Should guys always pay when on a date?

By Evie Lund, RocketNews24

The issue of who should pay on a date can be a tricky one. Do you split it evenly down the middle? Should the one who initiated the date be the one to pay? Should the guy man always pay, no matter what?

Usually, it seems pretty fair for a would-be couple to split the bill equally, but in Japan, where gender roles are still quite different to those in the west, some men can feel seriously embarrassed if his date offers to pay her half of the bill, since the man may interpret her offer a sign that – gasp – she thinks he doesn’t earn that much. Some guys may even feel annoyed if a woman openly offers to split the bill or waves her cash around, because this could potentially make the guy feel like he’s “losing face” in front of others around them.

Splitting it down the middle does seem quite common in Japan, however, especially among younger couples like university students who aren’t exactly rolling in money. Known as “warikan“, generally speaking the accepted date etiquette is for the woman to ask the man what her “share” of the bill would be. It’s then up to the guy to either tell her that it’s on him or to calculate her half of the bill. Sometimes, to be chivalrous, guys will ask the girl for slightly less than she actually owes. That way, the girl gets to contribute, but the guy still gets to feel like he’s treating her.

If any of this rankles, it’s important to remember that Japanese society isn’t Western society. In Japan, it’s stll considered quire normal for women to quit their jobs after they marry and have children, living off their husband’s salary. Being too independent, especially financially, is a good way to make Japanese guys feel emasculated.

A friend of mine once told me a story about a date she had with a Japanese man while she was an exchange student in Tokyo. The guy was a fairly affluent businessman, and she was barely squeaking by teaching English in cafes in between classes. Keen to impress, the guy took her to a fancy restaurant and really went all out by ordering a huge variety of dishes and expensive wine. Being a westerner, she’d been raised to pay her own way and it was a point of pride for her to always go halves on dates, so by the time the bill came, she was furious and ended up blowing most of her monthly food budget on her half of the ludicrously overpriced meal.

The guy, meanwhile, was left totally deflated because her insistence on paying her share basically nullified his attempt to spoil her with such a fancy dinner. As a result of the date, my friend refused to consider seeing the guy again because she assumed that continuing to date him would bankrupt her! This story, while extreme, is a pretty good example of culture clash, especially when it comes to finances.

Even among Japanese couples, the whole issue of who should pay on a date is something of a minefield, fraught with endless potential for embarrassment. A self-help book recently published in Japan states that men should provide financial benefits to a woman in exchange for her time and beauty. It equates a man only paying his own half on a date with a woman turning up for a date without any makeup on.

Here’s what some of Japan’s netizens had to say on THAT subject:

“If men understood how much time and money women have to spend on looking beautiful, they would realise that the onus is on them to pay for the privilege of the woman’s time and company.”

“Good plan. I only have to pay half and I get to know for sure that she’s not a troll without her makeup on. Win-win.”

“I only ever pay half on dates, but if a woman showed up for a date with me without any makeup on I’d just walk off and leave her right there.”

“Girls should show up in guys’ clothes if a guy never pays for her. See how that goes down!”

“It’s embarrassing for me not to pay the full total on a date. Don’t you guys have any pride?”

“Some girls embarrass me by thanking me way too much if I pay. It’s not necessary and feels awkward. And some girls will hold back and not really enjoy the food that much if they’re worrying about you paying. As long as a girl doesn’t take it for granted and act like you owe her for her time, it’s okay.”

“I used to be like, why should I pay? But these days I want to pay. It’s a point of pride.”

“Sometimes it’s cute when a girl shyly pulls out her wallet on a date. But that can get embarrassing. Personally I think it’s classy if a woman excuses herself to the restroom so you can pay the bill while she’s not there. Then you can feel like the man, without any awkwardness.”

“To solve this problem, guys should pay half, and also show up for the date wearing a full face of makeup.”

“I’m happy to pay but not for girls who have an attitude about it.”

“I’d gladly pay for a girl… if I could ever get a date, that is!”

Ladies, if you find yourself on a date in Japan, it might be better to not make too much of a song and dance about it when paying your way. And if he treats you, make sure to remember to thank him with a “gochisosama deshita!” afterwards! As for you men, if you’re taking a Japanese lady on a date, you might want to be make sure you’ve got plenty of yen in your wallet before you go!

Who do you think should pay on a date?

