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How do you pull off going Dutch?

I received an email from one of our male readers seeking some advice.  He wants to know if it’s possible to go Dutch on a date without sending the wrong message.  Is there a way to successfully ask someone out, plan an outing, and go on a date paying your own way or splitting the costs?

Do you think it can be done if you pick the right person and circumstances?

In my experience, going Dutch was only bad because of the “caught off guard” situations.  You know, that time when someone asks you out and don’t mention that they have no intentions of paying your way.  If you know beforehand that you wanted the date to be Dutch, you should say so. Give the person the opportunity to make a fully informed decision before agreeing to it.

What do you think? Does going Dutch automatically mean it’s a “bad” date?  When was the last time you paid your own way on a date?  What did you and how did it come to be a “Dutch” date?

It you had to pick between no date and going Dutch, which would you pick?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

345 comments Add your comment

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
7:22 am

Morning all,

Going Dutch on a first date to me is a no no, not because I can’t pay my own way, but because it comes off as a bit tacky. Is that the first impresion you want to give me? Now, I have no problem at all going Dutch if we’ve been seeing each other for awhile. But like Diva said, I’d prefer someone not wait til the bill comes befere you tell me that’s what we’re doing. I’ve done the whole, I buy the movie tickets and you pay for the snacks thing and that works just fine. But going Dutch on a first date to me is almost like someone paying for dinner with a coupon on the first date. I know times are hard but it just sends out the wrong vibe for me.

CoolShadow

March 9th, 2011
7:40 am

Come On Now – your post confirmed my belief of the impossibility of a man asking to go Dutch on a first date without being labeled as cheap. After establishing some familiarity with a woman, perhaps maybe. Ditto on the coupon too.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
8:12 am

When was the last time you went out on a date and paid your own way? Every time I have been on a date I paid my own way. You must be talking to the women. If I ask a woman out I pay for the date. Now when I as dating seriously, I have had the woman ask to pay at times but I politely declined. But as far as going dutch on a date I can not remember one time when I paid my tab and my date paid hers. I personally don’t think “dutch” should happen if you ask someone out…..save your money and don’t ask her out until you can afford to pay for both tabs.

Yes She Is Cute

March 9th, 2011
8:23 am

Good morning everybody!

If it’s dutch its not a date plain and simple. Only dutch I’m doing is a man from the netherlands thats it. hehehe jk.

Hope all is well…..

2CPTG - wakin' up from a long nap!

March 9th, 2011
8:30 am

Going Dutch on the the first date should be a prerequisite! If it’s “par for the course,” that I pay, well, at the end of the night, keep the tradition going!

btw, what’s up, y’all……

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
8:31 am

Purple Rain–do you believe that the man should ALWAYS pay for the date, regardless of whether he did the asking out or not? My parents and their generation feel that way. But a lot of men nowadays feel that women should pay sometimes….or maybe at least offer to pay. But some women offer to pay, knowing full well they have no intention of paying, just so the guy will think that they’re not all about the money.

All I know is if I don’t know you and it’s a first date and you want us to go Dutch, there probably won’t be a second date.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
8:39 am

Come on Now, yes I believe a man should always pay whether he did the asking out or not. I would feel really uncomfortable if my date paid my way. If it were a birthday gift/dinner date I would let it slide. Now that I am married and we have a joint account it does not matter who pays but I still usually do.

Dan - Simply....Superior

March 9th, 2011
8:41 am

I’mma ask you to pay your own way on a first date, and I expect you to be prepared to do so.

As I tell my neice: “never take anything, - anything - from a man without a clear expression of why he is giving it to you. Ask when he offers and confirm before you take it.”

As stated here before, if you’re an “I am woman” kinda chick, then follow that logic through to its conclusion; similarly, if you’re a more traditional chick, follow that logic through as well.

If a person wants consistency, they have to give it.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
8:42 am

I agree with YSIC if it is dutch it is not a date. And guys if you take a woman out and she insists on paying for her part of the tab that is a sign of things to come. Either she doesn’t like you and does not want to send the impression that she does or you have a woman who is overly independent and “don’t need a man to do nothing for her”

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
8:43 am

“He wants to know if it’s possible to go Dutch on a date without sending the wrong message”.

First Date? Simple answer is yes…if he treasures being alone.

Early in a relationship, as practical as it seems, coupons and “dutch” are deal killers. Once a relationship takes hold then maybe some. I wouldn’t do it now because I make enough money that it doesn’t have a material effect on me, but that was not always the case.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
8:43 am

Are we really in a world where courting or gestures of kindness are now thought to always have a hidden agenda?

Roekest

March 9th, 2011
8:44 am

Things Women Should Not Be Asked To Do While With a Man:

- Pay for dinner
- Drive
- Open the door
- Fend off muggers and bums
- and other things I cannot think of right now.

Men have become infantilized in the past 20 years. As a man (not a boy), I find this disturbing. You can’t raise a generation of children if mom does all the work and dad acts like he’s still in college. Then again, hopefully most women aren’t stupid enough to marry a man-child who still does keg stands past the age of 30.

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
8:44 am

Purple Rain–Wow. I don’t meet too many man nowadays you feel the way you do. Now, I have no problem paying for a date every now and then, but for me, that’s normally after we’ve been dating for quite a while. But I guess I subscribe more to my parents’ line of thinking. My dad has always said that a man should always pay, regardless.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
8:45 am

Also however, i do think that the one that does the asking is the one that pays the tab. If in a relationship, i ask her, I am obligated. If she asks me, she is obligated to at least offer.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
8:47 am

Come On Now, and I bet your parents are happily married aren’t they? Nothing wrong with following the example that was set by them. My dad raised me to be a man and I observed him doing those things as well.

Dan - Simply....Superior

March 9th, 2011
8:50 am

@PR – yeap

Even if the agenda is upfront and the intentions are stated, there are some ladies with (rightfully) suspicious minds based on experience.

We are also in an age where a woman may legitimately not need or desire the traditional treatment, and you have to respect that too.

My issue is the flip-flopping.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
8:50 am

When I was married, she paid the tab some…because I gave her all the money. Too many times I had to go to Sams Club and have their samples for lunch because I didn’t have two dollars for a Taco Bell. Not much left after paying for her therapy from her effed up childhood ;-)

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
8:53 am

Based on some of the blogs, I was trying to remember if I have ever sent the signal that “I paid for dinner, you owe me”. I don’t think so. I guess I never considered a dinner part of payment for a (fill in the blank).

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
8:55 am

Purple Rain-Yep. My parents have been happily married for 40 years. Now that they”re married of course they have a joint account so it doesn’t matter, but when they were dating it was always my dad paying. I don’t think my mom ever offered to pay. But my dad didn’t mind because he was raised to always pay. I just think we’ve gotten so far away from that generation’s way of doing things. I know times have changed but I think that some things should never really go out of style.

Ali14

March 9th, 2011
8:57 am

if a man asks a woman out for the first time, he should pay. i went on a date with this guy and when the bill came he said, “you can get the tip”. i said, “excuse me?” i was in shock. i am now with my boyfriend of 5 years, and he still hates for me to pay.

i also agree with Randyt (aka “I resemble this)…if you do the asking, you should feel obligated to pay.

Kiss of a Rose

March 9th, 2011
8:57 am

I have done the dutch thing, it will cause you to be alone. If you don’t see a future with this woman, I will say go dutch. If you do see a future with this woman, spend that money. I have done the dutch thing in my early 20’s, it has burn me alot of times.

