Dating Question: Who pays?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2015 1:11 AM GMT
    I feel kind of stupid asking this question but I'm newly single and haven't dated in almost 13 years so I'm a little rusty.

    When you meet a guy out for a date, how do you decide who pays? Where I'm from, you just automatically pull your wallet out and both people insist on paying until one person gives in. I know it sounds kind of childish but it also works and keeps either party from trying to save face. I really don't keep track of who pays that much but at some point you can start to feel taken advantage of. One reason I'm bringing this up is I went out with this great guy two nights ago. We met at a local bar and since he drove across town to my area I told him over the phone I was buying since he was coming to me. We had quite a few beers and I paid for all of them which I had no problem with. But he just texted me telling me he had a great time and wants to see me again. Now I'm wondering if I've set some kind of precedence. Not sure how to handle our next date to keep things on an equal level. Oh and also he's recently unemployed which throws in another factor. Any advice would be appreciated.
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    Jan 15, 2015 2:03 AM GMT
    There are many factors:

    The old fashioned way is the top pays. Its the way it goes. Unless you're both versatiles; in that case you split half-half.

    But most importantly, the one that pays is the one that INVITES the dinner. So if you invite him you should pay or the other way around.
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    Jan 15, 2015 2:37 AM GMT
    David3K saidThere are many factors:

    The old fashioned way is the top pays. Its the way it goes. Unless you're both versatiles; in that case you split half-half.

    But most importantly, the one that pays is the one that INVITES the dinner. So if you invite him you should pay or the other way around.


    Well, he rang me up and wanted to meet for drinks. But I said I would pay since he was driving across town to meet me. He brought his dog so we could go to a bar that allows dogs.

    I don't know if I buy into that whole "the top pays" thing. Sounds like taking too much from hetero practices.
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    Jan 15, 2015 2:42 AM GMT
    -the server should have no issue splitting the tab 50/50 so both of you give your credit cards.
    -a tab less than the cost of a tank of gas, no issue, you just pay it no questions.

    so sad he is unemployed
    common in the great recession tho. you be sensitive to his situation. Have him cook something simple and you bring a great wine and meet up some place neutral. or go to a low cost solution.

    take a constructive interest in his job search.
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    Jan 15, 2015 3:26 AM GMT
    pellaz said-the server should have no issue splitting the tab 50/50 so both of you give your credit cards.
    -a tab less than the cost of a tank of gas, no issue, you just pay it no questions.

    so sad he is unemployed
    common in the great recession tho. you be sensitive to his situation. Have him cook something simple and you bring a great wine and meet up some place neutral. or go to a low cost solution.

    take a constructive interest in his job search.


    He actually just invited me over to his place for dinner next week. He also suggested taking our dogs to the river together this weekend so so far money hasn't been in the picture. And yeah I already gave him some suggestions on who might hire him.
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    Jan 15, 2015 3:28 AM GMT
    Instead of going out you guys could cook something together. You take care of the proteins and he is in charge of side dish.
    Cheaper than eating out and more fun. That way, you both pay for something.
  • SilverRRCloud

    Posts: 872

    Jan 15, 2015 6:47 AM GMT
    Few obvious rules apply:

    You invite someone, you pay.

    If you happen to be older, and are dating a college kid with no own income, you pay.

    If you are a dominant dude, and domination is part of your setup with this other dude, you pay.

    In all other cases, split the cost.

    The old rule, as in tops pay automatically has been abolished. It is both heteronormative, and suggests that the tops are the only ones having fun. This ain't flyin' anymore.icon_biggrin.gif

    SC
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    Jan 15, 2015 7:02 PM GMT
    The best solution to this tricky dating dilemma is to both do a runner.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Jan 15, 2015 8:29 PM GMT
    I've always just played it by ear. When my partner was in school I pretty much covered everything but also gave him the opportunity to pay once in a while if the tab was affordable, like lunch. Now that he's doing well, he jumps in and covers about half but we don't split tickets, we just kind of keep mental track. And occasionally, I'll say something like "Hey! You pay. I'm feeling broke." That way the issue stays unimportant and casual. And if we both whip out our wallets, I immediately say something like "Great! You're paying! Thanks!" which, again, keeps it casual and fun. But I have some friends, a couple, who always split every bill although one pays and the other reimburses. Different people have different feelings on this so to an extent, you just have to communicate.
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    Jan 15, 2015 9:10 PM GMT
    Whoever asks for the date pay. If I'm the older guy, the younger guy seem broke. I always pay for him. If I'm dating the older guy, he's asking me out and stuff, then he pays. There's no certain rule, just keep your cash/wallet in case you have to pay for yourself. But yeah, I noticed that when I paid and impressed the guy, he usually put out later. icon_redface.gif
  • Janny

