The INSIDER Summary:
• An etiquette expert says the person who invited the other person out on a date should pay.
• However, if the date and location was a mutual decision, always offer to pay your half.
We’ve all been there — the check arrives on a date, and there’s that awkward deliberation of who should pay, or whether it should be split in half.
According to Myka Meier, the founder of NYC- based Beaumont Etiquette — which offers dating etiquette courses — there’s one easy rule to follow when it comes to picking up the tab: whoever invited the other person out, and chose the place, should pay for the date.
Meier says that the person who does the inviting is the “host” in the situation.
She gives the hypothetical example of a third date, in which a man invites another man or woman to a more upscale restaurant and selects the wine they will be drinking. Meier says it would be unfair for the man to expect his date to pay, since he may have selected a restaurant and wine that’s not in his date’s budget.
So if you’re asking someone out, be prepared to pick up the tab as well.
In cases where it’s not clear who invited who — the decision to go out and where to go was made by both you and your date — Meier says you should always offer to pay, and be genuine about your offer.
“You should always take out your wallet, not just say, ‘oh would you like me to chip in for that?’ because that puts that other person in a really awkward position to say, ‘oh no it’s OK,’ or ‘oh yes.'”
At that point, if your date insists on paying, then you can accept and thank them for that gesture. Some people may suggest splitting the check, in which case you can decide if you’d rather do that, or just pay for it yourself.
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