Women Say More Men Are Asking for Their Money Back After Unsuccessful First Dates

First dates can often be an awkward experience for everyone involved. Men opting to pay for meals when dating women has been an established practice for decades, but an apparent new trend points to them not going Dutch and splitting the bill, but instead asking for their money back if a second date doesn't materialize.

Samantha Costanza, a customer operations analyst, spoke to CNBC about her experience with the surprising tactic. A few days after meeting a guy from a dating app for drinks, he told her he'd like to see her again, but she wasn't interested.

"I spent over an hour crafting a very polite reply that assured him I had a lovely time but just did not see a future connection," the 29-year-old said. Rather than accept her answer and move on, the man asked her if she could Venmo him payment for her drinks.

"I was in complete shock," she admitted. "It made it seem like the only reason he would offer to pay for my drinks was that he expected something from me."

A woman named Erin recounted a similar story. At the end of a first date with a man, she offered to pay her part of the bill but he insisted on covering the whole check. When she told him the next day she didn't want to see him again, he asked her to Venmo him $30.

"It really did feel very off-putting," she confessed. “It really underscores some kind of sense of entitlement on his part."

Samantha and Erin are just two women who can speak to this less-than-chivalrous approach to dating.

One Reddit user described how she went on a handful of dates with a guy spread out over a few weeks, then received an $80 Venmo charge after telling him she didn't feel they were a good fit for each other. Another wrote about a man asking for $50 after telling her he had a great time and would like to see her again, and someone else explained how she got in an e-payment back-and-forth after the man said their dinner date was "his treat." One woman paid for their first date and the man seemingly covered the cost of the second until he Venmo requested her the following day. And in one horror story, the man asked for a Venmo payment during the date.

Jon Birger, author of Date-onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game, explained that this phenomenon speaks to larger problems with dating in today's world.

"It’s a byproduct of the awfulness and toxicity of online dating, where every first date is a blind date with a complete stranger," Birger said. "There’s zero social accountability, which makes it easier for people to behave badly." Changing gender norms, widespread use of payment apps, and smaller personal budgets as a result of rising costs of living are all combining to make first dates a little more of a precarious endeavor.

Experts like Strangers on the Internet podcast co-host Irina Manta explained why some men seem to be opting to pay the full cost of dates then asking for reimbursement when it doesn't work out rather than going halfsies from the get-go. "The man considered the cost of that first date an investment, and that investment did not pan out," she said.

Still, around 80 percent of people believe that men in heterosexual relationships should be the one to pick up the tab on a first date. Of course, that's with the assumption that he won't ask for his money back if the date is a dud.