Ask your private questions and get access to exclusive bonuses and coaching through our private Facebook Group. Join now:

For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

Connect with David Tian here:

Man Up Show Facebook Group:
DTPHD Podcast Facebook Group:
Apple Podcast:
Google Podcast:
Google Podcast:
DTPHD Podcast:
Tune In:
Invincible Reviews:

“The Man Up Show” Ep.139 – How To Handle Who Pays On The First Date

How To Handle Who Pays On The First Date

  • David Tian Ph.D. deliberates on who should be paying for the first date.

  • David Tian Ph.D. shares the different points of views when it comes to paying.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. explains how you can do trading and going dutch on dates.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 139 of Man Up, I answer the question of: How to handle who pays on the first date.


Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!

Hey! It’s David Tian, Ph.D. and for over the past ten years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success in life and love, through the application of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge research. And welcome to Man Up Episode 139. I’m in Bangkok, but you can’t tell because the curtains are down. I’m knocking out a few different episodes in one go because in a couple of days I’m going to Beijing, and the Great Firewall of China is very strong. So, I need to try to get these done and uploaded before I go then.

Also, this question I hope will be a quick answer. Okay, Souphian asks – I hope I’m saying that right, Souphian. “Okay guys, you probably all agree: women should pay at least their part on the first date, or the first meet-up.” Okay. “But guys, how do you handle it? I’m tired of paying for girls that I don’t really care about. Any tips?”

In the comments he further elaborates, “Here in Paris, it’s more about the man has to pay, and most of the time, girls don’t offer. When it’s just the first meet-up, and the girl doesn’t even offer to pay her part, plus the date wasn’t nice, I’m like, “So, I have to pay for her!?” And because I don’t want to look like an asshole, I just pay, lol.” Okay, so what do you do here?

I mentioned two strategies, simple as that. Okay, so I’ve actually recorded – I think – multiple videos, one or two already, on whether a girl should pay – whether a man should pay for the date, or for girls. And it sounds almost like what you think. Here, I’m going to give you tips on how to actually do it. What if she doesn’t offer to pay?

Now, even though there’s gender equality, supposedly, in the world, in the Western world especially – there’s supposed to be gender equality. In dates, men are still getting shafted. Men are still having to pay for both parties even when they’re supposed to be equal. Now, if you invited her out – so, if you took the initiative and suggested where to go, then I would say that you should take more of the burden of the payment than she does.

And again, there’s always the sliding scale. Be aware of that. So, if you know that you make considerably more than her because you’re older than her for instance, then you should either choose a place that is cheap, that she can afford, or you got to pay more than half the share, like your sliding scale, right? So, relative scales.

So, let’s say you make four times more than she does, you should be ready to pay four times more. I mean, that’s the maximum level. Now, a lot of women these days, I’ve noticed, are wanting to pay their share even if they make a lot less, and that’s awesome and that’s great and that’s the way it should be. But as a man, if you chose the place, then it’s sort of like the onus is sort of on you because you chose the place to cover more of the payment than you would normally do if she chose the place.

And this is a rule of thumb that I use when I go out with my guy friends. If I chose the bar, first round would be on me for instance. But I come from Asia, and I live in Asia right now, so it’s very common for us to switch – or what we call trading. So, I’ll get this round, you get the next one. It’s very, very common. It’s rude in the culture for when the bill comes to get out a calculator or even do math in your head and split it. That’s more of a Western thing, and that’s why you’ll see the older generation, my parents and above, fighting to pay the bill in Asia when the bill comes. It’s like a point of pride, and it’s a game almost so that it’s fun to do, and people fight to treat each other.

And I love that part of Asian culture. In the West, it’s more of this mercenary thing where you’re splitting the bill and people will have no qualms on pulling out their calculators. But in Asia, that’s considered barbaric. So, these are culturally relatively and so on, but assuming gender equality, what can you do? There are two things: you can trade and go Dutch. I just presented the cultural background for both of those.

Trading is the easiest to do. So, if you know that you make a lot more than she does, then an easy thing to do is, you get the dinner, and you go to a different place for drinks or dessert, and she gets the cheaper place. So, when the bill comes, let’s say you just had steak, or lobster or something – and the bill comes. And by the way, if you’ve taken our Perfect Date course, you know that a big dinner is a horrible date idea, like a first date idea for many reasons. One of which is, you’ll get full and heavy.

The other is, it often will get expensive to go to a nice place for dinner. So, I often will suggest to guys, on a first date, to just do something more casual. And it’s not so formal, and full of pressure. But anyway, I’m using that as an example. For dinner let’s say you meet up and you suggested the place, and it’s sort of expensive, and you know through talking with her that she’s just a student, or she’s just starting out in her career as an entry-level career, and you’re more well-established or older. So, you’re older, more well-established, you make more.

So anyway, when the bill comes you say, “I’ll get this one if you get the next one.” And it’s not a question. It’s not like, “I’ll get this one if you get the next one?” It’s just, “I’ll get this one if you get the next one.” And it’s just an assumption. You put down your card, shove it over to the waiter, give it to the waiter, and it’s a done deal, right? So, this is great because you just got that bill and she’ll get that feeling of, “Hmm, it feels good.”

But you’ve now got her to assent, implicitly, that there’s another place. It’s not going to just end here, we’re going to go get some dessert, or drinks, or next stage somewhere else. Next stage, that’s like a very Japanese thing to say. So, you go to the next place. And at the next place, because it’s not dinner anymore, it’s going to be something smaller, it could be coffee, it could be dessert, it could be drinks, when that bill comes you just leave it there and she’ll get it. Or if it just sits there and she’s not doing anything, you can just turn it over – you just shove it to her a little bit and get up and go to the restroom.

