Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Dating => Topic started by: SiotehCat on March 26, 2012, 03:41:33 PM

Title: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 26, 2012, 03:41:33 PM
Sara and Jon meet through a dating website. Jon suggests that they hang out. They come up with a plan of drinks and video games at Sara's house.

Sara does not realize that this is the entirety of the plan and expects dinner. When Jon arrives, she asks him if he is hungry and if there are any plans for dinner. Jon says that he ate right before their meeting, but they could get something if she wanted. She said she did and they went to a place that Sara had been to before.

Jon orders water. Sara orders here meal and an alcoholic beverage. While looking at the menu, Jon is surprised at how expensive it is and says so.The check arrives and it's placed in the middle of the table. They chat some more and nobody is making any moves to pick it up. Finally Sara says that she is ready to go. Jon says ok and still doesn't pick up the check. Sara asks him if he is going to pay and Jon looks a little embarrassed and says that he is short on funds.

Was it rude of Jon to go on a date knowing that he didnt have any cash to spare? Was it rude of Sara to expect Jon to pay the dinner bill when she was the only one that ate?

What are the rules here?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: NyaChan on March 26, 2012, 03:45:01 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: AustenFan on March 26, 2012, 03:47:59 PM
I don't see how Jon could possibly have been rude...he made plans within his means, so him not having any cash to spare shouldn't enter into the equation.

Sara assumed something contrary to what was agreed on, changed the plans and then expected him to pick up the tab for a meal he didn't share. I vote the blame in this situation rests entirely on her shoulders.

Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Judah on March 26, 2012, 03:48:13 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.

I couldn't agree more.  Why would Sara expect dinner when their plans were to have drinks and play games at her house?  It was her house after all, if she wanted to eat she could have.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bibliophile on March 26, 2012, 03:49:00 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.

This.  The date was drinks & a game.  He agreed to a date he could afford, if she wanted food, that was all on her at that point.  I can't imagine insisting that a guy take me for dinner if he already ate - that takes some nerve.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 26, 2012, 03:50:38 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.

I couldn't agree more.  Why would Sara expect dinner when their plans were to have drinks and play games at her house?  It was her house after all, if she wanted to eat she could have.

Sara believes that a date is dinner + whatever hangout plans they made. She thought the dinner was an unspoken given.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: guihong on March 26, 2012, 03:51:58 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.

I couldn't agree more.  Why would Sara expect dinner when their plans were to have drinks and play games at her house?  It was her house after all, if she wanted to eat she could have.

Sara believes that a date is dinner + whatever hangout plans they made. She thought the dinner was an unspoken given.

Then Sara believes wrong, and in any event, she can't expect Jon to read her mind and just know the "rules" of dating.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Shopaholic on March 26, 2012, 03:52:13 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.

I couldn't agree more.  Why would Sara expect dinner when their plans were to have drinks and play games at her house?  It was her house after all, if she wanted to eat she could have.

I agree as well. I find it especially rude that he ordered just the water while she had a meal + an alcoholic beverge and she still expected him to pay.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Judah on March 26, 2012, 03:52:59 PM
Sara believes that a date is dinner + whatever hangout plans they made. She thought the dinner was an unspoken given.

There's no such thing.  If it's not spelled out, it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: ilrag on March 26, 2012, 03:54:39 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 26, 2012, 03:55:55 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: #borecore on March 26, 2012, 03:57:32 PM
Sara's in the wrong on all counts.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: ilrag on March 26, 2012, 03:58:59 PM
In that case I can only assume that her and I live in totally different cultures, or interact with very, very different people.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 04:03:06 PM
I think Sara was rude to expect him to pay for her dinner.  The plans were explicitly (as in what they actually said rather than what Sara expected) for drinks.  Jon let her know he had already eaten, but accompanied her somewhere where she could get food.  For Sara to just sit there hinting at him to pick up the check was really off in my opinion.

I couldn't agree more.  Why would Sara expect dinner when their plans were to have drinks and play games at her house?  It was her house after all, if she wanted to eat she could have.

Sara believes that a date is dinner + whatever hangout plans they made. She thought the dinner was an unspoken given.

Sara is sadly mistaken, and pretty rude, to boot. Poor Jon. He thought he was having a nice, low-key date and instead got demeaned for not reading Sara's mind. If I invite someone out for drinks and video games, I mean drinks and video games. Also, to be perfectly frank, even if he had invited her to dinner, and even if he had intended to pick up the tab for her, it was really crass for her to ask him "aren't you going to pay for this?"
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bibliophile on March 26, 2012, 04:03:36 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

That's surprising, because it's pretty clear that when a guy says let's meet for drinks/coffee/etc. there isn't going to be dinner involved.  It's not a full date - just the drinks, and, in this case, a game.  But I'm curious as to why she had no food at home that she could've eaten since they were playing the game at her house.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 04:05:17 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

Does she get many 2nd dates?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Surianne on March 26, 2012, 04:06:33 PM
Is Sara one of those (I hope rare, but I've known a few) people who accepts dates with guys she doesn't even care for, specifically to get a free dinner?

She was extremely rude and wrong in this situation.  Drinks and video games means exactly that.  Jon was pretty nice to even change the plans and sit with her during dinner!  I probably would have blinked at her all confused and told her okay, go home and get some dinner, I'm perfectly happy playing video games myself instead, have a good night. 
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Namárië on March 26, 2012, 04:07:12 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

That's surprising, because it's pretty clear that when a guy says let's meet for drinks/coffee/etc. there isn't going to be dinner involved.  It's not a full date - just the drinks, and, in this case, a game.  But I'm curious as to why she had no food at home that she could've eaten since they were playing the game at her house.

Agreed. And I think it was on Sara to provide food—she was hosting! Why didn't she have any snacks and such ready for Jon?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Surianne on March 26, 2012, 04:08:56 PM
I missed that it was at Sara's place -- that's even more bizarre!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 26, 2012, 04:09:04 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

That's surprising, because it's pretty clear that when a guy says let's meet for drinks/coffee/etc. there isn't going to be dinner involved.  It's not a full date - just the drinks, and, in this case, a game.  But I'm curious as to why she had no food at home that she could've eaten since they were playing the game at her house.

Sara thinks that the reason that it's never happened before is because she has never dated someone as young as Jon. Jon is early 20's and Sara is early 30's.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bibliophile on March 26, 2012, 04:10:21 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

That's surprising, because it's pretty clear that when a guy says let's meet for drinks/coffee/etc. there isn't going to be dinner involved.  It's not a full date - just the drinks, and, in this case, a game.  But I'm curious as to why she had no food at home that she could've eaten since they were playing the game at her house.

Sara thinks that the reason that it's never happened before is because she has never dated someone as young as Jon. Jon is early 20's and Sara is early 30's.

Sara is not correct.  I'm over 30 as are most people I know now and none of us would expect dinner on a drinks date.  She sounds like a gimmie-pig, dating version.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Sterling on March 26, 2012, 04:13:43 PM
If I was asked for drinks and games at my house i would have provided snacks.  He didn't invite her to dinner and she was greedy to expect it.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: MrsJWine on March 26, 2012, 04:14:17 PM
I'm more old-fashioned than most, and I still think Sara was way out of line. If you expect something of someone, you need to say so and not play mind games. I'm 29, and I have always understood that the person who does the asking out is the one who pays. Furthermore, if you don't actually agree to do something, it's not fair to try to trick someone into buying you dinner like this.

I imagine that dating Sara must be pretty exhausting, with all the hoops to jump through and mind games to figure out. I'd rather just go to the gym or do a crossword puzzle.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on March 26, 2012, 04:16:01 PM
Sara is completely in the wrong here.  She invited Jon (or they agreed on) for drinks and gaming.  At no time did s/he mention dinner as part of the plans.  Since they were at her house, she had several options.  She could have apologized and told Jon that she hadn't eaten yet so she was going to rustle up a sandwich for herself; would Jon like anything?  Sara could have ordered in for herself or when she went for dinner, she could have grabbed a clue when Jon only ordered water that he wasn't prepared to pay for a meal.  She should have picked up the check herself.

Were I male, Sara wouldn't get a second date after pulling that stunt.

Jon's age might explain why he's short of funds but he did nothing wrong here.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 26, 2012, 04:20:47 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

That's surprising, because it's pretty clear that when a guy says let's meet for drinks/coffee/etc. there isn't going to be dinner involved.  It's not a full date - just the drinks, and, in this case, a game.  But I'm curious as to why she had no food at home that she could've eaten since they were playing the game at her house.

Sara thinks that the reason that it's never happened before is because she has never dated someone as young as Jon. Jon is early 20's and Sara is early 30's.

Sara is not correct.  I'm over 30 as are most people I know now and none of us would expect dinner on a drinks date.  She sounds like a gimmie-pig, dating version.

Nope , I'm in my 40s my husband is in his 50s , my cousins are in their 20 and 30s   a date is for specifically what's mentioned. I can invite someone to a play and if I like them ask them to dinner (I'm sure that sort of thing happens) but a date at "my house"  I'd think either I am providing food or maybe just maybe we'll split a pizza I would have zero expectations he;d take me to dinner , why our date does not even involve leaving my house.   Unless the date is for more the 6 hours , then I think an meal (even if it's hotdogs at a stand ) is implied because 6 hours must include a meal time.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: camlan on March 26, 2012, 04:23:54 PM
The general rule for invitations, whether it is a date or not, is that the person who does the inviting is the person who pays.

In this case, Jon did not invite Sarah to dinner. Therefore, he has no obligation to pay for dinner.

And because Sarah was the one who suggested going out to eat, she technically invited Jon to a meal, which means that had Jon ordered anything other than the free water, Sarah should have paid for it.

For the record, I'm in my 50s. I would never expect a guy to pay for my meal unless there was a specific invitation from him for a date that included the meal. In fact, I've run into so many men who believe that first dates should always be "pay your own way" that I always bring enough money to cover my meal, just in case. Sarah's had a run of good luck and it finally ran out.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Vall on March 26, 2012, 04:39:33 PM
I am a bit conservative and almost a generation older than Sara.

