Let's Talk About

Going Dutch

5 years ago by

Going Dutch

C’est peut-être le point le plus délicat en matière de dating : qui paie l’addition ?

Moi je suis toujours partie du principe que c’était celui qui invitait pour la première sortie qui payait ce dîner/déjeuner/ciné/café… Mais qu’à partir de la deuxième fois, on faisait moitié-moitié ou qu’on payait à tour de rôle. Puis une fois qu’on peut officiellement dire qu’on est en couple (je sais, ce n’est pas toujours facile de définir avec exactitude ce moment, surtout à NY…), on arrête de faire les comptes et – comme disait ma mère – tout se fait naturellement. Ce qui veut dire que c’est l’un ou l’autre qui paie, sans même y penser.

Mais j’ai des amis qui pensent que c’est la même personne qui doit payer les premières sorties ou alors qu’il faut toujours faire moitié-moitié. Est-ce que ça dépend aussi des revenus ? C’est un truc auquel vous pensez, vous ?


Ajouter le votre
  • I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot recently. I personally like splitting the check because both people are going to have an experience and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that a guy should have to pay. However, I’m torn. Because it leaves out this important, nice feeling of being treated to something. Which when you’re on a date can be really nice. I split the check every time I go out and then either me or my date will treat each other to little things. I’m not sure about the taking turns concept because that leaves room for one person to feel resentful if the other person forgets, or if the tab is very high. I’m really curious what other people are doing and what you guys have found works best for you!

  • Mmmh, sujet difficile! En général quand je sors, je me prépare toujours à payer ma part. je ne pense pas que l’autre doive toujours tout payer pour les premiers rendez-vous. je ne veux pas qu’il s’en sente obligé, mais s’il le propose et que je sais (ou devine) que ça ne le mettra pas sur la paille, j’accepte mais j’essaye de rendre la pareille rapidement, car je n’aime pas la sensation de devoir quoi que ce soit à celui qui paie… mais s’il s’agit juste de confiance et de gentillesse, alors ça me va ^^ et pour l’instant ça a toujours bien marché, sans prise de tête!



  • Personally, I am at a point where I am finished being the « cool girl » who « hangs out » with guys. Therefore, if a man wants the pleasure of my company, he can buy. The first few times at least. From there, I’m not sure.

  • I’m pretty traditional, so think the guy should pay, at least at first. I’ll always offer, but there’s just something very old-fashioned and gentlemanly about the guy picking it up.

  • Je mets un point d’honneur à partager la première addition. Parce que je trouve que si l’un invite, cela sous-entends que l’autre devrait rendre la pareille un jour. Alors qu’après un premier verre on ne sait jamais trop si on va se revoir ou pas. Ensuite c’est chouette de s’inviter à tour de rôle :)

  • Oh, god, I feel so archaic, I think the man should always pay! Is that terrible? Well, not always, but when first dating, the man should offer. If he doesn’t, it’s seriously suspect. Later on, it changes. When it’s couples going out with couples, I like taking turns and sort of forgetting who paid last. It seems the most civilized.

  • I think it should be income based. Like if you are a straight, cis woman in America, you probably make 77% of a male counterpart (and it’s even less on average for women of color). If that is the case in reality, your date should then pay 23% more. So, Dutch, but the dude covers the tip. Of course, it’s awkward to bring that up at first, but you probably have a vague sense of who is making more even from the get-go.

    Before we got married and combined some income, my man paid for two-thirds of the rent and associated costs because he made twice as much as I did.

