- After she ghosted a date, Amanda Burnett received a $40 invoice for her half of a dinner.
- According to an etiquette expert, it’s customary for the person who asked for the date to pay, but some people prefer to split the bill.
- If you offered to pay, it's decidedly not polite to send a bill after-the-fact.
When you go on a date, there's always a chance that it won’t be a romantic fit. It certainly feels lousy if you like someone and want the relationship to progress, but they don’t feel the same way … and it can be even more hurtful if you reach out and get ghosted.
But does that mean it's OK to send an invoice after the date?
It happened to Amanda Burnett, an Indiana woman who went on a dinner date and later received an itemized invoice of everything she ate and drank during the date, the Daily Mail reports.
Burnett shared the invoice on Twitter and, although the original tweet has been deleted, a screenshot of her caption said: "A guy just mailed me a bill for our dinner a few weeks ago because I didn’t text him back … I can't make this s**t up."
Her date didn't stop there — he also sent a text that said, "And to avoid additional penalty or fines have the invoice paid otherwise it will be turned into a collection agency," according to a screenshot published by Daily Mail.
The specifics of the situation, like whether Burnett offered to pay but her date declined, and who asked whom for the date, are unclear. But Business Insider reached out to Daniel Post Senning, great-great-grandson of etiquette expert Emily Post and spokesperson for The Emily Post Institute, to get his take on whether billing your date for their meal is acceptable.
1. It is customary that the person who asked for the date pays for it
"The traditional thing is that the host pays, so whoever asked the person out on the date would pay," Post Senning said. "But we’ve been living in a world where people for all different reasons like to split the bill in a relationship and on first dates."
However, he added that some people prefer the "traditional courtesy" of the host paying, and that in the past it was typically men doing the asking, and thus paying. If someone asked you out but you would feel more comfortable splitting the bill, you should mention that you’d like to contribute.
2. It's definitely not customary to send an invoice after you've agreed to pay
If everyone is operating under the understanding that this is a social situation, there are generally not going to be invoices involved, Post Senning said. "Part of having good etiquette is being able to read social cues. Sending an invoice sounds vindictive in some ways, because it's shifting the context from social to professional."
3. There is no obligation to respond to someone's texts or calls after a date — but it's the polite thing to do
We also don't know how the date ended. Burnett may have explicitly told him or given him signs that she wasn’t interested when they parted ways. We do know she didn't respond to his texts after the date.
Post Senning's take on ghosting? Although he says that there is not an "obligation to respond," it is the polite thing to do.
If you've spent a long time together, he recommends ending things in person, but if you met up for a quick drink or dinner, a simple text message or phone call will do. "Thanking someone for the time you did spend together is a good way to politely end an interaction," Post Senning said.
It can be hurtful not to put an end to things in words in a world where communication is so easy, he said.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider