A Match survey says most daters want to be sent an Uber.
“The Rules” is a Moneyish series where we define the rules around sticky money or workplace topics like giving an allowance, who pays on a date, combining finances with your partner, and more.
Singles are searchin’ for a wheel love.
Once upon a time in suburbia, your date would pick you up at home to whisk you out to dinner and a movie before bringing you back. But in the age of Uber, we’re more likely to order ourselves a car — which doubles as an escape route if the date is a total dud.
Credit Karma estimates that Americans drop more than $4,000 a year on ride-sharing apps, as reported by Money, assuming that a rider takes three or four trips a week with the average fare running $22. A recent Betterment report estimated that the average 20-something will spend $323,190 on Uber rides over 25 years.
So it’s not surprising that offering to order your date an Uber or a Lyft is becoming a pretty baller move — when done correctly, anyway.
Jocelyn Borgner, 32, from Brooklyn, told Moneyish that while she’s secure enough to cover her own car fare, she wishes more guys would make the chivalrous gesture when a date runs late. “It’s the same concept as at least offering to split the bill; you don’t expect it, but it’s nice to hear,” she said, adding that her dates have “almost never” offered to get her a car. “The subways aren’t ideal late at night, and offering to make sure someone gets home safe is a nice thing to do.”
But the guy she’s been seeing for the past couple of months seems to be steering things in the right direction: He offered to send her home in a Lyft after a recent work-night date, which would have been a $50 to $70 ride. She declined, but said, “I thought it was sweet.”
This aligns with a joint Match and Uber “Singles in America” survey released on Thursday, which found that two-thirds (67%) of singles think it’s “appropriate” for your date to order you an Uber home, and about one-third (32%) think it’s also fine to be treated to an Uber on a first date. Just over one in four singles agreed it’s fair for you both to split an Uber home after the first date.
But Borgner disagrees, since letting someone you barely know send you a car gives them your home address. “They can use the information to stalk and murder you! I listen to the ‘My Favorite Murder’ podcasts, and one of the taglines they use is ‘SSDGM: Stay sexy and don’t get murdered,’” she said.
That view was shared by one in five singles in the study, who said it’s “never appropriate” to order a date an Uber, or to have their date order them one, on the first date.
Nick, 32, from Queens, who declined to give his last name, agreed. “I can see why guys would offer the ride, but it can backfire, too,” he said. “A woman might think you’re implying that she’s weak and not independent.”
He said none of his female dates have ever offered to get him a car, and he walks his dates to the subway when the night is over. “I’ve mentioned getting an Uber for a female friend heading home, and they declined and said stuff like, ‘Oh, I do this all the time,’” he said.
Cristina, 39, who also declined to give her last name, said she goes Dutch on most of her dates with women, so she’s never been offered an Uber, or vice versa. “We’re not in those gender roles where one person is like, ‘I’m gonna pay for dinner.’ We both whip out the credit cards simultaneously at the end,” she said.
Plus, she’s more skeptical about whether each date is a match worth investing in. “Things were going really well on a Tinder date once, so I offered to pay, and then it ended up going nowhere. I was like, ‘I should have just gone Dutch,’” she said. “I’m not going to do anything too crazy for a person (like pay for a ride) just to be out of money if they ghost me.”
Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman told Moneyish that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to ride-sharing and romance.
“There is no obligation to offer to pay for a cab or ride-share, but it wouldn’t hurt to offer, especially if they have come far out of their way to meet you,” she said. So if someone — male or female — schlepped through the rain and snow for your date, and you know they’ve got a long trip home, it would be thoughtful to offer to cover a car ride home, or to even split the fare. But you are by no means required to.
“The protocol to an invitation in general is: If you extend the invitation [also irrespective of gender], you pay for the meal and tip. This does not include transportation, unless it’s a particularly unusual circumstance such as distance, weather, difficulty parking, etc.,” she added.
And if you were the one invited on the date, you should not expect to be treated to an Uber, Lyft or Juno home. “You should always have some money or your credit card in your wallet on any date, even if the protocol suggests that he or she is going to pay for the dinner, because you should never just assume someone is going to pay for you,” she said.
If your date offers to order you a car, but you feel uncomfortable about it because you don’t know them very well, decline directly but politely. Gottsman suggested, “Thank you for offering. I’ll take care of this, but thank you. I appreciate it.”
“Less is best; you don’t owe anyone an explanation,” she said.
That being said, Borgner also admitted that she has ordered her dates Ubers “to get them out of my apartment the next morning.
“It was almost lunchtime. I was like, ‘Hey, did you want me to get you an Uber home?’” she recalled. “Some people don’t get hints.”
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