Woman Accused of Sneaking to Bathroom to Avoid Splitting Check With Date

A woman is being accused of using "convenient" restroom trips to get out of splitting the check on dates, causing uproar on Mumsnet.

Posting to the Relationships forum on September 19, user NameChange85 asked whether it was still the norm for the man to pick up the tab, causing a heated discussion among users.

With 126 comments at the time of writing, some users saw the man paying as a "gentlemanly" gesture, while other users found the prospect outdated and "sexist." However, the woman's "weak bladder" when the check arrived was also called into question, with some users accusing her of timing bathroom trips to get out of paying her share.

Men Still Pay, Whether Women Like It or Not

A recent study of heterosexual dating amongst young adults found that men still overwhelmingly pay the check on first dates. Some 552 U.S. college students took an online survey exploring traditional masculinity and attitudes towards women in relation to dating, with the results suggesting traditional gender norms still play a prominent role.

Woman using Toilet trips to Avoid Bill
A stock photo of a man handing a credit card to a waitress at a restaurant. Fellow Mumsnet users accused the woman of intentionally dodging the bill with well-timed restroom trips. macniak/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Participants were asked four sets of questions. The first set enquired about payment experiences on first dates, including who picked up the check, with the second set of questions asking who paid on following dates. The third and fourth sets analyzed payment expectations, such as who should pay the check on the first and subsequent dates.

Researchers also asked respondents to share their thoughts on masculinity, breaking it down into two categories—machismo, which is identified by aggression, and caballerismo, also known as chivalry. Attitudes towards women were also explored, with respondents asking how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as "Women should worry less about their rights and more about becoming good wives and mothers," or "A woman should be free as a man to propose marriage."

They discovered that a participant's views on feminism influenced their expectations. The more anti-feminist the respondent, the more likely they were to expect the man to pay on the first date, regardless of gender. However, women mostly preferred to split the check, even if they did end up letting their date pay. Women also expected the man to pay less for dates and for the woman to contribute more as the relationship progressed.

However, with 81 percent of respondents identifying as Caucasian and 70 percent as Christian, researchers said the study should be replicated amongst other, more diverse groups, before confirming the results.

'Embarrassing'

In her post, NameChange85 explained she'd just come out of a 21-year marriage and has "been out of the dating game for a while." However, she'd recently started seeing a new man and wasn't sure of the rules around paying the check.

"[Went] out this weekend for food and drinks with a man I've been casually seeing for a few weeks," she said.

"With regards to the drinks, we went in rounds, which I think is fair enough. He paid for the food, but when leaving the restaurant handed me the receipt which I took as his way of letting me know how much I owed.

"When I got home I sent him the money for the couple of meals we'd had.

"I have no issue with paying my way, but watching First Dates last night made me realise that men usually pay on a date.

"And if I'm being really honest I would have been very impressed if he had done and not handed me the receipt!"

Most agreed the poster should offer to split the check, with dementedpixie saying "It's a bit sexist to expect him to pay."

JangolinaPitt agreed, writing: "Find it incredible in this day and age that you would expect the man to foot the whole bill. How embarrassing for him to have to give you the receipt before you took the hint."

"If you want to be equal in your relationship, then start out that way," said LaylaDomino.

"I'm perfectly capable of earning money and don't need a man I barely know to pay for stuff for me."

In the comments, NameChange85 explained this wasn't the first time her date had presented her with a receipt. She'd gone to the restroom when the check arrived—not once, but twice in a row—leaving him to pay the check because he felt awkward. This led to users accusing the poster of intentionally dodging payment.

"You seem to have a weak bladder at payment time," said Yesnoormaybe.

"Very convenient," wrote JangolinaPitt.

"Sounds like your doing it on purpose and he's shaming you into paying your half," commented Bananarama21.

However, some users believed a man should always pay on a date, with 7amByTheSeaPlease commenting: "I'm traditional and I find it hideously unattractive when a man won't even treat a woman to a meal and a few drinks."

"It's totally sexist but I expect the man to pay on the first date," said superflyin. "I would always offer and be prepared to split though."

While Justcallmebebes wrote: "I would offer to pay half, but on a first date expect him to refuse and to pay. Wouldn't see him again if he didn't.

"If he's too mean or too broke to buy you a meal, move on."

NameChange85 isn't the only one to be confused by new dating rules. Reddit users recently urged a woman to dump her new boyfriend who expected her to pay for everything (including his parents' meals), while a TikTok user received an invoice for "an unsuccessful date" after she declined to see her online match again.

Newsweek wasn't able to verify the details of this case.

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