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March 23, 2011

No Going Dutch if You Want to Go Any Further With Me

At least, that's what the attractive people in the world seem to be saying.

In a study run by St. Andrews University in the UK (let's hope the government didn't pay for this one), the more attractive you consider yourself to be, the more likely you are to be turned off if your date tries to make you contribute to dinner. They seem to be saying "Hey, I'm worth a lot, so you'd better pay up."

From an article in the UK's MailOnline:
"She has spent hours on her hair and make up, bought a new outfit and done her nails. So perhaps it is only fair that her date should pay for dinner.

Pretty women are less likely than plain Janes to offer to contribute towards the bill on a first date, research shows.

But they are not worried about the expense - it is likely to be because they believe their date should pay for the pleasure of being with them, according to researchers at St Andrews University."
First, the people involved in the test were asked to rate their own attractiveness. They were then shown pictures of potential dinner dates. They were supposed to imagine themselves on the date, and then decide among three options: they would pay, the date would pay, or they would split the bill.

Oh, "handsome" men were also reluctant to pay as well, the article notes in passing. I guess that doesn't make as good of a headline, though, including both genders.

There were some interesting findings, though whether one study is enough to actually say this is true is debatable.

First, men were more likely to offer to pay if they found the woman attractive, in a sort of "I'm really desperate and you're hot, so I want to see you again" kind of way.

Ok, that first part may not have been in the study.

Interestingly enough, they found the total opposite if the roles were reversed. Women who were seemingly interested wanted their date to pay for dinner. If they offered to split the bill, it was a sign that the date didn't go that well and they probably didn't really want to go out with the guy again.

Nothing in the article on what happened if both parties saw themselves as gorgeous

Of course, etiquette experts would disagree with all of this anyway. Most say that the person who sets up the date should pay the bill, regardless of gender or attractiveness.

Also keep in mind that this pretty much just applies to that first date. If you've agreed to start seeing each other more than once (maybe it also applies to the second date), then a relationship has developed where it probably isn't as cut and dried who should pay when the couple goes out.

So what do you think? Do you agree with this study? Do you think they're full of it? Or do you think the test subjects are full of it?

My years in the dating scene seem to indicate that the study is true.

Ok, I lied. I was never in the dating scene.

(H/T: a tweet from Hot Air's Allahpundit)


  1. I used to go Dutch a lot with my first boyfriend... but when I started dating my husband, he paid (and still does)... He's kind of old fashioned, though.

  2. The important question for the first boyfriend, though, would be "did you go Dutch on the first date?"

    Speaking of which, why do they call it "Go Dutch?" Do the Dutch have a thing for paying their own way?

    Boggled minds want to know.

  3. I have to tell you Dave, before I read the entire article I was thinking "I would always offer to split it if I wanted to be just friends'. Interesting. I don't think it has anything to do with attractiveness though, I think it is just personality. The article did say the participants were determining if they thought of themselves as attractive. Just because they think of themselves as attractive doesn't mean their date does :)

    I did find this article about the phrase "Going Dutch":

  4. Okay, you already know I'm old fashioned to the bone. I find studies of this nature are quite often already "tainted" or swayed towards the outcome that the behavioral scientists are embracing. What happened to etiquette? What happened to good, old fashioned manners and men being men? I don't disagree w/ the concept that after you've been dating for a while, it absolutely is right and fair to split costs. But on a first date?! Come on, people, stick to some common sense rules that work and that establish a solid foundation of respect. Go ahead, call me seriously outdated, but I don't think that going Dutch on a first date makes any kind of sense. If you're going that route, why not make it a group function and not call it a date of any kind?!

    ~ Dawn

  5. I never paid for anything when my hubby and I were dating.. now its all my money anyway so who cares who gets the debit card out... oooh did I say my... I meant our LOL :0)

  6. I'm a traditionalist. I never considered paying for the date and if it wasn't a 'date' I paid my own way, but the second option never came around much.

  7. Oh and, yeah, the test subjects were full of themselves. The 'I'm pretty so you pay for me' outlook in life, though increasingly prevalent, is a might uppity in my opinion.

  8. Raquel!!!! Nice to see you come out from under all those moving boxes. :)

    I'm wondering if the "I don't really want to see this person again, so we should split the cheque" comes from not wanting to feel any kind of obligation or "indebtedness" to a person that you're not really wanting to go out with again? At least on a romantic level.

    And yes, the study is based on the subject's perception of themselves. If you feel that you're attractive enough, then you will feel that the guy should pay. You're right. The date might not agree. Which actually would be a hilarious turn-out, and I wonder if that ever came up in the study.

    Thanks for the link! Very helpful. I love finding out word and phrase origins.

    @Dawn: Yes, I know you're definitely old-fashioned, which is one of the things we love about you. :)

    What do you think about the etiquette people who say that it should be whoever initiates the date paying? When you say you're "old-fashioned," does that also apply to initiating? Thus that situation would never come up?

    I personally feel that, if I'm asking somebody out for the first time, I will definitely pay, unless she insists otherwise (which, sadly, happened too often in my dating years, reflecting the "I just want to be friends" feeling mentioned above).

