Who should pay on a first date?
Dear (not so) Cheap Date,
Ah, young love! It’s anxiety-inducing, awkward and oh so precious! Nothing compares to those early days, when you’re getting to know someone new, navigating small talk and trying desperately to identify any red (or green) flags. And while fun, it can be a lot of work to find the time and energy to get out there, especially in a post-COVID world where the last few years have made it feel nearly criminal to go outside your personal bubble and meet new people.
But with case counts low and the lust for romantic connection high, many people are jumping right back into the dating game with *Creed Voice* arms wide open. And while exciting, nerve-wracking and fun, in a time where a head of romaine lettuce now costs a cool $8, going out on multiple first dates can be an expensive way to find that special someone. Cocktails and crudités with someone you hardly know…in this economy?!
That’s where we come in. A recession is looming and the cost of living has skyrocketed, so let us help you reduce the money-related stress associated with stepping out of your comfort zone and looking for LOVE.
“But, KOHO, who should pay?” Cheap Date, the best advice is usually the simplest, so here goes nothing:
You! And by that we mean, you should pay for your half of the bill. Whether you do something traditional like dinner and drinks or opt for a lower key outing like coffee and a walk, going in with the plan to pay for your own order/admission/activity can take the pressure off both parties and better manage expectations. This way, you won’t feel bad ordering that second drink or that additional appetizer. In this situation you have all the financial control and can act in line with your own budgetary constraints. Plus, if the chances of a second date are slim-to-none, you won’t feel like you threw away your hard-earned coins on someone you’ll never see again.
“But what if my date insists on paying for everything?” We’d hate to incite a fight over the debit machine, so if this happens, take the W and find some clever ways to reciprocate. If you’re catching a movie, offer to cover the snacks. If you head to a second bar, offer to pay for that round of drinks. If the two of you are vibing, suggest a second date and then make a mental note to cover the costs of that when it happens.
We hope this simple advice gives some peace of mind and helps keep you (and your chequing account) calm, cool and collected on your next first date.
Psst… KOHO Extra users get 2% cash back on eating & drinking (including takeout!). Check out our subscription options here.
Raquel is a writer living in Toronto who has learned a thing or two about personal finance through trial and error. She tries to inject humour while providing straightforward advice to help readers navigate day-to-day issues and existential money questions that plague the average working millennial.