Casual dating - Should you split the bill while dating?

Dating can be both invigorating and intimidating for both men and women. Making the first move can be tough. It is no longer a hard-and-fast rule, like it was in the bygone days, that only a guy can ask a girl out. In the present day scenario where we talk endlessly amongst the sexes, women’s liberation and the emancipation of women, there should be no scope for any inequality when it comes to dating or when you are building a long-term relationship with a girl. If a girl finds a boy attractive or interesting, she too can make the first move.

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Yes, women like their men to be chivalrous and charming at times like opening a door for them while entering a restaurant, offering them a seat before the man takes his position at the dining table etc. So after a romantic meal, when the bill arrives, do you always expect your man to pay? Wonder what happened to that talk about equality amongst the sexes etc.

Your talk on women’s liberation goes down the drain if you expect your boyfriend to foot the bill every time you go out on a date. Do not always expect the man to pay. Splitting the bill while dating should be accepted as a natural act by men and especially women. There is no written rule which says that the man has to shell out his money whenever you eat out or sip a coffee at the nearest cafĂ©.

Matt, a freelance photographer in Paris feels that there is nothing more irritating than women who will not offer pay their share when they earn well enough.

"They also have this obvious habit of toying with the food in their own plates, leaving 90 percent uneaten and eyeing covertly what I had ordered!" Most of Matt’s dating experiences especially the ones which ended with a dinner or a dessert, have left him sceptical either about his date’s lack of appetite or her obvious shock when he has suggested the idea of splitting the bill.

Matt’s advice is, "Do not order food and drinks presuming we will pay. While we do not want you to be a glutton and stuff your mouth with both hands at the same time, we do like a girl with an appetite." He had an interesting anecdote to tell in this regard. "The real 'date from hell' wants to seem sophisticated and order by consulting only the right side of the menu. I once met somebody who ordered the most expensive sea food and then, when it arrived, she said ‘But today I am a vegetarian!"

If possible, decide and communicate in the initial stages of dating if you plan to split the bill. If the girl plans to pay her share, it sets everything in place. There is no need to get uptight and enter into a scuffle if he insists on paying but be prepared to be fair. Order what you would like to eat or drink and if not hungry, say so in the beginning, not after your order has been placed in front of you. Even if you are paying for your share, it is rude to not eat after ordering.