401: Dutch dating

A Thousand Things to Talk About
401: Dutch dating

(Reader Submitted): What’s your opinion on going Dutch while dating?

Show notes and links:

Full episode script

If you want to talk about a potent mix, talk about anything that combines sex, gender politics, money, and etiquette. In other words, the constant controversy of who pays for or on a date.

In much of the English-speaking world, splitting the bill is called going Dutch. In Hong Kong, it’s called going AA – short for arithmetic average. In Catalonia, it’s pagar a la catalana – pay as the Catalans do.

One argument is that a date should be the meeting of individuals on equal standing, and therefore the financial impact of a date should be equally split. Another argument reads that it’s nice to be taken out, and whomever invited the other person out should pay. A third is that chivalry dictates that the guy (at least in heteronormative dating situations) should pay because it’s the nice thing to do. A fourth argues that the person who chooses the most expensive items should pay.

And on and on and on. I dare you to find one publication that talks about dating that hasn’t, at some point, covered this issue. And it gets especially fervent when you start talking about situations where individuals send the person they went on a date with a bill if they choose to not have a second date.

So what does the research tell us? That’s just as mixed as everything else. Much of the research is based on self-reported surveys, so it’s worth taking with a grain of salt. A selection:

The Hong Kong Economic Journal reports that:
The practice of going Dutch is also becoming popular in mainland China. About 64 percent of women think a couple should split the bill on their first date, according to a recent survey by China’s top dating site

The Go Dutch concept, however, is still not quite accepted in Hong Kong. A recent survey of nearly 300 university students showed that only 28 percent believed in going Dutch on dates, while 49 percent said the man should pay the bill.

In the United States, the 2013 Frederick study found that:
Most men (84 percent) and women (58 percent) reported that men pay for most expenses, even after dating for a while. Many women (39 percent) wished men would reject their offers to pay, and 44 percent of women were bothered when men expected women to help pay. Nearly half of men (44 percent) said they would stop dating a woman who never pays, and 64 percent of men believed that women should contribute to dating expenses. The majority of men (76 percent), however, reported feeling guilty accepting women‘s money.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.