I've never heard of an unspoken rule that all dates must include a meal and that the male is supposed to foot the bill.  Sara was 100% in the wrong and I feel sorry for Jon because of the awkward position that she put him in.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: buvezdevin on March 26, 2012, 04:40:30 PM
I agree that Sara's assumptions, regardless of her experiences to date, are way off the standards of dating I am familiar with through my own previous experiences, and more current vicarious experiences of friends.  Collectively, folks I know who are actively dating span ages from 20's to 60's.  What I find even more surprising is that Sara is going to on line dating sites yet seems unacquainted with what I gather is a rule of thumb for most of those I know who get introduced/meet on line:  don't assume a first meeting (date) will or should include a meal, and generally be prepared to pay your own expenses during early dates, unless it has been clearly communicated otherwise.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: veryfluffy on March 26, 2012, 04:55:56 PM
Unless I am reading this thread title wrong, this was their first date?

So what on earth was she doing inviting him around to her house?  :o

The one rule I know about internet dating is always meet in a public place, and don't invite them into your home alone until you know they aren't nutters.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: DavidH on March 26, 2012, 05:00:39 PM
A date includes what is planned, if the plan was drinks and video games at her house, that pretty much excludes dinner.  Some type of munchie to go with drinks (chips for example) seems a reasonable expectation, but that's about it.  In any event, the munchie would be provided by her since it's her house. 

The only possible exception would be if the date were from say 5 to 9 PM and pretty much covered the dinner hour, in which case I could see some confusion on the point.

In any case, once he said he'd eaten, that would be her clue their expections were different and that she needed to clarify about dinner.  If dinner is a payment for going on a date, or one only goes on dates to get a free dinner, that seems more of a professional transaction.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: MrsO on March 26, 2012, 05:04:41 PM
Sara was unbelievably presumptuous. She put Jon in a really awkward position. He must have been mortified. How rude of her.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 05:17:03 PM
Let's look at this a different way. Pretend Jon was writing in with the following story:

Sara and I met through a dating website. She seemed pretty cool so I suggested we meet up and hang out. Sara invited me for drinks and video games (score!) at her house. Once I got there, plans changed. She asked if I was hungry. I wasn't, because I'd made sure to eat before. She said she was really hungry and asking what I'd planned for dinner. (???)

I really thought we were just going to knock back a couple of beers and play Call of Duty, but she was pretty vocal about wanting dinner, so when she insisted, we ended up going to this expensive place she kept raving about. I ordered a water and tried to make polite conversation while she ate her dinner and had a glass of wine. So, at this point, the evening is on a different track than I had hoped, but things are okay, I guess. Then, the check arrived, the waiter placed it in the middle of the table and we just kept chatting. Finally, Sara says she's ready to go. I said "Okay." and smiled at her. Then, she asks me if I'm going to pay. I stammered that I was short on funds and she grudgingly picked up her tab. 

Apparently, she thinks all dates automatically include dinner (paid for by the man) regardless of who did the asking and what the date was supposed to be. What?

I hadn't planned to splurge on dinner, so I didn't have enough cash on me. It was really awkward and she looked at me like I'd run over her dog. I don't know what I did wrong. I didn't ask her out for dinner. Was I wrong in expecting that "drinks and video games" meant "drinks and video games"?


I think eHell would tell him that he did just fine and that his date was way out of line.

Personally, my grandmother always told me that it was wrong for either man or woman to think they'd "earned" something just by showing up for a date.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Kiwichick on March 26, 2012, 05:21:06 PM
Sara thinks that the reason that it's never happened before is because she has never dated someone as young as Jon. Jon is early 20's and Sara is early 30's.

Sara makes no sense, who did she date when she was as young as Jon? 

His age has nothing to do with it, he simply refused to be guilted into paying for her meal, I think that shows quite a bit of maturity.  I wouldn't be surprised if he laughed all the way home at her old fashioned and sexist views.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: threepenny on March 26, 2012, 05:26:16 PM
WOW.  Just... wow.

Hope that guy ran far, far away from such a user.  How dare she expect him to pay for a meal that a) she wanted and he did not; and b) which she ordered and consumed while he had nothing?

What a total user.  Disgusting.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: HorseFreak on March 26, 2012, 05:31:39 PM
If I were Jon I'd use this as an excellent reason to run away screaming. He doesn't get any choice in going to dinner, tags along because they're on a "date," orders what's within his means and then his date demands he pay for her expensive meal. No way is that OK. Was he supposed to tell her up front that he couldn't afford to pay for her meal or refuse to let her eat? That would make him an utter cad assuming she would be so crass as to expect him to pay for an unplanned activity in which only she participates.

It kind of reminds me of a conversation I had with my ex-BF when we first started dating (in our mid-20's). I was just talking out loud to myself and said I needed to remember to pay my rent. BF gets really funny and quiet and finally says, "I'm not paying your rent." I was embarrassed that he thought I was some kind of gold digger!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Hillia on March 26, 2012, 05:45:15 PM
Nothing new to add, except POD to all.  Sara is way off base and an SS of the highest order.  I'm 50 and would never expect a date as described to include dinner, especially an expensive restaurant.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: ilrag on March 26, 2012, 05:50:13 PM
OP, what did you say to your friend about the situation?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 26, 2012, 05:53:19 PM
  I think we might be able to call this "snakes in a restaurant" *  or" wow everyone agrees 100%"
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 05:55:22 PM
  I think we might be able to call this "snakes in a restaurant" *  or" wow everyone agrees 100%"

Lol, except for Sara, obviously :D

Sio, what's your take on this?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: cheyne on March 26, 2012, 06:01:28 PM
Sara thinks that the reason that it's never happened before is because she has never dated someone as young as Jon. Jon is early 20's and Sara is early 30's.

Sara makes no sense, who did she date when she was as young as Jon? 

His age has nothing to do with it, he simply refused to be guilted into paying for her meal, I think that shows quite a bit of maturity.  I wouldn't be surprised if he laughed all the way home at her old fashioned and sexist views.

I'm going to take umbrage at the bolded.  I am old fashioned, if a man asked me out on a date I expected him to pay for what he had proposed for the date activity.  If I invited a man on a date, I paid for what I proposed as the date activity.  That is the "old fashioned" way of d@ting, Sara was doing the "Gold Digging" way of d@ting.  Furthermore, I as a single old fashioned woman living alone would never invite a man to my home on the first date! 

Jon never offered to take Sara to dinner.  Sara is completely in the wrong and outright rude for expecting Jon to pay for her meal because he never offered to take her out as part of the date.  Sara's rudeness compounds itself by not having a few snacks or munchies out to go with the drinks and video games, as she was the host for the date.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: WillyNilly on March 26, 2012, 06:03:41 PM
Sara needs to grow up.

There is nothing wrong with wanting dates to incude dinner, or even with wanting the date to pay for it. Lots of women have that expectation/standard/whatever you want to call it. Heck *I* do. But what I and the rest of the people like me do is - engage in communication and date appropriately. I only accepted dinner dates (well for years I did accept lesser dates, but I got to a point...) That was my expectation and that's what I went on. I didn't accept the drinks date and try to change it into dinner. I owned my expectations and yes, limited myself with them.

Wanting a dinner date isn't wrong. Trying to srong arm one when its not offered is so beyond wrong I struggle to find the word.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: TheBardess on March 26, 2012, 06:06:59 PM
Let's try another scenario- Sara goes out on a first date with a guy. They talk beforehand and decide to have dinner out and then drinks back at her place. He takes her to a restaurant and buys her a nice dinner. He then takes her home, and goes up to her apartment for drinks. They have a nightcap and chat for a bit before he finally says "Okay, I'm ready now." Sara says "Ready for what?" to which her date replies "Well, the sex of course! Aren't you going to sleep with me?" He and Sara had never discussed having sex with each other, but he believes that sex on a date (especially after he has paid for dinner) is an "unspoken given," and thinks that it's very rude of Sara to have gone on a date knowing that she wasn't going to sleep with him afterwards.

Obviously, this would totally and completely not fly. So why is it okay for Sara to do the exact same thing only with a meal instead of sex?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Luci on March 26, 2012, 06:14:06 PM
I haven't dated since I was 21, when the men did all of the asking and all of the paying.

Even I know Sara was wrong!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lilfox on March 26, 2012, 06:15:39 PM
Sarah is way off.  Has that assumption worked out for her in the past?

Yes. This is the first time that it hasn't.

But those other situations may have been different.  If the other guys were the ones to actually suggest dinner (even if she hinted first) and then paid the whole tab, that is more in line with "whoever invites, hosts." And if she was the one to suggest dinner, they may have waited fruitlessly for her to offer to pay for at least her half and then just paid the whole tab when she didn't.  Because that would be less awkward than pointing out to her that as the inviter, she should be the one hosting.

In this particular situation, Sara invited herself to a nice meal and I think Jon showed courage in not giving in and paying her bill.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 26, 2012, 06:17:16 PM
Sara needs to grow up.

There is nothing wrong with wanting dates to incude dinner, or even with wanting the date to pay for it. Lots of women have that expectation/standard/whatever you want to call it. Heck *I* do. But what I and the rest of the people like me do is - engage in communication and date appropriately. I only accepted dinner dates (well for years I did accept lesser dates, but I got to a point...) That was my expectation and that's what I went on. I didn't accept the drinks date and try to change it into dinner. I owned my expectations and yes, limited myself with them.

Wanting a dinner date isn't wrong. Trying to srong arm one when its not offered is so beyond wrong I struggle to find the word.

