Who pays the bill?

One of my readers wrote in asking if I could please write an article on who pays the bill when you go out on a date with someone you’ve just met, who pays when you’re dating and who pays when you’re married.

These are my thoughts on this topic.

Dating can be fun, but the one awkward thing is always… who pays the bill.

When I was single I went on my fair share of dates, be them blind dates set up by friends and a handful of Tinder dates too. If the guy asked me out on a date, then I would offer to pay the bill, but to be honest I did actually expect him to pay the bill.

This is why:

  1. He invited me out
  2. He picked the place
  3. He chose if we are going for a drink/meal/excursion

I pretty much had no say in the matter, so why would I open my purse to pay for an expensive lunch because he wanted to look boujee in Bryanston?

On my first date with Dr. Bae we went to Tasha’s Nicolway on a Sunday afternoon for a glass of wine. He had a couple of beers and he covered the bill. On the second date, he played open cards. He told me he was a med student and used his pocket money for petrol, toiletries, and our dates, I appreciated this openness. For our second date we went out for sushi and I paid for my stuff and he paid for his. On our third date, I invited him over for dinner and I cooked.

The most important thing is to have open lines of communication. While this convo may be awkward to have, once you’ve had it, it’s not awkward anymore and everyone knows where they stand. This goes for relationships and marriages too. When Dr. Bae and I moved in together we started a ‘food fund’. We both contribute towards the fund and then we use that bank card to pay for all our groceries and dates. So technically we pay for things 50/50 but sometimes we treat each other to a date where one of us uses our own bank card. Once we are married we will combine our salaries in terms of budgets, savings and future planning. I know this approach isn’t for everyone, especially if one person earns significantly greater than the other.

The most important thing is to talk things through. What works for one relationship may not work for another. Some ladies want the gent to pay for everything and that isn’t always possible. For example, Dr. Bae comes with student loan debt, however, one day he will be debt-free and making it rain and I hope he remembers that I loved him in his struggle years.

One thing my readers also asked me to touch on was ‘why does a guy expect something if he’s paid for the date’. We, unfortunately, do live in an era where there are traits of toxic masculinity and instances like this do exist. Honestly, I believe it’s how they’re raised and who they expose themselves to in terms of friends, as those people shape them and their expectations. I’ve had a guy try to kiss me after a date and I wasn’t feeling it, so I pulled a cobra (jolting my head from side to side) and said Nah, fam. The reply I got was ‘Oh, the rumors are true, you are a gold digger.’ I was like listen up, guy, YOU chose to take me to an expensive restaurant, I didn’t ask, so don’t call me abusive names because I didn’t feel a connection with you, and thank goodness my instincts were right because you’re a shitty guy, then I went inside my house, uploaded pics of me at the restaurant, purposefully cropping him out the pic and didn’t give him a security code to get out the complex, knowing full well he was going to have to fight with security to try get out the complex.

Ladies, whether a guy spends R20 or R2 000 on a date, you are never obligated to share your body with someone you don’t want to. Sleeping with someone you don’t want to, for money is called prostitution. Don’t prostitute yourself for a steak and a glass of wine. At the same time, don’t order the lobster tail at dinner and hope he will cover the bill. That’s not fair either.

In summary:

First date: Guy pays, but he also decides where to go and what to do.

When you’re vibing/dating: have a chat and maybe split it 50/50

Married life: It’s up to you as a couple how you manage your finances.

How do you manage your finances as a single, dating or married person?