Should women pay on the first date?

So you’ve just had an amazing dinner with your new date. The conversation has been captivating, there’s a real chemistry and spark between you and you both want to catch up again. You reach for your wallet to pay for the evening, and you suddenly pause and consider if it’s the right thing to do? So what are the rules on paying for the first date?

Well things have certainly changed over the decades in terms of who should pay for the first date. In today’s dating world, the traditional approach of the man always paying for the first date has gone. Now it’s commonplace for both parties to offer to go halves.

It’s the same as asking someone out on a date. Women are now more than happy to step up and ask a guy out rather than waiting around for the male to do the heavy lifting. It’s about equality and empowerment, and in the dating game, if you want to be proactive then you can go ahead and do it.

So when it comes to paying for the first date, it’s entirely over to you and how you want to play it. There are no rules set in stone about this.

You might want to offer to initially pay, and then see what they do? You might want to discuss this up front when you sit down, or wait till the end of the evening and let it evolve naturally? You might feel most comfortable paying for the first date and then letting them pick up the next one?

The key is to have some idea of how you want to approach paying for a first date, but be open minded. The person sitting across from you may have very strong ideas about this as well, and it’s important that you listen and respect where they’re coming from, and adjust to what works best for the both of you.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle

© 2020