Are men and women ready to split the bill on a first date?

Image: Retuers/Yves Herman
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Should we split the bill? It is perhaps the most fraught question in the dating life.

On one hand, the idea of a man paying the whole bill could be taken as chauvinism. On the other, it could be considered reasonable payback given the yawning gender pay gap.

A recent poll from YouGov sheds light on how American men and women currently think about the issue. On Nov. 7-8, 2017, YouGov asked a representative sample of over 1,100 Americans whether they would be offended if asked to split the bill on the first date. Nearly half of women said they would be, with 25% “strongly agreeing” that they would be aggrieved and 24% “somewhat agreeing.” Less than a quarter of men said they would be offended.

The implications of going halvesies differs generation to generation, however. Young people are less likely to say they don’t like the idea of splitting a check than older people. Only 12% of 18-34 year olds felt strongly that it was inappropriate, compared to 17% of 35-54 year olds, and 20% of people 55 or older (this data is not broken up by gender).

Perhaps the custom that a man should always pay is a tradition of days-gone-by. As sociologist Julia Long told the Wall Street Journal, the idea that women should be not burdened with paying for a meal on a date is truly, just a “relic of chivalry.”