Friday, December 3, 2021

To Split the Bill or Not to Split the Bill?

So you’re out on a first date everything has been going well, you guys got along, and the conversation was lively and exciting! Alas, all good things must end. The waiter comes to the table and places the bill. You take a look at it, and then at each other. Now what? Are you going to split the bill? Is the person who proposed the date going to pay or do you both just sit there pretending the bill doesn’t exist until whoever gives in first?

A lot of women would say that the man should pay on the first date because they have already set aside time, money, and effort to look good. Makeup, skincare, and this new outfit are not cheap! So if I’m going to spend all of this to see you, the least you could do is pay for my meal. On the other hand, men do the same thing! They would also have to set aside time and energy to get ready.

So the real question is, why has this become so transactional? Meeting someone on a first date is like testing the waters. You’re only meeting and discovering things about one another, testing to see if there is chemistry between the two of you. Would you really want someone to sleep with you because they feel obligated to? Isn’t it immoral to expect something in return from someone just because you paid for their meal? What about first dates with same-sex couples where societal expectations surrounding whether guys should pay or split the bill are invalid?

I’m always very grateful that my mom taught me from a very young age to not let your partner pay for you. I think always splitting the bill has saved me from a few unsavoury situations happening. I’ve never been cussed out or expected to come back to their place because I don’t “owe” them anything. Of course, not all men expect something in return but as a woman, you’re always thinking of the worst-case scenario and finding contingency plans for it.

I think it’s fair to lay out your boundaries on that first date, which should include whether you want to split the bill or not. This helps both parties manage expectations and to protect one another from rejection and potential violence that may arise from that. If you want your date to pay for you, don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. The least you could do is match what they’re getting. If you decide to split the bill, you are no less than someone who did foot the bill. Don’t offer to pay if you don’t sincerely want to. If the other person has a problem with that then you can both find someone who fits into your ideals and lifestyle.

Gabriel Garlycia
My name is Gabriel Garlycia. I’m an Indonesian girl born and raised in Jakarta. I’m a recent graduate from King’s College London who’s also a type 1 diabetic. Keep a lookout for my articles ranging from current world events to your newest anime releases!

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