Yesha Callahan

Study Shows Most Men Think Women Should Pay For Dates But Feel Guilty About Taking Money


It must be really hard out here for men.  Dating tons of women, shelling out $200* (search $200 dates on Twitter for a good laugh) for each date, but actually wanting the woman to pay but feeling too guilty about taking money from a woman.

Woe is him. Woe is him.

Ladies, listen up. Men are tired of footing the bill on your $200 dates. Man up and pay the bill for once.

Actually, I’m just joking. Don’t get all keyboard angry, well, not just yet.

According to a new study (there’s a new study everyday, folks) led by the research of psychologist David Frederick of Chapman University in California, two out of three men think women should help pay for a date, although most feel guilty about accepting their money. Out of those numbers, 76% of men felt bad about taking money from their dates.

Who are these men? Where can I find them? Because I’ve never noticed any guilt when I’ve paid for a date, but never once was I not thanked for the gesture. Personally, if I ask someone out, I don’t expect the man to pay. But not all women are the same.

From the New York Daily News:

Eighty-four percent of men, and 58% of women, reported that men pay for most dating expenses, even after they’ve been going steady for a while.

Fifty-seven percent of women claimed they had offered to pay for a date — although 39% confessed they hoped the man would reject their offer to chip in.

In any event, over time, the vast majority of participants, both male and female, said they shared dating expenses in the first six months of seeing someone exclusively.

Frederick, whose previous research has focused on body image, said the study was motivated by a desire “to understand why some gendered practices are more resistant to change than others.”

Dating is hard enough nowadays, there shouldn’t be an extra added amount of stress when it comes to who’s footing the bill.  Maybe my next date, I’ll bring a bagged dinner, some boxed wine and call it a day.


*For clarification purposes, I only used $200 as an example of the ridiculousness that goes into some ‘dates’ these days. My best date was $25.
  1. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    If I go out with others, I prefer to pay for myself. I don’t understand why this can’t happen more often; just pay for yourself.

  2. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    I don’t mind paying only if I’ve initiated the date. Now those men complaining are the ones that are dating multiple woman and can’t afford it in the first place.

  3. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    “It must be really hard out here for men. Dating tons of women, shelling out $200 for each date, but actually wanting the woman to pay but feeling too guilty about taking money from a woman.

    Woe is him. Woe is him.”

    I genuinely feel bad for guys. That sounds so condescending even if you didn’t mean it as such.

    I agree with Miakoda. Nothing wrong or difficult with paying for yourself, regardless of who initiates the date. And, if you’re in a long term relationship, you can come to some agreement with your partner as to who pays when.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply


      “Nothing wrong or difficult with paying for yourself, regardless of who initiates the date.”

      No, there’s nothing inherently wrong or difficult with paying for yourself, but if someone asks another person out on a date the “invited” is technically the invitee’s guest and has every right to expect to be treated as such. As I’ve said in other Clutch articles about the same subject, I view the issue of “who pays for dates” the same as someone inviting another person over to their house for dinner. As a host, I don’t expect for my guests to bring anything, but if they offer to bring something, or bring something as a surprise then it is appreciated. Unless there is some previously agreed on arrangement (e.g. potluck) I would never invite someone over to my house for dinner with expectations that they contribute “their share” to the meal. As a host, it is my privilege to “treat” you the guest, not try to make everything fair and square.

  4. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    I’m glad I’m married.

  5. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    Do people even go out on dates anymore? It seem like only a small amount of people in the 20 to younger range go out on actually dates. A lot of people now days think a date is having the woman come to their house and you watch movies.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply


      If he asks you over for a movie, just say no!

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply


      I definitely still date. There’s no “come over and chill” moments unless we’re far enough along in our dating timeline.

  6. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    If someone is asking me out on a date then why should I pay? Also, you don’t have to spend crazy $$$ to go out on dates. This is where creativity comes to play. Lets go to a picnic, go bike riding, rollerblading, an art show, museum, like really? You don’t have to do the generic movie and dinner. Nor do you have to spend money at the bar. If you can’t afford to go out on a date either don’t ask people to go out or get creative. Simple as that.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply


      You first comment is conveniently self serving and disingenuous, because it is expected of men to make the first move and ask a women out.

      your second comment is good and creative but most women still expect the fancy dinner.

