Why It’s Important to Split the Bill on the First Date

women paying the bill at a coffee shop
Photo by weedezign/Shutterstock

Let the debate begin.

Depending on if you’re old school or new gen, when it comes to covering the bill and keeping the change, a simple meet and greet can turn into a first date debacle. From excuses to expectations, it’s safe to say that not every member of your squad agrees on the subject. For some women, not paying in full for the first wine and dine is not only a strike – it’s a strike out. But before you jump the gun, take a step back and read on to learn why it’s important to go half and half the first time around.

Fingers crossed the get-together generates all good vibes. If that’s the case, splitting the bill on the first date sets the tone for your next get to know you sesh – or maybe even the rest of your relationship. Since most players in the dating scene are looking for a serious relationship, starting off 50/50 establishes a sign of respect, a genuine interest and an equal partnership. To break it down: it says that neither of you are on the date for a freebie or with an ulterior motive. Yes, you’ve been dying to try that new resto in the city that the team is chit-chatting about. No, you’re not allowed to rely on a definitely, maybe acquaintance to treat you.   

While primping and prepping, the only expectation that you should have for a first date is good conversation (and good manners). As the year of the women comes to a close, we’re finally living in a time where the “F” word refers to feminism (something other than a dirty af mouth). On the daily, with the world watching, we continue to march and make moves for equality. So why not bring this same mentality to the table—literally. Whether flipping open a magazine or talking to a friend, you’ll realize that independence is a top turn on. By going halfsies, you’ll not only demonstrate that you’re an independent woman, but also make Bey proud.

Beyond showing respect, sharing strong values and simply being polite, pulling out your wallet—and actually paying—offers an element of surprise. Looking for a way to score a second hang out? Since more often than not he’s left to pick up the bill, doing so will make a memorable first impression.  

Still not convinced that splitting the bill on the first date is the right thing to do? If you’re stuck in tradition or all about saving those pennies, keep in mind these two to-dos:

  1. Fake it ‘til you make it: when the time comes, at least have the courtesy to reach for your wallet. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
  2. Right back at you: when heading on a second date, be sure to pay in full. A little back and forth action is always fair and fun.