I agree I'll go father ....it's not rude or wrong to only accept dinner dates to only 5 stars restaurants or to only accept dates to art galleries or  rockclimbing dates. IT is rude to force a conversion. Sara did the equivalent of being invited for dinner and showing up with her bags planning to stay the week , she tried to take more then the hospitality offered.  Actually she did worse  she was hosting I'm not sure I can even think of an analogy.  She didn;t just try to convert from her hosting to his hosting , she converted the basic date as well (I think even if she planned to pay for dinner springing"hey , watch me eat for 60-90ish minutes" was rude)...it's like she invited him for ice cream and before he got there ordered a lobester dinner , stuck him with the bill and didn't even let him get an icecream.   BTW did they still go back to her place for games and a drink?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: cass2591 on March 26, 2012, 06:32:08 PM
Let's try another scenario- Sara goes out on a first date with a guy. They talk beforehand and decide to have dinner out and then drinks back at her place. He takes her to a restaurant and buys her a nice dinner. He then takes her home, and goes up to her apartment for drinks. They have a nightcap and chat for a bit before he finally says "Okay, I'm ready now." Sara says "Ready for what?" to which her date replies "Well, the sex of course! Aren't you going to sleep with me?" He and Sara had never discussed having sex with each other, but he believes that sex on a date (especially after he has paid for dinner) is an "unspoken given," and thinks that it's very rude of Sara to have gone on a date knowing that she wasn't going to sleep with him afterwards.

Obviously, this would totally and completely not fly. So why is it okay for Sara to do the exact same thing only with a meal instead of sex?

I might agree with asking this hypothetical question if people here agreed w/Sarah, but since nobody has, I'm not getting the reason for your alternative scenario.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bluenomi on March 26, 2012, 06:34:16 PM
A date does not equal dinner or even a meal. My first date with DH was coffee and a movie. Our second date was coffee and a walk around a flower festival. I didn't expect dinner or for him to pay for either of those.

Sara is out of line. Jon made plans that suited his budget and she changed them. He tried to be nice and argreed to go out of dinner. NO way should anyone be paying for a dinner bill when they didn't wat anything!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Zilla on March 26, 2012, 06:37:03 PM
I be so horribly embarrassed for Sara.  And how crass she is to ask outright if he is paying when it was so obvious he wasn't.  I am surprised she is outraged instead of cringing.  But then again it may explain what type of person she is.


I hope it didn't that poor guy off of dating and he finds a nice girl. 



Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: TheBardess on March 26, 2012, 06:38:58 PM
Let's try another scenario- Sara goes out on a first date with a guy. They talk beforehand and decide to have dinner out and then drinks back at her place. He takes her to a restaurant and buys her a nice dinner. He then takes her home, and goes up to her apartment for drinks. They have a nightcap and chat for a bit before he finally says "Okay, I'm ready now." Sara says "Ready for what?" to which her date replies "Well, the sex of course! Aren't you going to sleep with me?" He and Sara had never discussed having sex with each other, but he believes that sex on a date (especially after he has paid for dinner) is an "unspoken given," and thinks that it's very rude of Sara to have gone on a date knowing that she wasn't going to sleep with him afterwards.

Obviously, this would totally and completely not fly. So why is it okay for Sara to do the exact same thing only with a meal instead of sex?

I might agree with asking this hypothetical question if people here agreed w/Sarah, but since nobody has, I'm not getting the reason for your alternative scenario.

Sorry, it was more just along the lines of demonstrating another reason why Sara was wrong. Somebody above posted what the date might have looked like from the guy's point of view, which is what got me thinking about other scenarios.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 06:39:14 PM
Let's try another scenario- Sara goes out on a first date with a guy. They talk beforehand and decide to have dinner out and then drinks back at her place. He takes her to a restaurant and buys her a nice dinner. He then takes her home, and goes up to her apartment for drinks. They have a nightcap and chat for a bit before he finally says "Okay, I'm ready now." Sara says "Ready for what?" to which her date replies "Well, the sex of course! Aren't you going to sleep with me?" He and Sara had never discussed having sex with each other, but he believes that sex on a date (especially after he has paid for dinner) is an "unspoken given," and thinks that it's very rude of Sara to have gone on a date knowing that she wasn't going to sleep with him afterwards.

Obviously, this would totally and completely not fly. So why is it okay for Sara to do the exact same thing only with a meal instead of sex?

I might agree with asking this hypothetical question if people here agreed w/Sarah, but since nobody has, I'm not getting the reason for your alternative scenario.

Cass2591, I almost posted the same thing, TheBardess just beat me to it. I can't speak for TheBardess, but my reasoning was that, presumably, Siotehcat and her friend were engaging in some kind of dialogue about this and it would make a really great way to explain why this sort of entitlement mentality isn't okay.

ETA: Dang it! Cross-posted!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: TheBardess on March 26, 2012, 06:42:01 PM
Let's try another scenario- Sara goes out on a first date with a guy. They talk beforehand and decide to have dinner out and then drinks back at her place. He takes her to a restaurant and buys her a nice dinner. He then takes her home, and goes up to her apartment for drinks. They have a nightcap and chat for a bit before he finally says "Okay, I'm ready now." Sara says "Ready for what?" to which her date replies "Well, the sex of course! Aren't you going to sleep with me?" He and Sara had never discussed having sex with each other, but he believes that sex on a date (especially after he has paid for dinner) is an "unspoken given," and thinks that it's very rude of Sara to have gone on a date knowing that she wasn't going to sleep with him afterwards.

Obviously, this would totally and completely not fly. So why is it okay for Sara to do the exact same thing only with a meal instead of sex?

I might agree with asking this hypothetical question if people here agreed w/Sarah, but since nobody has, I'm not getting the reason for your alternative scenario.

Cass2591, I almost posted the same thing, TheBardess just beat me to it. I can't speak for TheBardess, but my reasoning was that, presumably, Siotehcat and her friend were engaging in some kind of dialogue about this and it would make a really great way to explain why this sort of entitlement mentality isn't okay.

ETA: Dang it! Cross-posted!

Exactly! I'm pretty sure Sara would not be okay with men doing this to her with regard to sex, so why is she okay doing it to them with meals is the point I was going for.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: cass2591 on March 26, 2012, 06:44:32 PM
And no doubt the responses would have been the same.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Zilla on March 26, 2012, 06:45:35 PM
Let's try another scenario- Sara goes out on a first date with a guy. They talk beforehand and decide to have dinner out and then drinks back at her place. He takes her to a restaurant and buys her a nice dinner. He then takes her home, and goes up to her apartment for drinks. They have a nightcap and chat for a bit before he finally says "Okay, I'm ready now." Sara says "Ready for what?" to which her date replies "Well, the sex of course! Aren't you going to sleep with me?" He and Sara had never discussed having sex with each other, but he believes that sex on a date (especially after he has paid for dinner) is an "unspoken given," and thinks that it's very rude of Sara to have gone on a date knowing that she wasn't going to sleep with him afterwards.

Obviously, this would totally and completely not fly. So why is it okay for Sara to do the exact same thing only with a meal instead of sex?

I might agree with asking this hypothetical question if people here agreed w/Sarah, but since nobody has, I'm not getting the reason for your alternative scenario.

Cass2591, I almost posted the same thing, TheBardess just beat me to it. I can't speak for TheBardess, but my reasoning was that, presumably, Siotehcat and her friend were engaging in some kind of dialogue about this and it would make a really great way to explain why this sort of entitlement mentality isn't okay.

ETA: Dang it! Cross-posted!

Exactly! I'm pretty sure Sara would not be okay with men doing this to her with regard to sex, so why is she okay doing it to them with meals is the point I was going for.


I can see the correlation.  Sara had an unreasonable expectation such as Bardess story, the guy has an unreasonable expectation.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Dr. F. on March 26, 2012, 06:47:36 PM
(wording this very carefully to try to avoid any form of drama or controversy)

Cat,

I know you've posted in the past that you and your husband have slightly different relationship expectations than are common in US society. Does your friend share those views? If so, perhaps she needs to be more direct about her expectations?

Edited: she needs to be more direct about her expectations no matter what, now that I think about it. ;)
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Kiwichick on March 26, 2012, 07:00:10 PM
Sara thinks that the reason that it's never happened before is because she has never dated someone as young as Jon. Jon is early 20's and Sara is early 30's.

Sara makes no sense, who did she date when she was as young as Jon? 

His age has nothing to do with it, he simply refused to be guilted into paying for her meal, I think that shows quite a bit of maturity.  I wouldn't be surprised if he laughed all the way home at her old fashioned and sexist views.


I'm going to take umbrage at the bolded.  I am old fashioned, if a man asked me out on a date I expected him to pay for what he had proposed for the date activity.  If I invited a man on a date, I paid for what I proposed as the date activity.  That is the "old fashioned" way of d@ting, Sara was doing the "Gold Digging" way of d@ting.  Furthermore, I as a single old fashioned woman living alone would never invite a man to my home on the first date! 

Jon never offered to take Sara to dinner.  Sara is completely in the wrong and outright rude for expecting Jon to pay for her meal because he never offered to take her out as part of the date.  Sara's rudeness compounds itself by not having a few snacks or munchies out to go with the drinks and video games, as she was the host for the date.

You're taking  umbrage because my view of old fashioned differs from yours?  He didn't invite her to dinner and long gone are the days when a man was expected to pay for everything.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Instantkarma on March 26, 2012, 07:06:57 PM
I agree with everyne else that sarah was waaay out of line - all the more cause she invited jon over to her house and had no food to give him? what sort of hostess does that?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: jedikaiti on March 26, 2012, 07:08:57 PM
She's clearly nuttier than a fruitcake and rude as heck. I am also wondering how many second dates she gets, when she treats a first date so poorly?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: cass2591 on March 26, 2012, 07:13:00 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Instantkarma on March 26, 2012, 07:20:24 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

great point!!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Sharnita on March 26, 2012, 07:30:33 PM
For that matter Jon wasn't that wise either.  He was taking a foolish risk as well. 
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Namárië on March 26, 2012, 07:31:37 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

Yeah, that makes me really uncomfortable. I did some internet dating when I was single, and I met some great guys, but I met a lot more weirdos. Sara is really lucky her date wasn't one of them. (Or perhaps the dinner was a way to get a creep out of her home? Maybe?)
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 07:35:44 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

Yeah, that makes me really uncomfortable. I did some internet dating when I was single, and I met some great guys, but I met a lot more weirdos. Sara is really lucky her date wasn't one of them. (Or perhaps the dinner was a way to get a creep out of her home? Maybe?)

