He didn't pay on the first date

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Hi all ... last night I went on a first date using with a guy I met online who I've had pretty good vibes about. We had a couple of phone conversations, one great, one just so-so, but I was still interested. He asked me to go for coffee, and because we had a hard time coming up with a coffee place that was near either of us, we decided on dinner (at an inexpensively priced place). The date using seemed to be going well, I was liking him, feeling it was promising. Then the check came.

I got out my wallet, because I always offer to pay my half. He let me! He told me what my half would be, and I put my money down..

I am by no means the kind of woman who expects the man to pay all the time; but on the first date, he doesn't even offer? I am so disappointed. Otherwise, I was into him. Now I'm left with a selfish vibe about this guy, despite all the other good feelings..

What do you all think? I know he doesn't make a lot of money, but to not at least offer to pay on the first (cheap) date? Should I move on, or give him another chance? (he asked if I would like to go out again at the end of the date, and I told him to give me a call)..

Edited 10/5/2007 3:45 pm ET by stephaniesterling..

Comments (25)

Your question was: He didn't pay on the first date.

I think that if you offer to pay your half, then you need to be ok with the guy accepting your offer.  It's not fair to offer and then judge the guy for accepting your offer, IMO. .

Personally, I only offer if I'm not interested in the guy, because to me, paying is a courting gesture so I won't accept it from someone I don't want to see again.  Conversely, if I *am* interested in the guy, I don't offer to pay because I want him to court me, at least for the first 2-3 dates (I wil usually treat the guy on the 3rd-4th date using and every few dates after that)..

In this case, if you liked him otherwise, I'd go out with him again since offering to pay may have given him a confusing/mixed signal, but next time, keep your wallet in your bag!  If he asks you to pay your half then you'll know that he's either only interested in you as a platonic friend, or his dating (online dating with style is to go dutch (which I can't abide personally, so a guy like that would not be a match for me)..




Comment #1

Eeeeehhhhh!!! awkward! I too am the old-fashioned type...the man is the man and should pay the first time. after that, no problem chipping in, or getting the whole check. did you ask to meet in person? or did he. i'm so confused about the whole new rules of the dating (online dating with world! I think I am still back in the 50's! lol I think it says alot about the character, or lack thereof with a man to not pay the first date....well, I was no help or any advice. but I would feel the EXACT same way!..

Comment #2

Sheri, thanks for your response. I see what you're saying, but I think it would have been so easy for him to say, "Oh, I got it" when I offered to pay my half. (This is what has almost always happened for me on first dates I offer to pay for myself, and the guy says no, no, I got it and what I fully expected to happen here!) Plus I sensed a lot of hesitation on his part about reaching for that check, almost like he wanted me pick up the tab. But you have a point that there may have been some confusion there, so maybe he warrants a possible second date. I did like him..


Comment #3

Jcountrygirl, he was the one who asked me to meet in person. I have been feeling he's been "pursuing" me thus far, and he clearly wanted to see me again after the date. I agree with you, I feel that it says something about a man's character and generosity of spirit when he wants to pay on the first date. Thanks for your response!.





Comment #4

If he was the one who asked you out, then he pays.  Everyone has their own way of handling these things.  Some women start chipping in on the 2nd date using and some women start after a month or so.  I let my 2nd ex husband pay for everything with me paying the tip or alternating meals or popcorn and soda at movies and then at about 3 months he asked me to split the dates down the middle and I was fine with it...

Comment #5

Yes, many guys will say that and that's great when it happens, but to EXPECT that response to your offer isn't cool, IMO.  I think if you're going to offer to pay, it needs to be a SINCERE offer that you won't mind being taken up on, not a fake offer.  Otherwise, why bother making the fake offer?  That's never made any sense to me..

In any event, you don't know what THIS guy's experience has been.  Maybe the last 5 women he's been out with have given him a hard time for not letting them pay their share and *that's* why he was hesitant, who knows?.


Comment #6

I agree with northwestwander..if you offered, then you have to accept..

I know it is a weird situation and I tiotally agree with you about having and expecting guys to pay at least on the first couple of dates and then offereing to be kind, but remeber this is 2007.....soomaybe since he ASKED you out again on a second date, go and then this time only offer to pay the tip?????That way you are still being kind and still showing interest.I am a firm beleiver in courting even in this day and current age, but I also feel as an independent single gal that if I totally take control of a date using then I might as well be expected to pay..

