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Ask about dating expectations

Botts says that she believes it’s a “great honor” for a man to pay for a woman on a date because it lets him step into his masculinity.

However, a lot of men don’t feel this way. Some men have even started asking women for refunds after first dates if there isn’t a second one. Their rationale for this is because they aren’t getting a “return on their investment” if they don’t go out with the woman again.

Clearly, there are a lot of different ideas about who needs to pay for the first date. The best way to combat this is to have an open and honest conversation about it.

If that sounds weird to ask your date about money on the first date, a study by dating app Bumble discovered that it’s not: 28% of singles set “financial boundaries” in their love lives, including spending caps and financial expectations for dates. Just asking can’t hurt.

Financial educator and influencer Dasha Kennedy, known as The Broke Black Girl on social media, told Moneywise that these early money conversations can be a boon in the long-term if you decide to get serious with the person you’re seeing.

“When we look at the data, we see that not talking about money or money-related issues is one of the leading causes for divorce,” says Kennedy. “Initiating those conversations as early as possible and trying to get ahead of that curve is very important.”

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Make your financial picture clear

Botts makes it clear that she can pay for her own dinner – she just doesn’t think it’s right that she should. In a later video, she explains that men benefit from the unequal society we live in, especially by getting paid more. She adds that it’s not “equal” for them to ask women to go 50-50 with them on a first date because they have much more financial privilege.

Figuring out what’s equitable in a relationship – or even on a first date – is of huge importance to young people these days. Nearly 1-in-5 millennials and Gen Z blame “a lack of financial compatibility” for a previous breakup, according to a 2023 Bread Financial survey. So don’t be surprised if your date starts asking you questions about your finances.

That same survey even discovered that people find it “attractive” when their partner takes financial action, like finding a financial adviser or paying their bills on time. So [talking about money] on the first date might make you more attractive to your date – not less.

Even though financial transparency is important for singles, sometimes it can backfire. Credit card debt is the biggest financial deal breaker for millennials, according to a 2023 survey from Western & Southern Financial Group.

Many Americans are going into debt just to go on dates, whether they are already in a relationship or not.

In a 2023 Forbes survey of Americans who are already in a relationship, half of respondents said they borrowed money from friends and family, 37% have applied for a personal loan and 40% went into credit card debt in order to buy a romantic gift or go on a date.

Don’t be scared to split the bill

Even though Botts and many of her commenters are against splitting the bill, it’s not the worst thing in the world.

“Equality means we split… he works and earn[s] just like me,” one person said in the video’s comment section.

The Bumble survey found that nearly half of men want to break gender roles in dating. So as the modern dating landscape changes, it’s important to decide what’s important to you and to communicate those values to your date.

This is especially important if a financially equitable relationship is a value of yours. If your date refuses to split the bill, they also may not want to split everything in a relationship. Whether you think you should pay on the first date or not, having a conversation about your financial goals and values early on can help you avoid financial and romantic trouble down the road.


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About the Author

Sabina Wex

Sabina Wex


Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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