Well it depends on how you look at things. You don’t want to jump on and start paying for things right off the bat but you don’t want to seem like a gold digger either. Where is the line and how do you know? It all depends on the situation and setting.
On a first date a guy should pay because he is the one that asked you out. There is however exceptions to this 1st date rule. If you go to a restaurant the whole thing is on him. Now if you go to a bar, you should have a three drink max. Meaning he will cover your three drinks plus his own three drinks. Meaning that is 6 drinks total. Drinks are not cheap if you live in the city. They are about $8 a pop. That is about $50 on just drinks. Let’s not even talk about shots. Anything after three drinks should be on you. Just to be fair.
Now the 2nd date is touch and go. If you go a restaurant for a 2nd date and you went to one the 1st date the whole thing should be Dutch. If you went to a bar the 1st date and now are going to a restaurant then he should cover the whole night. If you add a movie into the mix. The way prices work these days. He should cover the meal and you should cover the movie for a 2nd date. If you went to the bar the 1st time and you are just going to the movies. He should cover the movies.
By this point you two should have some kind of an understanding. Either you are switching off who pays or going dutch should be the norm at this point. There are however exceptions. If it seems that clearly that the other party can not cover their way. You need to cover this 3rd date because you don’t want to make things awkward. Then you need to make a decision.
When is it ok to always pay?
Dates are not cheap and after the 3rd date you still have a few more to go before you can say lets skip it and stay home. If the person you are starting to date just cannot ever cover anything other than McDonald’s. You need to ask yourself are they worth the $100’s of dollars that dates will add up in just a few dates. If they are and some are. Go for it; don’t even make it an issue.
Is it ok to not to pay?
On the other hand if it is an issue but you like them. Start going to cheaper places. Do activities that are more cost-effective. Bowling (not Lucky Strikes), do Dave & Busters or even go paint balling. The point is there lots of ways to have dates without dropping down $70 (the average cost of a date in Washington, DC). Stay away from the movies not only is it expensive but you never get to talk to the person for almost two hours.