Many think first date is the door to open a beautiful journey of embarking a potential ‘ship’. Good first impression, then, can be a token to unlock it. To let your date paying the first date’s bill is something interesting to discuss as people have different perspective of who’s supposed to take in charge; men? Both? It, thus, intrigued me to create the first poll for Dating Rules #1: First Date Dining: Who Pays The Bill?
Voting options: a. Male, b. Sharing is Okay
Based on the result, people (read: my Instagram followers) are more up to vote a. Male (58%). But not to jump into any conclusions, I interviewed two significant representatives to give both verdicts (just in case).
Meet Samuel Sagita, a Marketing and Admission Service Executive for an educational institution in Jakarta. He opted ‘Male’ because he thinks it’s the manner of a gentleman particularly for a first date. First impression is always number one for him and the purpose is to make the woman feels comfortable as someone cares about her. “I feel like responsible to take in charge in that department although I have met a woman who refused the gesture as her feminism talked”, he explained. When he meets someone like that, he respects the decision and shares the bill.
With his wife, on the other hand, he understands that his wife has passive personality so she never argues about who’s going to pay. But by the time went by, when they were in relationship they took turn to pay the bill without actually stating anything.
Differently, Ayundari, the Communications Coordinator of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival shouts out a strong opinion on this. Besides she stands for feminism (and does not agree to the stigma of men should pay the bill on dates), she thinks that there is no such rule of that. She says a definitive no to this and always offers to split the bill. She believes that on a first date, her potential (or not) lover is still a stranger who can’t buy her dinner.
“Why should I get the “money” by someone I barely know whom I probably won’t meet again or give me a good time. I have money, if not I wouldn’t say yes to the invitation”, told her.
By paying her own meal, it means no strings attached. After the date, she can freely go home without owing them a thank you text. Doing so means she has equal power to decide whether or not going for the next date. Then her date shouldn’t have expected her to follow his direction.
To respond these two arguments, I actually can’t decide which is more acceptable to me as every time I am on a first date, I always show my intention to split bill. Ayu has a string point on this that I totally agree. However, I would be relief when it is his treat as I know he has the pride to be responsible on giving a good impression. Do you think so, too? Or not?