  • It costs more to be a woman. The expectations of glamour and grooming. We spend more on razors and makeup and clothes and skincare and hair care. Even us minimal, ‘no-makeup’ makeup girls put A LOT into looking and feeling sexy. I think that should be acknowledged. A lot of time, effort, and yes, cash, goes into being a desirable woman. I’m not saying it’s NOT a woman’s choice to adhere to these standards. But, hey, a girl is allowed to want a guy who isn’t into the hairy underarms/legs, etc, and she’s allowed to put in the work to be the woman she wants to be, that makes her happy and confident in the world. So, I feel in a man-woman relationship (as this is my experience and ergo, I’m clueless to non-hetero-normative dating etiquette), it kinda’ feels like this nice break when a guy offers to pay. It makes that work we put into ourselves feel extra worth it to have someone appreciate us and want to treat us. So, I confess to being old fashioned and that I enjoy being courted… in the beginning. That said, I also have no desire to be a « kept woman, » so I understand and value and participate in an even divide in committed relationships. Though, I’d have no problem taking a man out and I have, especially when I’m the one to make the first move. Something that’s so cool about this day and age is that a woman can want equality and traditionalism all at once. We’re allowed to be multi-faceted women and invest our time in me who appreciate that complexity.

  • …and let’s not forget that women still make less money than men… while it costing more just to exist as a woman.

  • melissaleehealing 31 août 2015, 11:11

    Hell to the yes, sister!

  • Going Dutch is not sexy. Taking turns is sexier. Chivalry is sexiest. Yes, everyone works but it’s a small sweetness, especially before it’s established a relationship will be happening. I prefer to never ask or pay until I’ve been someone’s girlfriend a long time, but I’m old fashioned that way. I ended up with a guy who prefers to go Dutch and I hate it so much. He seems so ungenerous! He never just picks up the bill. It might seem small, but it’s a big deal to me.

  • Old school in the house (for me, anyway. Definitely not judging the way anyone else chooses to handle this).

    In the beginning and for majority of time thereafter, the man pays. After relationship has been established, then women can offer to pay for stuff such as dinner, takeout, taxi/Uber fare, contributions to vacations, etc.

    Why? Because no matter how much we evolve, we stay the same. Masculine/Alpha men (no idea what other men want as I am only attracted to masculine/take charge guys) will always need to feel as if they are pursuing, providing for, and protecting the woman in whom he is interested. And most women (regardless of how much money she makes and how much ability she has to pay for everything) usually want to feel adored, wooed and courted.

    Masculine/Alpha men won’t even hear about a woman paying until the relationship is established and then even then – only as a token. The minute women start offering to pay – especially in the beginning – the pursuit is off, the mystery is dead on arrival and in rolls friendship – at least with a Masculine/Alpha man.

    BTW, this is not about the money – but rather the roles we occupy in a relationship. I find that if a guy feels as if he is needed and like a doer, provider and a protector (even if, technically, the girl can provide and protect herself), he feels more masculine. The more masculine a guys feels around a woman, the more attracted to her he becomes. If a guy is concerned about funds, then he should choose a place that he can afford – but Please, dear God, don’t ask the woman to pay – especially in the beginning of a courtship.

    Example: In the beginning of my relationship with my boyfriend, he surprised me with a trip to the Caribbean – to the country in which I was born before moving to the US as a child. It was an incredible surprise since I had not been back in over a decade. It spoke volumes about the seriousness of his intentions and factored into my being « swept off my feet. » It just wouldn’t have been the same if, in making the announcement, he asked me to go dutch. During the trip, I did treat him to an afternoon of multiple spa treatments at the incredible spa in the hotel, which made him feel really happy and that I appreciated all that he did for me.

    Most guys really love taking care of the woman they love. They want to to make her feel safe and provided for. If we take that ability away from men, then we take away one of the more important ways in which they express love.

    Old School. Definitely. Tradition isn’t all bad.

  • I am not the go-dutch type of person. It doesn’t look natueal to me since I was taught to be merciful on treating my companion. But, I always try to pay the bill evenly when Im with my boyfriend. Once my boyfriend buy me lunch, then I treat him dinner or coffee. Of course, I assume he spend more money on dating than I do on average. It is quiet old-fashioned, but I do not want to hurt his ego or feelings as much as I don’t want to give him a burden of paying every bills we should have shared.

