How to Split Expenses on a Double Date

By | September 6, 2011

We’ve all been there. It’s check-paying time, and the presence of two gentleman at the table with their wives or significant others makes the situation that much more awkward. Who’s going to reach for the check first? Will someone insist on paying for the other couple’s meal? If they do insist, should the other couple insist on paying their own way and never relent, or should they let the other couple pay?

It’s downright nerve-racking. But it doesn’t have to be: after all, the goal of going out on a double date is to have fun, not worry about awkward social situations. Even so, most people are still a little unsure as to how to proceed when the question of money comes up.

What is it about our culture and money that makes things so uncomfortable?

Well, we don’t have the time to get into that big question, but we can resolve the smaller issue on our plate: how to split expenses on a double date. Here are a few tips for avoiding the awkwardness and keeping things light, casual, and, of course, fun.

First, remember that splitting expenses is a perfectly natural thing to do. You don’t have to always insist on paying for everything just to make the other couple like you more; if they’re true friends, then they won’t mind paying their fair share. If they’re going out without their wallets or purses handy, then you know they might be interested in you as a couple not for the company, but for the free food and entertainment.

So let’s assume you’re starting from a place of sharing: you want to share the bill fairly – you’ll pay for what you ate, and they’ll pay for what they ate. The important rule to remember here is that it’s not important to quibble about individual dollars and cents – that just makes you look cheap. If their part of the bill is $22.39 and yours is $25.91, are you really going to be upset if you shell out thirty or thirty-five dollars to cover your end of the expenses, plus tip? Of course not.

To avoid any awkwardness when the bill comes, it’s also good to have a plan in mind. For example, if you want to cover the whole thing on your credit card and have them pay you their share in cash, grab that check right away – and if they insist on paying, tell them you’re doing them a favor and giving you air miles, or whatever credit card benefits you have. It’s a fun and casual way to make your act of generosity look like their act of generosity.

It’s also important that you don’t feel the need to quibble over the bill. Think about your closest friends – and even your family. Do you feel inhibited when it’s time for the check to come? Do you feel awkward about talking about it? Of course not! It’s just part of how you always handle things with your close friends and relatives – relaxed. That’s how you want to be around friends, even if they’re new friends; relaxed and casual. So don’t be afraid to talk about the check! It won’t kill you. And if you want more tips on double dating and couplehood, check out

– By Staff

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