more than willing to financially invest in the other person? Maybe we don't get into this weird funk that we're in. It's just everyone is so different with me. Everyone's so cute. Because then you get resentful too if you're always the one doing it. And you know, I've definitely had my share of situations where the check got really awkward. I remember getting in line for I was ahead of date we get a coffee place and him basically being like you go first order yours and then I'll order mine. I'm like, it's like a $2 coffee we're talking about, you know? And I think there are situations like that. You're just like, wait, why is this so tit for tat? But then on the other side, I also had this situation once that. Similar to the person that wrote in of being invited to this restaurant. I had a startup at the time, so I was not had the income I normally did. 500. For me, going out for a $60 dinner, that's like what it was, maybe even a little more with tip and stuff. Like that was not an everyday thing at that stage of my life. And I wanted to reserve that for like Friends and stuff like that. And when this person invited me to this restaurant, it didn't actually even cross my mind that I'd be on the hook for half of it. So there was that, and then I remember also in this period, there was another time that I went to this wine barn ended up being super expensive, and we did like that, you know. Oh, he offered first. And I was like, no, I'll go half, you know, hoping that he'd be like, no, no, it's okay. And then he's like, okay, but only because your bootlegged, your bootlegging, your startup right now. Basically implying I had no money. And I was so turned off by that. Ew. You basically was like, I'm not gonna let you share it. And then I got so turned off that I insisted on doing it. And then I was like, fuck, this isn't really what I wanted to spend. And then I never want to see this person again. So it just was such a lose lose, like the entire thing ends up being a lose lose fatality. Ew, ew, that's the other thing is when money gets brought up. Such a sensitive issue for some people too. I mean, I get very sensitive about it because it is like, are you implying that I can't afford this? Or are you implying that you're better than me? Because you make more. You can't afford this. So ultimately, this is such a tricky position we're in, but all you can do is control yourself. So if you find yourself in that position that Julie just described, you get invited to this restaurant that's really nice and maybe you don't want to spend the money going to that restaurant. Always have the maybe just have the intention that you're going to pay for at least your meal. And if that is the case, you just suggest another restaurant that is more affordable or suggest something less than a dinner. At least you can control that aspect of yourself, right? I mean, I think that should be a given personally for many reasons. I'd say even this dinner, I remember just being like, oh my God, this is so long and painful. So even aside from the money, I would say any first date, like keep it to something that's generally affordable for both parties, right? Coffee and tea. That's generally going to be $5 in under. Or something free. Like there's so many options, but also even drinks, you can at least control how much you have. Someone that is more conscious can just have one versus, you know, having tons and tons and having the check add up. But when you're at dinner, you know it's going to be a certain amount of money, no matter what. Yeah. Well, there's something really freeing as a woman. I got to say about wanting to pay for the date. And since I've changed my tune in the last couple of years, the last few dates that I went on, I would go to the bar first and just put on my credit card and tell the guy just to put it on my tab. It just felt so empowering to do that. And all of the men that I went on dates with during this kind of scenario would always say, let me take you out to dinner next time or let you do this next time. It just felt like a more giving attitude versus like, oh, what are you taking away from me? It totally is, but as you're saying it, I'm like, I would never do that. And I think it's and I think it's because of gender roles, you know? It's like I feel like I wouldn't want to put it in this fat that I'm now the provider taker. I think for me, I view it differently. And this is, again, why this is such a challenging topic and, you know, people are probably like open this episode or started listening to this episode for a clear cut answer and we're sorry we're not really giving you that because there are so many layers to it. But I personally, I feel like, yes, I like it when there's times I treat and then they treat and especially as you're in a more established relationship. You know there's gonna be another time where it will even out. I always even said totally, but I think for me too like I do like just splitting it down the middle because then I don't have to worry about it evening out because it's not that I don't want to feel resentment that I'm not they're not paying enough or I don't want to feel like I'm overpaying because of gender roles.
00:20:08 - 00:25:04
But then you know I also don't want to take advantage of them. I just feel like there's so many complexities so I think sometimes splitting it down the middle is just easier. And that's just why point of view with it. Yeah. Maybe that is the answer that you all are looking for. So here's the answer. Let me see if I can sit beside this. It's going on the date expecting to pay for half. Always have that expectation. There are no shoulds, but you can only control what you do. So expect to pay half. And if the other person offers to pay for the whole thing, just be grateful and thank them, right? And then go on day two that you're okay paying half on. Yes, yes. So if you go in the expectation, you're paying half that well dictate what kind of dates you go on. And the dates you accept. So yeah, I think that is the most clear cut way to do this. Whether you did the asking hour or they did the asking out, just expect to pay at least for half. This is definitely I'd say more geared to women because we are the ones that hold this expectation, the hetero side women. It's so fascinating because I bet we have this episode. I don't know if you remember. We did it a long time ago. Erin. He was like one of our first gay men that we talked to. I remember you asking him about the pain and he's just like, this is so odd issue at all in gay day. Like whatsoever. He's just like, why are you guys so obsessed with this? Like this is not so true. And it makes sense, right? Because the dynamic is different, but I think for, you know, we also have all these unraveling of the things we've been taught for years past like we were talking about. I think for hetero men, we hear this a lot of I feel like they may be like women expected or I don't want to overstep if she's a feminist. Maybe it's just bringing those conversations up earlier on in the date. It doesn't need to be like, do you want me to pay for this, but it could just be like, what are your views on? Court egg or traditions versus modernist? I don't know. It's hard because I would be as I'm saying this. I'm like, I'd probably be like, yes, all for equality, but that'd still be