A very simple question, yet it can provoke such a myriad of emotions. Yes, the age old question of, “Who should pick up the tab on a first date?”

Tip or Myth #4: If he does not pick up the tab on the first date, he’s not a gentleman, or he’s TOO cheap.

I pity our poor guys. They are completely confused.

Here we are, proud and confident modern working women. We control the boardroom, we clinch the best deal, we outdo the guys in every pitch; well ok… we try. :) 

Gone are the days when we are relegated to the house, while the men enjoy the limelight and get all the glory in the business world. Today, we are women of the world, and we stand up for our rights.

Yet, we lament when the guy do not keep the doors opened for us. We complain when the guy do not offer to give us a ride home. And we scream murder when the guy asks for our share when the bill arrives after the date!

Yes, the guys have a right to be confused. J

Ok guys, I think the ladies are not trying to make your life difficult. And neither are we materialistic or taking you for a ride (well at least most of us are not).

It’s just that if you want us to pay for our share on the FIRST date, and especially the first date, it makes us wonder if you are just supporting sexual equality, or are you just too cheap? And if it’s the latter, it worries us, as we are not sure whether this is a trend set for the future.

Another thing, many ladies actually see this as a barometer of interest. To many ladies, a guy who is trying to impress her, would pay for the first dates.

And to my dear female compatriots, let’s try to understand our poor guys too.

While some might really be too ‘cheap’, i.e. whip out a phone/PDA/calculator to split the bill to the last cent, some really think that it’s normal to “go dutch” on a first date. Look at it this way, at least you will know that he’s a thrifty fellow, and you will always have a roof over your head. J

Ok seriously, it’s always about striking the balance.

Guys, sorry to break the news to you, but most ladies, at least those that I have come across in my 2 years of running Lunch Actually expects the guys to pay for 55-60% of the dates. And seriously, it’s not that they are after your money or they are materialistic. The thing is, ladies still associate paying for a date with your ability or your willingness to take care of them and look after them.

In today’s modern society where most of our ladies are working and earning their own moolah, they would more often than not offer to pay their share or at least offer to buy coffee or the movie tickets. If you have someone who NEVER (the emphasis is NEVER ONCE) offers to pay, then perhaps you should reconsider.

Talking about first dates, I know of ladies who use bill-paying as the yardstick of whether or not to continue to see the guy after the first date. To them, if the guy does not pay for the first date, it’s a NO-NO, a total deal breaker, no matter how the rest of the date went.

And at Lunch Actually, we have even tried to get around this by getting the restaurant to split the bills! No more awkward moments or silence, as to who pays.

Well, to pay or not to pay. It’s only one aspect of the relationship, isn’t it? J

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