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Picking Up that Check on the First Date

The author of this piece believes that men should always pick up the check on the first date. Have to disagree with this analysis, for a couple of reasons based on several scenarios.

Met through Online Dating Service – Many people now meet through dating services online. Their first date is indeed the first time they have seen each other in person. Statistics show that these dates typically occur within 7-14 days of meeting online. The so called “Starbucks Date” really is a first meeting. Splitting the check in my view is appropriate, in that this may be the first and last date based on mutual chemistry. Everybody having skin in the game tends to keep both sides honest. Have met women who lied about their age, lied about their looks, and lied about their background – and from feedback from women, that is certainly true on the guy’s side as well.

Picking up the check on any subsequent date is appropriate, based on who initiates it. And no, I for one am not dropping $300+ to go to a five star restaurant until I am sure that interest is returned.

Met in Person – If a guy meets a woman through Church, work, club, or social contact – then the guy should pick up the check. You have developed some chemistry and interest. You asked her out. Showing appreciation is appropriate. What you do after that is a mutual decision. Since I tend to date  women who are professionals themselves near my age bracket, they tend to want to establish their independence through either sometimes picking up the check or contributing. I don’t expect it or require it to continue the relationship – but doing so establishes a level of mutual respect, interest, and financial responsibility in that I know every dime she earns isn’t going into those $300 High-heel sneakers, or cute little BMW out in the parking lot. If she is after a long term relationship and not just sex – then I know she is checking me out on the same basis.

Attention, straight men dating women: Here’s why they still — yes, still — expect you to pick up the check

Aside from whether men should hold the door for women, few seemingly frivolous issues have fanned the flames of anti-feminism as much as who should pay for dates between men and women. It’s a subject that seems to never die — see yesterday’s Guardian feature on “Paying while dating” — because there are always a subset of men who insist that it’s absolutely unfair that as the world has gotten closer to gender equality, men are still expected to pick up the check. A 2014 NerdWallet studyfound that 77 percent of over 1,000 U.S. respondents expected men to pick up the check on a first date. Most likely, they will continue to be—perhaps not forever, but certainly for the here and now.

Why? News flash: it’s not about the money, it’s about what the money signifies. “The man should pay on the first date, always. It’s meant to set the tone—that this is and was a date, not a networking opportunity or a new friendship,” founder of online dating concierge service eFlirt and author of “Love @ First Click,” told Salon. “It speaks to a man’s values and shows that he is a gentleman. Most first dates are just a few cocktails, so this shouldn’t be a burden for men. Beyond a first date, the rules change a bit though and it depends on what you do together. For example, if it’s dinner and an after-dinner cocktail for a second date, it’s great for the woman to pay for the cocktails at the second destination. Or, she could plan and pay for the third date. Ultimately, paying the bill on a date shows appreciation. It’s a gesture to let someone know you’re interested in them and appreciate them. That’s why I never suggest splitting the bill. A date should feel like a treat and it doesn’t when it becomes an accounting transaction.”

I have to agree based on my own experience. Showing you’ve thought about the other person is what matters, and on a first date, paying is a way to do that. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can choose an inexpensive date so that you can cover the costs. I once went on a date to a free comedy show with a guy I met online. There were plenty of reasons the date was disastrous—think dead silence for up to ten minutes at a time—but the real rock bottom moment for me was when I said I was going up to the bar to get a drink and asked if he wanted anything (I wasn’t that thirsty but needed to break the tension). He said no but when I returned and reported that the bartender had generously comped my seltzer, he said he wished he’d known or he’d have ordered one! In that case, I was the one offering to pay, but instead of taking me up on it, he made himself seem like an extreme cheapskate. (Guys: don’t do this.)

Yet the who-should-pay decision is a conundrum, as dating and relationship expertWendy Newman, author of “121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily After (Really!),” calls it, one that often leaves both men and women not completely satisfied. “When a man pays for a string of dates for strangers and experiences entitlement or isn’t thanked or appreciated for these efforts it can burn him out. When a woman isn’t treated, often times she doesn’t feel special or cared for,” said Newman.

As further proof that it’s not about money, Los Angeles-based dating expert and radio personality Erin Tillman, who’s single, says “I’ve been on coffee dates with guys where they didn’t pay for my coffee.” That is definitely not the way to go if you want a second date—with Tillman or most women. Based on her own dating history and her clients’ experiences, Tillman told Salon, “if he doesn’t offer to pay, it’s definitely a turnoff.” As she sees it, “It sets a guy up for success. You don’t want to do anything that’s going to ruin your chances of dating someone.” She suggests the guy pay for the first month, or until you’ve established that you’re in a committed relationship.…More…

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in and the Single Life

 

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