like, I wish they paid. I mean, the same. The same. It's hard for us to unlearn the things that we've been hearing all of our lives. So yes, there's still that gut feeling of like, oh, I don't feel good about that. But at the same time, it's all goes back to the intention. So if your intentions are aligned with the person you're with, then you can get over these humps. And I think there's something nice if I don't know, I've never been on a date like this, but something nice if a guy said, I would like to pay for this, are you okay with that, right? It was just going to say that as we're talking about it, I think for hetero men, this episode hopefully makes you aware of all the thought processes that go on for women. So complicated. Bad books, bad Cosmo articles, like all of this stuff has been ingrained in us from a long time ago. I was talking to one of our listeners recently and was talking about how the woman was never making plans, so he ultimately decided to end it. And I was like, you have to remember, we've been ingrained to not pull back. And it may not be a reflection whatsoever on you. It just might be that this is what she thinks she should be doing and dating. So understanding where we've been is really important. It's kind of like all history, right? It's like you need to understand where it all originated. We're all this came from and that doesn't mean that that's really what they ultimately want in a partnership, but there are these expectations. We'll keep using that word. That exists and I think what you are just saying you a like saying like, I think it goes a long way despite how modern women are to pay. For the most part, but then having that openness at the end allows you to have that person say to you actually, I do prefer to pay. Yes. Yeah. And are you okay with that? Just get consent, you know? Around that. That's better than I think the RU okay with that is better than like, should we like the fake? Like all of that's so performative. The fake purse grab and all this stuff. So bad. I hate it. 'cause when you're in a relationship, none of that stuff matters. So why are we performing on a first date? If you're trying to suss this person out for a long-term relationship, these are all bullshit things that we do. So just be open and honest and intentional about what you're doing. Now for anybody who's going on a lot of first dates, here's my little tip because I just remember this. If you're the one doing the asking out, try to go to like a place where you know the server or bartender or owner because they can give you some really great feedback about the people you're going on dates with. And sure, you can have a running tab there. It's fine. You pay for the date, but you get valuable as ice and feedback. I used to go to this bar all the time for my first dates, and the, oh my gosh, Julie, the feedback I would get on the men, I was seeing.
00:25:04 - 00:29:51
So it was astounding. I would go to the bathroom and I'll come back and the bartender I would know she'd be like, this is a no. So then I sent him home and be like, okay, great. Thanks for the day. It was fun. And then I ask why she's like, he ordered two shots when you were in the bathroom. And then he then he said, never mind just one, and he took one shot before you got back from the bathroom. Oh my God. 'cause he didn't want to be there for your shot. So bad. So bad, that's so bad. Who cares about who pays? Just get all the dirt, you know? Get info. I think we're also touching against something else. It's like, what does dating mean to you? Like you were saying earlier. Is it a celebration? Is it just a meat? Based on what it means to you, that's how you can set up your first dates. If it's purely a meat, don't go somewhere super elaborate, like somewhere that is easy. You can even say to someone, hey, you know, crazy this about our day dick. I had to treat the first date as a bee. And if we're down with it, I'd love to take you on like great first date the next one. So then they don't feel like you're cheap or whatever, but you also might not have to go and pay for ten different people. Like if that's not how you're viewing dating. Yeah, love it. Communication, we're afraid to talk about it. We're doing all these fake reaches and trying to have someone read our minds and connect the dots and let's just be open with it. Play Nancy Drew and figure out if they're a fan of us to pay just ask. Yeah, none of that shit matters when you're in a relationship, just remember that. Yeah, and I think that's the other thing is we need to remember a lot of this is ingrained in us and taking that next step of being like, is this something I truly believe in is a core value to me versus something that's just been said that I think like I think a lot of us to we got this message as young women of if they like you, they'll pay. But I don't know if that really is true anymore at all. So it's not. There's so many factors as we've been discussing. It's not just that one thing. So we need to really take all this stuff and really break it down of where it's coming from. Oh, okay. Well, that was a very beefy brunch talk that we just did. So I can't wait till this goes up in the Facebook group and love at the time of the poll. There is some feedback and comments because like we're just two people and we had a lot of differences and we've played out all different scenarios. You know, it runs the gamut. A lot of it, what people do. Everyone has a very strong opinion about this. So let's hear it all. I think ultimately though, it's a factor of finding someone compatible for you too. You know, like if you truly are a feminist and don't want someone to pay for you and the guy is more traditional and can't imagine a world where he isn't paying on the first date, there's probably some disconnect there. Oh yeah, oh yeah. All right, thank you for that question. It's a very, very good question. Keep the questions coming. Again, you can email us hello at dateable podcast dot com or DMS on Instagram at dateable podcast. We love love these questions. We can't say that enough. So keep them coming and we'll keep answering them and they go out on Sundays and you can get a snippet of it on our Instagram and TikTok once they go out to. All right, anything else, Julie. Nope. Enjoy your brunch. We'll see you next week. Bye. The dateable podcast is part of the frolic podcast network find more podcasts you'll love at frolic media, slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tag us in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those pose. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos, and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect, analyze, and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. And most importantly, remember to stay dateable. Have you guys noticed that you can't go anywhere without seeing designer this or designer that? Even design a furniture on my social feeds and celebrity homes, it's everywhere. Have you seen how expensive these are? Well, if you want the sofa or recliner or bed that broke the Internet, you don't have to go broke to get it, because designer looks furniture has all the same styles and trends, but without the designer prices. Oh, and the well made too, it's the whole package. Check them out, designer looks at value city furniture or designer looks dot com.