The first date is going well. The young couple is having a great time. The food is delicious.
As the meal comes to a close, the waiter brings the check. He and she look at the bill, each wondering whether the traditional, chivalrous guy should pick up the bill, or they should be a modern couple and come to some other arrangement.
A recent study from Chapman University shows men are still believed to pay for most of the expenses in a relationship.
According to the study, presented by David Frederick, 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women reported men pay most expenses.
Laurel Barksdale, a 21-year-old psychology senior, said the model of dating has been worn out.
“I get very uncomfortable with that,” she said. “I feel like that expectation is old and outdated.”
The better option is to split the bill, she said.
Tom Nelson always expects to pay unless his date suggests they split the bill.
“You don’t want to go in with only enough for yourself and then leave her hanging,” said the 18-year-old exploratory freshman.
As time goes on, more costs may be split, he said.
“If you ask a girl out, it’s kind of your responsibility,” Nelson said.
Considering some college students can consider leftover Chipotle and a Diet Coke gourmet, an even better option is to have a first date that is cheap or nearly free.
Barksdale’s first date with her current boyfriend was simply sitting underneath the night sky at Paynes Prairie.
“It was romantic in its own right ... we got to talk,” she said. “And it’s free.”
This story originally ran on page 7 on 8/22/2013 under the headline "Both sides of a couple prefer that men pay the bill, study says"