Dating Advice Guru - Relationship advice

Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer - and WHY!

By: Carlos Cavallo

You're sitting there, feeling a little nervous as you finish dessert. Who Pays On the first date?

advice what to do first date Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!


You wait in dumbstruck silence for the inevitable...

The check arrives!

You and your date eye that little cardholder thing that the "bad news" comes in after every meal at a restaurant. What do you do?

  • Do you let him pay?
  • Do you offer to chip in and hope he doesn't take you up on it because you've got exactly $4 in your wallet - and there isn't an ATM for miles...?
  • Do you try to time it so you're in the bathroom when the check comes?

It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it - and I know for a fact if you've ever gone out to dinner, you've probably gone crazy over this "who pays the check" dilemma.

first date who pays check Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

"I'll just have the salad..."


No, REALLY... who should pay for the date?

It's so confusing now, with new gender roles, and old standards, and you don't want to make a mistake, right?

Well, it's actually a simple question to answer, and I'm going to give you my own "once-and-for-all" rule about who pays in this article.

First - I want to explain all the wrong and bad answers you're going to hear:

BAD ANSWER #1: "Whoever asks should pay!"

This answer assumes that we all work on the same internal rules about what men and women feel about this... and the fact is - we don't.

A guy might feel a little relief that he doesn't have to pay the check for once, but ask yourself how YOU will feel about it.

If you're truthful about it - you know that it will feel weird. Like you're sending a message to him.

And you're right, it is a message to him that may make him shy away from asking you out again.

advice should men pay on first date Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

Let him lead...

And let me also slip in a little advice here:

Don't ask guys out!

I know I'm going to earn the fury of a thousand feminists on this one, but it's pretty simple to understand why you shouldn't ask men out:

  1. If you ask, you'll never know if he's REALLY into you or not. And that's going to drive you #$%@ crazy!
  2. If you ask, he'll never be inspired to take initiative. And the man needs to chase you, m'lady. It's not an optional accessory that you can say NO to.
  3. If you ask, he's going to feel "short circuited" by you taking on the masculine role. He'll feel like he's won you (even if he hasn't) because you just erased ALL the mystery for him.

If he likes you and DOESN'T ask you out (which is what you secretly fear when you do it for him) then he never would have been a good partner for you. His lack of masculine initiative would always leave you feeling like an under-appreciated accessory in his life.

Trust The Carlos on this one...

BAD ANSWER #2: "Split the bill!"

This answer is usually given as the "easy solution" to this dilemma. And I have to admit, if you're really confused, or you're sure you don't like the guy in a romantic way - yes this is the way to go.

But if you want the guy to INVEST in your relationship (and not just in money - in EMOTIONS) you have to start by getting him to put some skin in this game. Yes, paying for your meal is not only a financial investment, but an emotional investment that reminds him what he's up to.

BAD ANSWER #3: "The woman should always pay! She shouldn't let herself be indebted to the Patriarchy!"

This answer is usually given as a way for the woman to avoid feeling like she's indebted to the man for the meal. "He bought the dinner, now I have to put out!"

Uh, no, you don't have to put out.

There is a very real fear that if you let the man pay, he's going to "expect" sexual reciprocation. He bought the food, you gotta put out!


Guys don't think like this. And the guy that does is a piece of rhino poop.

Let me tell you this:

The best approach is that a woman should never act like she EXPECTS the bill to be paid by the man.

This kinda reeks of entitlement and - hang on to your butts, ladies - gold digging.

(The crowd gasps.)

dos donts first dates Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

Relax and enjoy...

A man wants you to be grateful, but not indebted.

He wants his contribution RECOGNIZED by you. Because all too often, a guy will take a girl out (usually not one of the nicest girls around) and she will simply use him for a free meal.

And these days, unless his career is really on track, he's just as cash-poor as you are. A guy doesn't want to be "cheap" - but he does need to be careful.

So what's the answer here, Carlos?

Should the guy pay? Should the woman pay?


Here's how this answer breaks down...

We're going to go through the correct scenario of WHO SHOULD PAY:

STEP 1: Let the check arrive...

Don't get anxious or weirded out. Just know that it's part of this ritual dance.

When the check arrives, make sure you're talking to him about something already, and keep your attention on him.

After a few seconds -

STEP 2: Pick up your purse or wallet and put it in front of you or in your lap

But in such a way that he can notice that you did this.

advice who pays on the first date Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

Be discreet.

If he doesn't tell you "No, that's okay - I got it" you should then:

STEP 3: Open your purse, telling him: "Can I help?"

He should give you a smile and a "Thanks, I got it."

To which you reply: "Thank you for dinner!" With a nice grateful smile that reminds him that he made the right decision.

This is the "dance" that you do on every date, and once you get the hang of it, it's EASY.

If he accepts your offer and asks you to chip in, do so. Without attitude or a grudge.

When you get home later, you decide if the signals point to "cheapskate" or "misunderstanding." Or something else entirely.

tips first date dos donts Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

His ability to pay shows his worth as a provider.

If YOUR Standard is that you want a man who values the provider role, and you want a contribution from him to invest in the relationship, but he won't give it... You gotta let him know that you don't think it's a good fit. Be up front and clear with him.

