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It appears that we are a nation of generous daters, as half of those currently dating who responded to a survey* carried out for us, say they would be happy to pay for the full cost of a first date. However, we still uphold traditional gender roles, as men say they expect to foot the bill, while women prefer to split the cost.

Gender divide

Four in five male daters say they would be happy to cover the whole cost of a first date, showing that old-fashioned British chivalry still reigns supreme through romantic encounters. Men may feel some social pressure to pick up the bill, as even in 2015, the majority believe that it’s the man’s job to pay for a first date. Research carried out last year in America found that three-quarters of people in a relationship think that men should pick up the bill for a first date, proving that we really are traditional when it comes to love.

Women prefer to keep things a bit more equal, as almost two in three say that they generally split the cost of the first date 50/50. One in 10 women like things to be even fairer, as they only pay for what they’ve had, their own meal, drinks, or cinema ticket. However, only one in six women say that they would cover the whole cost of the first date.

In general, fellas were happier to splash the cash too, with more than a third saying they would spend between £40 and £60 on a first date. Ladies say they spend less on dates, with two-fifths saying they would pay between £20 and £40 if they were on a first date. Even more generous were the 1 in 7 men who say that they spend over £80 on a first date – and just 3% of women say they would be happy to spend that much.

Can’t buy love

Taking your date out for a fancy dinner may impress them, but it doesn’t mean that the relationship between you is any more likely to last. Whilst you obviously don’t want your date to think you’ve scrimped on having a nice time – turning up with discount vouchers for a fast food meal probably won’t cut it – you don’t need to spend a small fortune to have a special evening out. If it’s your first date with that person, you might not want to shell out just to find out the two of you aren’t compatible, as no matter how much you spend, you won’t have a good night if you’re not in good company.

Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Saturday, so if the two of you aren’t working, why not meet up for a lunch date instead? Not only will this will be cheaper, it will also be more casual and give you a chance to get to know each other better. Ice-skating and roller-skating rinks often offer special Valentine’s events for around £10 each, and getting active together is a great way to break the ice.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 19th December and 30th December 2014, of whom 635 were in Scotland.

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