Earning money is hard. Dating is hard. Deciding when, how, and on whom to spend your money on a first date? Also hard, people! It’s fraught with peril and anxiety. Splitting the check on a first date is governed by a complex yet ill-defined set of rules rooted in heteronormative, gender-normative, and otherwise normative ideologies. These systems themselves are complex, ill-defined, and also completely... outdated. (Puns!) All of which is to say, you probably have no fucking clue how to tackle the check when it arrives at the table of your first date.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly what you should do, because "should" depends on a near-infinite array of factors, including your age, level of income, and number of pomegranate margaritas crushed. But I can tell you how to read the room, take the temperature, and translate the subtlest signals into useable inferences for smoothly settling up on that first-date bill. Remember, these aren’t ironclad instructions. You still need to go with your gut (which, hopefully, is not as large as mine).