    Posts: 37

    Jan 15, 2015 11:32 PM GMT
    pellaz said-the server should have no issue splitting the tab 50/50 so both of you give your credit cards.
    -a tab less than the cost of a tank of gas, no issue, you just pay it no questions.

    so sad he is unemployed
    common in the great recession tho. you be sensitive to his situation. Have him cook something simple and you bring a great wine and meet up some place neutral. or go to a low cost solution.

    take a constructive interest in his job search.
    wow
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2015 2:04 AM GMT
    If you really want to pay, you should pay. If he really wants to pay, he should pay. If he's broke and you know it makes him uncomfortable to have his meal paid for, find some other way to spend time together.

    It all depends on the context.
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    Jan 16, 2015 2:32 AM GMT
    I have a tendency to always offer to pay...and when someone else does pay I feel extremely obligated to pay the next time...but that's just me.

    I think general etiquette has usually dictated that whoever initiated the date pays...but that could be an archaic way of approaching things. From my understanding, it's not uncommon for people to go dutch.

    The idea of letting him cook for you sounds good. Just keep your fingers crossed that his home is clean and that he knows how to cook. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2015 4:07 AM GMT
    I make sure they put out BEFORE so it's not based on dinner LOL.

    There's always the hygiene issue, for one, and sex works up an appetite.

    Whoever pays should offer to tip.

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    Jan 16, 2015 4:32 AM GMT
    Initially, split it most of the time.

    If one person has to travel significantly more, then the other might offer to pay.

    When dating someone with a significantly different income, have the guy with the higher income pay for something expensive (like the theater tickets) and the guy with the lower income pay for something cheaper (like drinks).

    Having been in both of these roles, it's nice to pay for something, even if it's small.

    If there's a significant age difference, that usually comes with a significant income difference.

    The idea that the top pays is really funny to me. Often it's not even clear who is what. And even the idea that the males pay for all dates with females is out of style.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2015 4:35 AM GMT
    I always pay. I can afford it and it gives me the upper hand in the relationship. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2015 6:18 AM GMT
    I offer to pay each time. I don't mind it really and I can afford to. If the guy really wants to pay we alternate or split the check. If he lets me pay each time without offering, we stop dating.
  • rdberg1957

    Posts: 662

    Jan 16, 2015 8:07 PM GMT
    It does depend on what you can afford. I think this can be negotiated. I have a straight friend I've been going to lunch with after racquetball for over 20 years. We each alternate. It feels good to take him out and sometimes it feels good to be taken out. I don't have a lot of experience with extensive dating with gay men. I have had lots of first dates (match.com, etc) and I have a few gay friends. My relationships with straight men (non-sexual friendships) are much longer lasting than my relationships with gay men.
    I prefer alternating as much as possible so neither feels kept or taken advantage of. Part of the negotiation has to do with what type of place we pick and how spendy it is. I tend to like cheap ethnic restaurants with good food more than expensive, trendy places with fabulous atmosphere and mediocre food.
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    Jan 17, 2015 4:47 AM GMT
    On my last date, I make it customary to bring it up front prior to the date very casual so there are no expectations. I always insist in going Dutch on dates. Additionally, I advised the waitress or waiter that we will be paying separately and they usually have no problem. It has worked really wellicon_biggrin.gif

    Additionally, it is not fair to always pay, and also we all go through different economic circumstances. Of course there are always exception to the rule, were I feel generous or like you mentioned the guy drove out of his way to meet you then I would offer.
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    Jan 17, 2015 5:10 AM GMT
    uombroca saidOn my last date, I make it customary to bring it up front prior to the date very casual so there are no expectations. I always insist in going Dutch on dates. Additionally, I advised the waitress or waiter that we will be paying separately and they usually have no problem. It has worked really wellicon_biggrin.gif


    I don't think I have the nerve to do that. I would feel cheap saying that.
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    Jan 17, 2015 7:24 AM GMT
    Radd said
    uombroca saidOn my last date, I make it customary to bring it up front prior to the date very casual so there are no expectations. I always insist in going Dutch on dates. Additionally, I advised the waitress or waiter that we will be paying separately and they usually have no problem. It has worked really wellicon_biggrin.gif


    I don't think I have the nerve to do that. I would feel cheap saying that.


