New Study by EliteSingles: Who Should (Really) Pay on a First Date?

NEW YORK--()--Premium dating site EliteSingles asked 300,000 Americans one simple yet hotly debated question: when a man and a woman are on a first date, who should pay? The answer? Men. That is, according to men. Less than half of women agree…

  • Two-thirds of American men (63%) think the man should pay on a first date.
  • Less than half of women (46%) agree.
  • Men are most likely to pick up the check in Alabama and Wyoming and least likely in DC.
  • 1-in-5 women (18%) prefer to go Dutch on dates; only 7% of men feel the same.

A new study from EliteSingles has revealed that it’s time to rethink the stereotype that women want men to pay for the first date. In fact, the study of 300,000 singles shows that it's actually men who are more likely to think that men should foot the bill. 63% of men believe it is the man’s job to pay on a first date. Less than half of women (46%) agree.

Men are most likely to pick up the check in Alabama and Wyoming, where 76% of men see paying as the man’s role. The divide between what men and women want is most pronounced in Vermont, where 65% of men and just 28% of women think men should cover the dating bill. At the other end of the scale there’s Washington DC, where only 51% of men would get the check.

So, should women be picking up the tab instead? It’s a hard no from men, with just 2% wanting the women they date to foot the bill. Women themselves are slightly more on board – 5% think women should pay on a first date.

Splitting the bill could be a solution, but here too, men and women are divided. While nearly 1-in-5 women (18%) prefer to go Dutch on dates, less than 1-in-10 men (7%) feel the same.

EliteSingles in-house psychologist, Zoe Coetzee, has an answer to this etiquette dilemma: ignore taboo, and be honest! ‘’As in most areas of dating and relationships, communication is key! Paying the bill doesn’t need to be contentious – simply bring it up rather than skirting around the issue. If you have particularly strong feelings, bring it up first and politely express your view.’’

Coetzee also suggests a smooth move that couples can use when they can’t agree: ‘’if only one of you gets [the check] this time, a nice way to imply that you would like a second date is to suggest you’ll pay for the next one.''

About EliteSingles

EliteSingles is designed for successful single professionals seeking a fulfilling long-term relationship. EliteSingles is part of Spark Networks SE (NYSE American"LOV’’), a global leader in online dating. Supporting 29 countries and 15 languages, Spark has headquarters in Berlin, and offices in New York, San Francisco, and Utah.


Sophie Watson

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