  • Genevieve 31 août 2015, 8:06 / Répondre

    I think this is really interesting. In all my relationships (once they are established–at the beginning, when things are more formal, I think the one who initiates the date should at least offer to pay), we have just generally taken turns. It doesn’t come out exactly « even, » maybe, but hopefully pretty close. I would always want it to be this way unless I was dating someone making vastly more money than I do. In that case, I might adjust and let them cover more of the little luxuries. But I have never really been in that position with my partners. I hate the idea of being « carried » financially by a man (I only date men). It does not seem independent, and that feeling would really scare me. And I enjoy the pleasure of paying for half our dates. It feels nice to treat someone, and when it’s your turn, to be treated.

  • I always expect a guy to pay! For at least the first several dates. Otherwise if we go Dutch I feel like I’m just hanging out with a friend…nothing romantic about that! When a guy pays, I find it to be a very gentlemanly thing to do. However if say we go out to a nice dinner I’ll offer to pay for the cab ride to the next place or a round of drinks. After several dates and I think the relationship might be going somewhere then I would offer to pay every third date or so. Or keep paying the ‘smaller’ portion of the date, depending on what I think his income is compared to mine.

  • When it came to dating I offered and paid for a few but most of the time the men really wanted to buy and I didn’t want to fight them, call it polite or romantic or whatever if they really insist then ok.
    If I invite a friend then I usually pay. If its a best friend it’s usually spilt or the I get you today and you get me tomorrow, no keeping tabs on it though.

  • As a feminist and women of class, I will rather split the bill and get it over with.


  • Call me old fashioned but I won’t date a man who has me pay for myself or both. Of course, I’ll take my boyfriend to lunch once in a while since we’ve been together almost 2 years. If I go on a date with someone and he doesn’t pick up the tab, there will be no second date. That’s just me


  • My view about this aspect in dating is similar to yours. But where I was born, it’s always the men who pay for the check. Sometimes, it’s not because the women can’t pay, but they think it feels nice to be indulgent and courted by the men and him paying for the date is one of the ways to show that.

  • I’m in agreement with whoever asks does the first date. My current boyfriend and I got in an argument about that, because he claims that men will always ask first – but I also disagree with that sentiment as I have asked guys out before. It’s quite the hot topic though…

    – Kaitlyn | http://www.TheCrownFox.com

  • I’m one to split the check on everything. I see some women commenting and saying that it’s nice to be treated- and I agree… But personally, I always find it easier to pay my own way and be equals in that arena.

  • I think it is so individual to the person and budding couple. I consider myself a strong feminist and I always let the man pay at first. My husband paid for and organized our first few dates and I liked that. I felt like he was really courting me. When I felt like we were heading into relationship territory I suggested we start going dutch. I had a pretty good idea that our salaries were fairly even. He looked relieved when I suggested it, which was cute. I say allow yourself to be treated those first few dates and if things move forward find a system that feels equal and works for you as a couple. Pace yourself, but having those open talks about who pays for what and how to manage finances is such an important part of a healthy relationship. Not a conversation for the first dates though. Those should be full of fun, excitement, and romance!

  • I once dated a man who just assumed I would pay my half no matter what. He was making two to three times the salary I was making. I stopped going out with him because I couldn’t afford some of the dates he asked me out on. When I met the man who became my husband, I paid for the first date because he left his wallet in his desk drawer. After that we agreed that whoever did the asking would pay for the date. But no matter what, he always found a way to say he asked me out, or it was his idea or he chose the restaurant or activity. My older brother told me just to accept his generosity and go with it. Twenty-five years later, he is still extremely generous and always looking out for me.

  • I think about it the first few dates and then let things happen naturally. If he wants to pay, great and should I want to pay and treat him, why not. Dutch is always okay too. Money shouldn’t stop the pleasure of each other’s company.


  • As a woman, I think it’s such a wonderful feeling being treated to dinner by a date. When I was single (which wasn’t long ago) I never offered to pay on dates and it actually never came up either. We should be free to do what feels right. If we’re traditional, then we never offer to split it. If we’re quite modern then we do obviously. It’s about the kind of man you want and the kind of woman your are but just own it and be confident.

  • In Russia men always pay, all dates and even when you start to live together. You will never see a woman asking for a bill in a restaurant when she is with a man. It would be strange in Russia. We are kind of old fashioned. And it doesn’t mean for a woman to be a « kept woman ». It’s just about to be courted and let a man to be a Man. Of course, when people start to live together they share their expenses , but in public places men always pay.