I've changed the dating venue to something more public when I've gotten an inky feeling (even having known the guy for years). If she was concerned for her safety, though, I'd expect her not to basically force him to stick around and watch her chow down.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Jaelle on March 26, 2012, 07:36:19 PM
I'm in my late 30s; DH is almost 10 years older than I am. We are both agreed that Sara was completely wrong. (Actually, our first date was a walk at a nearby park. :) Dates definitely don't automatically include dinner just because they're dates.)

And why on earth would she expect the guy to pay when she's the one who changed the plans?   ???
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bibliophile on March 26, 2012, 07:42:55 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

So glad someone else was thinking the same thing.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Luci on March 26, 2012, 07:43:44 PM
For that matter Jon wasn't that wise either.  He was taking a foolish risk as well.

As the story proves!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lollylegs on March 26, 2012, 07:45:42 PM
Well, because it's boring when everyone agrees, I'm going to be a minor voice of dissent.

I think Sara's only rudeness was in expecting Jon to pay.  And don't get me wrong, that's a huge transgression that overshadows everything else.  However...

I don't think she was necessarily rude to assume that the date included dinner.  It's possible that every single date she's ever been on has included dinner and she's just come to believe that's what everyone does.  And since she figured they were going out to dinner, why would she bother getting something out to cook? 

But she should have used this as a teachable moment.  There wouldn't have been a problem if her story had gone, I went on a first date with this guy.  We arranged for him to come to my place first and I just figured that we'd go out afterwards, because that's what I've always done on dates.  Well it turns out that he didn't make the same assumption, so I had to drag him out to a restaurant and eat a whole meal in front of him while he drank water.  It was so embarrassing!  In the future, I'll know to specifically mention that I'd like to go out afterwards.

But she didn't, she expected someone who didn't even eat to pay for her dinner and that is unforgivably rude.  And yes, very silly to invite a stranger into her home.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 26, 2012, 07:46:34 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

Yeah, that makes me really uncomfortable. I did some internet dating when I was single, and I met some great guys, but I met a lot more weirdos. Sara is really lucky her date wasn't one of them. (Or perhaps the dinner was a way to get a creep out of her home? Maybe?)

I've changed the dating venue to something more public when I've gotten an inky feeling (even having known the guy for years). If she was concerned for her safety, though, I'd expect her not to basically force him to stick around and watch her chow down.

and not to call him rude becasue he didn't buy her dinner.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: cass2591 on March 26, 2012, 07:48:39 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

Yeah, that makes me really uncomfortable. I did some internet dating when I was single, and I met some great guys, but I met a lot more weirdos. Sara is really lucky her date wasn't one of them. (Or perhaps the dinner was a way to get a creep out of her home? Maybe?)

I've changed the dating venue to something more public when I've gotten an inky feeling (even having known the guy for years). If she was concerned for her safety, though, I'd expect her not to basically force him to stick around and watch her chow down.

Agreed. Though if I got a hinky feeling from someone I'm sure as hell not getting into the same vehicle with him, no matter who's driving. I'm not an alarmist so if my hinky meter goes off, I listen.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Editeer on March 26, 2012, 07:52:59 PM


I don't think she was necessarily rude to assume that the date included dinner.  It's possible that every single date she's ever been on has included dinner and she's just come to believe that's what everyone does.  And since she figured they were going out to dinner, why would she bother getting something out to cook?


I agree that Sara's expectations might have come from her own experience. In which case, assuming dinner was included wouldn't be rude, though it says she needs to widen her horizons a bit.

However, when she and John actually discussed it, that was the time for Sara to adjust her expectations. (What lollylegs called the teachable moment.)

So, how did the rest of the date go? I'm dying to know!  >:D
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Amava on March 26, 2012, 08:01:04 PM
How rude of him to decline the honour of paying to watch her eat.  ;D

Misunderstandings happen, but if I had expected to go out for dinner and it turned out I had misunderstood, I'd have tried to find the least awkward way to get something to eat. Dragging someone along to a restaurant and eating a full meal in front of them is not the way to go... And choosing an expensive place, even! Let alone expecting him to pay for it!  :o

But this is probably not the way this lady's mind works. In her mind, she had been "promised" a paid-for dinner, and she was going to get it, not matter how rudely she had to insist on it. I'm glad the young man stood his ground and did not pay!
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Allyson on March 26, 2012, 08:13:35 PM
This just seems weird to me! They were at her house playing video games, and she was the one who wanted to eat, and..expected him to pay for her dinner..? I don't get it. It almost seems, from an outside point of view, that she was trying to trick him into buying her food. I find it just as bizarre if I were to be out on a date and decide I really needed some new pants, we were going to go to the store, and...oh, he was paying for my jeans, right?

Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: jaxsue on March 26, 2012, 08:24:17 PM
Assuming that by "first date" this means they've never met before, Sarah is incredibly stupid for inviting a man she'd only met online to her house.

So glad someone else was thinking the same thing.

Count me in.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: CluelessBride on March 26, 2012, 08:52:08 PM
This just seems weird to me! They were at her house playing video games, and she was the one who wanted to eat, and..expected him to pay for her dinner..? I don't get it. It almost seems, from an outside point of view, that she was trying to trick him into buying her food. I find it just as bizarre if I were to be out on a date and decide I really needed some new pants, we were going to go to the store, and...oh, he was paying for my jeans, right?

Believe it or not, I've seen this happen, back when I was in high school.  Except it wasn't jeans, it was a new purse. 

I just happened to run into a casual friend while he was on a date (I think it was the 2nd, but might have been 1st) at the mall.   I got in line behind them at the counter and he introduced her to me, saying that they had some time to kill before their movie and so she wanted to check out the sale.  She plopped the purse on the counter and the cashier rang her up.  And then she just looked at him expectantly.  And he just sort of stood their awkwardly while the cashier looked back and forth at them.  I busied myself looking through the contacts in my cell phone, trying really hard not to pay attention to them.  And then she "ahemed" and he says, "umm, are you going to get your wallet out?"  and she replied with "You're buying it for me. We're on a date!"

Out of the corner of my eye I saw him look at me for help.  I'm ashamed to say I just kept staring at my phone pretending not to see or hear (I know, horrible - but I was 16, and just as perplexed as he was! Plus, what does a third party say in that situation?).  He ended up handing over $65 for her new purse. As reference, $65 was probably about 10 hours worth of work for him (HS student, fast food joint)!



I find Sarah incredibly rude and presumptuous.  But I think her date was lucky to discover her true colors so soon.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 26, 2012, 09:45:49 PM
Unless I am reading this thread title wrong, this was their first date?

So what on earth was she doing inviting him around to her house?  :o

The one rule I know about internet dating is always meet in a public place, and don't invite them into your home alone until you know they aren't nutters.

Sara has done quite a bit of dating in the past, but she has been doing a lot more than usual lately because of a new dating site that she joined. So far, this is the first time that I have heard her invite someone to her home and I can't say for sure why she did it. I would guess that she felt comfortable because she has several roommates both male and female.

Sara is not a gold digger, a gimmie pig or a user.I have known her a long time and can say that with certainty.

She thinks men should pay for the first date and she thinks dinner is or should be included in that. She has no problem paying or splitting dates/dinners afterwards.

I was on her side originally, but I had to do some questioning before I got the whole story.

Sara: I had the worst date on Friday. He even made me pay for dinner!
Sio: What?! You really pick winners. Did you have to pay the whole bill or just half?
Sara: Well, the whole bill. He didn't eat. He just had water.
Sio: Why would he invite you to dinner if he wasn't going to eat?
Sara: Well, what happened was...
Sio: So, he didn't invite you to dinner?
Sara: Huh? It was a first date! Its just etiquette, Sio!
Sio: I don't think it works that way.

It turns out that dinner wasn't even the reason her date was so awful. It gets weirder and grosser.

I posted this thread for my own sanity, not for Sara. I wouldn't tell her that I asked a bunch of people on an etiquette board. There are only so many etiquette boards and it wouldn't take long to find me.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: buvezdevin on March 26, 2012, 09:56:45 PM
As a friend of hers, with the benefit of a number of points made pretty consistently by all posters, would you feel comfortable suggesting to your friend that she might want to update any profile she has on dating sites regarding her views on dating?  I think that would be a kindness to her and her potential future dates.

 Also, in line with what others have said, the safety factor of not having an unknown person come to your house goes beyond whether or not you have from mates to offer some sense of security. As she seems to be processing dating solely through the lens of what she expects, it would also be a kindness to help her see that not all unpleasantness can be foreseen.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: missmolly on March 26, 2012, 10:11:24 PM
This just seems weird to me! They were at her house playing video games, and she was the one who wanted to eat, and..expected him to pay for her dinner..? I don't get it. It almost seems, from an outside point of view, that she was trying to trick him into buying her food. I find it just as bizarre if I were to be out on a date and decide I really needed some new pants, we were going to go to the store, and...oh, he was paying for my jeans, right?

Believe it or not, I've seen this happen, back when I was in high school.  Except it wasn't jeans, it was a new purse. 

I just happened to run into a casual friend while he was on a date (I think it was the 2nd, but might have been 1st) at the mall.   I got in line behind them at the counter and he introduced her to me, saying that they had some time to kill before their movie and so she wanted to check out the sale.  She plopped the purse on the counter and the cashier rang her up.  And then she just looked at him expectantly.  And he just sort of stood their awkwardly while the cashier looked back and forth at them.  I busied myself looking through the contacts in my cell phone, trying really hard not to pay attention to them.  And then she "ahemed" and he says, "umm, are you going to get your wallet out?"  and she replied with "You're buying it for me. We're on a date!"

Out of the corner of my eye I saw him look at me for help.  I'm ashamed to say I just kept staring at my phone pretending not to see or hear (I know, horrible - but I was 16, and just as perplexed as he was! Plus, what does a third party say in that situation?).  He ended up handing over $65 for her new purse. As reference, $65 was probably about 10 hours worth of work for him (HS student, fast food joint)!



