Should men always pay the bill on a first date?

November 16, 2017, 3:00 PM GMT+0

First dates are notoriously awkward – filled with stilted small talk and the inherent tension of being so close to a stranger. Even when the date goes unexpectedly well, free of long silences or desire to hide in the restroom, there is still one lingering question at the end of the night: who pays?

When presented with a list of possible options to solve this classic end-of-date conundrum, respondents to a recent YouGov Omnibus survey were most likely to say that, when a man and a woman are on a date, the man should always take care of the check (35%). Interestingly, more men than women felt this way -- 40% to 29%, respectively. Coming in close second, nearly a third of respondents (32%) felt that whoever initiated the date should be the one paying. This was, however, the most popular answer for women, with 37% saying this is their preferred structure for deciding who foots the bill.

Other answers included splitting the bill evenly (15%), and paying only for what you ordered (9%). Only 1% of US adults think that women should cover the check on a first date.

Given that so few Americans are onboard with splitting the check on a first date, it follows that 37% say they’d be offended if their date asked them to pay for half of the bill. Women in particular feel this way, with nearly half (49%) agreeing they’d be offended, in comparison to just a quarter of men (24%).

Similarly, the large majority of women (76%) would be offended if, while on a first date, their date assumed they’d be paying the whole bill, while just 28% of men say they’d be offended.

While research shows the average amount men spend on a first date is $80, it turns out, people would prefer to be spending slightly less. Looking at YouGov data, the average amount individuals would ideally like to shell out on a first date is closer to $64.

This lower number might relate to the fact that, when asked their ideal first date location, only 3% would want to dine at an expensive restaurant, while 50% of US adults like the idea of getting to know their date while enjoying food at a casual restaurant.

Full survey results available here

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus

Image: Getty

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