Manthropology: Should Men Pay For Dates? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Manthropology: Should Men Pay For Dates?

Life and Style's Yatin Arora brings you this week's manthropology column on the controversial topic of who should pay for a date

So you’ve swiped right (on Tinder), exchanged numbers, sent endless ‘<3’s, and have decided to meet up in a ‘fancy shmancy’ restaurant. You’re all suited and booted and see her coming. She looks ethereal. You greet her and help her sit down. The order is placed and on its way. The food arrives. “Oooh, this is delicious, we should come here again!” Three hours later, it is time for the bill. The pristine piece of white paper graces the table. You take a quick glance. “Ouch, that’s one week’s wage”. What do I do? Do I insist on paying and risk bankruptcy, or do I wait for her hand to reach for her purse? Will she hate me if I don’t pay? Maybe I should sell my kidney? Why is she looking away? Given that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and many of us will be faced with this very dilemma, I thought I’d ask Birmingham’s boys whether they think a man should always pay on a date.


Hardeep Brijesh, Business Management (Third Year)

“As I generally have a traditional view on matters like this, I believe that a man should always pay, it’s the right thing to do. Nonetheless, there are instances where a woman may feel this is sexist and outdated in modern society. Therefore, in these situations I advise you give your card or cash to the server and if there are no interjections, proceed to pay. If there are interjections, make the strongest case possible for why YOU should pay the full bill as its only polite and you’re aiming to impress”.


Ben Hughes, Biology (Second Year)

“I know the custom for paying at the end of a date is steeped in traditional gender roles. However, living in a contemporary society I feel paying the bill on a first date (rather than suggesting a woman cannot pay) is just a nice gesture and a great way to end a successful date. Having said that, I do find it incredibly frustrating when the bill reaches the table and my date makes no offer to even split the bill. Personally, I would always pay the bill, but expecting me to do so takes away from the nice gesture that I am making for someone else. Ultimately, whether you pay the bill or not - I think it just comes down to decency and respect on both sides.”


Alex Mann, Medicine and Surgery (Second Year)

“Well equality is a big thing at the moment, women campaign to be recognised as equal to men. Surely then they won’t mind being equal partners at the dinner table and paying their half? I don’t see anything wrong with going halves on the bill, especially if we’re both students. The financial impact of university study doesn’t only affect women. I look at it this way - if we pay half each then we each have enough money left for our next date”.


Jonathan Bowen, Computer Science (Third Year)

“I’m a hopeless romantic. I believe in being a gentleman and like to hold doors open, compliment a lady on how she looks and it naturally follows on from this that I would pay for her meal. If you don’t treat a lady well you might just lose her!”.


Stanley Leadsomme, Law (First Year)

“Given the premise of our dinner, as in we mutually agreed to see each other, I think the same efforts should be made when paying the bill. I think an even split is better nowadays because I think she would appreciate the opportunity to contribute. I’ve had – on occasion – girls who would draw an exasperated sigh when I robbed them of the chance to split the bill. I am not opposed to paying all of it but because I hold my potential partners in high regard, there is an expectation to practice such egalitarian values. I feel that this is a good reflection of an equal relationship as opposed to waiting for the next meeting to reciprocate”.

Now that’s interesting! While some of Birmingham’s boys conform to the traditional altruistic image of a ‘gentlemen’, most of them appear to be endorsing more contemporary views; views that are grounded in equality and self-respect. Nonetheless, the common theme appears to be that, while sticks and stones may break their bones, paying for a meal will not hurt them! We’d love to hear your views on the matter and how you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day; let us know by tweeting us @RedbrickLife!

Second year Law student at the University of Birmingham. (@yatarora)


3rd February 2018 at 9:00 am

Images from

Max Pixel