You are out with your friends together in a nice restaurant. All of you had a nice meal together and suddenly the waiter brings the bill. At that moment all of you look at each other's faces. Who should pay? You might think that it's appropriate that you pay but is it? When you are going out for dinner or simply for socializing, there often comes a nervous moment when you can't decide who should pay what. In this case, there are no concrete rules and it much depends on the dynamics of the group. But one thing you should remember is that if you are inviting your peers for the dinner or party, it is you who is responsible for the pay. But if you’re invited to the party then it's obvious that you are the guest. And if you're a guest then it's very less likely that you should pay.
If you are dining with your friends and in this case, close friends, the best option here is to let everyone pay their own meal. In old tradition, it is stated that the bill should be divided among all the members. If you feel a bit hesitant to do that, you can ask the waiter to bring a separate bill for your own. But in most cases, if you have been invited by your friend, you should not pay.
If you are one-on-one, that means only just you and the other person together the rules are very simple. You can just pay the bill on your own and say to the other that they can pay next time. If it's a date situation, it's a bit more complicated. If it's a very special date, it's always appreciated it the gentleman pays. If both you and the girl are just friends, then it can be paid mutually by splitting as it is no harm done to friendships. If the relationship is a little bit complicated then you can ask the other person.
If its a birthday celebration then the scenario will be very different. Many people will feel it nice that the birthday boy should not pay the bill if more specifically the friends arranged the party. Here the friends are acting as hosts. But this is not always the way with birthdays. Often the birthday boy treats their peers and colleagues. If your income isn't enough for the total bill then it's quite normal to ask your friends to pay for their share. Don't worry they won't be angry. They would understand as they are your friends.
But how much should one fight for the bill? If you are dining with a friend or with a group it might feel an obligation for you to pay or take out your credit card first. But do not fight over the bill. It will look very awkward. If the other person reaches for the bill and you say that you will pay let them know in a friendly manner. You might also ask “Are you sure?” which would be very polite. They will highly appreciate you for your generosity and your warmness.