I was in my mid-twenties and my co-worker, Dave, was in his late twenties. We worked in a big, friendly office and we went out with other co-workers after work for dinner and happy hours quite often and went skiing on weekends. We had become pretty good friends and as friends generally do when they go out in groups, everyone paid for his/her own drinks, food, etc. One night the rest of the group of co-workers had dwindled away and we were the last two left at the bar. He kissed me and, suddenly, we were dating.Not much changed; we still went out with the group after work and the two of us skied and hung out on weekends. A couple weeks after we’d kicked our friendship up a notch and were dating, we were having drinks in a bar when he suggested we move over to the restaurant side and have some dinner. When the waiter came to take our order, Dave ordered us each a small dinner salad and a cup of soup. While I thought it was odd that he didn’t ask me what I actually wanted, I figured he was assuming the role of the “gentleman” in our new, more-than-just-friends relationship and to him that meant ordering for me. And, for the first time, he picked up the check which was in the $10 range.A few spoonfuls into our “dinner” he told me how glad he was that we were already friends when we started dating because it meant that he didn’t have to go through the “impressive stage” with me. While I was pretty sure what was coming and that I wasn’t going to like it, I could not resist the opportunity to encourage him explain just what he meant by that comment. So I asked him to elaborate. He explained that with me, he didn’t have to take me out for fancy dinners and “wine and dine” me because we already knew each other so he didn’t have to impress me by spending money on me like he did with other women. Wow, I felt just like a princess. And people say romance is dead.To my surprise, Dave was shocked when I ended things with him. He really thought we had a good thing going.
Shortly thereafter, I met a man who actually enjoyed (and still enjoys) that “impressive stage” and who also seemed to have a better sense of when it’s best to keep one’s mouth shut. I married him. 06-10-09
And poor Dave probably never “got it” as to why you were turned off by his miserly admission. A man impresses a potential mate with the substance of his character, something hopefully long established before he begins wooing. Dave merely exposed himself as a man willing to put on an impressive act of wealth and generousity when that really wasn’t in his character to be that way. I don’t think most women expect their men to routinely wine and dine them extravagantly for the rest of their relationships. But it doesn’t portend well when a man foolishly blathers that he’s relieved at finding a woman he feels no real need to woo as someone special.