I find Sarah incredibly rude and presumptuous.  But I think her date was lucky to discover her true colors so soon.
Please tell me your friend didn't see her after the purse incident.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 10:44:47 PM
*snipped for length*
Sara is not a gold digger, a gimmie pig or a user.I have known her a long time and can say that with certainty.

She thinks men should pay for the first date and she thinks dinner is or should be included in that. She has no problem paying or splitting dates/dinners afterwards

Sio, she may not try to be a golddigger, gimme pig or user with you but the behavior she engaged in with Jon is undeniably using behavior.

It's fine that she thinks all these things. I think we can all agree that having standards for how you want to be treated is great, but for her to assume that every guy out there is automatically on the same (very rigid) page is odd and frankly unrealistic. As such a devoted friend, I would encourage her to be more specific in the future and not to behave so rudely to people who aren't able to read her mind regarding her expectations for the first date. Obviously, you don't need to cite some etiquette site as a reference for this. Everything we've said is common sense and you should feel confident bringing it up without printing up a page or 6 of responses.

Anything weird that happened after that does not negate the fact that she behaved terribly.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: CluelessBride on March 26, 2012, 11:00:37 PM
This just seems weird to me! They were at her house playing video games, and she was the one who wanted to eat, and..expected him to pay for her dinner..? I don't get it. It almost seems, from an outside point of view, that she was trying to trick him into buying her food. I find it just as bizarre if I were to be out on a date and decide I really needed some new pants, we were going to go to the store, and...oh, he was paying for my jeans, right?

Believe it or not, I've seen this happen, back when I was in high school.  Except it wasn't jeans, it was a new purse. 

I just happened to run into a casual friend while he was on a date (I think it was the 2nd, but might have been 1st) at the mall.   I got in line behind them at the counter and he introduced her to me, saying that they had some time to kill before their movie and so she wanted to check out the sale.  She plopped the purse on the counter and the cashier rang her up.  And then she just looked at him expectantly.  And he just sort of stood their awkwardly while the cashier looked back and forth at them.  I busied myself looking through the contacts in my cell phone, trying really hard not to pay attention to them.  And then she "ahemed" and he says, "umm, are you going to get your wallet out?"  and she replied with "You're buying it for me. We're on a date!"

Out of the corner of my eye I saw him look at me for help.  I'm ashamed to say I just kept staring at my phone pretending not to see or hear (I know, horrible - but I was 16, and just as perplexed as he was! Plus, what does a third party say in that situation?).  He ended up handing over $65 for her new purse. As reference, $65 was probably about 10 hours worth of work for him (HS student, fast food joint)!



I find Sarah incredibly rude and presumptuous.  But I think her date was lucky to discover her true colors so soon.
Please tell me your friend didn't see her after the purse incident.

I wish I could... Unfortunately they dated off and on for a few years and ended up getting married.  The marriage only lasted about a year.

*snipped for length*
Sara is not a gold digger, a gimmie pig or a user.I have known her a long time and can say that with certainty.

She thinks men should pay for the first date and she thinks dinner is or should be included in that. She has no problem paying or splitting dates/dinners afterwards

Sio, she may not try to be a golddigger, gimme pig or user with you but the behavior she engaged in with Jon is undeniably using behavior.

It's fine that she thinks all these things. I think we can all agree that having standards for how you want to be treated is great, but for her to assume that every guy out there is automatically on the same (very rigid) page is odd and frankly unrealistic. As such a devoted friend, I would encourage her to be more specific in the future and not to behave so rudely to people who aren't able to read her mind regarding her expectations for the first date. Obviously, you don't need to cite some etiquette site as a reference for this. Everything we've said is common sense and you should feel confident bringing it up without printing up a page or 6 of responses.

Anything weird that happened after that does not negate the fact that she behaved terribly.

I almost wonder if her behavior might have *caused* the weirdness.  I mean, I don't know what weirdness means in this case, but I could see some (albeit not incredibly mature) guy saying "This stupid woman expected me to pay for her (not our) dinner?! I'll show her!  Look, I can be a walrus if I put straws up my nose!"
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Moray on March 26, 2012, 11:03:53 PM
*pfft* Come on, Cluelessbride, everyone knows that if you're going to pretend to be a walrus, you put staws under your upper lip. Putting them in your nose is just silly.  :D
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: buvezdevin on March 26, 2012, 11:26:52 PM
*snipped for length*
Sara is not a gold digger, a gimmie pig or a user.I have known her a long time and can say that with certainty.

She thinks men should pay for the first date and she thinks dinner is or should be included in that. She has no problem paying or splitting dates/dinners afterwards

Sio, she may not try to be a golddigger, gimme pig or user with you but the behavior she engaged in with Jon is undeniably using behavior.

It's fine that she thinks all these things. I think we can all agree that having standards for how you want to be treated is great, but for her to assume that every guy out there is automatically on the same (very rigid) page is odd and frankly unrealistic. As such a devoted friend, I would encourage her to be more specific in the future and not to behave so rudely to people who aren't able to read her mind regarding her expectations for the first date. Obviously, you don't need to cite some etiquette site as a reference for this. Everything we've said is common sense and you should feel confident bringing it up without printing up a page or 6 of responses.

Anything weird that happened after that does not negate the fact that she behaved terribly.

I agree in most parts with this, but if the responses to the question are obviously common sense to OP, I don't know why the question would have been posed.  While I don't suggest in any way that OP print, or otherwise reference this thread to her friend, I am genuinely curious if the responses and consistency of same do give OP comfort in offering suggestions to her friend.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Allyson on March 27, 2012, 01:43:06 AM
I think it's a good thing to know that her assumptions aren't everyone's. I mean, she's not terrible for thinking that the male person will always pay on a date if that's how she was raised and taught...but since a lot of people *don't* see it that way, it's good if she knows that her way isn't the only correct way. Then she can decide if she wants to give people with other 'ways' a chance, or if this is a dealbreaker for her. Either is fine, but in the latter case, she'll know that since it isn't an automatic expectation, she should state that.

And, I still think it comes off as ungracious to get someone to pay for your dinner when they aren't eating, regardless of her views on gender roles. I don't mean to criticize people with more rigid views on gender roles on dates--it's not my way, but it works for tons of people. But, I don't think it's very nice to think that a guy who doesn't subscribe to that view is a lesser or cheap person. He might not be the right match for some people but I don't think it's rude or bad date behaviour in any way.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 27, 2012, 02:33:28 AM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bibliophile on March 27, 2012, 08:28:52 AM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.

POD.  As you said she's not a gimmie pig, but this is certainly dating gimmie pig behavior.  It might not show itself in other areas of her life, just in dating.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 27, 2012, 10:34:40 AM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.


I don't even think that's where she went wrong.  If someone invited her for coffee and dessert as a first date and she orders a coffee, an app, a meal and dessert she'd still be as wrong, even if she paid  for it.   But If invited for ice cream and her decided "hey I only want a juice "  she can still order ice cream and be appropriate.   I think she voilated 2 rules she greatly exceeded the invitation and since it was her home she was the host , he could not invite himself to her home even if it was his idea.  Which I also think is a terrible place to met someone from online the first time.

 PS  I do still think the inviter pays is the rule but with on-line dating I would be prepaired for my date to think it's dutch treat every time.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: WillyNilly on March 27, 2012, 10:57:50 AM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.

I think the bolded is a rather interesting assumption.  Lots of people - men and women - in this day and age, in the same general age range as Sara (30's) subscribe to this belief.  Its extraordinarily common.  In fact when I didn't date with perimeters that included being hosted for dinner I had terrible dating experiences and all my friends, male and female alike, essentially told me this was a huge part of my problem (I'm in my mid-30's).  And when I changed my standards to expecting the guy to buy me dinner the caliber of my dating partners increased significantly, to the point where I had previously always been in the going-nowhere deadbeat relationship to now I'm engaged (and all my friends who insisted on having the guy buy them dinner way back in their 20's are happily married for several years now).

Sara's problem isn't with her expectation.  Sara's problem is with her communication and execution.

Sara should put in her dating profile something along the lines of "interested in serious dating only" and "I prefer more traditional dating methods".  When asked on a date Sara should clarify "will we be having dinner as well?" or if clearly asked on a date that doesn't include dinner she can decline politely with "actually I prefer a more traditional first date that includes a meal".
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: rashea on March 27, 2012, 11:22:30 AM
I think it used to be more common that a first date would include a dinner. But it also used to be more common that you would know the person pretty well.

Sara needs to change her expectations now that she's dating online. Online dates often start with just one drink, or coffee/tea. That's pretty common for a first date. My preference was always to grab tea, and then go for a walk. It gave us something to do, and moving helped with any awkwardness. Plus, it was cheap and easy to leave early, or extend (some did extend to a dinner).
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Decimus on March 27, 2012, 11:23:19 AM
I find this topic quite interesting.  I will make several observations here.

I do believe Sara's belief that dinner is required on any outing is wrong.  Even from an "old fashioned" perspective, it was entirely "proper" for a gentleman in 1910 to take a lady out to a social event and not go to a meal.  In fact, getting a formal meal might have been improper.  It would, however, have been expected that he would pay for entrance fees and such, et cetera.  Dinner would only be included if specified, but a "date" would have been more likely to encompass going to an amusement park and maybe hot dogs, or a movie and ice cream.  Not a dinner at Delmonico's unless the lady was notoriously 'fast'!

This being said, even if Sara expected to receive a meal, she was wrong in picking an expensive place.  Once she knew he hadn't eaten and she was initiating the process, she should have selected a cheaper place.  If she'd said "I haven't eaten, let's go to Fast Food Restaurant" this might have gone differently.

As others have mentioned, what if Jon had said "Let's meet for coffee" -- which is the standard euphemism for "How about a date?"  Would she really have assumed he owed her an entire meal?  If he'd said "Let's meet for coffee Saturday morning" would that require breakfast?  That just baffles me.  Is there a cultural or social aspect to this?  Is she from a "social class" where even the young would have plenty of spending pocket money?

