Ask A Guy: How Do Guys Really Feel About Paying For Dates?

who should pay on a date

Should he always pay? | Source: ShutterStock

Dear Ethan,

My boyfriend always comes and picks me up and drops me off, and he pays for everything we do together. He says it’s not a problem, but I still feel bad. So my question is, how do guys really feel about paying for stuff?

We’ll always welcome offers of financial contributions, but paying for the first few dates is not only a simple (though admittedly archaic) way for guys to show off as providers, it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. And let’s be honest here: what girl doesn’t want to be wooed?

That’s not to say a dude should be presenting you with a gold-drizzled bouquet of four-dozen roses at the start of every night (though if he is, congratulations on your new stalker!), but taking care of those first few movies or light meals goes a long way.

However, it’s also a nice gesture for the lady to pay for the third or fourth date. Explain to your guy how much you appreciate his chivalry, and that you’d like to reciprocate. Your plan doesn’t have to be extravagant – lunch, a movie, or a bowling date are all fun, cheap ways to treat him. Or, you can just be firm about chipping in for whatever you decide to embark on together. Most of the time, we don’t expect you to pay – we just want you to offer. Whether your guy accepts immediately or protests for days, your efforts will always be valued.

Once you’re deeper into the relationship, who pays for what depends entirely on your own personal arrangement. For example, if your boyfriend simply has more disposable income than you, he might pay for a meal out on Friday, and you can prepare the meal in on Sunday. Ultimately, as long as he feels appreciated, a truly smitten guy should enjoy pampering his ladyfriend on a regular basis.

So wake your man with pancakes on his birthday, and go dutch at The Dark Knight Rises, but don’t be afraid to allow him to play the baller and crown you with some hot new bling-bling now and then.

Good luck!

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of For more on Ethan, visit…or call his mom, Robin.

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  • Lena

    I see different opinions here and I have to say that many girls in our society seem to be hypocritical in this aspect. We expect a man to be chivalrous, but if he holds the door for us some of us girls will feel he is being sexist or rude, maybe even insensitive. Hey, if you’re a strong, independent woman more power to ya, but if a guy is showing a bit of chivalry, then wouldn’t that be someone you would like to date and/or be in a relationship with? A dude that is kind and respectful? I am not saying all girls think like this, heck I’m a girl, but wouldn’t it be nice if he took the time to polite around you? Or even all the time? They say chivalry is dead, right? So, what if we saved it and savor it when a guy actually cares about how he acts and how he is as a person? Money should never be the main focus in a relationship, as a girl I believe we can’t just be easy and say youll go out with who ever gave you the nicest Valentine’s Day gift, you should be with someone who listens and respect you, someone who can have an intelligent conversation with you. All I know is that I don’t want to be dating, much less marry, a rude bum that doesn’t know how to take care of one person, let alone a family in the future. I respect your girl power, proud of it, but just because a man held the door or paid for the first date doesn’t mean he wouldn’t hold the door if a guy was behind him or wouldn’t pay if he was out to eat with his buddies. It isn’t always about being “wooed” sometimes they are just good people who want to be liked and do things for others.

  • lauren

    if the guy asked the girl on a date then its important that the guy pays at the end.. i was on a date with a guy once and he asked me to pay afterwards, i slapped him round the face and left. it found it so bloody rude and cried myself to sleep that night because i liked him so so much and blew my chance.

  • Eve

    I’m not “wooed” by a man because of his money. I’m wooed by a man who’ll take the time to listen to me or have a meaningful conversation with me. Chivalry is honestly not that important to me at all. A man can be chivalrous with his girlfriend in public and beat her in private. The concept of chivalry is very superficial and surface level because there’s more to a functional relationship than a man being the “provider”.

    Not to mention the latter is outdated and implies gender roles in a society that should be evolving with gender equality.

    • kat

      sounds like someone has not found the right guy, chivalry is all that should matter

  • Tamarra

    This is just plain wrong. Gender equality is not just in the workplace and the classroom, it’s also on the first date. If you judge a man who splits the check (or let’s you pay), you are in the wrong. Sound out your justification—really, speak it aloud—and you’ll hear how silly and outdated you sound.

  • Amari

    No because that will be dumb question