Going on a first date can be very, very awkward. Do you go dutch on a date or just let them pay? Here’s why you should and how to do it right.
We all know how weird and uncomfortable some first dates can be. It’s a little uncomfortable because the “rules” are pretty unclear. Most of society thinks the guy should pay for the meal or whatever you do but with the changing times, is that accurate anymore? One way around this is to just go dutch on a date.
What does “going dutch” on a date mean?
If you’re unfamiliar with this phrase, it’s just a classic term used to describe when each person pays for their own food and activities while on a date. Instead of making a single person pay for the whole thing, they split it and call it even. It sounds simple enough, but there are a lot of people still confused about it. [Read: 12 rules of dating etiquette for the modern woman]
Why the old rules of society just have to go
Because of all the “dating rules” we see out there, it’s becoming harder and harder to know how to act on a first date. Instead of actually enjoying each other, we’re focused on obeying the rules.
We don’t get to know the other person on the level we should and it’s uncomfortable all around. And first dates shouldn’t be that way. Which is why old rules that society has put in place just need to go. It’s not worth it. [Read: 15 reasons why casual dating is the best ever]
So should you go dutch on a date?
The clear answer is yes. You should. Here’s why adopting this modern dating rule should be common practice amongst new potential couples everywhere.
#1 It gets rid of the awkwardness. You go into a date dreading the moment when the bill comes. It’s weird, uncomfortable, and the last thing you should be thinking about when you’re getting to know someone who could potentially be the one you spend your life with.
Being able to put that issue to rest ASAP will help you relax and actually enjoy your time with them. You also won’t have to worry about what to order and feel bad about getting something expensive since you’re paying for yourself. [Read: 8 easy ways to avoid awkward silences on dates]
#2 You won’t feel guilty if there’s no second date. A lot of people who get their first date paid for often feel guilty if they don’t want a second date. They feel like they owe the other person something even though they don’t.
A great solution to that is to go dutch on a date. You won’t have any remorse about forgoing a second date with someone. You won’t feel bad about the money they spent on you, at least.
#3 It puts you on an even playing field. You two are equals when you each pay for your own food and activities. It doesn’t put someone in a higher position of power and that’s really the best way to go about a date.
If they pay, you’ll feel the need to behave or get something cheap that you don’t actually want. When you’re on an even playing field, it’s a lot easier to be yourself and do what you want instead of what’s expected. [Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas you can try]
#4 There’s no expectations. Speaking of expectations, there are none when you go dutch. Some people *douchebags, mainly* feel that if they pay for the date, you then owe them something. Many try to cash in on that via a second date, or worse, making out.
When you go dutch on a date, there are no expectations. You just have fun together, pay for yourselves, and if you like one another, go on a second date. It’s easy to follow and everyone’s happy.
#5 It makes for more fun when you’re not worried about who pays. You can have a lot more fun when you just pay for yourself. All of your worries can drift away about the “dating rules” you need to follow and you can be yourself.
Not only is that a hell of a lot more fun, but you’ll be able to show them who you truly are when you can relax a bit more. This will help them open up, too, and it just makes for a better date. [Read: 33 awesome date ideas every couple should try]
How to offer to go dutch on a date without making things more awkward
This is just the truth, it might be a little weird suggesting you go dutch. This can be even more harmful if you’re a woman out with a guy who takes it as a dig. Here’s how you can handle going dutch with class and ease.
#1 Mention it right away. Don’t hold off for the last minute because then you’ll still be tense about telling the person you want to go dutch. Say it right away. Tell the waiter or waitress right away that you’d like to split the bill.
#2 Offer to go dutch between the date activities instead. This might be a little easier for a date to understand. Basically, if you’re going for dinner and a movie, let them pay for the meal and you pay for the movie. You’re not splitting it exactly but you’re still doing halvsies, which is close enough.
More people who are likely to be offended when you go dutch on a date will agree with this tactic more so than just paying for everything on your own.
#3 Tell them you’d prefer it that way. If you make it clear that it’ll make you happier to split the bill, they can’t really say no. They’re on a date to make you happy and if doing that will make it so, they’ll agree to it. Plus, they’ll look like the bad person if they argue against something that makes you happy. [Read: 20 ways to make your girlfriend incredibly happy]
#4 Don’t make a big deal of it. If you make it seem like a huge deal, it’ll make your date nervous. Just casually mention that you’d like to go dutch and leave it at that. It’s simple enough for them to realize it’s not a big deal and firm enough for them to agree to it.
#5 Don’t fight them if they insist on paying. This will just make everything all the more awkward. Obviously, they’ll probably try to persuade you but if they’re adamant about you not paying at all, don’t fight it.
If you do, they’ll only take it offensively and you’ll be left with a grouchy date. You can repeat that you’d like to split the bill a couple times but when they start being insistent, just let them. It’s not worth the struggle.