Why I’ll Always Offer To Go Dutch On A First Date

The moment when the waitress sets the bill down on the table is probably one of the most dreaded parts of any first date. The question of who should pay is a lot less straightforward now than it used to be, which is why I’ve made the decision that I’ll always offer to go dutch on a first date, every time, no matter what. Whether he takes me up on my offer is another thing entirely, but at least if I offer, I can feel like I made the effort, and I think most guys really appreciate that.

  1. I’m perfectly capable of paying for myself. I’m not going on a date to get free dinners and drinks. I’m going on a date because I’m genuinely interested in the guy and I want to get to know him. I don’t need him to pay for me, so I might as well at least offer to pay for my part.
  2. I don’t want him to feel as though I owe him. Some guys will pay for everything as long as a girl puts out. I don’t want to a deal with a douche bag who’s just taking girls on dates to up his chances of getting laid. If I pay for myself, he’ll have no leverage (not that him paying entitled him to anything, anyway).
  3. A lot of the time first dates are more like “first meetings.” With online dating, there can be a lot of pressure to call the first time you ever meet someone a “date.” And to expect a guy to shell out cash to pay for a girl he just met isn’t really fair, either. So I just go into it planning to pay for myself so it takes a little of the pressure off.
  4. Guys don’t want to feel like they’re being used. Just like a girl doesn’t like to feel like she’s being used for sex, guys don’t like to feel like they’re nothing more than their credit card. At least if I offer, he’ll know I don’t need to go on a date with him, I want to.
  5. You can tell a lot about a guy by how he responds. Not that I would consider it a dealbreaker if he accepted my offer to pay for half, but it’s definitely something I would take note of. Some guys would never let a girl pay, and that’s not necessarily the best thing, either. But regardless, if he handles the who’s going to pay thing without too much weirdness, that’s a good sign.
  6. If I already know I’m going to offer, I never have to worry about who should and shouldn’t pay. Let’s face it— even if he has no intention of letting me pay, he’s still wondering if I’m going to offer or not. I think it’s the polite thing to do, and there’s no way most guys would consider it a bad thing either.
  7. I don’t want him to think I need him to pay. It’s partly a pride thing, but I don’t need a guy to take care of me, so why send the message that I can’t pay for a simple dinner (or coffee, or glass of wine) myself? The kind of guy I’m looking for likes women who are independent, so there’s no point in hiding that I am exactly that.
  8. There’s nothing to lose. In my opinion, there’s a lot more to lose by not offering to pay for half than there is by offering. If I don’t offer he might think I’m selfish, entitled, or just can’t afford it. None of those things are true, so I don’t want him to get the wrong impression.
  9. It’s only fair. It’s 2015 ladies. Guys aren’t always expected to be the “providers” anymore. If we want to be seen as equal, we have to be willing to act like equals and that includes being completely willing to pay our own way.
  10. If he says no, it’s the perfect chance to offer to pay next time. If he pays for a first date in full, I’m going to be thankful, and then offer to pay on our next date. Or pay for drinks at the next place if the date is going really well. Even if he won’t let a girl pay on the first date, a lot of guys are more than willing to let her pitch in the for next one.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.