    But you could probably guess I'd feel that way, couldn't you? :)

    Clare!!!! It's good to see you around these parts. I just realized that, while I subscribe to you on Networked Blogs, I haven't looked there in quite a while. So I just Google-followed you so I can make a point of reading in my reader.

    And yes, you did say it out loud, but among friends who can keep secrets.

    Sssshhhhhhhh!! Our lips are sealed. :)

  9. Anna! We were posting at the same time. :)

    I agree that the subjects who found themselves "attractive" enough to be mentioned in the study do seem to be full of themselves.

    Though I guess some would call that "confidence."

    And good to see the traditionalists come out of the woodwork!

  10. This "study" is beyond ridiculous! They definitely have a stick up their @$$ if they think someone should pay because they're "privileged" to be in their company. I'm also old-fashioned when it comes to these things. I actually like traditional gender roles. But nowadays it's hard to find a guy who holds to those traditional views. Now who can we blame for that? *cough* feminism *cough* Well this sparked a new blog post idea for me, which I'll get to in the next few days. :)

  11. So you would agree with them, just not for that reason? I think it's interesting how they come to the same conclusion as the traditionalists (i.e. the guy should pay), but for all the wrong reasons.

    I wouldn't want to be out in the dating scene nowadays. Too many minefields. "Do I treat her traditionally? Or will that piss her off? Or will it piss her off if I *don't* treat her traditionally? Argh!!!!!" *Head Explodes*

    I look forward to reading your post. :)

  12. I must've missed their conclusion lol; didn't realize they too agreed with the traditional view.
    Haha! Maybe it would be safer if a guy figured out a girl's views on that before taking her out. I would get turned off if he didn't open doors & all that lovely stuff gentlemen should do. But let's face it, perfect gentlemen are an endangered species..& very, very close to extinction.

  13. I was talking about what the headline was, about how "attractive women feel the guy should pay."

    They just feel that way because they feel they're "worth it" because they're attractive. So the guy should pay.

    Traditionalists just say the guy should pay because of the reasons you and Dawn gave.

    But both sides agree the guy should pay. :)

    Perfect gentlemen are an endangered species, but some of us have just been taken off the market. :P

  14. it! :) Well maybe those of you off the market should teach a thing or two to the idiots running around free lol. They shall no longer be boys once they learn how to be gentleMEN! (that's a copyrighted phrase right there by yours truly lol).

  15. Let me say that espousing a traditional point of view on this topic doesn't mean that it renders one brainless. That is one of the vicious fallout points of feminism that I find regretful. The type of pop psychology that exists in the article spotlighted here doesn't really do much more than trivialize romantic interaction and address it in a shallow, vacuous manner. Seriously, how often do any of us think that dates are predicated by someone consciously thinking (and broadcasting) they're above average attractive, and as such, shouldn't have to pay their way? Being asked out on a date used to mean that a specific protocol existed. If that has changed so drastically, then that is just sad. I have no problem paying half of expenses when I'm in an established relationship, but that wasn't what was addressed in the spotlighted article. As I mentioned before, this whole study came across as biased from the get.

    Oh, and Dave, if I were to ask a man out on a date, most assuredly, I would foot the bill. I invite people to dinner and I am not so ill mannered as to suggest they fork over money to cover the cost of the food that I prepared. I think that etiquette and manners are an important part of relationship interaction, and when those tenets get cast aside permanently, we're in a boatload of trouble as a society.

    Anahid, I loved the copyrighted phrase! And Dave, I know gentlemen still exist - they're becoming more scarce, but they're still out there. :)

    ~ Dawn

  16. I like it! I'll even take that down to the copyright office for you. :)

  17. Dawn, there certainly is something to be said for traditional values that too many people have just tossed aside nowadays.

    I'm also from the "hold the doors" side of gentleman behaviour, though not so much the "pull her chair out for her" area. Mainly because I'd be afraid she'd fall on her butt because I did it too early, too late, or whatever. :)

  18. LOL...yep, the pulling the chair out thing requires perfect timing and practice. Another one that not many men even know about these days is walking on the side of the street closest to traffic if you're on a street with a lady. I was on a date recently where the guy was clueless about that, which I found really unfortunate. He also walked in front of me when we were being taken to our table in the restaurant and he sat down before I did, and ate his meal with his elbows on the table. A second date didn't occur, needless to say. The lack of manners were just a precursor to lack in other areas. Perhaps these things don't matter to other women these days, but they matter to me.

  19. Haha! Don't blame you for not going out with him again, Dawn. I wouldn't have given him another chance either. Yet another area we are similar in. :)

  20. I just do that unconsciously, the "side of the street" thing. It doesn't feel right to have the wife on the left side, and as I think about it, I guess that does have me closest to the street.

    Thinking of the others things you mention, I guess I really am a gentleman! LOL

    Though I sometimes have trouble with the elbows thing. :)

  21. As a matter of fact, I think my old boyfriend did pay the first time we went out. He was kind of old fashioned, too.


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