And a somewhat-related note -- it is improper for a gentleman to buy a lady articles of clothing.  Something like a handkerchief is pushing it.  Something like jeans or a purse would have been beyond the pale and might have implied the woman was something of a dollymop.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Twik on March 27, 2012, 11:35:06 AM
If Sara believes that her date is obligated to buy her dinner, she should realize that this puts an obligation on her. That is to not behave as if her date's wallet is her own. That's where "the middle of the menu" idea comes from. And if her date is the host, then *he* is the one who picks the restaurant, etc. Not her. She cannot expect that saying, "Let's eat at Chez Fancy, and I want the caviar!", and leaving him to pay, is fair to her date.

Behaving otherwise, by expecting her date to be happy buying her anything her heart desires, is classic gold-digging.

Does she actually believe that men have that much more disposable income than she does? Or is she only interested in them if they do?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 27, 2012, 03:25:48 PM
If Sara believes that her date is obligated to buy her dinner, she should realize that this puts an obligation on her. That is to not behave as if her date's wallet is her own. That's where "the middle of the menu" idea comes from. And if her date is the host, then *he* is the one who picks the restaurant, etc. Not her. She cannot expect that saying, "Let's eat at Chez Fancy, and I want the caviar!", and leaving him to pay, is fair to her date.

Behaving otherwise, by expecting her date to be happy buying her anything her heart desires, is classic gold-digging.

Does she actually believe that men have that much more disposable income than she does? Or is she only interested in them if they do?

In her defensive, she ordered from the cheaper side of the menu. A pasta dish with a beer. Total came out to close to $20. I don't think that is expensive.

Your last question made me chuckle a little, because it's more in line with my feelings than with hers. She can look past a lot if she thinks the guy is physically attractive. We joke all the time about how I need to see pay stubs and credit reports before agreeing to any dates.

Good thing my DH didn't mind.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: CluelessBride on March 27, 2012, 03:36:17 PM
I don't know.  It's true that $20 doesn't seem exorbitant for a meal, but it's not cheap.  And there's a huge difference in spending $40 on a meal for 2 and giving someone $20 (albeit for a meal) on a first date.  He wasn't eating. He ordered water.  She didn't just order soda, she ordered alcohol. She chose a sit down place where a cheap meal for one was going to cost $20 as opposed to a fast food joint or sandwich shop. 

The guy was incredibly indulgent to sit and eat with her.  If it had been me, when she asked if I was going to pay I'd probably have just gotten up and left. 

DH and I met through online dating.  We didn't do dinner on the first date.  We did coffee (which led to a movie and mall-walking on the same date). But he made it clear that he wanted to pay for it before we'd even met.  And I made it clear that he could pay for the first date, but that if we continued to see each other after that I was uncomfortable with him paying all the time.  I told him that we could go dutch or we could alternate.  The up front approach was really nice because it meant that expectations were clear. 

Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Vall on March 27, 2012, 04:45:17 PM
If I were meeting someone for a drinks-and-games date at their home, I may not have an extra $20 with me to pay for their sudden change of plans.  I don't always carry my ATM and credit cards with me.  I know that $20 isn't a huge amount of money but it's more than I carry with me in cash most times.

I agree that if these are her expectations of first dates, then she needs to make it clear on her profile that all potential dates need to be prepared to buy her a suitable meal---regardless of what kind of date they want.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: #borecore on March 27, 2012, 04:47:58 PM
BF and I did coffee on our first date. Well, we both ordered a pint of nice beer (a good sign in my mind for our compatibility ;)) at a cafe, and he covered it.

But if he hadn't sprung forward when the check came, I would have. We talked together about setting up the date, and I don't remember who suggested the place. And if I ordered food or insisted on the location, you bet I would have insisted on paying, too!

That is to say, the more I think about Sara as a real person instead of a forum abstraction, the less I'm inclined to think she was anything but tasteless in this particular situation.

Perhaps she can take this as a lesson to communicate her needs (financial support, a certain kind of "old fashioned" relationship) and wants (dinner) better. And to not invite someone to your home on a first date (!!!).

(And $20 is a lot when you're not expecting the date to cost anything, as others have said.)
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lollylegs on March 27, 2012, 05:29:38 PM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.

I think the bolded is a rather interesting assumption.  Lots of people - men and women - in this day and age, in the same general age range as Sara (30's) subscribe to this belief.  Its extraordinarily common.  In fact when I didn't date with perimeters that included being hosted for dinner I had terrible dating experiences and all my friends, male and female alike, essentially told me this was a huge part of my problem (I'm in my mid-30's).  And when I changed my standards to expecting the guy to buy me dinner the caliber of my dating partners increased significantly, to the point where I had previously always been in the going-nowhere deadbeat relationship to now I'm engaged (and all my friends who insisted on having the guy buy them dinner way back in their 20's are happily married for several years now).

Sara's problem isn't with her expectation.  Sara's problem is with her communication and execution.

Sara should put in her dating profile something along the lines of "interested in serious dating only" and "I prefer more traditional dating methods".  When asked on a date Sara should clarify "will we be having dinner as well?" or if clearly asked on a date that doesn't include dinner she can decline politely with "actually I prefer a more traditional first date that includes a meal".

I agree with everything here, especially the bolded.  And honestly, I know a lot of guys who prefer to be the one paying all the time.

OP, could you say something to Sara like, "So, I was talking to the girls at work/church/book club/whatever and the unanimous consensus was that it's not common to expect dinner on a first date, or for the guy to pay.  Maybe you should add something to your profile that makes it clear that's what you expect, to save yourself this sort of situation in the future."
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 27, 2012, 05:59:55 PM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.

I think the bolded is a rather interesting assumption.  Lots of people - men and women - in this day and age, in the same general age range as Sara (30's) subscribe to this belief.  Its extraordinarily common.  In fact when I didn't date with perimeters that included being hosted for dinner I had terrible dating experiences and all my friends, male and female alike, essentially told me this was a huge part of my problem (I'm in my mid-30's).  And when I changed my standards to expecting the guy to buy me dinner the caliber of my dating partners increased significantly, to the point where I had previously always been in the going-nowhere deadbeat relationship to now I'm engaged (and all my friends who insisted on having the guy buy them dinner way back in their 20's are happily married for several years now).

Sara's problem isn't with her expectation.  Sara's problem is with her communication and execution.

Sara should put in her dating profile something along the lines of "interested in serious dating only" and "I prefer more traditional dating methods".  When asked on a date Sara should clarify "will we be having dinner as well?" or if clearly asked on a date that doesn't include dinner she can decline politely with "actually I prefer a more traditional first date that includes a meal".

I don't think it's wrong but especially on-line dating thinking "guys buys dinner" as the only acceptable FRIST date is not the general expectation. I think that's the part of her expectations that is wrong, thinking most people are playing by this rule.  If she is going to accept " let's have coffee dates" and orders dinner she will run into problems.  I almost think  with on line dating it's is a "less then wish expectations, I'd want to met someone for 20 minutes first over coffee before committing to a 2-3 hour meal date. So if she where my friend I'd say " I don't think dinner is  common first date when people met on line and I certainly wouldn't assume dinner was planned if not mentioned"

A person you already know and/or friend fix up I think dinner as a first date is a lot more common.   I'm still not saying the expectation is wrong , just that how to make that expectation clear wouldn't be were I started if I were advising a friend. Just because so many people I know, including those who think "men should pay" and most dates should included a meal, will want to met a someone in personbefore asking them on a date.   I'd almost say "the first time you met a person from on line isn't a date it's a meeting"
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: baglady on March 27, 2012, 07:26:18 PM
I think "guy buys" is a holdover from the "guy does all the inviting" days. Because it is accepted that the person who issues the invitation pays, and it used to be unheard of for a female to initiate a date. Does Sara come from a really traditional background where those old rules haven't been completely set aside?

However, from what little I know about online dating (I've never done it but some of my friends have), it's generally advised that for a first-time meeting, you (a) meet in a public place, (b) have your own transportation and (c) go Dutch. That way, if your date turns out to be Creepy McCreeperson, you're not into him/her for anything. (Because some McCreepersons will insist that you "owe" them a kiss, or more, if they treated you -- even to coffee.) Sara was foolish on at least two out of three counts.

A good rule of thumb for any date, first or 51st, met online or IRL, is if someone wants to change the plans and it's going to cost money, the plan-changer picks up the tab. I've been in situations where my plans with someone didn't include dinner, but I'd worked through lunch and was starving. I bought my own food and always offered to treat my companion and/or share.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Allyson on March 27, 2012, 09:14:18 PM
I find it pretty unfortunate that there seems to be this assumption that a 'good' guy will always offer to pay on the first date. I mean...I do get why this happens, and I know lots of guys who do want to be the ones who pay, but sometimes it seems like they want to do this in part to not be seen as a mooch.

All other things being equal, and in a relationship that doesn't have proscribed gender roles, with both people making similar amounts of money...sometimes there's still this feeling like a guy who doesn't pick up the tab is being cheap. Or isn't that interested. Based only on his gender. I'm not at all saying that it's wrong to have expectations of a guy paying, but to have that expectation in absence of any other gender expectations can be..confusing.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on March 28, 2012, 05:56:26 AM
First off, based on the story as told, Sara needs to remember that not everyone plays by the same rules that she does, so it would bode well for future dates to make sure her rules are set out clearly, with none of the "unspoken given" assumptions being made.  That goes for dating, jobs, friends, everything! 

Also, I got the impression from one of SiotehCat's updates that Sara is saying that her way of doing things is etiquettely correct and that's her justification for what she put Jon through regarding dinner.  I think this is kind of a bullying tactic.  Many people today believe, rightly or wrongly, that they know very little about etiquette and what is actually demanded by etiquette in a given situation.  This leaves room for people to make up their own rules (such as "a date must always include dinner") and bully people into getting their own way by declaring "but it's etiquette!".  People who don't think they know much about etiquette, but feel it's very important, are likely to give in, believing they're wrong. 
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 28, 2012, 06:24:23 AM
It seems Sara holds a genuine belief that "When on a date, a gentleman should always offer to pay for anything a lady might consume or purchase, even if he is not partaking himself."