  • I believe that men should pay for the first date, and then it should be a split.
    Mostly because men usually are the ones asking on the date (well, at least, in France, that’s how it works) and whoever chooses where the date takes place, should invite, out of pure politeness – what if the other party hates the place? Is allergic to the food served? Can’t afford it?

  • C’est étrange de lire que c’est normal que les femmes se fassent inviter, parce qu’elle gagnent moins. Je refuse qu’on me voit comme une personne avec un pouvoir d’achat plus faible en fonction de mon genre. Il est possible que je sois moins payée qu’un homme, mais ce n’est pas du tout quelque chose que j’accepte et veux intégrer dans mon comportement.

  • Ma mère m’a toujours dit : s’il te fait payer ta part, fuis! Haha.
    Je trouve que partager l’addition entre potes/collègues, c’est normal mais à un rencard, c’est bizarre.
    Je préfère nettement qu’on paye chacun son tour, c’est plus décontracté.

  • Le jour où il y aura une vraie égalité salariale entre les femmes et les hommes, on pourra se poser la question. En attendant c’est au mec de payer lors de la 1st date ! Il n’est pas question de commencer à changer les mentalités de ce côté là avant qu’elles ne changent de l’autre

  • This is a subject so sensitive, that many relationships I know (and have been part of) have been broken for reasons attached to it. Generosity is an aspect I really look for in people, not just guys I date, but also friends, as I am inclined to be generous myself. I expect a guy who asks me out on a first date to pay (I of course make a move, but I expect him to insist). Thereafter, I would like him to also insist on paying as a sign of gallantry, even if I would have to step up and undertake at least some expenses. It is nice to be treated with practically anything. If the guy is not of great means (who is nowadays?) I would be happy with just a cone of ice cream, and would not demand box seats at the opera! When the relationship progresses I act like Neada says in her post. You take turns, you forget, it is blurred. And this is the good scenario. If paying becomes an issue then something is wrong..

  • ça dépend du rendez-vous! Si on a envie de ne rien « devoir » à l’autre le mieux c’est de partager l’addition. Si l’homme est élégant il proposera de régler l’invitation ( et faute de moyens, j’en ai connu – mon actuel conjoint maintenant – qui ont passé le tablier de chef cuisinier d’un soir pour préparer un plateau de fruit de mer et dresser une table digne des meilleurs restaurant mais à la maison). Le mieux c’est quand même de payer et de s’inviter à tour de rôle. Par contre l’homme qui n’invite jamais – ô grand jamais – est généralement soit un parasite, soit un gigolo ou même un peu des deux.

  • muswellmummy 1 septembre 2015, 10:07 / Répondre

    I am a little shocked by all the women (many younger than I) who are happy for the man to pay for not just the first date but most of the dates afterwards! Why should they pay for our company? Doesn’t that make you feel a little weird – are we escorts? It is true that I have usually been wealthier than all the men I’ve dated and make more money than my husband now, but I don’t think going dutch should ‘dampen the romance’. Going dutch protects both of you – no assumptions are made about the money/power balance in the early stages of the relationship. Money is a loaded subject, but if someone can’t afford to pay for dinner early on in a relationship it shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Go on a date that doesn’t involve money, go for a walk, go to a museum (in Europe, US museums are not free!) have an inexpensive coffee or ice cream. If he offers to treat you, that’s nice, but shouldn’t be expected or a deal-breaker: that’s real inequality and shows a reinforcement of the stereotype that men should ‘take care’ of us. We are not incapable. Care means listening and showing affection, not having a big wallet.

  • I think it’s interesting how a lot of women pick and choose when they want to be traditional about the roles of women and men. What if he wanted to be traditional when it comes to other areas of the relationship, like his expectations of how you should behave as a female? I imagine most wouldn’t be reacting very well to the notion of being ‘traditional’ then.
    But yes, I think whoever asks the other out should pick up the bill. After that it should just flow naturally.

