Passing The Buck

Passing The Buck

Wikipedia states “Passing the Buck” is the act of attributing to another person or group one's own responsibility.

This is the hardest question to answer sometimes and one the most uncomfortable parts of a first date or even second date. No one ever wants to say, “Can I get the check, please?” Of course, this depends on each person and it may not be an issue for you. However, there’s always the option to go Dutch. How would you feel about that?  Is going Dutch completely off the table because it would take pressure off daters who feel like they have to pay.  

Let’s work from this perspective:

·         Attraction … Check!

·         Having a great time together … Check!

·         Conversation & dinnertime rocked … Check!

·         Server brings the check …. Bewildered looked … Check!

Now, there is an awkward moment of smiles and darting eyes from the check to one another, secretly hoping the other person will reach for the check and say, “I got it.” Whoever says this without feeling pressured to do so win brownie points. FYI, heterosexuals, typical dating etiquette is the man picks up the tab on the first date. As a man, some things in life should never change like picking up that first tab and possibly the second, third and subsequent tabs. Some men will never let their date pick up the check. Those women lucky enough to find a man like this, kudos to you!

For the LGBTQIA community this might be a little tricky. Who picks up the tab, maybe it’s not even an issue. Establish some basic understanding prior to the first date by asking questions that can be uncomfortable. By the time arrangements have been made for the first date hopefully there have been lots of in-depth questions asked of one another. However, it seems this particular question is NOT one of the questions. This can make a first date awkward or uncomfortable when it comes to who pays for the check.  That question is - who typically picks up the check on the first date?  Once asked, this should generate an open dialog that provides clarity for both parties going forward. If you tackle this beforehand, you won’t have to deal with this when the check arrives.

Asking many questions of each other before meeting is a good way of getting to know one another. We discuss this in our book Online Dating: 238 Questions – Getting to Know Someone, which you can find on Amazon. This book can be used as a reference guide to help you get started. It is by no means every question that could be or should be asked. The book is a great resource for when you feel stuck or unsure of what to ask.

No one likes a leech or freeloader, so never assume your person of interest should automatically do this on every single date.  What if that person who continues to “foot the bill” wonders why you’ve never even offered to pay on a date but they don’t know how to communicate this to you. You on the other hand, may think, “Wow, this person is really generous!” Thinking, this he/she loves to wine and dine me or this person never says that they want me to pay so I’m not going to offer. You may lose the very person you have so much in common with especially if the communication is not forthcoming.

To a certain degree, as women, we hope chivalry is not dead in the 21st Century. Times have changed and society screams equality for all. As it should be!!!  However, typically men still make more money and get promotions quicker than women get. Why is this?? Unfortunately, women have to accept the status quo at work. Just because this is the case at work does not mean women have to settle for the same in their personal lives.  Regardless of your pay scale, you should also let him know that from time to time you got it covered. It’s like having an equal partnership where everyone shares some responsibility. Moreover, it makes him feel very nice and appreciated when that’s done. We all want to feel valued and not used.

Remember, the first date is already a little stressful with meeting for the first time, so the last thing you want to add to that situation is looking at each other awkwardly across the table wondering who is going to pay. This can be applied to any dater who’s not in a committed relationship and sexual orientation does not make a difference. What questions you may or may not ask does matter! For this reason, it is important that both parties clarify who will pick up the check on the first date. If you’re still uncomfortable bringing this up; just tell them you’ve read this blog called “Passing the Buck!” 

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Dear238 Quick Tip: To make this process really simple - Whomever invite’s the person out is the person who should pick up the tab.