I am baffled as to how she arrived at this belief (in this day and age) but I guess that's beside the point. OP, I know you said you weren't going to show this thread to Sara, but I think it would be a kindness to let her know that this belief of hers is not shared by most people, and will probably severely curtail her chances of success with dates. Alternatively, as other posters have suggested, Sara should make this belief upfront (like, on her dating profile) so her dates don't get put in uncomfortable positions.

I think the bolded is a rather interesting assumption.  Lots of people - men and women - in this day and age, in the same general age range as Sara (30's) subscribe to this belief.  Its extraordinarily common.  In fact when I didn't date with perimeters that included being hosted for dinner I had terrible dating experiences and all my friends, male and female alike, essentially told me this was a huge part of my problem (I'm in my mid-30's).  And when I changed my standards to expecting the guy to buy me dinner the caliber of my dating partners increased significantly, to the point where I had previously always been in the going-nowhere deadbeat relationship to now I'm engaged (and all my friends who insisted on having the guy buy them dinner way back in their 20's are happily married for several years now).

Sara's problem isn't with her expectation.  Sara's problem is with her communication and execution.

Sara should put in her dating profile something along the lines of "interested in serious dating only" and "I prefer more traditional dating methods".  When asked on a date Sara should clarify "will we be having dinner as well?" or if clearly asked on a date that doesn't include dinner she can decline politely with "actually I prefer a more traditional first date that includes a meal".

Fair point. I agree that if you value yourself, and tell yourself that you deserve a man who's kind and generous, you're more likely to attract a higher calibre of date. I also think that if a man invites you on a dinner date, it's completely reasonable to expect him to pay for your meal.

However, I still maintain that a blanket rule that "on a date, you should expect the guy to pay for absolutely everything, even if the date plans you agreed to didn't include dinner/purse shopping/etc" is unreasonable. In my experience, no one I know holds this belief (and I and nearly all my friends are in the same age range as Sara - early 30s).

I do agree that Sara should make her expectations upfront, though.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: DavidH on March 28, 2012, 10:32:42 AM
I'm not convinced a first date has to include dinner, but if that's the type of date you want or require, then make plans accordingly.  You can either put it in your profile, or just make plans that include dinner, but under no circumstances should you make plans for drinks and games at your house and then expect that the other person "knows" that this includes taking you to dinner and paying for it. 

Even if drinks and games are over the dinner hours, say 5-9 PM, I would assume that if the plans were to hang out at the other person's house, we'd either discuss dinner options when time came or they'd order a pizza or something like that.  More likely, in this scenario, I'd ask what they wanted to do about dinner when making the plans initially. 

I don't think the guy pays for everything is universal now, but I typicality assume that if I plan the event I pay.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Tai on March 28, 2012, 11:58:48 AM
I have a hard time understanding how anyone could get to the entitled state of "I am on a date, let's take him on a detour to the purse store and make him pay because he's the man and must pay on a date!"

And that's not far off from what Sara did.  Sara and Date Guy had plans for A, and she decided to bully/cajol DG into changing those plans, and then literally made him pay for it. 

Considering that people usually put their best face forward on the first date, I'd run far, far away from Sara if I were DG.  People don't showcase their flaws on the first date, and I certainly wouldn't want to find out what Sara's flaws were if that was her "best face forward". 
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Bibliophile on March 28, 2012, 12:21:29 PM
I'm not convinced a first date has to include dinner, but if that's the type of date you want or require, then make plans accordingly.  You can either put it in your profile, or just make plans that include dinner, but under no circumstances should you make plans for drinks and games at your house and then expect that the other person "knows" that this includes taking you to dinner and paying for it. 

You can use my mom's favorite phrase to potential suitors, "I'm not paying for anything and you're not getting anything."  And the suckers men actually agree to it!   ::)
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Reason on March 28, 2012, 01:33:59 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Twik on March 28, 2012, 01:46:10 PM
If Sara believes that her date is obligated to buy her dinner, she should realize that this puts an obligation on her. That is to not behave as if her date's wallet is her own. That's where "the middle of the menu" idea comes from. And if her date is the host, then *he* is the one who picks the restaurant, etc. Not her. She cannot expect that saying, "Let's eat at Chez Fancy, and I want the caviar!", and leaving him to pay, is fair to her date.

Behaving otherwise, by expecting her date to be happy buying her anything her heart desires, is classic gold-digging.

Does she actually believe that men have that much more disposable income than she does? Or is she only interested in them if they do?

In her defensive, she ordered from the cheaper side of the menu. A pasta dish with a beer. Total came out to close to $20. I don't think that is expensive.

Your last question made me chuckle a little, because it's more in line with my feelings than with hers. She can look past a lot if she thinks the guy is physically attractive. We joke all the time about how I need to see pay stubs and credit reports before agreeing to any dates.

Good thing my DH didn't mind.

It was clearly, based on your OP, more than Jon could afford. He commented that it was expensive, and apparently did not have the money with him to cover both of them.

There are two ways of politely dealing with who buys the meal. The old-fashioned way is that the man invites the woman, selects the venue, and pays, while the woman smiles at his choices, even if they're soda crackers and tap water for two. The new way involves more flexiblity in who can suggest where to eat, but also suggests that people are on their own for what they order. Sara needs to pick Method 1 or Method 2, or else admit to herself and everyone she dates that she is only interested in men who can support her in the style to which she would like to be accustomed.

If she wants men to pay for her whims, she'd *better* start looking at credit reports.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 28, 2012, 02:48:58 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

He turned out to be pretty awful, so don't let the OP fool you.

I didn't include what happened after dinner, because I only wanted opinions about the dinner. But believe me when I say that he turned out to be a pretty awful date.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 28, 2012, 02:54:02 PM
If Sara believes that her date is obligated to buy her dinner, she should realize that this puts an obligation on her. That is to not behave as if her date's wallet is her own. That's where "the middle of the menu" idea comes from. And if her date is the host, then *he* is the one who picks the restaurant, etc. Not her. She cannot expect that saying, "Let's eat at Chez Fancy, and I want the caviar!", and leaving him to pay, is fair to her date.

Behaving otherwise, by expecting her date to be happy buying her anything her heart desires, is classic gold-digging.

Does she actually believe that men have that much more disposable income than she does? Or is she only interested in them if they do?

In her defensive, she ordered from the cheaper side of the menu. A pasta dish with a beer. Total came out to close to $20. I don't think that is expensive.

Your last question made me chuckle a little, because it's more in line with my feelings than with hers. She can look past a lot if she thinks the guy is physically attractive. We joke all the time about how I need to see pay stubs and credit reports before agreeing to any dates.

Good thing my DH didn't mind.

It was clearly, based on your OP, more than Jon could afford. He commented that it was expensive, and apparently did not have the money with him to cover both of them.

There are two ways of politely dealing with who buys the meal. The old-fashioned way is that the man invites the woman, selects the venue, and pays, while the woman smiles at his choices, even if they're soda crackers and tap water for two. The new way involves more flexiblity in who can suggest where to eat, but also suggests that people are on their own for what they order. Sara needs to pick Method 1 or Method 2, or else admit to herself and everyone she dates that she is only interested in men who can support her in the style to which she would like to be accustomed.

If she wants men to pay for her whims, she'd *better* start looking at credit reports.

I agree that it was more than he could afford. My response was to your post suggesting that Sara was trying to get a fancy meal on someone else's dime. To her, that restaurant wasn't a fancy one and she also ordered on the low side. She probably thought she was being a good date.

Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: rashea on March 28, 2012, 02:56:29 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

He turned out to be pretty awful, so don't let the OP fool you.

I didn't include what happened after dinner, because I only wanted opinions about the dinner. But believe me when I say that he turned out to be a pretty awful date.

I wonder if that was retaliatory rudeness on his part.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on March 28, 2012, 03:02:24 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

He turned out to be pretty awful, so don't let the OP fool you.

I didn't include what happened after dinner, because I only wanted opinions about the dinner. But believe me when I say that he turned out to be a pretty awful date.

I wonder if that was retaliatory rudeness on his part.

I doubt he was aware enough to realize what he was doing. I don't want to start discussing what happened or what they were doing. They both didn't come out looking so hot, but the dinner etiquette was something that I knew everyone here could give me answers with.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to give me their input. If it ever gets brought up again, I can explain it to her better.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lollylegs on March 28, 2012, 06:22:24 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

He turned out to be pretty awful, so don't let the OP fool you.

I didn't include what happened after dinner, because I only wanted opinions about the dinner. But believe me when I say that he turned out to be a pretty awful date.

I wonder if that was retaliatory rudeness on his part.

I doubt he was aware enough to realize what he was doing. I don't want to start discussing what happened or what they were doing. They both didn't come out looking so hot, but the dinner etiquette was something that I knew everyone here could give me answers with.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to give me their input. If it ever gets brought up again, I can explain it to her better.

Now that you've got out opinions, can you tell us what happened on the rest of the date?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on March 28, 2012, 06:24:41 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

He turned out to be pretty awful, so don't let the OP fool you.

I didn't include what happened after dinner, because I only wanted opinions about the dinner. But believe me when I say that he turned out to be a pretty awful date.

I wonder if that was retaliatory rudeness on his part.

I doubt he was aware enough to realize what he was doing. I don't want to start discussing what happened or what they were doing. They both didn't come out looking so hot, but the dinner etiquette was something that I knew everyone here could give me answers with.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to give me their input. If it ever gets brought up again, I can explain it to her better.

Now that you've got out opinions, can you tell us what happened on the rest of the date?

I'm glad you asked first..... because that was a real teaser and I'm dying to know now.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lollylegs on March 28, 2012, 06:42:57 PM
I would have paid the $20 :) And I would have considered it a kindness from Sarah to let me know up front what kind of person she is in regards to her views on men.

