Dating, relationships, The Lifestyle

Who Picks Up the Check?

Dear T,

Quick question for you.  I’m a man and I’ve started dating men, but I’m slightly confused about the gay dating protocol.   Since we are two men, who pays when we go out?  I mean when I was dating women, I usually would pay because I grew up thinking that was the gentlemen thing to do.  Anyway, your advice is appreciated.



Dear Adam4Adam’90,

Thanks for writing to me, and I appreciate the name humor.  The question you have is one that I’ve actually discussed with people before.  Some folks have suggested that the more dominant top on the date should pay for everything.  These individuals think that if the top is hoping to get in the bottom’s box, then the top needs to spend some cash.  (On a side note, this perspective reminds me of that Travis Porter song.)

Others will suggest that when two guys go on a date, they should go into the date with the expectation of paying for themselves.  Basically what is called going “Dutch.”  If you order a steak, you pay for the steak.  If you and your date go to the movies, you pay for your own ticket.  The rationale behind this perspective is a smart one.  Should everyone pay for themselves, there is no assumption out there that someone is going to be giving up the booty.

Then there is the notion that the inviter should be expected to pay.  If you invite someone out on a date, then you should be willing and ready to pay for you and your guy companion.  This differs from the perspective that the top always pays, because the top may not necessarily always be the inviter.

Me personally, when it comes to dating, I tend to bounce between the going “Dutch” idea and the viewpoint that the inviter pay.  It really does depend on the person I’m going on a date with, and what we are planning to do.  If I am going on a date with a guy I’m already slightly hesitant about going out with in the first place, then I’ll want to pay for my portion of the outing.  Usually in this scenario, this guy invited me out, and I’d rather him not pay for me thinking I owe him anything.  I know some people reading this are asking, “Why would I go on a date with someone I’m not into?”  And the answer is simple.  Sometimes you won’t know if someone is not a match until you meet them one on one.  So if I’m on the fence about a guy, I’ll typically give them the benefit of the doubt and go on the date.  But now I’m getting into a different topic that can be better explained with a different post.

If I start talking to a guy I’m really into, then when I first invite him out I’ll pay for the evening.  For me, I’m trying to show the guy I’m investing my time and money in him, because I’m interested and would like to see where things go.  And to be clear, I’m not investing in him to get me some. LOL! I’m investing because I see potential.  HOWEVER, if after three dates with a man I like, and he doesn’t offer to pay for me, that’s a red flag.  But again, a different topic for a different post.

I should make note that I’ve gone “Dutch” with people I really do like as well.  In those instances, it was more about flexing a bit of independence.  I didn’t want him to get in a habit of paying for me, because I refused to be a kept man.   And he didn’t want me paying for him for the same reason.  As we got to know each other, I would occasionally pay for his meal and vice versa.  However, in most instances we went “Dutch.”

Now I also want to point out, that I’ll be inclined to pay for someone on a date if the activities I planned for the outing are above a certain price point.  Now since I’m not balling out of control, and I’m a relatively simple guy, it’s rare I invite anyone to anything too pricey without the guy having the official title of Bae.  Plain and simple.

Going forward here are my suggestions.

  1. My only suggestion here with this post is for you to really take everything I’ve said above into consideration, and then date how you see fit. Just don’t make dating more complicated than it has to be.

As always nothing but love,


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