Should you split the bill on a first date? Men and women have different ideas

Charlie Duffield
Couple drinking wine in a bar (Photo:Getty)
Is there an etiquette over who pays on a first date? (Photo: Getty)

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus...the old saying goes, and regarding dating etiquette, new research has revealed both sexes do in fact have different beliefs when it comes to courtship.

Women are keen to establish equality on the dating scene, whereas men still hold on to more old-fashioned values, a survey of more than 2,000 adults by dating site has found.

On a first date, two thirds of women (66%) expect the bill to be split equally, and in a bid to eradicate outdated gender roles, one in five women (22%) would never let someone pay for them on a date.

Couple of young people drinking coffee and eating cake in a stylish modern cafeteria
Would you split the bill on a coffee date? (Photo:Getty)

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Male attitudes were much more traditional. Only one fifth of men (20%) think a bill should be split equally on a first date. Moreover, just over half think they should pick up the full bill, and only four per cent of men think a woman should pay on a date.

Interestingly, once men start to get to know their date better, they’re more inclined to split the bill; over half (59%) of men are happy to ‘go Dutch’ once they feel committed to their partner.

Regardless of who foots the bill, 18% of Brits agree that dating is expensive.

Only one fifth of men (20 per cent) think a bill should be split equally on a first date (Picture: Getty)
Only one fifth of men (20 per cent) think a bill should be split equally on a first date (Picture: Getty)

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To reduce costs, almost half (49%) have admitted to using a discount voucher on a date - but will wait until the fifth date before using a coupon.

Dating is hard enough, but in terms of navigating such contradictory preferences, Match’s dating expert Hayley Quinn stresses that compromise is important.

She said: “If your date insists on paying on the first date and you’d have rather split the bill, then offer to pay the next time. The important thing is the way it is handled and if your date shows you respect in the process.”

The dating expert also explained how the way someone handles paying the bill can reveal important insights about their character.

She said: “For example, if they use a discount voucher, this shows someone who is savvy with their money which can be a very attractive quality in a potential partner! These little signs can be a great indicator of whether there is potential for a committed relationship to develop.”

Where are daters most likely to split the bill?

Finally, if you’re intrigued about how your city compares regarding traditional dating etiquette, read the results below to discover where daters are most likely to split the bill, and the percentage of them which do.

  1. Liverpool, 43%

  2. Edinburgh, 43%

  3. Nottingham, 40%

  4. Cardiff, 39%

  5. Norwich, 39%

  6. Leeds, 38%

  7. Bristol, 37%

  8. Sheffield, 37%

  9. Cambridge, 36%

  10. Plymouth, 35%

These results were based on a survey of 2,042 UK adults undertaken by Ginger Comms between 27th September and 1st October 2019.