What Are the Hard-and-Fast Rules of the Check-Reaching Game?

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So. You’ve had a wonderful date with someone who’s nice, funny, cute. You’re getting along famously. What’s not to love?

Then, the inevitable happens — the check finally comes. Now what? Do you reach, or do you fake reach? Do you go splitskies, pay the whole thing, or let your date pay the whole thing? Heaven forbid, you give a bad last impression.

To get to the bottom of it all, we sought out thoughts from dating gurus and super-daters alike. Here’s what they had to say…

She Says: You Asked, You Pay
Super-dater Linda Vongkhamchanh believes who asks to go on the date should pay
for the date. The 25-year-old admits she’ll make the reach, though — she’s polite, after
all — but she secretly hopes her date says, “No, no — let me.” Most of the time, Linda
mentions, her dates don’t say that and agree to split the check. But at the end of the
day, she likes to be treated.

Related: Picking Up the Tab: Can the Waitstaff Ruin Your Date?
He Says: The Guy Should Pay
Eugene Oh, a super-dater in is 30s, says the guy should pay — at least on the first few
dates. “If the girl pushes back on this very hard, then of course I will let her [pay], but
only if I can see that she genuinely wants to,” he says. “As a guy, the rule of conduct
is always to pay no matter what — it’s a gentlemanly thing to do.” Eugene, however,
expects the girl to treat at some point down the road when things get a little more

Related: 5 Dating Dealbreakers You Should Reconsider In This Economy
She Says: Girls, Don’t Reach
Vicky Barrios, therapist, researcher and dating ninja, says the guy should always pay!
When asked if she makes a reach for the check when it comes, she answered, “Eeek!
No, I don’t reach for the check, but I do look into my purse uncomfortably for a moment. I guess, sometimes it does feel like I should help, especially when a guy goes all out, but there is no paying.” She’s all about breaking gender norms, but goes old school when it comes to courtship. “Sometimes I am totally confident about the man being the man and taking care of me on the date and there is no reach at all.”

Related: 3 Times When It’s Okay To Accept A Drink From A Guy You’re Not Into (And 3 Times When It’s Not)
He Says: Split the Bill
Michael Kaiser-Nyman, CEO and founder of Impact Dating, is all about splitting the
bill. “Historically, men paid because they were in control of a relationship, including
finances and their partner’s very self,” he points out. “These days, some people see the
guy paying as just a ‘gentlemanly’ thing to do, but I don’t want to control my partner, and if a woman expects me to pay, I’m not interested in dating her.” At the end of the day, Kaiser-Nyman wants to be with someone who sees herself as his equal. “After a few dates, things can change: maybe I’ll pick up the tab sometimes, and she will other
times, just as a nice thing we do for each other,” he adds. “But never on the first few dates, because it can be taken the wrong way.”

Related: Guys Who Flaunt Their Money: Turn-On Or Turn-Off?
So, What Should You Do?
Clearly, there are no hard and fast, agreed-upon “rules” when it comes to the check-reaching game. But these posts will give you some guidance:

The New 50/50: How To Split The Check In 2011

Who Should Pay For Dinner?: 6 Ways To Make It Less Awkward

Tell us: How do you handle the first date reach?