Budgeting | Life | Personal Finance | Relationships & Family | Article

Does Who Pay For Dates Matter?

by Rica | November 9, 2023 | 6 mins read

Discriminating and anti-poor. This is what social media influencer Jeremy Sancebuche, better known by the online moniker Mimiyuuuh, was called when she advised her followers not to date someone financially unstable.

She later uploaded a video explaining that her statement came from personal experience and was well-intended. If she didn’t have enough funds to spend on a date, she couldn’t expect someone in a similar or worse situation to spend on her either, she explained.

The big reaction her video got boils down to the fact that there has always been a lot of debate, and disagreements, surrounding whether the guy or the girl should foot the bill when on a date.


Should the guy always pay?

In the past, the answer used to be very clear – the guy always pays. We were raised that way. Older folks believe that it’s a way the guy can show how he can care for a girl and provide for her in the future.

It’s a theory that senior creative services manager Dustin, 35 subscribes to. “I think guys should pay for dates because chivalry is timeless. Not to sound macho or a show-off, it’s being gentlemanly. At the core of it all is ensuring that the person you’re with is comfortable, well-fed, and cared for,” he says.

Neil is of the same opinion. “Decades ago, Filipino culture expected the guy to foot the bill, especially during the courtship stage. Likely because it was taboo for women to make the first move. So, it was always the men who pursued the women. Today, we are more liberal; women making the first move is no longer frowned upon as much as before,” says Neil, 38.

However, it can get problematic if the girl takes it too far, like what Neil has found out. He once dated a girl whose traditional parents told her that women should not spend a single centavo on men. After a few dates, it became toxic and he broke it off.

“It’s fine by me if she didn’t pay or share the bill. What was not okay was when she began to demand to dine in expensive restaurants and sent feelers for expensive gifts. I could not even set aside a portion of my salary for savings back then. There was no way I could sustain it, so I backed out,” Neil shares.

Both men and women can and should pay

With changing times, there are now more women who don’t mind footing the bill when on dates.

Martha, 28, who works as a freelance virtual assistant feels the traditional roles of men and women are blurred. “For me, whoever initiated the date is expected to pay — whether the guy or the girl, it doesn’t really matter,” she says, attributing this in part because she was raised by a single dad.

And it shouldn’t just be a case of who earns more should be the one paying for dinner. Otherwise, it would always be a one-way thing.

“I used to work for a digital company that paid well, but when business went south for the company, I was among the first ones out. One day, I was financially stable; another, I was looking for a job. Circumstances could change in an instant. We have to be practical, including when dating,” she adds.

It’s also a matter of being considerate of the other person, says fintech company department head, Maila. “I think it’s being respectful of your date not to let him pay by himself. You have no clue about his earnings and financial situation, so offering to split the bill is the least you could do,” shares the 29-year-old.


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For Joaqs, if his date is willing to split the bill, it’s a sign that he’s dating the right one.

“Maybe on the first date, expecting the guy to pay would be fine. However, if you are already dating regularly, it would be nice if the girl, at least, shows an intent to share,” says the 25-year-old sales associate in an energy company.

It’s one of the reasons his two-year-old relationship with his girlfriend is going strong.

“Sometimes, I pay. Other times, she does. It was never an issue,” he shares.

Splitting the bill after your relationship status is confirmed

While having the man pay for a date is still the general societal norm, when you are past the courtship stage, this changes and there’s an unspoken rule for couples to share dating expenses.

“When you reach a level of comfort and commitment, there’s already room for compromise since it’s a partnership already. Splitting the bill or taking turns paying for dates become the norm,” explains Dustin.

Marketing manager Divina, 28, agrees. “I take turns with my boyfriend in paying for our dates. Say he pays for lunch, I make sure to take care of dinner or the movie,” she shares.

And if the other party is unwilling to help pay for anything, it’s a red flag.


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“Dating is usually a prelude to a long-term commitment, and if you have a date who, despite having some income, expects you always to foot the bill or does not show even the slightest gesture of sharing in the expense, they could be a big problem in the long term. If you are willing to risk it, go ahead, but let’s face it, who wants to date a liability?” asks Neil.

“A good analogy is a water tank. If the two of you constantly pour water into the tank, even if one is pouring more than the other, the tank will eventually fill up. However, suppose only one of you is pouring in the water while the other acts like a hole, slowly draining the tank of its contents. In that case, the water will eventually run out,” explains Neil.

And even if you are dating a beauty queen or a K-pop idol, it’s not worth being in a financially one-way relationship that drains your wallet. After all, there should be giving and taking in a relationship.