In an ongoing battle of the sexes this question is up there with the most difficult. Given that Londoners (and the rest of the world) seem to be in a constant cycle of first, second, and occasionally, third dates, flashing the plastic is a minefield to be negotiated with care.
The man should pay
This actually makes me very uncomfortable. The sort of uncomfortable where my skin gets all prickly because in my mind the man shouldn’t have to pay! If he chooses to, then it’s a different matter. If, a man is insistent on paying and won’t take no for an answer then I always make sure I get to the bar first (assuming the date is continuing or going on to a second date) and buy the drinks.
Simple, straightforward. The bill arrives and you both pay half. Groundbreaking stuff, this!
Whoever did the asking
This is my personal favourite. Just don’t pick anywhere you can’t afford!
Whoever earns more
If a woman earns significantly more, then there is no point in the man bankrupting himself in the name of chivalry and visa-versa. I realise you’ll have no idea how much your opponent in this battle earns (unless they are the sort of person that flashes a payslip in your face – in which case… run!) but you can usually judge this with some degree of accuracy. Still, both sides should offer – it’s just good manners.
Whoever chooses the most expensive dish:
Here’s a spanner in the works. If you’re out on a date and looking through the menu, do you a) wait for the other person to pick their meal, or indeed, decide whether or not to have starters, for an informed decision or do you b) crash on in and pick the lobster? If you want the lobster, in my view you should be prepared to pay your way at the very least.
The woman should pay
I’ve asked a few male friends about this one. Apparently it’s just not a thing which in this day and age is frankly ridiculous. Therefore see options above.
At the end of the day as the old adage goes; “all’s fair in love and war” so whichever option you pick, pick it with style and, boys and girls, be prepared to compromise!