Dating who should pay the bill

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Along the way, he learned that having a girlfriend is “expensive.” When they visited Miller’s Landing, the beloved local burger and milkshake joint that older teens are allowed to frequent, he often picked up the tab. When I sent his grandma an email to tell her the story, she promptly replied, but with a decidedly different take: “Ask him if his girlfriend is a feminist and goes Dutch treat or not.” As we were chatting, it suddenly occurred to me that even though my husband and I have talked to Nathaniel about sex, drugs, and a host of other sensitive topics, we’d somehow managed to miss a common cultural conundrum: Who should pick up the tab? Modern ideals suggest that gender shouldn’t play a role in who pays for dates. David Frederick, a psychology professor at Chapman University and one of the study’s co-authors, said the motivation for the research was to understand why some gender-based practices (like the acceptance of women in the workplace) have changed, while others (such as certain courtship rituals) have not.

When his 21-year-old sister heard this, she was delighted. The study, which surveyed more than 17,000 unmarried heterosexual men and women, found that 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women said men pay for most dating expenses, even after the relationship has been cooking for a while.

A couple of years ago, Janet Lever, a sociology professor at California State University–Los Angeles, was giving a phone interview on a paper she'd published regarding money and dating.

When Lever arrived at what she thought was the survey's most startling finding—that close to half (44 percent) of men would consider breaking up with a woman if she didn't offer to pay some of the dating expenses—the twentysomething reporter had the proverbial "aha" moment.

So, for the most part, we're all pretty much on the same page about who's going to pay on the first date… Personally, I think the third date is when going dutch becomes a viable option.

Before that, I want something that differentiates a date from a dinner out with my platonic friends. I wanted to know what other people were thinking, so I asked the good people of Reddit at what point thought a couple should start splitting the check.

For the most part, people agreed splitting the check was OK for the first date, but alternating on who picks up the tab was a better MO than splitting for the future.

I never really split the check outside of maybe the first date.

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This takes the question of who pays/ who can afford to pay out of the mix.

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of men believe women should contribute, and 44 percent went so far as to say that they would stop seeing a woman who never reached for the bill.

Yet they’re also deeply conflicted, with 76 percent reporting that they feel guilty accepting women’s money.

It gives people a chance to get to know each other without any investment other than time, or a very nominal amount of money - eg.

have a walk in the park, and stop of coffee/dessert - total tab for two.

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