And then move on.

Remember, talking to guys is NOT like talking to women.

Guys don't take hints, we don't work with subtleties. You're going to have to face the fact that you can't use your usual subtle communication style with him.

You can only try him out for an evening or two, evaluate what you see, and then decide.

Don't be a "clinger."

These are the women that a guy likes and takes out on a date... and he senses he isn't a good fit for her. But she needs to be in a relationship, and he needs the sex. So they keep dating until someone winds up getting hurt.

(Yeah, guys do this one, too.)

I've had women tell me up front when the check comes that she expects the man to pay. I don't mind that (as long as it's done in a non-Diva way.) At least they're letting me know right up front where I stand.

tips who pays on first date Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

Time to pay.

But I've also had those same women blow me off right after I paid for the date. Which is kinda uncool in my book. I'll bet that they knew they weren't into me on the date.

So if you have that situation, it might be a better move to insist on paying your half and let that be the first hint that you're not that into him. To do otherwise is the kind of thing that leaves a really bad taste in the mouth of a man who was happy to provide.

You can always give him clearer signals later. But if you accept his generosity first, you'll really confuse things later.

So let me state the rules about this situation clearly for you:

RULE 1: I firmly believe that guys should pay for the first date... (If he asked you out, he DEFINITELY pays)

RULE 2: You shouldn't pay for the date until at least date #3 - where you have a good feel for where it's going, and what kind of guy you have. Then you can take him to coffee or something...

RULE 3: If he only pays half of the dinner, you have to keep an eye on this relationship. He either isn't that into you, or he's not a man of solid masculine upbringing. Neither of which is good...

RULE 4: If you decide (during the date) that you know you're not going to see him again, it's better to insist on paying your half...

These rules are not difficult, and I think it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

what to do first date who pays Who Pays on a First Date? The REAL Answer   and WHY!

The do's and dont's... You got this!

But not all rules about guys are so easy.

In fact, if you want to understand what makes men choose one woman over another, you need to know what men find IRRESISTIBLE in a woman.

Go watch my short video presentation on how to be irresistible HERE...




When You're Texting A Guy And He Stops Replying - Ghosted

Nothing is more frustrating - and more common, it seems - than the experience of texting a guy and he stops replying to you. You get GHOSTED. It sounds like some kind of supernatural disease - GHOSTING... but it's one of the most common dating experiences these days. In fact, it's become pretty common for […]

Read More
How To Make Him Regret Leaving You - Or Losing You! (Or Dumping You!)

Breakups are heart-wrenching - and most women would love to know how to make him regret leaving you - or just make him regret dumping you in the first place. And sometimes you just want him to know what he's missing out on. How stupid he was for letting go of you... Yeah, it may […]

Read More
When A Guy Ignores You After An Argument - What To Do!

Have you ever had a guy stop talking to you after you get into a disagreement? What do you do when a guy ignores you after an argument? There's nothing more frustrating than getting the silent treatment.  You feel ignored, minimized, and very small. It also feels like you're abandoned. I'm pretty sure each of […]

Read More
"I Miss My Ex Boyfriend - And I Want Him Back!" What To Do - 17 Tips...

It's probably every woman's worst fear: the breakup. And then you find yourself texting your friends: "I Miss My Ex Boyfriend - And I Want Him Back!" Everything probably started out fantastic between you. You had great dates, great fun, great bedroom action... And then things started to cool off. He didn't text you as […]

Read More
Are You Giving Up On Love? Read This First...

There's no doubt that Love can be frustrating... For some people, it drives them crazy. Maybe that's you - are you giving up on love? Well don't do it until you read this article! This isn't going to be some empty cheerleading, or some rah-rah speech. Sometimes the one thing we need most when we […]

Read More
21 CRITICAL Questions To Ask A Guy

It can be tricky talking to men when you don't know what to say. You might find yourself stuck in silence wondering what to talk about. The best solution is to have questions to ask a guy that get him interested in you. If you know what questions to ask, you can make him feel […]

Read More
I Can't Stop Thinking About Him! - 3 Reasons He's On Your Mind

Whether you are thinking about your newest crush, or have anxiety about your recent break up and don’t know how to stop thinking about someone, this article is for you! “I can’t stop thinking about him!” – Having a crush on a guy isn’t easy… Have you ever been in a situation where you can’t […]

Read More
Dating An Older Man - 17 Secrets You Should Know

If you're thinking of dating an older man, you probably want to know what to expect. There are a lot of things you need to know in order to date older men. Both positive things - and some challenges you should be aware of. You may have a lot of questions, such as: What is […]

Read More
Dating A Divorced Man? 7 Tips You MUST Know...

Dating a divorced man? Before you get too far in the relationship, there are things you must know. Divorced dating is challenging, there's no doubt about that. But if you have the right information, you can date a guy after divorce and make it work. Dating today is definitely different than it used to be. […]

Read More
Playing Hard To Get - 7 Secrets You Never Learned...

Let's start right off by saying that there is a big difference between playing hard to get and being hard to get. Most women play at it but don't understand how to really BE the prize.  Because that's what it's really all about: You have to make yourself the prize to your man for him […]

Read More
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram