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This Is the Real Reason Half of Men Cancel Dates, Research Shows

If you've been flaked on, it might not have anything to do with you.

Few experiences take a swift hit at the ego quite like being stood up or canceled on by a date. It always feels personal, but as it turns out, that's rarely the case. A recent survey found that half of men have canceled a date due to a much more personal problem: They were strapped for cash. Read on to learn more about why men bail when they're short on funds, and if you're wondering who's supposed to foot the bill, This Is Who Should Really Pay on a Date, Experts Say.

The New York-based dating app Iris recently surveyed over 1,000 singles nationwide to learn more about the intersection of status symbols and dating habits, and how personal finances play into dating. While society has largely moved away from archaic gender norms, some traditions seem to have significant staying power.

According to the survey, many men are still under the impression that they are responsible for footing the entirety of the bill: 54 percent of men said they would offer to pay the whole check, while women more frequently think the bill should default to whoever initiated the date. If a man is not financially stable enough to pay for a date, it's safer for him to bail than hope his date is willing to split it or totally cover the cost. The study found that almost a quarter of men said they spend well over $100 a month on dating, while only 9.6 percent of women say they spend the same.

Man paying the whole bill on a date

Money plays a bigger role in dating than you might expect. "When you're on your first date, you will think that money isn't everything. But when things progress, it is everything," says dating expert Robin Sutherns. "You don't realize it, but money is the deciding factor in everything you do."

Sutherns says it's essential for a budding relationship to include conversations about money to avoid awkward date situations. "Money problems are common when it comes to dating. It's also such a big deal that couples break up because of it," she says. "It's always good to remember that you should be open about the money situation. Always have the money talk, and make sure to give and take."

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Men struggling with money for the moment should not feel pressure to take on the burden of the bill alone. Instead of going out for a fancy dinner, opt for a free or inexpensive date. A picnic in the park, a day at the museum, or a quick coffee date are low-cost but highly enjoyable dates.

No matter what you end up doing, there's no shame in splitting the check—though Sutherns suggests that daters be clear about that upfront. And for more on how money complicates relationships, Half of Men Say They Would Break Up With a Woman Who Does This.

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