How To Figure Out Who Should Pay On The Second Date, Because It's Confusing AF

by Jamie Kravitz

If your first date went well enough to warrant a second, you probably don't want to ruin your momentum with an uncomfortable interaction over who is getting the bill this time around. Wouldn't it be nice to avoid that awkward moment where the server sets the check on the table, and for a brief millisecond you both just stare at it before hastily reaching for your respective wallets and offering to pay? Deciding who should pay on the second date is understandably confusing, but it doesn't need to be. The best idea is actually to take turns grabbing the tab, or to split it every time.

Before you say chivalry is dead, hear me out. I can confidently say that equality is the new chivalry. Money can be a tough topic to discuss in any romantic relationship, whether you're two broke college students subsisting on ramen, or a married couple managing your shared finances.

It might seem like a small gesture, but taking turns footing the bill from the start sets a precedent for a balanced partnership down the line. Hopefully this date won't be your last with this person, so it's important to establish the fact that you are equals early on. No matter what your gender, age, or occupation may be, this is the best way to do that. If you find yourself experiencing that awkward moment at the end of a second date, here's how to effortlessly handle the question of who should pay.

If You Paid For Them On The First Date

If you paid the whole bill the first time, you should let your date treat you this time around. Hopefully they'll offer, and you can simply accept and say thank you. If they don't, it's perfectly fine to suggest it. Obviously don't demand they pay for you, but if you're comfortable saying something along the lines of, "If you want to grab it this time, I've got it again next time," there's nothing wrong with speaking up. It serves as both a subtle reminder that you were the last person to pay, and an easy way to set up an alternating system. Plus, if you want to see them again, bringing up a "next time" is a step in the right direction. And if not, you've each paid once, so no one can say that the other "owes" them anything.

If They Paid For You On The First Date

In the event that your date paid for you on your initial get-together, definitely return the favor for your second rendezvous. And if he or she tries to insist on paying, just say that they can cover it next time. Just like in the last scenario, this move works in your advantage if you want to effectively convey your desire for third date. And if you don't think there will be another, at the very least, it keeps your power dynamic balanced.

If You Split The Bill Last Time

If you split the bill last time, then you should do it again. Clearly that worked for both of you, so it shouldn't become an issue. If you keep dating, you can of course treat one another on special occasions, celebrations, and holidays. You shouldn't have to pay on your birthday, and neither should your partner — but sharing the cost of groceries if you plan on cooking a meal together or each paying for your own movie ticket is the best way to prevent one person from having the upper-hand in your relationship.

By taking turns or splitting the bill on your second date, you can make money one less factor in deciding if there will in fact be a third date. If your crush is down to do this, it doesn't make them cheap. It actually means that they are a feminist — yay! — who also respects your wishes. Double yay!