In A Relationship Who Should Pay For Things? | Best Approach

When it comes to money matters in a relationship, it is better to be wary than sorry. Money causes frictions even between the best of couples.

In a relationship, who should pay for things should be based on each person’s financial conditions. If one is on a budget, the other should avoid fancy dates and unnecessary expenses to prevent awkwardness. If both are well off in terms of money, split the expenses in half or take turns to pay.

In other cases, talk things through with your partner and find out a way best suited for you two.

Before We Begin

Whatever you expect, be ready to give the same treatment to your partner. Focus on becoming an asset to your partner, and not a liability.

The total expenditure should be proportional to the financial circumstances of each individual in the relationship. Don’t go overboard as a couple.

Spend only on what you can afford to pay for individually. The whole point is not to make one partner feel burdened or the other feel broke.

You are both equal in this relationship, and similar efforts are required from both of you even in monetary terms.

Who Pays For What When Dating?

Who pays for what when dating can be resolved by splitting the bill equally or you paying at one place and your date paying at another. If money is an issue, do not go over budget as it can be embarrassing to explain your financial situation to a new person. Be diplomatic and deny going to expensive places.

TABLE: Take Of Different People On Who Should Pay For Dates

The man should pay35%26%
The woman should pay1%1%
Whoever is earning more7%7%
Pay for what you order10%13%
Take turns to pay or split the bill47%53%
Source: Based on a survey by with 190 individuals between the ages of 18-55 years.

Dating is a casual thing with not much feelings attached at least initially. While dating, you explore your options and just want to have fun.

You care about the person to an extent, but you are concerned about yourself more. You don’t have to buy expensive gifts for your date and take them shopping on their request.

Though, you are not liable to bear every single expense of your partner even in a relationship. And this is just the dating period.

Your partner doesn’t know much about you, so they don’t care enough about your financial situation.

You cannot trust them with money related issues because what will happen if you won’t be together in the long run?

You will end up with a hole in the pocket. While dating, focus more on your finances.

A date is different than a relationship

Who Should Pay The Bills In A Relationship?

Who should pay the bills in a relationship shouldn’t matter if no one is trying to take advantage of the other. A relationship gives us the freedom to manage our finances together and talk about the problems regarding any financial crisis. Make sure your partner is not using you for money.

Being in a relationship is something special and completely different from being on a date. Good and honest relationships are selfless.

We care more about our partner than ourselves. Sometimes we even compromise in certain situations while in a relationship.

People are usually happy and in love with each other, and there is a certain trust that one person would not take advantage of the other.

In a relationship, you are more than happy to help your partner in case of a debt or money issues.

However, that relationship should be a one where you know that the other person is equally invested in you in terms of feelings, emotions, and efforts.

So, dynamics are different here than in dating. Still, do not trust anyone blindly and don’t be absolutely naïve.

Look out for signs whether or not your partner is using you.

Who Should Pay For Dinner, Movies, etc.? 

When your partner asks you out, along with it pops questions related to bookings and expenses. If your partner always pays for both of you, would that make you look greedy?

Yes! Thus, always play safe and bring enough money to pay for things in case you’re asked.

Share the cost or pay the whole amount based on how liberal your bank account allows you to be. One should always offer to pay.

Your partner will appreciate the gesture and won’t feel like you are taking advantage. The point here is to have a good time together.

Don’t let a situation develop where one partner starts feeling uncomfortable due to spending too much.

Also, you can always communicate about finances and expenses with your partner.

If you are not okay with always paying the bills or your partner is not letting you pay the bills, then talk it out. Equality is a must in every relationship.

When You Are Dating

While dating, the person who initiates the date should pay.

If you initiated the first date, you go for the bill, and if your partner asks for a second date, then it is only fair that they pay the bill or you can split.

Always choose a place that falls under your budget. If it’s you who are always asking them out, then you should let them know about your concern subtly.

Do this to make them understand your point without harming your relations with them.

In a different scenario, where you decide to do more than one thing on a date like watching a movie followed by dinner, take turns to pay.

One should cover for films, and the other should pick up the tab for dinner or drinks.

When You Are In A Relationship

When it comes to a relationship, the dynamics of ‘who should do what’ changes.

There are feelings attached, you care for them, and you are always more concerned about your partner than yourself.

So, if the understanding between you and your partner is right, then the answer is to understand each other’s situation and pay accordingly.

Sometimes you pay and sometimes let your partner do the same. This way, you both will get the chance to put effort into the relationship, without burdening each other.

If you think that your partner does not understand you, then you should let them know and try to split the expenses in a way feasible to both of you.

who should pay for dinner, movies, etc

Who Should Pay If You Are Living Together?

If you are living together, split the bills and responsibilities equally. It is an ideal opportunity for sharing all the household expenses and showing your commitment. You should avoid being dependent on your partner and always try to pay your share on time, be it the rent, utilities, or groceries.

Being dependent will not only take away the freedom of doing things yourself but also all the responsibilities will fall on to your partner’s shoulder.

