Guys Who Don’t Pay on the First Date (Dating Etiquette Explained!)

Are guys who don’t pay on the first date in the wrong? Is it a bad sign of how things are going to go if you see them again?

There’s a lot of debate on whether or not guys should pay on the first date.

Traditionally, it was always expected that the guy would pay for the date. But in today’s more progressive society, that’s not necessarily the case anymore.

Studies have shown that around 65% of women want to pay on the first date in this day and age.

So, does that mean you should assume your date is going to want to pay? How are you going to approach this topic?

Let me help by explaining the pros and cons of paying on a first date and modern dating etiquette!

Should a Guy Offer to Pay on the First Date?

It’s no longer a given or the norm for guys to always pay on a first date, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook!

There are a few things to consider when trying to answer this question.

The first is your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s probably not going to be feasible for you to offer to pay for an expensive dinner or date activity.

In which case, you probably should have thought about that before booking – or agreeing – to go to an expensive restaurant.

If you can afford it, though, offering to pay shows that you’re interested in treating your date well and being a gentleman. It can be seen as a nice gesture.

On the other hand, some women see it as an insult if the guy tries to pay because they feel like they can’t handle their own finances or take care of themselves. 

It really depends on the woman you’re dating and how she views this issue.

The best thing you can do is to gauge her reaction when the bill comes and make a decision from there.

If she seems uncomfortable or insists on splitting the bill, then you know that she doesn’t want you to pay. 

But if she’s okay with it, then go ahead and offer to pick up the tab!

Paying on a first date can send different messages depending on the situation. It can show that you’re interested in taking care of your date or it can come across as being too pushy.

It really all comes down to your intentions and how you handle the situation.

As long as you’re respectful of your date’s wishes and pay attention to her body language, or more explicitly what she’s saying to you, it should go well.

Related Is it common for guys to get nervous on a first date?

What It Means When a Guy Doesn’t Pay on the First Date

There are a few different reasons why a guy might not pay on the first date. 

The most common reason is that he’s trying to show that he’s a progressive, modern man who doesn’t believe in traditional gender roles. 

He wants to show that he believes in equality and doesn’t think that women are weaker or less capable than men. 

This is a commendable motive, but it can sometimes come across as being cheap.

Another possibility is that he simply doesn’t have the money to pay. This could be because he’s unemployed, underemployed, or just plain poor. 

The key thing here is – did the guy genuinely offer to pay or show willingness, even if he’s handing it over to you?

I’ll admit, it can get complicated.

It’s about finding the perfect balance where it’s not uncomfortable or awkward when a server brings out the bill, and both parties end up feeling like the right decision was made.

Do Girls Expect Guys to Pay For Dates?

So, you’re anticipating the bill arriving and wondering if the girl sitting opposite expects you to pay or not….

This is a difficult question to answer because it really varies from person to person. 

Some women feel strongly that the guy should always pay, regardless of who asked whom out or what the financial situation is. 

Others believe that whoever did the asking should be the one to foot the bill. And still, others think it’s fair to split the cost down the middle.

The bottom line is that you can’t make assumptions about what your date expects. The only way to know for sure is to ask her directly!

If you’re interested in a second date, then it might benefit you to offer to pay for the first one. 

Related Should you text a girl to see if she gets home safe?

Should a Woman Offer to Pay on a Date?

This is another question with no easy answer. 

It really depends on the situation and your own personal preferences. 

If you’re on a tight budget, then it might not be feasible for you to offer to pay. 

And if you’re trying to make a good impression, offering to pay could come across as being too pushy.

The best thing you can do is gauge your date’s reactions and go from there. If she seems uncomfortable or insists on splitting the bill, then you know that she doesn’t want you to pay. 

But if she’s okay with it, then go ahead and offer to pick up the tab!

If you’re sure she wants to pay and think the date went well, you could take this opportunity to offer to pay for the next date.

A little presumptuous, but it’s more likely to come off as thoughtful and cute than it is offensive, whether you end up going out on another date or not!


Image credits – Photo by René Ranisch on Unsplash

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