  • That’s a funny and often difficult point, I’m glad you raised the question Neada. It’s interesting to see other people’s point of view and understand what is acceptable. On the one side, it is never nice to be that person that always takes and never gives. I think all relationships (friendships included) should be reciprocal. It’s not about keeping taps, when things are balanced no one ever feels used or feels the need to keep track, like you said « it all goes down in the wash ». It’s also not about I paid this and you paid that, sometime it could be that I treat you to an event, but you are there for me when I’m down or give me good advice, whatever it might be.

    When it comes to guys, even though I’m a bit of a feminist, I like when a guy pays for the first couple of dates. This might sound bad, but it’s a way to gage his interest in me. I find that when a guy likes you, he wants to show off and treat you nice, and looks proud to have you around. He is not holding back; if he is, I feel that I’m a sort of place holder. I have the impression that unlike girls, guys would date girls they sort of like until what they really want comes along. Most girls, I find, will wait and be single until they find that unicorn.

    I don’t fancy myself a placeholder, so I like when a guy wants to prance for my benefit. Of course, it doesn’t have to be super expensive or anything. Simple things are always the best, he just has to be creative to come up with a cool experience for both of you to enjoy and get to know each other, and show that he thought about it and paid attention to your interest. Maybe this is too much to ask in this day and age, but when a guy likes you, he does it, at least at the start (this latter is another conversation…) It also shows that he takes charge, a great quality in a person! After a couple of dates of him paying, I of course feel that I should treat him back in appreciation. One quirk about me is that, if I’m not into a guy I’m on a date with, I would not feel comfortable with him paying. So if I’m pushing to pay my part on a first date, that’s the kiss of death LOL

    I’m thinking now though that I guess I should qualify first dates as it changes my thinking. If the first date is with a guy I sort of know and am starting to explore a romantic interest with, then the statement above applies, if it is with a stranger (online dating, anyone?) that you don’t even know if you like or not and is just to get an impression, then no, coffee will suffice, and going dutch is fine.

    I found interesting the concept of paying if you are the one to ask for the date. Food for thought!

    Btw- I heard elsewhere that guys paying for dates is fair taking into account all the trouble and expense we go through to look good on a dates. I don’t know if I subscribe to this but hey, something else to think about!

  • This is also a very cultural aspect of what is the role of a guy and their ego. I had this funny experience with a co-worker in Europe. We were on a conference, and since it was just the two of us from our company, we went out to lunch together. Keep in mind that this meal with be ultimately paid by the company, reimbursed as a business lunch. When the tap came, I took my card out to pay my part, this way we would each do our reimbursement claim separately, but he didn’t want to do it, and I sensed he felt embarrassed to be seen splitting a bill with a girl. If it had been a group of people splitting the bill, I think he would have been fine. Any way, he paid the full bill! Here in the US, guys on business lunches or not will feel ok to have the girl « pay »; it’s not so emasculating for them to have the girl pay. A different experience for sure.

    So I guess my point is that we need to take into account what the guy feels in all this discussion of who should pay. Is it important for them to pay, would they feel embarrassed if we paid? And of course the answer will vary from one guy to another, especially if they come from different cultures.

  • Sujet intéressant et délicat.

    Ce qui est certain c’est que je répugne complètement à séparer l’addition en deux lors d’un rendez-vous romantique. C’est peut-être parce que je suis française, ou simplement vieux jeux ah ah, mais je trouve ça d’une espèce de mesquinerie dans ce contexte. Je préfère qu’on s’invite à tour de rôle. Si j’insiste pour payer ma part ce serait vraiment parce que je ne voudrais plus jamais revoir ce type et n’avoir rien à lui devoir. D’ailleurs je fonctionne un peu pareil dans un contexte amical quand il s’agit de petites dépenses : si j’offre un verre à quelqu’un par exemple parce qu’il n’a pas assez de liquide sur lui, j’ai horreur qu’il me rembourse en espèce, je préfère dire que la prochaine fois c’est lui qui invite. Ce n’est pas très pragmatique mais selon moi plus chaleureux…

    Mais j’avoue que j’ai encore un peu tendance à considérer que c’est plus au mec d’inviter au début de la relation… C’est vrai qu’avec le mien, il y a une grosse différence de revenus puisque je suis encore étudiante et pas lui, et que depuis 4 ans qu’on est ensemble lorsque que j’ai eu un peu plus de moyen j’ai toujours participé de plus en plus. Quand on est dans une relation depuis longtemps les choses s’équilibrent de façon naturelle, et c’est bien plus sain.