Guys are weird, we know this so give him the benefit of the doubt and nother chance and then make your final call..

Best of luck to you.


Comment #7

I don't like the way he let the check hang there for so long as if waiting for you to take it.  I think yeah it's great you offered but on the first date, especially since it was a cheap place he should have taken it.  I'm not saying dont give it a second chance if you felt everything else was promising but money is one of those issues that couples do kind of have to discuss and in this case sooner vs later - "You know I don't believe men should pay everything in dating (online dating with but on the first date using it feels nice when the guy treats" - and see where he goes with it.


Comment #8

Thanks all for your responses. Honestly, I haven't had something like this happen on a date using since I was in college, so I was just surprised by it..

He did let the check sit there for an uncomfortably long time, and acted weird about paying once he did grab it. That was what bothered me most, even more than him accepting my offer to pay. It was like he was waiting for me to take it. But the nervousness of a first date using can bring out confusion in both people, so I'm not writing him off completely but I'm definitely wary...

Comment #9

The first date using is a time to leave a good impression: he left a cheap man impression. I go by the following: a cheap man on a first date using is a cheap man on a second and thrird dates. He'll be a cheap date using and a cheap husband. Give him another chance if this is what you're looking for. Yucks!..

Comment #10

If he asked you to meet, he should have payed.  I'm a guy, and I ALWAYS pay on the first date.  My thinking has always been that even if the date using didn't go well, at least she's not out any money.  But I am kind of old fashioned like that.  I still open doors for women, shut the car door for them, and pull out chairs at restaurants.  I've made one exception to the paying rule when a woman asked me out.  I did try to pay, but I was informed by her that since she asked me out on the date, it was her responsibility.  So that has kind of become my rule now.  If a woman asks me out on a date using type date using I'll let her pay, if it is a platonic get together, I expect it to be dutch..

I'd give the poor guy the benefit of the doubt if everything else went well.  It could be that he's having some financial difficulties right now which is why he suggested a coffee date using in the first place.  I know that being recently divorced myself, buying a woman a cup of coffee is about all I could afford right now with the financial mess the divorce has left me in at the moment.  Money matters are a huge deal for most men so he may have been too embarrassed to let you know he is flat broke at the moment...

Comment #11

Thanks for your response. Yes, he did leave a cheap impression unfortunately and I agree that it doesn't bode well. Grrr..



Comment #12

Thanks for your response, I'm glad to get a guy's perspective on this. I guess I've been lucky almost all the guys I've dated seemed to think the way you do about paying on the first date using that's why I was surprised by this!.

You make a good point about money matters I know it's a heavy thing for guys and like you say he may have suggested coffee because it was really all he could afford right now. I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt because things did go pretty well otherwise. We'll see. Thanks for your thoughtful response..


Comment #13

An update: I did go on a second date using with this guy. He called and asked if I wanted to do something. Wondering if money might be an issue for him, I suggested coffee. When I got to the cafe where we met, he was already sitting at a table drinking a latte. He did not offer to get me anything. I was surprised, to say the least, but decided to make the best of it and went and got my own coffee.



Edited 10/13/2007 3:54 pm ET by stephaniesterling..

Comment #14

Hey, it's the old-fashioned girl again. this guy is a jerk! does he not have ANY manners? I guess it's up to you to decide what to do, but you've given him two different chances!! I think this time he acted worse than he did the first time!!i have a hard time beleiving that this guy doesn't know EXACTLY what he is doing! I personally think you could do alot better!! for starters, he could of waited for you to get there. secondly, he could of OFFERED to order one for you. but then he LET you get up and go get your own??? nope. I don't care how good of a conversationalist he is, it doesn't make up for his self-absorption and tight-wad, chauvinistic attitude...just think how he would be if it was REALLY financially important!!hope you can decide what YOU want and can tolerate!!! jamie..

Comment #15

I would call this one a bust. After reading about the first date using I figured there were some plausible reasons for his actions with the check. I even agreed with most that since you offered to pay half, you shouldn't judge him for accepting. But now with the second date....It sounds like he just maybe cheap or even worse, doesn't really care about women. Not that the money makes it seem that way, just his behavior, getting a coffee before you arrive..

Edited 10/13/2007 6:25 pm ET by jm-lg.


