Date de­bate: Who pays the bill?

The Chronicle - - Money - SO­PHIE ELSWORTH

BE­ING on the dat­ing cir­cuit can be pricey if you’re left pick­ing up the bill at the end of the night.

For those on the hunt to find true love, it ap­pears there’s a real di­vide on who should pay.

In­de­pen­dent re­search com­mis­sioned by on­line reser­va­tion plat­form OpenTable quizzed more than 1000 Aus­tralians and found for those on a first date, 48 per cent of men be­lieved they should pay, com­pared with only 25 per cent of women.

Melissa Pear­son, 21, said her first date with now-boyfriend Jack Coles, 24, was smooth sail­ing when it came to han­dling pay­ment.

“Jack was re­ally open to pay­ing; he was a gentle­man and in­sisted on pay­ing for it,’’ she said. “It wasn’t un­til our fourth or fifth date that I paid.”

Ms Pear­son said they now split bills and take turns pay­ing.

Con­sumer fi­nance ex­pert Lisa Mont­gomery said broach­ing the “who will pay” topic could be awk­ward so “be pre­pared to have the con­ver­sa­tion when the bill comes”.

She sug­gests be­ing armed with cash in case both par­ties de­cide on “Go­ing Dutch’’.

“Chal­leng­ing dis­cus­sions can arise when you both have cards to place on the table,’’ Ms Mont­gomery said.

She said it can be a nice ges­ture to of­fer to pay even if this is de­clined.

“Its al­ways good to ask if you can make a ‘con­tri­bu­tion’ to the cost if some­one else pays, be­cause that shows in­tent to want to pay,” Ms Mont­gomery said.

PRICE OF LOVE: Jack Coles and girl­friend Melissa Pear­son say they split the bill or take turns to pay when go­ing out on a date. Pic­ture: Danny Aarons

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