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
8:57 am

Yeah, and why does it have to be the “I paid for dinner now you owe me”. That’s so dumb. I can’t stand when people do something ALWAYS expecting something in return.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
8:58 am

Dan I guess my small town upbringing influenced my thought process and set the “standard” for dating. To this day, the guy asks the parents and most know the parents in some form or fashion before asking one of my sisters out for a date. If the woman is a full blown adult or college student the guy better still come correct and act like a man. It is just standard practice, I could see and have seen how environments can taint the courting process. Where everyone basically does not know everyone or that there are to many degrees of separation.

MC Hammock

March 9th, 2011
9:02 am

Dutch should be the exception and not the rule. CERTAINLY, you don’t go Dutch on the first date. By and large, men who go all out in the beginning are shackling themselves for the long run. A man’s best behavior will be the minimum that is expected from him in the future. A woman’s best behavior will be the maximum that is expected from her. Societies rules, not mine.

Only Dutch it when it’s an informal date or when it’s “just friends”. If there is more involved, only go Dutch when she suggests it, but assume that you will handle the entire bill.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
9:05 am

@ MCH re: “A man’s best behavior will be the minimum that is expected from him in the future”.

Well said…and too true.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:06 am

If a woman sleeps with you after just you taking her out she would have slept with you even if you did not take her out. And if a guy tries to sleep with you after a date because he took you out he does not hold that woman in high regard. If its just sex that is the end goal it is better to be upfront. Now if you sleep with me and it’s a satisfactory performance. You may get a dinner date etc. LOL

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:06 am

MC Hammock, that is spot on.

SexyCool

March 9th, 2011
9:11 am

Is Buddy wanting to go Dutch for financial reasons or those based on the principle of the matter?

If it’s money related, Buddy should be dating within his financial abilities. He should not plan activities that he cannot afford. There are plenty of things that a couple should be able to do that is fun and creative and not denting in your light bill money.

This goes back to just what I said at the end of the day yesterday, if your money ain’t right, you need to focus on getting it right.

If it’s about a principle, then…this has been my experience, I have not been asked on a *date* and then asked to pay.

Oh wait…I’m lying…I was asked out once to the movies to meet this guy and when I got there, he had already paid for his ticket and was inside the theater, “saving me a seat”. Yeah…he turned out to be a real loser.

Another time, I met a guy at the movies and because of some conversation that we’d had prior to our first date, I expected to pay for my own ticket, but when I got there, he was already waiting with my ticket in his hand.

Basically, it is my belief that any guy that expects me to go Dutch on a first date or a date where he has done the inviting, then he is not that interested in impressing me.

And I believe that if I ask, I pay. To this day, that’s the way I am in my relationship with TheDude.

Dan - Simply....Superior

March 9th, 2011
9:11 am

@Hammock – riiiiiggghhht that happens.

Everyone lives up to “societies” expectations.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
9:13 am

@PR re: “If a woman sleeps with you after just you taking her out she would have slept with you even if you did not take her out”.

I am inclined to agree with this. In my experience, a woman is sleeping with ME and I am sleeping with HER because there is chemistry, not because we had a good date.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:13 am

Basically a man spends his time and money on what he values. If he is giving you neither, then guess what you are not getting the real him only a temporary stand in.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:16 am

LOL, I guess some men don’t care about making an impression on a woman.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
9:16 am

Honestly, money has little to do with a “good date” if one uses some imagination (and the weather cooperates). A picnic at Stone Mtn and the laser show…cheap. Add a bottle of wine, some fruit or snacks, maybe wings, bring some actual tableware and real glasses…cheap but impressive. Imaagination, not money, is the key.

TenderRoni

March 9th, 2011
9:33 am

Morning,
Good to read you men this morning.

Ali14

March 9th, 2011
9:35 am

@Randyt—–> nice!

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
9:38 am

Randyt—totally agree. If you really don’t have the money, then come up with something fun that’s not as expensive. I personally find your suggestion more appealing for a date anyway. I frankly get bored just going to dinner. Imagination really is key.

M. (pronouced M dot)

March 9th, 2011
9:43 am

Good day..

The issue of going dutch is real but I think the best form of security is prevention….i.e., he should not even get in this situation in the first place on the first date none the less..

