#4: ASK KATARINA: Who pays on a date? 🤔

#4: ASK KATARINA: Who pays on a date? 🤔

''Hi Katarina, I recently went out on a date with a guy and when the waitress came with the bill he asked to split it 50/50. It surprised me as he was the one who suggested the date in the first place. What is the correct etiquette here?''

Dear S.D.

Thank you for your question! I was looking forward to answering it ever since I received your e-mail and - a bit conveniently - I let my answer match the timing of the approaching Valentine’s Day. 

Your question is one of those that tends to cause a lot of controversy as we tend to put social norms and relationship roles into the conversation pot. If we look at it from the etiquette standpoint, modern etiquette does not necessarily focus on the relationship roles as much as it focuses on the invitation itself. To answer you with just a few words: The person who invites you on a date, should be the one who also covers the bill unless agreed otherwise beforehand. If it is a woman who initiated the date, it is not an etiquette breach for her to cover the bill. 

However, this rule stretches far beyond romantic relationships as in society we know a whole other array of social connections such as friendships or business relations. So if you invite a friend or a colleague out for a friendly get-together, the invitation should come with the presumption that you can also afford to cover the bill as the invitation (and probably a choice of place) originated from you. If your companion is then insistent on paying their half, you can let them, as long as you are ready to pay in full as well. 

With all that being said, I know your question was related to a romantic type of relationship where courtship and attraction might come into place. In the world of modern etiquette, there is no rule for men to cover the bill in full, but that doesn’t mean this cannot be one of the expectations you have from your partner specifically. It is entirely up to you what you wish for in a partner, be it the ability to take the lead even when it comes to covering the bill on the first date.

I wish you a lovely day ahead!

Yours sincerely,

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