A recent and extremely awkward date on the British reality show “First Dates” has sparked a crucial online debate about modern dating on who should pay on the first date.
The episode followed 30-year-old manager Elle and 38-year-old fireman Mark, who are both from London, on a dinner date. Mark, a father of three, is looking for “the one” while Elle is trying to find a “real gentleman.” Their date initially went well until the bill came.
Here’s how their conversation went after a waiter brought the check which totaled 136.69 pounds ($211).
Elle, as she slides the paper over to mark, said: “Oh, we need to pay the bill.”
Mark: “Are you giving it to me?”
Elle: “Of course I’m giving it to you. I never pay on dates. Why would I?”
Mark: “Why wouldn’t you split it?”
Elle: “Come on, I’ve been hot and fun.”
Elle then offered to pay 30 pounds ($46) and said: “I understand your situation, you have three babies. Of course I’m going to go halves. Well not halves …”
Mark, nervously laughing, said: “You haven’t gone anywhere near halves.”
Elle: “Very funny. Do we get more tequilas?”
Mark: “Because I’m broke.”
Then there was an awkward moment of silent disappointment from Elle before Mark dropped a bomb about money and equality.
Mark: “Is it because you’re a woman? We’re not equal? We’re equal when you want us to be, no?”
Elle was silent, and then after expressing shock, she downed her wine and got up to leave the restaurant without a word.
Of course, this is a reality show, so the couple had to get together again for the post-date interview where Elle argued her side of things.
“I’m just more used to not having to pay. Usually if I’m on a date, you get treated nicely. You get treated like a woman,” she said.
“I found Elle quite high maintenance. Not the sort of lady I would normally go for,” Mark shared.
Elle expressed that she would go on another date with him, but Mark was less than enthusiastic.
Their awkward interaction opened a can of worms on Twitter about who should pay on a blind first date. Should a man always pay the bill? Should the person who makes the most money pay? Or should couples always split it?
— First Dates (@C4FirstDates) October 15, 2015