What’s your take on splitting the bill when eating out with your date?

Wait!

Before you continue (or you might not), there are some words for you!

很合理 Hěn hélǐ : very reasonable

各付各的 gè fù gè de : to pay for what you order

我請客 Wǒ qǐngkè: It’s on me./ My treat

熱戀期 rèliàn qī: the very first stage in the relationship. Couples fall in love madly with each other and ignore all the shortcomings on their partners during this period.

愛情長跑 àiqíng chángpǎo: to describe a long-term relationship, 長跑 is long run, so it’s saying the love between couples is like the long run, steady and sturdy.

秋後算帳 qiū hòu suàn zhàng: to pick at someone afterward.

有助於yǒu zhù yú: something is helpful to something.

There’s nothing that can arouse more debate than the issuing of who should take care of the bill. Several generations ago, the phrase “Dutch” or “Dutch the bill" wasn’t introduced because men would usually take care of this. But as people are growing more financially independent, especially women, splitting the bill became a common practice among young people. There’re indeed many ways in terms of “splitting the bill”, we can divide the total per head, we can split the bill based on individual consumption, and we can split food and drink bills. It is mindboggling just to imagine how many times one needs to ask others about what and how much they order, right?

Based on my history of eating out with friends, plus so many embarrassing moments standing in front of the cashier and meeting the eyes of waiters without knowing how much to pay, I have the right to say that I don’t like to split the bill. I hate to argue with my friends over who should pay what and whether to round up the service fee. Such petty things don’t worth my time. But sometimes those few dollars topped up in my bill still make me feel somewhat irritated. Of course, I would never bring this issue up with my friends, perhaps out of embarrassment, but over a few times, I started to realize that’s indeed an interesting topic to discuss.

So I have my Taiwanese friends answer the questions.

Bridget, 23, Taichung

I think it’s very reasonable. If you go out to dinner with the same sex, you know that you have to pay for what you ordered. It doesn’t make sense to suddenly forget this when eating out with the opposite sex. I think it is the most basic rule of being a human being? I don’t know…

我覺得很合理,跟同性出去用餐都知道要各付各的了,沒道理跟異性出去吃飯就變成某一方出錢,除非講好輪流請客之類的,不過我會覺得AA制跟性別沒有關係,比較覺得是身為人類最基本的規則嗎? 不曉得…

Jean, 33, Taipei

Very good, everyone pays their own living expenses ~ there will be no pressure on each other

很不錯,大家各自支付自己的生活費~ 互相都不會有壓力

Chen, 22, Taichung

I think it’s okay to treat one party occasionally, but it’s too much if I need to cover up the bill every time, and I will feel a little despised.

我覺得偶爾一方請客還可以,但每次就太多了,有點看不起人的感覺

Erin, 19, Taichung

Whether it is a couple in love, a couple talking about marriage, or couples in a long-term relationship, as long as they are not married, they are just couples, then stick to their roles as boyfriend/girlfriend, and they must split the bill to avoid breaking up. Unless you are 100% confident that you will get married, or you are not married but 100% sure that neither of you will pick at each other afterward, which is another story. But if today is the birthday of the other or there is something worth celebrating, then the man/woman will let their partners pay if they want. After all, when necessary, the other party’s “sense of being needed” needs to be satisfied, so that he/she has a sense of “being needed”. You’ve done something”, which helps increase intimacy.

不論是熱戀期的情侶、談及婚嫁的情侶、愛情長跑的情侶,只要還沒結婚,都只是情侶,那就堅守好作男/女朋友份內的事,絕對要AA制,避免分手後算帳(除非你有100%的自信你們一定會結婚,或是你們不結婚但100%確定你們兩人都不會秋後算帳,那就另當別論)。但假設今天是另一半的生日或是有值得慶祝的事,那男/女方要出錢就讓他們出,畢竟必要時也需滿足對方的「被需要感」,讓他/她有種「為你做了點什麼」的感覺,這有助於增加親密感。

Ariel, 22, Taichung

Splitting the bill is very important! No one owes anyone in a relationship, it is equal.

AA制很重要!感情裡誰也不欠誰 是對等的

Cindy, 24, Taichung

I think splitting the bill is pretty good, the taking turns to treat each other is also good.

我覺得AA制蠻好的,或者是各付各的、輪流請客的方式也都很好。

Heidi, 19, Texas

I usually pay for my own consumption.

我通常會付自己的部分

That’s the end! See you next time with more interesting content!

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