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Hey Bestie: Who should pay on the first date?

Hey Bestie: Who should pay on the first date? I know it’s old fashioned but I’ve always believed the man should pay on the first date but I recently went out with one guy who insisted we split the bill which kind of put me off. My friends tell me I’m being unfair. What do you think?

Watch out…it’s the F-word…yep, ‘Finance’ that puts a lot of relationships into a tailspin.

With most couples entering a relationship carrying some form of consumer debt that can negatively impact on how the relationship succeeds, it’s an important topic to discuss early and often.

Although what you have described can be considered ‘old fashioned’, it brings to the table a great topic of discussion.

If you think about it, the concept of who will pay on the first date is essentially the first financial decision of the relationship.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that there will be more than one date but if there is, bonus…you’ve at least already figured out the financial divide and might even be comfortable speaking ‘finance’ for the rest of your relationship!

When couples establish a relationship the three most common things that bring them into couples counselling are: communication, conflict and finances.

Studies show that the more a couple agrees on their financial approach, the more likely they are to feel respected by one another. Essentially, they will feel less controlled, manipulated or deceived by their partner.

Think of it like this: everyone has different budgets and rather than making assumptions (which should never ever feature in relationships), be open about money right from the start.

If you feel that one person should pay on the first date, let that person know your thoughts. If you feel it’s equitable to split the bill, then voice your opinion and if you want to cover the costs, also let your partner know.

If you’re looking for things to talk about, have a go at your financial fitness, your financial background - how you were raised to think about money…are you a saver or a spender?

Think about why it was off-putting to you when he asked to split the bill. Research done by Wharton School suggests that most people end up with what would be considered their financial opposite. How does that idea feel to you?

Regardless of who paid for the meal, did you enjoy the company? Would you want to go out with that person again? Could you see yourself with this person in the long run and can the person engage in a conversation that holds your attention for more than 5 minutes?

Those are the questions worthwhile asking after a date. Although I do agree that everyone deserves to be fed, I also truly believe that everyone deserves to have great conversations.

Your bestie,

Amanda xx

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