More on my date - she "offered" to pay? What now?

Thanks all who responded to my previous thread:

Now I have an additional problem. You see, I called this girl (as a refresher we’ve gone out for lunch and a real date so far) on Tuesday to ask her out on Saturday. After a few minutes of chit-chat, the conversation went basically like this:

Me: So, what are you doing on Saturday?
Her: Oh, just planned to do some work around the apartment, but was thinking of calling you to see if you wanted to go see a movie.
Me: Hey, that sounds good. How about dinner too?
Her: Sure! How about that new Thai place?
Me: Sounds great. Wait a minute, did you just ask ME out?
Her: Well, I guess I did! So I guess that means I pay, right?
Me: You know, I really don’t have my dating rulebook handy here.
Her: Because I don’t mind and I’ve done it before. It’s my little bit of feminism coming out. In fact I asked a guy out to prom and paid for it all! (Note that was about 10 years ago.)

I then changed the topic to allow me to evaluate what the heck she just said. Now, I don’t mind paying and figure it’s the default anyway. But I am also “progressive” and modern enough that my manhood isn’t shattered by her paying, and we do have similar incomes.

I’m going to pick up the movie tickets earlier in the day, so she won’t have an option of paying for those. But this may make her more adamant about paying for dinner (it’s not an expensive place, by the way).

I hate the whole issue of who pays. It drives me nuts, since I don’t care if I pay, but I don’t want to get in an argument over it. As long as I having a good time, it makes no difference to me. I’ve let girls pay before a few times, but none of them have worked out, so it’s impossible to determine a causal relationship. If this date goes well I’m going to suggest that for our next one we cook our own dinner and avoid the whole issue (well I guess we’ll have to buy groceries).

I think I always way overanalyze this stuff. But this girl so far seems really cool, so I don’t want to ruin it prematurely. Thanks again for your help!

Man I hope she doesn’t read the SDMB

Don’t sweat it - just let her pay if she wants to. My daughter had frequent confrontations with 2 of her boyfriends about having a turn to pay for dinner - she had a job and money and thought it was only fair. She was quite frustrated when the guys made a stink about it.

So, don’t make a big deal about it. Have fun!

She asked you out, she’s paying. What’s the big deal?


Look, she’s a big girl now (around 28, I’m assuming) and can probably afford to pay for a dinner or two. A sizable number of women don’t like the idea of being paid for all the time, it sets up an idea (valid or not) that they owe you something because you’re always paying.

Normally, I offer to pay, and do pay for the first and second dates. I also try to read the person I’m with, if she seems adamant about paying for some or all of the dinner, I’ll let her, though I’ll be stubborn myself about the first date. If you’ve paid for everything thus far, and she wants to pay for dinner, I think that’s A-OK, and wouldn’t give it a second thought.

Sure, let her pay! Just be sure and graciously let her know what a lovely thing it was for her to do. When I started dating a new man back in my single days, I usually offered to pay on the third date or so. It only seemed fair. If you keep dating then tell her you’d like to talk about the “who pays” issue. She sounds generous and open enough to be honest with you how she feels about it.

At dinner, offer to pay, offer to pay half, be willing to be defeated in the whole fight for the check since she already agreed to pay for it.
Then you can go: “I feel bad, let me at least get the movie” she’ll likely let you, or insist that she pays for everything since that was the agreement.

This way you’re not a freeloader, nor are you being macho.
The good part is that now that the precedent is set for whoever has the idea for an activity is the one who pays, although I think the invited should always offer to pay or help when the bill comes.

Sounds like a pretty cool woman.

I agree, let her pay.

I’m recalling the ‘When did you know s/he WASN’T the one’ thread - once I knew because he always, always, always would go through the routine of splitting the bill. I was quite happy to alternate - you get the movie, I get dinner etc - since we went out together all the time I figured it worked out in the end, and if not, no biggie. His fussiness drove me absolutely bonkers. Best to skip that mess and get the unspoken habit of alternating underway ASAP.

Also if you kick up a fuss it’s annoying.

(Raging Feminist hat: ON)
“What the hell decade do you think this is? Do you think I don’t have a job? Do you think I need a man to look after me?”
(Raging Feminist hat: OFF)

How does offering to take care of the tip sound?

How about if you just send her my way then? Let her pay and not worry about it one bit. But really if you don’t like it send her my way, I’ll let her pay sometimes.

On a real note though I have found lately that usually I end up paying a bit more in the long run, but a lot of times the woman likes to pay as well. I can’t think of a time it has really bothered me.

When my wife and I were dating (a little further down the road than you are with this girl – not quite engaged, but getting there :slight_smile: ) I had one credit card that was used solely for our dates. When the bill came each month, we’d split it. Worked great.

You realize, if she pays, you’re expected to Put Out . . .

Let her take you out, but bring some “mad money” if she tries to get fresh.

Damn it – Eve beat me to it.

I think the key is to not make a big deal out of it. I would always just pay for everything, unless she reached for the check or wanted to pay. If she tries to pay for something, make a single “are you sure?” or “shall I put in half?” remark, and then just let her. Don’t mention it again, apart from saying “hey, thanks for dinner” on the way out. I wouldn’t bring it up later as leverage for her letting you pay for something else, e.g. movie tickets. That makes it seem like you’re keeping track, and thus Really Care. I certainly wouldn’t try to pay for the tip – that’s part of the cost of dinner.

Splitting bills sucks, and I wouldn’t offer to do that. Here’s what my (normally completely un-)suave self would do:

Don’t mention “who pays” again.
If she mentions getting to the theater early for tickets, tell her you’ve already picked them up; otherwise, don’t bring it up yourself.
When the check comes at dinner, reach for it. If she doesn’t slap your hand away, pay for it and don’t mention it.
If she smacks your hand away, smile and thank her for dinner.
If it hasn’t already come up, mention that you’ve already got the tickets once you get to the theater.

This way, you’ve offered to pay for dinner, and you’ve made sure you’re paying for part of the evening out, but you’ve never been in a situation where you fight over it or where you look like a petty pennypinching butthead.


Ooh ooh! Order the lobster and only eat three bites. That’ll show her!
Wait, it’s Thai so it’s probably a buffet of some kind. OK, only go up once. That’s much more subtle.

Don’t make a big deal over this, let her pay and you can leave the tip

My general rule has been that if I ask the guy out on a date, I pay. If he asks me out, he pays. In a more established relationship, we alternate occasionally.

If she wants to pay, let her. Don’t make a big deal of it or fight her for the check, because it would be obnoxious to make a scene or turn it into a tussle. If she offers to pay, then expects you to pick up the check, well, then you know something new about her character, don’t you?

If she wants to pay, let her pay. I doubt she is going think less of you for it, since she asked.

In general, I think the best idea is to trade paying for stuff, with whoever makes the most money paying the most often. I was living off a shoestring budget in college, but I felt guilty if my boyfriend didn’t let me pay for things some of the time when we went out. And I felt better when I was able to pay for the whole thing occasionally than I would have throwing in a few bucks each time. It feels nice to pay for stuff. If she wants to, let her and thank her.

Definitely don’t make her feel like you now owe her in some fashion, though – like you have to pay for something else. Just offer to pay next time. IMHO.