    J’aime bien ton idée que le premier qui invite offre le rendez-vous ;)

  • How surprising that a number of women here still prefer the very arcane concept of chivalry! Not what a I expected at all. Agreed that it should just be whoever asked the person on a first date. Dutch is not unsexy, it is powerful! However, I do think it can be romantic to take your significant other on a date- whatever your gender or sexuality. It’s a nice way to add romance, take your person out for a nice evening and order dessert :)

  • Is it possible to be Independent and Old Fashioned? My bf of almost a year pays for every meal out ( I try to chip in and he says « put it away, thank you ») I had no idea it was going to be like this, but I am quite appreciative of how generous he is. I have desgnsted myself the giver of the « petits cadeaux » to alleviate my feeling bad. I also cook for him whenever I can. He definitely makes more than I do, but I don’t think that is the only reason for his generosity. I have dated the guy who questions the brand and cost of my cocktail as I order and that was both uncomfortable and horrible!

  • hmmm, c’est vrai que c’est une problématique, souvent abordée en France. Personnellement, je me suis toujours proposée de payer (que je sors avec une amie ou un ami). En général, avec mes amies, on altèrne. Après, avec les garçons, cela ne me dérange pas de payer la première fois, même si cela ne m’est jamais arrivé. Même si je propose de payer, c’est toujours le garçon qui paye, car ils le font sans que cela se voit. Ils n’attendent pas que l’addition arrivent. C’est le coup des toilettes :) , en passant par la caisse :)
    xo xo from Paris

  • I am a mother of a teenage son and my husband I tell him not to let a girl pay. It seems to set a tone in making him feel like a gentleman and making the girl feel special.

  • The man. That is all there is to it.

  • I, too, am surprised by the number of commenters here who are still buying into the traditional gender roles of « men should take care of women. » Is it not 2015? Are we still so concerned about bruising a man’s ego? I feel that whoever initiated the date should offer to take care of the check; that is just common courtesy. After that, once the relationship is established a little more, splitting the check or taking turns is totally fine. For me, I would rather split a check with someone I don’t know too well, because it levels the playing field and I won’t feel « indebted » to the other person. Is being wooed and treated to dinner nice to have once in a while? Sure, but so is the sense of power and agency from being able to provide for myself and be generous to others.

  • On a third date with a ‘gentleman’, I offered to pay and he took full advantage of my generosity by ordering not one, but THREE appetizers on top of a pricey entrée and dessert! I gave him a chance to redeem himself and on the fourth date he insisted on an upscale dinner and I just assumed he would pay or at least we would go dutch. Well, what a surprise! He conveniently ‘forgot’ his credit card at home and I ended up treating him again. The end.

  • Haha! NO way! Hope that was the last date…

  • I’m a fan of paying my own way. I’m in my mid-20’s, just starting out in my career and I’m on a budget. However, I want to date and I’m looking for that special someone. So I pay my own way, and I expect the man to pay his own way.

    This way neither of us feel indebted or emasculated (this is just silly, really).
    We both know where we can afford to eat, and we can adjust our weekly budget.
    There are no misguided expectations, and you can just enjoy each others’ company :)

From the Archives

Holiday Gifting
  • Holiday Gifting
  • This or That
  • Happy Holidays!
  • #AtelierDoréDoes
  • How To...
Hill City

Hill City

Deb Watson’s Guide to Giving

Deb Watson’s Guide to Giving

The Gift of Giving Gifts

The Gift of Giving Gifts

lessons in gifting steven alan presents expert series garance dore photos

Lessons In… Gifting