This will later affect your relationship in various ways, eventually drifting your partner away from you because no one wants to carry any burden forever.

So, always strive to share the responsibilities equally. You both should split the rent in half or pay in alternative months according to your convenience.

You should set an amount for all the grocery shopping, utilities and together contribute half the amount at the beginning of every month.

It would be better to take care of personal expenses on your own and let your partner do the same.

It would be wise not to buy together anything that incurs significant expenses (a car or a house) until you are married. Why?

If for any reason, you guys decide to end the relationship, then it will be challenging to divide the holdings.

Remember, everything is only manageable as long as you two are together. Divorces happen and marriages break too but not as frequently as breakups happen.

Why Do Men Think They Should Always Pay?

Men think they should always pay because this is the culture they have seen around them since they were kids. They have been taught to treat their women like princesses by doing anything and everything. Most men are lead to believe that they can buy a girl’s affection through money.

Making sweet gestures is acceptable only if you are doing it by heart and not just to get the girl. Most men think that money is the best way to get a girl.

That can be true in cases where the girl is a gold digger, but if you want some genuine love, then expensive gifts or taking them shopping is not the answer.

You need to show them the real you and make them attracted to you, not your money.

Some men do not let their women pay because doing so will hurt their male ego. They always want to show that they are superior.

However, in today’s world where equality is heavily propagated, such kind of attitude will only hurt your relationship with your partner.

For some men, it becomes awkward when a girl tries to pay the bill.

They do not want the girl to think less of them, so to show that they have enough money, they won’t ever let the girl pay.

Even if always paying everywhere will burn a hole in their pockets.

Why Do Men Think They Should Always Pay

Is It Okay For A Woman To Pay? 

It is okay for a woman to pay bills. Picking up the tabs is not only about money. It is also about making a strong statement of financial independence and equality. Also, it gives women an opportunity to return the kind gesture from time to time.

Taking your man out without letting him spend a single penny will make him feel special.

He will know that you are happy to invest in the relationship and are grateful for being with them.

By doing so, you will let your man know that you are capable enough to pay the bills, and you are independent.

Some women use men for their selfish needs, so this is an excellent way to show your man that you are not after his money and are genuinely there to spend time with him.

Also, try to ask your man out as much as he does and pay for the date yourself.

This way you are letting him know that you are also concerned about the money being spent in the outings.

You are showing them that you are equally responsible, and are ready to put in the same amount of effort that he puts into the relationship.

How Not To Offend Your Partner While Suggesting To Split The Expenses?

Money is a sensitive topic. It can make or break your relations with anyone. When it comes to talking about money, you need to be extra careful with your words.

1. Be Polite

It is essential to be polite and respect the other person’s feelings while talking about anything that may offend them.

Don’t let anger or frustration take over as it will make things only worse. Be calm and patient while explaining the issues that are bothering you.

2. Explain Your Point Of View

Explain your point of view to your partner as it will help them look at things like you do. Don’t let misinterpretation ruin everything and leave your partner hurt.

Be thorough and clear about what you think and want.

How To Not Offend Your Partner While Suggesting To Split The Expenses

3. Make Them Understand The Expenses

It is quite possible that your partner doesn’t have any idea about how much load this relationship is putting on you in terms of finances.

Give them a detailed view of the expenses and make them understand how you are struggling to keep up.

4. Share The Plan 

If you already have an idea about moving forward without putting a load on each other and manage the expenses, then share that plan with your partner.

If you are well prepared, then chances of your partner being on board increase exponentially.

Maybe they will like the idea and if not then discuss and come to a solution suitable to both of you.

5. Don’t Force Them

If your partner doesn’t share the same views as you on who should bear the expenses then, choose whether you want to continue this relationship or not.

Don’t force them to do something they don’t believe in as it will only make the situation ugly.

Maintain Consistent Behavior 

It is human nature to be accustomed to how others treat them in the beginning. If what comes later does not correlate, it becomes unexpected and hard to accept.

The exact thing happens when it comes to a relationship.

We behave differently at the start of a relationship as we tend to push our limits to impress our partner. We try to become someone that we are not.

Later on, when things get back to normal, they see the real us, which is unexpected and a big change for them.

It becomes crucial to practice consistent behavior from early on so that your expectations don’t shock your partner. Or even if you are changing now, go gradually.

Rome was not built in a day. If you are at the beginning of your relationship, don’t show them something you are not. Be who you truly are.

If you believe in sharing the cost, split from early on. Don’t split, if you are comfortable paying for your partner forever.

However, see to it that your partner is not using you for money. Not taking money should be your choice and not your partner’s.

A Word Of Advice


What ultimately matters is that the person you want to spend your money on is worth it or not.

Don’t be foolish enough to do everything for someone who may not deserve it. Act wisely even if you are sure that the person you are with is going to be with you forever.

Now it’s your turn to share how you manage the finances in your relationship. Only one person bears the burden or do you split based on your pocket?

Either way, let us know in the comments.

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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