When it comes to first date dynamics, one of the trickiest things to maneuver is who will pay when the bill finally makes its way to the table — especially if it’s a large one. Women will say that if he’s a gentleman, the man should automatically pay. As a man, I’m going to veto that one. Here’s why…

I don’t think that people who are dating should feel entitled to the benefits of being in a serious relationship. This is a time when two individuals are still getting to know each other, and the approach to dating should be one of independence. Don’t rely on me to cover your meal. If we go out to dinner on our first date, the bill should be split in half. There’s just one exception here: if the chemistry is truly there, then one person might offer to cover for the first and the other person should then pick up the tab on the second date. Otherwise, it’s always safer, and smarter, to just split the check.

So many people approach dating with the same rules their parents had when the times were different. You’re either one way, or the other. If you are a woman who feels that the old-fashioned ways of dating still apply, and a man should pay for all of the dates, then you can’t get mad if he drops his laundry off for you to do too; he’s just going by old-fashioned rules. A lot of people want the benefits of a wife or husband with the privileges of a bachelor or bachelorette. You need to realize that you can’t have it all one way, and in order to stay balanced you must practice balance. Why give more of yourself then your date deserves? Baby steps, people.

“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.” George Eliot [Marian Evans Cross]

Who do you think should pay on the first date? What about the second and the third?

Sixx King is a writer, filmmaker, and author or Giving Love a Chance.

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