Because that was the agreement, right? Now, if she is so uncouth as to have you pay for the whole night, and this is first date… Unless she’s poor as fuck or you picked every station, every stop, then done deal, get up and go. If it’s necessary because she left first, you got to pay, suck it up. Don’t call her back, okay, simple as that. Because it’s a very bad character trait on her part to do that.

Now, so there’s those extenuating circumstances that I mentioned. You picked the place, or she has absolutely zero money… I don’t believe people will have that. I mean, at the worst, you can go buy the McDonald’s and get a one dollar ice cream cone and get her to get that. You do have to get her to put something in just so that she doesn’t feel like all she’s got to do is show up and look pretty and everything’s taken care of, because that just spoils them and it doesn’t actually get her to appreciate that you, or the relationship, or the date, or the interaction actually – she just takes you for granted.

Don’t listen to all the feminazis who are going all – You know, the thing is, of course they want that world where everything is taken care of for them. They don’t have to lift a finger; everything’s great. So of course, they’re going to say that shit. But if you want gender equality, women, then pay your fucking part. So, here’s the deal, right? If you see that, end of story. You pay that, you pay the thing because she doesn’t want to pay it, and you don’t call her again. And that’s your price for a bad screening.

So, there’s one way, trade. I just showed you how to do it, the bill comes, you say, “I’ll get this one if you get the next one.” You can also do it in the reverse, where the cheaper thing comes first. Let’s say you meet at a Starbucks and you get something at Starbucks, and then you go for a dinner or you go to a restaurant that you know is going to be more expensive. You’re at Starbucks and the bill gets rung up, make sure she’s standing closer to the cashier so you’re not calling her over. So, she’s in front of the cashier with you.

You say, “Hey, you get this one, I’ll get the next one.” or “You get this one, I’ll get dinner.” And that’s a good trade, man. For her? Yeah, she’s going to get the five dollar-fucking-coffee. You’re going to get the 50-dollar dinner, right? Sounds good to me, right? So, it sounds very fair. Get her to pay that. Now, if you are in a situation where you’re equals, like you’re both in school or something, or she’s got rich parents or something, don’t try to exploit her or that’s a whole other thing; getting a sugar mama.

But just go trade. You know, “I’ll get this one if you get the next one, and you can get the cheaper one.” And then there’s the second date, there’s the third date and the fourth date. Like, between guy friends in Asia, you don’t count how much the fucking thing costs. That’s very uncouth. It’s barbaric, very uncivilized in Asia. I mean, that kind of behavior, that Western behavior is uncivilized in Asia.

So, you just get this one, get the next one. You don’t keep track, you don’t keep score. Now, the other way to go is by going Dutch. And if you’re from the West, you should be very well-aware of this, or how to do this, because you probably do it with your friends. When the bill comes, you just start calculating out loud, but not like – You just calculate out loud, but quietly, what your bill is, what your side of the bill is. So the bill comes, you turn over, you start looking at the itemized bill, you say, “Okay, I got the soup, I got steak and I got this glass of wine, so that’s… Okay.” And you just pull it out, put down the cash and you just say how much it is and put down the cash, and then you just turn it to her.

And so for her to do the same. That’s it. And then you just keep talking. Again, in all cases, guys, it’s only awkward if it’s awkward in here for you. So, awkward silences are only awkward if you feel awkward. You make shit awkward, okay? That’s why a lot of guys with bad inner game, and bad belief systems, and bad attitudes, and bad mindsets are going to fuck everything up. They’re going to fuck everything up, but this is how you do it. And if you believe that this is the correct way because you’re a reasonable, enlightened, intelligent individual and you believe in gender equality, then this is obviously the way to go, right?

So the money comes, the bill comes, you just calculate out loud in your mind, or out loud but not like telling her, “Okay, now I…” You know, it’s just sort of, “Okay, steak was this much, this is this much, this was this much, okay.” Then you can put down your credit card too and say, “Okay, 30 on my card.” And then you just put it over to her and then you’re just like, “Oh man, that was good wine.” And you just thread cut out while she deals with her bill.

Another thing you could do is, after you’ve calculated your amount, you put on your card your amount, or – cash is best when you’re going Dutch, by the way. Whether it’s with guys or girls, cash is best when you’re going Dutch. So, get your money out, put it down, shove it over to her, put it over to her, and then go up and use the restroom. That’s a great time to use the restroom, and then she’ll deal with it, when you come back call the waiter over, give it to the waiter. So, there you go.

Pretty simple. You go Dutch or you trade. Now, there are a couple other strategies that I teach in my programs for what to do on the date so that you get her to invest as well. So, it’s not just she gets spoiled, but those are the easiest to teach: trading and going Dutch. Pretty straightforward. And if you believe in gender equality, women, you ought to do the same. And again, with the sliding scale in mind, and if you chose the place also, right? So, there you go. Pretty straightforward. Keeping it almost to ten minutes, that’s awesome. So, there you go.

Trading and Dutch. I need to start doing recaps more. I’m a little rusty on Man Up episodes. So, join the private Facebook group. That’s where that question was asked. That’s where you can ask your question. I will answer your question in a video episode for you. I look forward to seeing you inside the group. Join the group, click on the link at ‘Join Request’. We approve requests every day. And until then, Man Up!