Dating Etiquette 101: Who Buys, What to Order, and More!

Who picks the restaurant? How much is it appropriate to spend? If you’re not paying, what do you order? Is it OK to use a coupon?


Q: Who should pick the restaurant?
A: The man.

The man is the leader/pursuer so in his attempt to pursue he is also trying to impress the woman. One way he impresses her is by making a plan and taking the responsibility to take the initiative.

The man should set the mood for the evening. The place he chooses to eat will show his thoughtfulness and hopefully he picks a place that is quiet enough that you can have a good conversation.

The man should determine how much money he wants to spend. By deciding on the restaurant/evening’s activities he ought to be working within his dating budget and only he knows what that is.


Q: How much should the man spend on the first date?
A: Whatever he feels comfortable spending.

Since the man is planning his date based on his finances, it is up to him how much he chooses to spend. The first date doesn’t need to be elaborate, but don’t be cheap either.

A general rule of thumb is this, if a man asks a woman on a date, then he should pay for her.

Ladies- If a man asks you to dinner, movie, or a play and you think it is too expensive, keep that to yourself.  If he wants to spoil you, don’t ruin the night by harping on how much everything costs. Never insist on expensive places of course, but be grateful and appreciative when they are offered. A simple “Thank you” said with a smile goes a long way.


Q: If you’re not paying, what do you order?
A: Something less expensive than your date’s meal.

Ladies – Ever been asked out on a date only to arrive at the restaurant to realize it is really expensive? Places like this usually have all the side items listed separately from the main course and a plate with two pieces of cooked carrots costs $10!

An expensive restaurant can be troublesome to some women, especially when we are STARVING! On nights like that I curb my appetite and remind myself that I can have a protein shake when I get home.

Ladies, one thing you can do to feel more comfortable with being in an overly expensive restaurant is to relax. Enjoy the evening, be flexible and gracious with your date(things you should do with every date regardless of where he takes you of course). As you read the menu everything will probably sound amazing, (it always does to me and it gets me excited because I love food!) so use this opportunity to talk to your date about how wonderful everything sounds.

When the “chipper chicken” cost over $24, it’s okay. Look over the menu and pick out a couple of the lower priced items and figure out which ones sound best to you then ask him what sounds good to him.

If your date tells you he is getting the fish, a salad, and a drink, then price your meal appropriately to be less than his. And it  is always a smart decision not to order alcohol on a first date.

You never know what may tempt the other person and it usually makes a better impression to not drink on a first date, that and the drinks usually cost almost as much as a meal.


Q: Is it okay to use a coupon on a first date?
A: No.

Coupons can be a sign of resourcefulness, but not on a first date. You don’t want to appear cheap and you don’t want your date to think that you only brought her because you had a coupon. Trust me, this is not a good thing.

Save the coupon for a night out with your buddies or once you have dated someone for awhile.  She will appreciate it later, but not on the first date.

**More dating Etiquette tips coming soon**
For more information about sex, dating, relationships, and trusting God:

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Lindsey N. Isham

  1. Great article! I wish more guys would learn the basic rule that they should pick the restaurant. 🙂 There’s nothing worse than getting to date night and realizing the guy has not only not decided on what time to pick you up, but he’s also not sure where he’s taking you!

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