Source: Mudainodocument

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- “I think I love you…”: Romantic confessions from around the world -- “Business Nail” – the latest trend among young Japanese businessmen looking to get ahead -- Nine reasons why Japanese men hesitate to say “I love you”

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No, it should be 50-50.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As a general rule, when on a first date, I always pay the whole bill. However, I make a note of whether the girl made an offer to pay (and whether or not she seemed genuinely willing to do so). On the next date, I would expect to go halves.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And people wonder why 40% of young people don't want to be in a relationship. Mendokusai!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Guys should pay for the first date. But on that note, take it easy on the first date. And to save the uncomfortableness, excuse yourself to the bathroom, and pay on the way back, or wait until she's in the bathroom to do the same. That way you don't have to go through the issues. When it's time to leave, you can simply say "it's ok, I took care of it". If she really wants to insist on paying, tell her to buy drinks at the next place, or to pay for the movie or whatever.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It's case by case - but I think whoever asked for the first date should usually take responsibility in deciding who pays what, etc. A few dates in I assume both people are comfortable enough with each other to easily discuss trivial things like this..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If a man invites me, "Hey, I want to take you out to dinner." then he pays. If he asks, "Would you like to go out for a meal?" then we go dutch. Same thing if I invite or ask.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@DenTok2009. Fair enough. Bear in mind however that ''Would you like to go out?''and ''I want to take you out'' can sometimes be the same thing. If he is being coy, the former, if he is being direct, the latter. In my humble opinion, I think it's fine that the guy pays as long as he genuinely wants to show her a good time and has no ulterior motive. What I don't agree with is the guy paying for everything because he feels he is expected to. Same goes with splitting the bill because she is ''plain looking.'' You should never put a woman on a pedestal simply because she happens to have won the genetic jackpot.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hey, lolozo79, if I'm asked, "Hey, we ought to go out sometime" or "Want to check out that restaurant?", I would ask or answer in a way that says, "I want to go with you and I'm paying for my own meal and drinks." or "I'm not interested but if you want company and you want to pay for my meal and drinks, I'm in!". Same goes for if I invite someone whose company I enjoy, I make it clear that I am inviting therefore I am paying, no worries about is this a date or just to hang out so it's dutch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I admit, I'm a cheap date.

First date (or pre-date) is always in Starbucks in the afternoon, and he pays for my coffee and bagel, or whatever. This gives me a good chance to observe him in a reasonably familiar - and for me, safe - environment. Subsequent dates are in similar situations, such as parks and shopping malls. Not very romantic, but certainly very cheap and dare I say a whole lot more fun than sitting through a uncomfortable meal in a swanky restaurant. (I'm not impressed with guys who throw money around, I make enough of my own.)

And if I really like him after all that, well let's just say that the fun stuff begins!

Not once have I ever paid for a date!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Tessa. Touche! I admit, I'm a cheap date. First date is always in some nondescript cafe like Dotour or Starbucks. Naturally, we both pay for our own drinks. This gives me a good chance to observe her in a reasonably familiar environment. Is she cute? Does she have an ideal bust to hip ratio? Does she have a sense of humor? And just as importantly, is she a prima donna or does she have an entitlement mentality, ie. is she a b....? Subsequent dates are in similar situations, such as theme parks and shopping malls. Not necessarily romantic but fun and a good chance to get to know her better. Save the swanky restaurants for when you are officially a real couple and it's her birthday or something. I'm not impressed with gals who are interested in a man's wallet. If I really like her after all that, well let's just say that the fun stuff really begins. Not once have I paid for everything.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Personally, I'm quite happy to not have anything to do with anyone who makes that much hay over who pays for dinner. The guys in the article whinging about not being allowed to pay are just as absurd as the girls demanding they be paid for.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I generally expect to pay the whole bill, especially if I ask for/set up the date. If she wants to pay half, great, but I don't expect it, nor do I ask unless she brings it up. Paying for a date doesn't really even register in my mind as a concern when on a date.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Strangerland's comment rings true. Classy tactic, which I agree with. But in the long run, & after a couple dinner dates followed by "uneventful" evenings . . . . she's gona start getting the 99cents "value menu" in the drive-through.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Strangerland's comment rings true. Classy tactic, which I agree with.

Thanks. I'm not in the dating game anymore, but I take out clients a lot, and there are a lot of similarities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I've always thought that if it's a group, then it's betsu betsu. If it's a pair, then the one who asked should pay.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The key is to appreciate, but not expect so in my case as a nice gesture I pay for the third or fourth date and then explain to the guy how much I appreciate his chivalry, and that I would like to reciprocate. Once I get deeper into the relationship, who pays for what depends entirely on your own personal arrangement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I sent an email to a few gay friends of mine and asked them what they thought. Pretty similar to most people here.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Heh, even Derek Jeter goes dutch with his millionaire model girlfriend (even when Jeter is a lot richer):

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The fact that the man has to pay for everything is one universal truth that will never disappear - and ladies, that is exactly why we need to make higher incomes than you. We have to spend way more money.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Being raised in the south I've always opened the door for my dates pulled her chair out for her and paid the bill. It's not about feeling like a "man". Its about being a gentleman and treating a lady right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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