The best thing for him to do is go online and pick a good non franchise restaurant that is in his price range (some places put their menu’s online). That way he knows the price range going in and he doesnt have to ask to go dutch.

Pick places that are within your price range and their are a lot of options!

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:43 am

Randyt, you know some guy will tell the woman to bring all of that stuff and he will bring the blanket and the condoms. lol

Leggs

March 9th, 2011
9:46 am

Good morning.

I see nothing wrong with paying for dinner with a coupon on the first date. Nothing at all. But, going dutch on a first date is not a date. I thought you go dutch with people you don’t necessarily want to get close to (lol). If a man asks me out, he pays. If I ask him out, I pay. If you spring “dutch” on me when the tab arrives, I’m leaving you there (even if we came in your car).

mark

March 9th, 2011
9:47 am

gentlmen we should always pay for the entire date! ALWATS!! chivary is not DEAD.. my mother told me that from an early age.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:49 am

mark I agree, it’s not dead but some men are trying to kill it on the sly

SexyCool

March 9th, 2011
9:49 am

Roekest – That whole kegstand thing is just illogical to me…at any age.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

March 9th, 2011
9:51 am

Morning
You can’t compare courting 50 years ago to courting today. In the past men paid becasue women didn’t have the means to pay. Women didn’t work or have any income, so if a man wanted her company, then he had to pay. Women work now and have many more freedoms, but they still expect the guy to pay. They’re having their cake and eating it too. They want women’s lib to apply only when it’s convenient. I used to try and fight this off principle alone, but it’s a losing battle. Women generally don’t care about the principle, only about what benefits them. I accept that it’s one of those things you can’t really change, so I pay.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
9:51 am

Biking on the Silver Comet, tour Fernbank, a few hours in Centennial park and walk into CNN, walking around the park at Lake Lanier, a hike up to a waterfall, day trip to one of the small towns around ATL…just find something, i.e. picnic, wine, anything to enhance it. It isn’t about how much money you drop, it is about how much thought you put into it. You don’t have to drop a couple of hundred at Ray’s to impress, just THINK.

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
9:54 am

Mark-No, chivalry is not dead but men AND women are trying to kill it.

And I’m sorry, but paying with a coupon on a first date is NOT cool.

Randyt (aka "I resemble this)

March 9th, 2011
9:54 am

@ PR yeah but good condoms, and a real blanket can be pricey. LOL, so no Boones Farm or Mad Dog.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
9:56 am

Seriously did any of you used to write a letter or make a tape/cd of songs that reminded you of the woman, play them when she got in the car and then give it to her. Actually call her instead of text her. Knocked on her door to ask her out and not call from the cell or blow the horn from the driveway or call saying you are about to pull up and to come out. Or respect her and her time by not calling her late at night. Bring her a flower on the first date or leave one in the passenger seat of your car so she saw it when you opened the door for her. Dating hasn’t changed guys have just got lazy stop taking charge and started making excuses. If she is so hard up and a gold digger or ms independent you should find another who will appreciate your efforts.

COME ON NOW

March 9th, 2011
10:01 am

DM-Just because as a woman I have the means to pay for things does not mean that now courting or dating should be that much different than it was 50 years ago. I don’t see anything wrong with a woman expecting a man to pay for their date.

Slightly off topic, I think that some of us women don’t require men to do enough, because of the whole “I’m independent, I got my owne and don’t need you to do anything for me”. Hence the reason why a lot of men now feel they don’t have to do certain things. I expect you to open my car door, the restaurant door and any other door we might come in contact with. And I expect you to pay for my date, whether that date costs $25 or $100.

There’s just some things I’m not willing to compromise on, no matter how many years have passed.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
10:01 am

Come on Now, I know I may get chirped for this but I agree with you. No coupon on the first date.

Purple Rain

March 9th, 2011
10:02 am

Come on Now, don’t ever change!