Comment #16

Thanks for responding again! I agree, I think this behavior seemed even worse than the first time, and I also think you're right that he knows what he's doing here! Sigh. It was really disappointing.


Comment #17

Yeah, I was hoping there was a plausible reason for his not paying for the first date. But after thinking this over I think you may have something about him maybe just not caring about women. Or something. Uggh. Thanks for responding!.


Comment #18

I haven't read all the replies so this may be redundant and you may get different answers..

A date using is a date using - not dutch, unless that is agreed upon prior. dating (online dating with is about being treated as special - the man showing you he thinks you are special and you allowing him to do so. When you pull out your wallet with the hopes that he will tell you no anyway, you have already shown him that you don't want to be treated. That is what 'dating' is - being 'treated'. .

If a man asks me out - then I have a reasonable expectation that he will pay for our evening. I do not offer to pay half (unless we've already agreed). I have some very good guy friends who have told me about women they've dated in the past that pulled out their wallets on teh first date using - these are good guys - they declined her offer but said that gesture was a very clear one that she wasn't interested in beign treated special - it said 'friend'  to them.

You were disappointed that he allowed you to pay - well this is making an offer you weren't sincere about - like saying yes, when you really wanted to say no. If you wanted him to pay for dinner and show you how well he'd treat you, then you should have allowed him to do so rather than pull out your wallet and hope he said no. As it turns out - you didn't allow him to treat you special and he accepted that - and it disappointed you.

So - I would happen a guess that this guy will not likely treat you any better - not because he isn't capable, but your first interaction with him taught him that you are ok not being treated well. People do what is required - look at what you required of him.   Learn something from this - do not say or do things that are not sincere. If you want someone to treat yo uspecial, then you have to allow them the opportunity. GOOD men like to date using women who allow themselves to be treated special - not like a co-worker or friend or buddy.

Edited 10/13/2007 10:53 pm ET by tonitoons.


Comment #19

Thanks for your reply. I disagree with what you're saying, though. This guy was clearly uncomfortable about paying, it wasn't about me not "requiring" him to pay for me..


Comment #20

My point was that when someone asks you out on a date , it is usual and customary to expect that they wish to treat you. pulling out your wallet on first dates sends a signal that many men take as 'Im not interested in you romantically' While this is not always the case, it seems to be the rule rather than the exception.  Why not allow a man to treat you? Why make a show of paying your way when he's asked you out and you want him to pay anyway?.

I did read the other replies and saw this same comment at least twice. Pulling out your wallet, yet  'hoping' that he will tell you 'no I've got it',  is insincere - almost as if he needs to prove something here. .

General rule of thumb is - whoever asks pays. You can reciprocate after a few dates in ways that you are comfortable with - like leaving the tip, getting dessert, making dinner, ect - dating (online dating with isn't about splitting the bill equally - it's about giving and receiving..

That said, I did have a situation similar  years ago - and I thought to myself, I'm glad I have money. However, when the check came, I just said 'Thank you for dinner.' He seemed reluctant to get it but did. I didn't move except to get up and leave (it was the worst date using ever anyway!) In this situation, you could have said "thank you for dinner' and left your wallet in your purse - he can be as uncomfortable as hell, but that's his issue.

Best wishes.


Comment #21

You are gutsier than me! I have a hard time seeing some poor guy sweat it out like that over a check. I should make it clear that I did *not* pull out my wallet immediately on the first date using I only did it *after* I saw that this guy felt very uncomfortable about even reaching for the check. Almost all men I've had a first date using with usually reach for the check without hesitation and say "I've got this." This was a situation I hadn't encountered since probably high school. I agree that dating (online dating with is not about splitting the bill equally ... thus the reason for my post in the first place..


Comment #22

I guess you just have to learn your lesson from this one and move on with another. I say he is just being cheap. You give him another chance and what does he do, he blow it.. So Just LEAVE HIM be. haha You need to find a guy who will treat you like a lady, Not his PAL. If you decide to keep on dating (online dating with this cheapo, I can see so many holidays and birthdays in tears or madness.

I do that often. ukia..

Comment #23

I agree with you .... ! I thought about that too ... this would probably be a guy who wouldn't even take me out for my birthday. Thanks for responding!.


Comment #24

As I said before I do feel it's cheap to not at least offer but money is always a loaded topic when dating. But actually being able to communicate about this topic early on would be a really good thing and start a pattern of honesty and hopefully clarity and compromise.


Comment #25

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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