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August 21, 2021

Who do you think should pay when you're out on a date?

Once upon a time, men made most of the money and non-traditional couples were hard to find. In an age of somewhat higher earnings for women and a more casual approach to dating, one question remains. 

Who should pay for dinner on that all important first date? And what about the ones that follow?

Earlier this year, Learnvest surveyed over 2,000 men and women, and found that the answer differs not only between sexes but significantly by age.

When asked who should pick up the cheque on a first date, for instance, 59% of total respondents said that the man should always pay ... unless the woman has asked him out.


This opinion got more popular with age: While 50% of respondents who fell in Generation Z (ages 18-23) agreed, 71% of the Lost Generation (ages 67-82) felt the same way.

And when the distinction was made solely between males and females, 55% of men and 63% of women agreed that the man should cover the cost.

Compare that with a slightly more academic study out of Chapman University in California.

That paper says 84% of men and 58% of women reported that men pay for most expenses, even after dating for a while. Over 57 % of women claimed they offered to help pay, but 39% confessed they hoped men would reject their offers to pay.

Nearly two-thirds of the men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses, and nearly half of said they would stop dating a woman who never pays.

In any event, over time, the vast majority of participants, both male and female, said they starting splitting costs more regularly in the first few months of seeing someone exclusively.

Who pays for what when you're out on a date? How quickly has that morphed into some sort of expense sharing arrangment? What are the ground rules?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...