It's not always easy to know what to do when the check comes.
Dating etiquette can be slippery on this point. Every few generations, it seems like the rules change completely. Need proof? Crack a courtship manual from the 1800's, and you'll find nuggets like: "A lady, for instance, cannot with propriety accept presents from a gentleman previously to his having made proposals of marriage." Yikes.
Chivalry may have a new look these days-few waistcoats are thrown onto mud puddles anymore-but picking up the tab can still make a nice impression. Yet splitting the check isn't so unforgiveable, either. With so many different expectations out there today, and with the true cost of the date on the line, what makes the difference between effective courtship and date-night suicide, wallet-wise?
Occasionally a date will see things in black-and-white-1 in 10 women believes a man should pay for every single date, and 1 in 6.25 men agrees that he should-but more often than not they can be one of many different shades of grey. For women, the most common assumption is that the man pays for the majority of dates until the relationship is established: 1 in 2.38 women feel that way. But almost as many go for going Dutch: 1 in 3.03 women believes a man should pay for no more dates than she does.
Then there's the thornier matter of her offering to pay, and his accepting, or not. The majority of women, 1 in 1.75, will offer to pay for a date herself. Does he agree to it? 1 in 2.94 women will be bothered if a man accepts her offer to pay. So he refuses? 1 in 2.17 women will be bothered if a man refuses to accept her offer. Feeling the situation out tactfully, and being gracious and never insistent, is likely all that's needed from both sides.
And no matter how the tab gets closed out, he'd do well to at least open a door or two: 1 in 1.39 women (72%) expect a man to open the door for her.
What do men expect? Generally, to shell out. Like women, men typically believe that the man should pay for the majority of dates until the relationship is established: 1 in 2.5 guys expect to. When it comes to equality, men are three times less likely than women to expect that the he should pay for no more dates than she should. 1 in 9.09 men feel that way, compared to 1 in 3.03 women.
And while 10% of women feel that the man should pick up every single tab, there's a 1% contingent of guys who feel the same way-about women. 1 in 100 men will report that he believes the woman should pay for all dates.
No word on how likely that is.
For a man worried that he may get stuck with a tower of bills (not to mention the ever-sensitive matter of the tip), there's hope aplenty. 1 in 3.23 men and 1 in 2.38 women believe the same thing: that a man should pay for the majority of dates until the relationship is established. With a little luck, it might take as few as three dates to get there.
Asked in an Internet poll how many dates makes "a relationship," 1 in 6.25 males and 1 in 12.5 females over 17 consider the person he or she is dating a boyfriend or girlfriend after only 3 - 5 dates.Read More Articles