When I go out for dinner with my boyfriend, I don’t offer to pay half of the bill.
I’m certainly not someone who believes a man should pay for everything. I just don’t see the point in offering to pay half of a bill. I would rather pay the entirety of the bill if I’m going to get my purse out.
I don’t believe offering to split the bill is the lovely, kind thing people make it out to be – because you’re not really offering to ‘split the bill’. What you’re saying is ‘I’ll pay for my own meal’, expecting to be told how gracious you are for doing so.
I don’t think it’s a gracious move in the slightest – and I don’t believe we should be thanked for offering to pay for what we’ve ordered. It’s like asking to be thanked for giving back the £10 you borrowed from somebody the week before.
I’m not saying your date shouldn’t accept the offer. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t feel like you’ve done them a massive favour.
It’s not noble, and it’s certainly not not something that should be recognised as kindness, when all you’re doing is paying for what’s yours – especially as many people do it so reluctantly, offended that their date actually had the audacity to say ‘yes’ to the offer.
What would be kind, however, is to take out your purse and tell your date that you’ve got this.
Now that’s something that they should actually thank you for. That’s a real kind gesture. Then, it’s up to them whether they accept and how they play it.
Alongside not being on board with the whole ‘let me pay for my food and tell me how lovely I am for doing so’ dilemma, I also believe a woman should not be offended when a guy asks them to pay half of the bill.
They’re not asking you to help them out, they’re asking you to pay for what was yours – and what’s wrong with that?
If you live with your partner, of course you should split rent, you should split the bills and so on – but these are large amounts of money that come together in one unit when you decide to sign a contract to ensure they’re paid, as a team.
Dinner isn’t a contract, it’s a treat, and when you go out to dine, you should feel fully prepared not to be paid for.
Unless you’re fully aware that you’re going to be treated – meaning your date/partner has told you up front that you won’t be paying for anything – you shouldn’t expect to leave the table with a full purse.
So many men feel emasculated if they don’t pay for their date, simply because over time, men have been known as the ‘bread winners’ and anything other than paying for their date feels rude and uncomfortable. They feel like less of a man, less of a provider.
Women grasp onto that stereotype – so used to watching rom-coms and reading romantic novels where it’s never suggested that a woman even offer half of the money for a meal.
Much like holding a door open and pulling a chair out, women see a man paying for the date as a ‘gentlemanly’ thing. And it’s wrong.
I’ve been in conversations when I’ve heard a friend complain that when she offered to pay for half of the bill, her date actually accepted it, as if that were some sort of terrible act.
She was expecting to be told not to worry – and to leave having not spent a thing.
I’m just not on board with that. You can’t just expect somebody to pay for you – you don’t know their financial situation or outgoings, you don’t know whether they need to save the money that you spent on sides you didn’t even end up eating.
You are not anyone’s responsibility, and if you can’t be prepared to fund your own meal – unless it’s been offered up front – then you shouldn’t go out and order a load of expensive food.
Regardless of what happens on the date, you should never leave the house expecting to not spend a penny.
It’s obviously lovely when someone offers to pay the full meal, so follow in their footsteps. Don’t pretend that offering to pay for your own food is generous – if you’re going to pay, make it count.