First dates are inherently awkward AF. When you greet each other are you supposed to plant a kiss on their cheek? A friendly hug? What about when the conversation veers dangerously towards a mention of an ex? Bet you’ve got clammy hands and a racing heart just reading about all that.
However, it arguably doesn’t get anymore uncomfortable than when the bill lands on your table, and the two of you are forced to talk money…
Here we enter the ultimate in dating politics, and a debate that’s as old as time.
But it seems the discourse might be changing – it is 2019 after all – as a study from dating app Badoo revealed that a whopping 65 percent of women prefer to pay on a first date.
According to Badoo psychologist and dating expert, Claire Stott, the reason behind that preference is all about confidence.
“Confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in a prospective partner,” Stott said.
“Women that take initiative and pay for dates exude self-confidence. Equally, men who are confident should find no issue in women who take control in this way. This reinforces each gender’s actions; only unconfident men would see it as a threat.”
Stott continued: “Dating apps mean that people are dating way more than they used to.
“For men to adhere to the traditional (and outdated) view of paying for and initiating dates all the time, they are likely to face emotional – and financial – burnout.
“Modern women are aware of this and for the most part, don’t want to take advantage.”
But not everyone feels the same way – as is often highlighted in Channel 4’s addictive reality dating show First Dates.
In one recent episode, the waiter walks over to a prospective couple who’ve just enjoyed a meal together, asking the two how they plan to pay.
While she doesn’t say it at the time, it’s quite clear from the woman’s face that she’d rather not have to get her purse out.
The bloke suggests going halves, before asking his date: “Is that alright? Is that bad?”
Eventually they agree to go Dutch – but after the woman gets into the cab to go home, she admits to the driver: “I would have preferred a man that would pay for my meal, but what can you do?”
But in another episode, parliamentary researcher Cecilia does the opposite – insisting that she pays for the meal.
Her date, Viv, begs her to let him ‘be a gentleman’ by paying for the two of them, but Cecelia said: “Give me one rational reason why you should. There’s no rational reason why a woman shouldn’t pay.”
The two also decide to split the bill in the end – but not without that awkward, lengthy exchange that the waiter trying to take the payment ALWAYS loves…