    Lol, hahaha, This happened to me once. I went on a date with a Guy in santa monica at an Italian restaurant. It was kinda weird, at the end, we split the check. Ultimately, I kinda decided to stop seeing him for other reasons, lol which I don't want to discuss. But yeah, it goes back to impressing the guy or scoring. You would come off kinda cheap if you just say that out loud. The guy you're trying to score might just get turn off if indeed it was YOU who asked for the date.
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    Jan 17, 2015 4:02 PM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidI always pay. I can afford it and it gives me the upper hand in the relationship. icon_wink.gif

    Unfortunately I dated millionaires a couple of times in the past, and no way I could get the upper hand. Perhaps you're a millionaire yourself.

    And of course they're usually the most stingy of all, would rarely pay for you. Well that's fine, I pay for myself. I nearly bankrupted myself trying to keep up with one guy and his lavish lifestyle: multiple homes in 2 US States, plus in Paris & Scotland. But I would never consider NOT paying for myself.

    Well, I shouldn't say that. We have an older millionaire friend, and he insists on buying us meals when we take him out, we're typically a party of 4, he grabs the check first. My husband has known him for nearly 60 years, from back in Boston.

    But my husband & I, and our 3rd regular companion, will plan ahead, for dinners when we can treat him before he can touch his wallet. We'll even phone ahead, and tell the restaurant who's to get the check. All 3 of us have a horror, a personal shame, at being recipients of constant generosity from a rich elderly man (well, we're ALL elderly now, just not rich).

    But we see these young hustlers zero in on this guy, like sharks. So we circle the wagons around him, sometimes literally (mixed metaphors?).

    If we meet him at a bar we sit him between us, so no empty chair is next to him. Otherwise a hustler will sit down and try to pry money out of him. Or get him to go to a restaurant, where you know who'll be paying. Disgusting to watch it.

    Fortunately he himself welcomes our intervention. A gentle soul, he has no natural defense mechanisms against these predators. And he later regrets his caving to them.

    But with us he knows he's safe, we go Dutch (though sometimes a struggle with some elaborate prior planning). So that in this topic of "who pays" there's a subcategory of the old rich guy. And man, do these guys get ripped off by young gay hustlers.
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    Jan 17, 2015 5:56 PM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidI always pay. I can afford it and it gives me the upper hand in the relationship. icon_wink.gif


    I can afford to pay too so that's not the issue. I just prefer to keep my relationships balanced. I don't like feeling taken advantage of and would hate to make someone else feel that way too. And I have no desire to have the "upper hand" in a relationship.....(although I realize you were at least partially joking with that part.)
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    Jan 17, 2015 7:30 PM GMT
    David3K saidThere are many factors:

    The old fashioned way is the top pays. Its the way it goes. Unless you're both versatiles; in that case you split half-half.

    But most importantly, the one that pays is the one that INVITES the dinner. So if you invite him you should pay or the other way around.


    I concur my friend
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    Jan 17, 2015 9:54 PM GMT
    Radd said
    uombroca saidOn my last date, I make it customary to bring it up front prior to the date very casual so there are no expectations. I always insist in going Dutch on dates. Additionally, I advised the waitress or waiter that we will be paying separately and they usually have no problem. It has worked really wellicon_biggrin.gif


    I don't think I have the nerve to do that. I would feel cheap saying that.



    We discussed it over the phone prior to the date when we made the arrangements, so it was not discussed in the restaurant for everyone to hear. At that time, also I had lost my last job and was watching my expenses so he understood. In fact, he was a successful realtor manager and it was fine with me. Ultimately, we did not see each other, there were other issues that made the relationship not go forward.