It’s a tale as old as time. You go on a first date, have a lovely time (or not), and when the bill comes, the guy asks you to split the bill 50/50. As much as dating rules have evolved, it seems like one question remains in the gray area: Should one person pay the bill, or should both split it?

While many women say they’d rather split the bill to remove expectations or “owe something” to men during the initial stages of dating, others claim that a man picking up the bill is the polite thing to do. For some, it is a clear sign of interest and an expression of masculine energy— not to be confused with machismo.

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Instagram user Pearl Botts recently sparked a debate online after sharing her response to men wanting to split the bill during the first date.

“When a man wants to go fifty-fifty with you on a date, do this,” she says in the clip. Then, she proceeds to create a scenario in which she pretends to be talking to a guy on a date.

“Oh my god, I’m so embarrassed right now, um. Wait, I’m so confused. This whole entire time, I thought this was a date,” she says.

Finally, she coyly adds, “I’m so sorry, here’s my card.”

People have commented on and shared the clip, shedding light on their own experiences. But the question prevails: what’s the right thing to do?

Some women say they feel “turned off” by guys splitting the bill on the first date

In the comments section, many women agreed with Botts’ sentiment that men should pay the bill on the first date.

“Yessss ???? More women should honestly do this. LADIES, your worth is THE ENTIRE DATE OR NO DATE AT ALL. That’s not petty. It’s called value,” one user wrote. And the sentiment seems to ring true on other social platforms.

On Reddit, a woman started a thread asking women if they felt turned off by guys splitting the bill on the first date and if men split it when they weren’t interested or financially well off.

“Woman here. To me, It’s not about money. It’s about the signal they send out,” she starts. “I feel splitting bills means a guy is not so interested and shows no appreciation of the time and effort you put in selecting an outfit/putting on makeup/traveling to the meeting location.”

She continued, “That, to me, is a turnoff unless they make up for it [by] showing genuine interest in the conversation/asking good questions/walking you to your car, etc.”

Responding to Botts, one woman brought up the point that after subscribing to the “feminist bs of holding power” and carrying her husband financially through their relationship, it ended it since it “crumbled his ego.”


Y es reciproco claramente. Y ni siquiera estoy hablando de cosas lujosas en si, simplemente si tu invitas, pagas???????? #chisme #chismesito #parati #storytime #influencer #fyp #fypシ #consejos

♬ sonido original – Valeria Gri

“As a woman who carried her husband financially after falling for the feminist bs of holding power, splitting the check (or more commonly just paying it), blah blah blah. Inevitably, me having more than him ended up crumbling his fragile ego and, subsequently, our relationship,” she said.

Adding, “After reading all these other fragile egos crying in here for women to pay their way, I’m certain we will be villainized no matter what part we play. THIS is fuggin brilliant. I said it ???? I’m taking this line straight to the date bank.”

Meanwhile, others say they don’t mind paying 50/50 on the first date, but it’ll be their last date.

“I don’t mind going 50/50 on the first date !! ????????‍♀️ It’ll just be our last date!”

However, some people feel that splitting the bill on the first date shows independence and relieves expectations

Although many agreed on their preference of men paying on the first date, others say they’d rather “Go Dutch” and split the bill.

One user in the comments section wondered why this topic was still up for debate, especially regarding first dates.

“OK, I know this is a joke, but I have a genuine question for ladies. Why are a lot of you so opposed to paying for your own food and things you consumed on dates? Especially first dates?” they wrote.


La primera cita y quién paga, ya la parte romántica y que el hombre te pretenda y se comporte como un caballero ha sido interrumpida. ¿Eres team 50/50? #quienpagalacuenta #relaciones #cita #firstdate #primeracita #amor #femenina #caballeros #energias #podcast #español

♬ sonido original – jevasocial

Others say that women paying for their own half shows off independence and takes off expectations from the other person.

“Ladies.. HEAR ME OUT… how about you be self-sufficient? You don’t expect nothing from no one. You pay for YOUR OWN sh*t, and if you go out and it’s a pricy restaurant, decline and say I can’t afford that now. If the person offers to pay, cool, that’s on them…” they shared.

Another school of thought? The person who invites pays

Interestingly, it’s not all black and white when it comes to splitting the bill or one person paying. As many in the comments section have expressed, one school of thought thinks the person whose idea was to have the date should pay.

“The one who asks pays,” one user wrote. “If I invite even a networking partner or an employee or a client out, I’m paying. It’s not even about dating; it’s just respectful.”

What do you think?