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Picture this: You’re sitting in a restaurant booth across from your lover, shoveling food into your facehole. You’re mid-bite, and the waitress arrives. “No rush,” she says, places the bill on the table, and then walks away. WYD?
This is a situation that I’m sure you’ve encountered. The difference on what happens next is based on what stage you are in your relationship and any discussions that you’d had about money in the past.
Now, this doesn’t have to be a conversation had on date number one, although nothing gets a woman hot and bothered quicker than talking about splitting the bill. But, the conversation does need to occur at some point during the relationship. Finances and money can be a stressful part of dating but if you sit down and come up with an approach that works for both sides then it can avoid either side feeling cheated that they’re getting the short end of the stick. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
You’re not going to be earning the same exact amount of money as your significant other (even though I suggest that this is a real-life scenario in about five paragraphs). So this approach could work well, where you split expenses based on how much each person earns. If one person earns $80k and one person earns $40k, the person who earns $80k pays 2/3 of the cost for each activity. This way, no person is paying more than they feel comfortable with and each dollar that one person spends is theoretically equal to each dollar that the other person spends (if you don’t take into account different tax rates and are using pretax income figures).
This seems pretty fair. I would suggest this if there’s an income difference and, for some reason, the other person feels that splitting bills based on their income puts them in an uncomfortable situation to pay their bills. For every three dates that the breadwinner picks up, the other can pick up the fourth.
While you don’t have to exactly keep track in a spreadsheet, it is easy to count to the number four in the back of your head. Then when you hit that number, reach in your pocket, take out your wallet, and slap that Chase freedom Card on the counter to pay the bill.
The Food/Drinks Split methodology pertains mostly to dates for, you guessed it, food and drinks (but can extend to other date types and activities as well). This strategy is probably best when the relationship is still in its infancy. Assuming standard male/female stereotypes that have been beaten into our heads, the man reaches for the bill and the woman counteroffers to pay. The man says, “No, thank you,” and then the woman offers to pick up the drinks and tip. While drinks are typically a lower dollar amount compared to the meal, it still shows that she wants to contribute to their night out while allowing the male to keep his inflated ego/shell of masculinity by paying for the food.
“I ain’t saying she’s a gold duddy, but she ain’t messing with no broke buddy.” – Kanye Weast.
I was only allowed to listen to the edited versions back in Middle School so I’m pretty sure that’s what the lyrics were (thanks, mom and dad). In this situation, one person pays for everything in the relationship and the other person pays for nothing. That’s probably fine if one person wins the lottery and the other person has hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans or has to pay off the mafia. If that’s not the case and this is your situation, run (unless you’re the one getting everything paid for… then just sit back and enjoy the ride while it lasts).
AAYYOO! This one’s for all my accountants and number crunchers out there. Light some candles, draw up a T chart with the debits and credits, factor in your inflows and outflows, and meet on the fifth business night of the month to reconcile your spreadsheet differences for closeout. Afterward, you two make sweet sweet love after getting all turned on from talking about how balanced your assets and liabilities are, Venmo the difference that you owe your significant other. It can be a fun bonding activity for those who got way too into managerial and financial accounting courses back in college and is mostly applicable for those who are earning the exact same salary.
This one’s my favorite, and in theory, it sounds the best. Bills are split 50/50. The difference between this and the above is that you don’t necessarily keep track of expenses to the penny.
Let’s say we’re going out for a couple’s bar crawl. I pay at Bar A, you pay at Bar B, so on and so forth. Neither side worries that my IPA was $1 more expensive at Bar B than your glass of wine was at Bar A. It’s the least amount of work, the least stressful, and both sides are pretty much contributing equally. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.
Do you guys use something similar to one of these above, or something way different? Either way, I’d love to hear about it because I suck at this in real life. I once passively suggested that my date and I occasionally split dinner costs and she acted like I shot a puppy in front of her. We then broke up about a month later, but I’m sure that’s unrelated.
So… who pays? .