EliteSingles Study Shows Who Should Pay on a First Date

Premium dating site EliteSingles asked 300,000 Americans one simple yet hotly debated question: when a man and a woman are on a first date, who should pick up the check? The answer? Men. That is, according to men. Less than half of women agree…
  • Nearly two-thirds of American men (63%) think the man should pay on a first date.
  • Less than half of women (46%) agree.
  • Men are most likely to pick up the check in Alabama and Wyoming and least likely in DC.
  • Nearly 1-in-5 women (18%) prefer to go Dutch on dates, but only 7% of men feel the same.

A new study from EliteSingles has revealed that it’s time to rethink the commonly held belief that women want men to pay for the first date. In fact, the study of 300,000 singles shows that it's actually men who are more likely to think that men should foot the bill. 63% of American men believe it is the man’s job to pay on a first date. Less than half of women (46%) agree.

In certain areas of the US, this effect is even more pronounced. Men are most likely to pick up the check in Alabama and Wyoming, for instance, where 76% of men see paying as the man’s role. And the divide between what men and women want is most pronounced in Vermont, where 65% of men and just 28% of women think men should cover the dating bill. Of course, there’s always the other end of the scale. In this case, that’s Washington DC, where only 51% of men would get the check.

So, should women be picking up the first date tab instead? It’s a hard no from men, with just 2% wanting the women they date to foot the bill. Women themselves are slightly more on board – 5% think women should pay on a first date.

Splitting the bill could be a solution, but here too, men and women are divided. While nearly 1-in-5 women (18%) prefer to go Dutch on dates, less than 1-in-10 men (7%) feel the same.

EliteSingles in-house psychologist, Zoe Coetzee, has an answer to this etiquette dilemma: ignore taboo, and be honest! ‘’As in most areas of dating and relationships, communication is key! Paying the bill doesn’t need to be a contentious moment – simply bring it up rather than skirting around the issue. If you have particularly strong feelings, bring it up first and politely express your view," says Coetzee.

Coetzee also suggests a smooth move that would-be romantics can use when they can’t agree: ‘’if only one of you gets the check this time, a nice way to imply that you would like a second date is to suggest you’ll pay for the next one.''

You can read more about this study, including further etiquette insights from Zoe Coetzee, in our in-depth article.

Press Contact:
Sophie Watson
press@elitesingles.com

About EliteSingles
Launched in 2013, EliteSingles is designed for successful single professionals seeking a committed, fulfilling long-term relationship. EliteSingles is part of Spark Networks SE (NYSE American"LOV’’), one of the global leaders in online dating. Operating in 29 countries and supporting 15 languages, Spark Networks has headquarters in Berlin, and offices in New York, San Francisco, and Utah.