Thursday 25 April 2019

Solving that crisis over who pays on a first date is easy - just go for a coffee

'I doubt any man, no matter how hurt he is, would come looking for two or three euro from his date.' Stock Image
'I doubt any man, no matter how hurt he is, would come looking for two or three euro from his date.' Stock Image
Sinead Moriarty

Sinead Moriarty

When 38-year-old Lucy Brown from London received a request for cash from a first date, to cover the money he'd spent on drinks, she publicly shamed him. Ms Brown was on her second date after joining the online apps Plenty of Fish and Tinder when she met the man in question.

They went for drinks and the date apparently went quite well but afterwards she texted him to let him know she was not interested in meeting up again.

She was taken by surprise when he texted back to say he was "devastated" and asked for a "contribution for the drinks I spent on you", adding his account number and sort code to the end of the text.

"I really fancied you and saved up some money to take you on a nice date; as it didn't work out I'd be grateful if you could send along something to contribute for the drinks I spent on you thinking I'd at least get to see you again. The total cost of the night was £85 (€100)."

Ms Brown said the text made her cry with laughter and she showed it to everyone in her office, much to their merriment.

She then replied, telling her date that she had lodged the £42.50 (€50) into his account and also donated the same amount again to a donkey sanctuary.

"When I got the text, I was crying with laughter - I honestly thought he was joking. But then I realised he was serious. I'm a bit surprised - how can he be so devastated about just one date?"

I have to say, I felt for both parties in this story but more for the guy. While I think his demand for money was ill-advised, nobody likes to be turned down after a date they think went well and it's certainly very hurtful, and totally unnecessary, to be publicly shamed.

The story brings us back to the whole first date issue of 'who pays the bill'? Who pays for the first date has been a debate that has been going on for decades.

In the world of feisty feminist millennials, many would say it's 'normal' to split the bill.

But despite modern women wanting to exert their independence, a lot of women still admit to liking it when a man pays on the first date.

A recent poll found that one in four women still expects the man to pay for dinner on the first date. Women aged between 25-34 are the most demanding, with 27pc insisting their date should pay for everything.

The younger women were less demanding. Of those between 18 to 24, only 17pc expected the man to pay the whole bill.

The good news for men is that across all ages an average of 64pc of women said they would expect to split the first date bill.

A lot of women now prefer to split the bill because it's fair but also because some guys feel entitled if they've paid.

However, most people now avoid dinner on a first date, as it adds too much pressure to the whole event.

In a study carried out by AnotherFriend.com, the majority of Irish singles said that meeting for coffee was the preferred first date option.

This was followed by a few casual drinks on a second date and only on date three would they consider dinner.

The top trait most Irish singles are looking for in an 'ideal date' is personality. It topped the poll with 96.6pc of females and 90.9pc of males.

When it came to looks, there was a slight difference with 66.8pc of women saying it was important while 74.5pc of males had it high up on their list of priorities.

Interestingly, more than 50pc of women still consider their dates' job and financial position to be important, compared to just 20pc of men.

The biggest turn on was chemistry and physical attraction, while the biggest turn off is lack of personal hygiene and bad manners.

Whether you are attracted to each other or not, who pays?

One woman I know said she feels the man should pay because women spend money on 'preening' for a date. Getting their hair done costs money.

But why should a man have to foot the bill because you decide to go for a blow dry?

Another friend says she always pays her way because if someone buys you drinks or dinner there is an imbalance of power and the expectation of at least a kiss.

I think going for a coffee on a first date is the best idea and solution for all.

The cost is low, the effort minimal.

If it's going badly the time is limited to one cup of coffee.

If it's going well you can have five cups.

If the man decides to pay and it leads to nothing, he'll only be a few euro out of pocket.

I doubt any man, no matter how hurt he is, would come looking for two or three euro from his date.

Irish Independent

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