      If women start paying, it will be a good thing because it shows you are there for the man not for his money.

      • August 15, 2013 - Reply

        @the miller (@rakillers)

        “You first comment is conveniently self serving and disingenuous, because it is expected of men to make the first move and ask a women out.”

        As is usual in most species, the male typically courts the female–not the other way around. I don’t know why humans always expect things to be different… It appears that we are biologically/primitively designed to behave in such a manner.

        “your second comment is good and creative but most women still expect the fancy dinner.”

        How interesting that you know “most” women in their world and their thoughts and preferences.

  7. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    Whoever intiates the first date should pay, but if you continue to see each other several times after that either switch off or each of you pay for your own meal. I don’t think its fair for the guy to have to pay all the time.

    • August 17, 2013 - Reply


      And women are always initiating the date. Be honest.

  8. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    Why not just go on cheaper dates. There are tons of restaurants where you do not have to shell out $200/date. There are always tons of offers on group buy sites to eat out at discounted prices. I am a contest junky, although I have slowed down considerably now, but entering contests is a hobby of mine and I win all kinds of stuff all the time. The EASIEST thing to win are movie tickets, most times for early screenings which often come with popcorn and drinks/water, that’s a free date right there.

  9. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    i believe in paying for myself.

    but if i’m honest, it would be hard for me to pay for a man unless/until i got to know him and saw whether he is an honest, upright, loving human being.

    in general, i don’t believe women should pay for men. just like i believe that men must work. i don’t believe in the idea of a kept man.

  10. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    Men are officially the new women.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply


      People are thumbing up this comment, because they don’t understand what is being implied. Or, if they do, it’s because they believe gender stereotypes/roles.

      • August 13, 2013 - Reply


        Thank you! I was thinking the same thing!

  11. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    As a guy, I’ll split it with female friends that are potentially earning at least as much as me but I’ll never ask her to pay. When the bill arrives, I usually put my card in, close it, and put it off to the side of the table. I behave as if we both assumed that I was paying.

    Once she placed her card in as well. I felt extremely awkward (I didn’t show it), but I allowed her to split it. Most of my potential dates are much more liberal and earn much more than the typical woman her age (I also live on the North East Coast). So I can never assume that she will not be really offended if I insist on paying the whole bill. So I always go with the motions of paying for the whole bill, but I never prevent her from trying to split it.

    But I do feel really awkward when the waiter knows that I am on a date (particularly male waiters) and notices that I split the check. I probably shouldn’t feel this way, but in the moment, I feel like I am less of a grown man.

  12. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    I never pay for dates and have no intentions of ever paying for one.

  13. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    Women do the brunt (i.e., practically all) of the housework, cooking and childcare: if men quit paying for things, it’s gonna be hard to justify keeping one around. #justsayin

  14. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    1) I love to watch feminists discuss this topic.

    2) I usually pay because I believe in relationships the man should provide. But if you want that you better be willing to swallow all the other traditional values I have. No part-time equality here.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply


      I love an open-minded man. I’ll just assume that penetration is a two-way street as well

      • August 14, 2013 - Reply


        …..just died at your coment, LOL!

  15. August 23, 2013 - Reply

    Women should not pay for dates especially in the beginning. The reason being is after a couple gets married, the woman does the bulk of the house work aka cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, child rearing…Dating is the only time the woman gets pampered. If the relationship gets serious (6 months or more of dating), the woman can offer to pay on occasion but that’s up to the woman. A man should be able to prove that he can financially support a woman buy being able to pay for dates. If not, then he shouldn’t be dating. Also, the men don’t have to take women to expensive dinner or show. Sometimes, they can go to a movie, coffee, park, museums, comedy club etc…There are many affordable options out there that don’t cost a lot.People need to be more creative about dating.

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