It's a shame, because the guy in this story sounds like a real stand up person who wanted a relationship rather than a fling. For a lot of men, the goal of dating is not a relationship at all, and to that end paying the money would raise their chances of getting what they want eventually. Not all men, just many (before I get ripped to shreds).

He turned out to be pretty awful, so don't let the OP fool you.

I didn't include what happened after dinner, because I only wanted opinions about the dinner. But believe me when I say that he turned out to be a pretty awful date.

I wonder if that was retaliatory rudeness on his part.

I doubt he was aware enough to realize what he was doing. I don't want to start discussing what happened or what they were doing. They both didn't come out looking so hot, but the dinner etiquette was something that I knew everyone here could give me answers with.

I really appreciate everyone taking the time to give me their input. If it ever gets brought up again, I can explain it to her better.

Now that you've got out opinions, can you tell us what happened on the rest of the date?

I'm glad you asked first..... because that was a real teaser and I'm dying to know now.

Haha, I'm glad you feel the same, I deliberated for ages before posting that question because I was worried I'd look too nosy.  Also, by 'out opinions' I obviously mean 'our opinions'.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 28, 2012, 10:35:22 PM
First, thank you, Decimus, I now want to change my screen name to Dollymop.  :P

Back on track... FWIW, I'm about Sara's age and I don't hold the view that a first date must of course, without even the need to speak of it, include dinner, even when other non-dinner activities have been specifically agreed to. Nor do I feel that the man must automatically pay for this dinner, should it occur, just because he's the man.

That said, I don't think it's necessarily wrong of Sara to feel this way. Hey, whatever, she can believe that a true first date must include hamster races and duct tape crafts. What I think is wrong is 1) to not state her expectations upfront when the date was in the planning stages (even better, put them in her profile) and 2) to try and pressure the guy into paying when he clearly had no plan to (first clue--didn't invite her to dinner, second clue--had already eaten, third clue--spent no money on himself at the restaurant, fourth clue--did not reach for the check!).

Other posters have covered 1) pretty well, but I dislike 2) a lot as well. Like I said, I think it's fine if that's what she WANTS. But, on a first date especially, aren't people paying close attention to the other person, trying to figure out if they're compatible with each other? Especially if they've only just met online? I just think it's very rude that she ignored all the signals he was giving off that he was NOT going to pay for dinner, and tried to get him to do it anyway. It makes her seem very self-centered, like she wasn't even interested in his thoughts or beliefs about things. For me there's just something very entitled about one adult saying to another adult, practically a stranger, "Hey, aren't you going to buy this for me?!" when the other person has shown NO interest in doing so up to that point.

If she had turned him away at the door when he said he'd already eaten, I would think her less rude on that score--at least that would mean she realized he was probably not of the same fundamental attitude as her, and respected his time enough to not waste it further. From that point on it just feels to me like she was trying to see how much she could get out of him, and I don't think that's a polite attitude to take on a date.

BTW, OP, I appreciate you withholding the rest of the date story so far. In no way am I criticizing those who are curious, but I think this has been a really interesting discussion so far, and I have a feeling that if you DO post the rest of the date, the discussion is going to change completely! :)
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Allyson on March 28, 2012, 11:56:20 PM
There are two ways of politely dealing with who buys the meal. The old-fashioned way is that the man invites the woman, selects the venue, and pays, while the woman smiles at his choices, even if they're soda crackers and tap water for two. The new way involves more flexiblity in who can suggest where to eat, but also suggests that people are on their own for what they order.

This is pretty much how I feel, also. I don't really like it when someone expects 'traditional' behaviour from their date, but then seems to think they can act in whatever way they want. He's a mooch or a loser for not following traditional etiquette and paying for everything--but she's perfectly in the rights to drag him out to dinner?

I'd feel the same way were it a guy who expected his date to be perfectly made up and behaving in a traditionally 'ladylike' way while he honked at her from his car rather than approaching the door, and so on.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Twik on March 29, 2012, 12:22:14 PM
I agree that it was more than he could afford. My response was to your post suggesting that Sara was trying to get a fancy meal on someone else's dime. To her, that restaurant wasn't a fancy one and she also ordered on the low side. She probably thought she was being a good date.

I agree she "thought" it. But she's terribly naive, if she thought she was being a good date by demanding to be fed, and ignoring all cues from her date that it was more than he could afford. What is a cheap meal for some people is a month's free cash for others.

She seems to feel that, "Oh, I'm not interested in whether my date is rich, I'm very non-materialistic," but then assumes that all men must be at least on her financial level, with oodles of cash to spare on impressing her. She will have to learn that this is not always, or even often, true.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: nonesuch4 on March 30, 2012, 06:23:04 PM
I've been reading with interest, as I've returned to dating after a 27 year respite.

I enjoy meals out, especially since I am not an inspired cook.  The last few dates I had, though, I carried cash with me, and at least offered to help with the bill.  My offer was declined each time.  We were vocal and clear about what activities were included in the date.  My online profile is straightforward enough to state, "If you're looking for a buxom woman, I'll save you some time.  I'm not."

I have no hard-and-fast rule that first dates must include dinner, though.  Sometimes my initial detective work has been less than stellar.  If I have questions I may just meet for coffee.  Spending an entire afternoon with someone old enough to date my mother was just awkward.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: saki on April 01, 2012, 05:21:55 AM
I'm a bit horrified by Sara.   If I were her date, I'd thank my lucky stars that she revealed her personality so quickly.

Even if you genuinely believe that men should pay on dates, it's incredibly rude to explicitly ask them to and not even offer to pay.  And, if you're the only one who ate, I think you should expect to pay and insist on it, even if your date wants to.

She can think she's a good date but, IMO, she's completely wrong.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: SiotehCat on April 01, 2012, 08:16:58 AM
Sara is older than I am and has been on a thousand more dates than I have, so I don't usually give her dating advice.

The most recent thing I have heard about her online dating is that she has found someone she really likes. They have gone out a few times now. The very first time they met, they agreed to meet at a local restaurant. She told me that she asked him who was paying for it even before they ordered. I had to laugh.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lilfox on April 02, 2012, 06:18:48 PM
I thought this was interesting - I told Sara's story to a group of friends.  I got to the part where the check came and Sara looked at the guy, waiting for him to take it, and the woman in my group immediately said "Oh no, that's so rude!"  After I finished the story, the two men didn't care whether Sara outright asked her date to pay.  One guy said "he clearly didn't like her or he would have grabbed the check right away" and the other indicated that if he had been the date, he probably would have paid (to avoid the awkwardness) but not considered a second date.

In my own dating history - on first dates (where the guy asked me out), I always offered to split the check.  It was a holdover from being a poor student, but this was well into my early 30s.  I found that the guys who accepted the offer to split the check never asked for a second date.  Guys who insisted on paying the whole tab were the ones who were interested.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: shhh its me on April 02, 2012, 06:21:31 PM
I thought this was interesting - I told Sara's story to a group of friends.  I got to the part where the check came and Sara looked at the guy, waiting for him to take it, and the woman in my group immediately said "Oh no, that's so rude!"  After I finished the story, the two men didn't care whether Sara outright asked her date to pay.  One guy said "he clearly didn't like her or he would have grabbed the check right away" and the other indicated that if he had been the date, he probably would have paid (to avoid the awkwardness) but not considered a second date.

In my own dating history - on first dates (where the guy asked me out), I always offered to split the check.  It was a holdover from being a poor student, but this was well into my early 30s.  I found that the guys who accepted the offer to split the check never asked for a second date.  Guys who insisted on paying the whole tab were the ones who were interested.

I can see that but I can also see her behavior up to that point being the sole reason they were not intersted. KWIM? 
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: figee on April 02, 2012, 10:39:27 PM
I thought this was interesting - I told Sara's story to a group of friends.  I got to the part where the check came and Sara looked at the guy, waiting for him to take it, and the woman in my group immediately said "Oh no, that's so rude!"  After I finished the story, the two men didn't care whether Sara outright asked her date to pay.  One guy said "he clearly didn't like her or he would have grabbed the check right away" and the other indicated that if he had been the date, he probably would have paid (to avoid the awkwardness) but not considered a second date.

In my own dating history - on first dates (where the guy asked me out), I always offered to split the check.  It was a holdover from being a poor student, but this was well into my early 30s.  I found that the guys who accepted the offer to split the check never asked for a second date.  Guys who insisted on paying the whole tab were the ones who were interested.

Interesting because that was my experience and attitude as well.  I always used to offer to pay my own way, if only to avoid the sense that the guy was then 'entitled' to anythingt afterwards.  The offer was accepted sometimes, but I never saw those guys again.  The BEST one I remember was the guy who waited till I went to the loo, called for the cheque and then waited till I got backl.  He then said, 'I know you'd rather pay your way, and that's fine.  But I'd really like it if you let me buy you dinner.'  I thought that, in terms of managing my need for independence and his desire to take care of me, he managed an elegant solution.  We went out for some time after that, though I then left the country. 
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: saki on April 03, 2012, 12:36:54 PM
I also recounted this to friends and all - male and female - thought Sara was incredibly rude. All anecodal, clearly. Also, my male friends generally said that they wouldn't ask a woman on a second date if she hadn't at least offered to pay.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: miranova on April 04, 2012, 03:24:25 PM
Also, my male friends generally said that they wouldn't ask a woman on a second date if she hadn't at least offered to pay.

Did they mean in general or THIS woman specifically?  Because if they mean in general, I find that very odd and not at all my experience.  In my dating days, if a man asked me to dinner and chose a restaurant, I understood that to mean that he was offering to pay for dinner.  In every situation like this, my date grabbed the check as soon as it arrived.  One time, exactly one time, I offered to contribute after my date had grabbed the check.  He was actually insulted, and said "I asked you to dinner, I would not have asked if I expected you to pay".  After that I was a bit afraid to offer in the future!  Also, I never heard from "insulted man" again.  So I literally have had the opposite experience as your post, lol.  I guess that just shows how varied our experiences can be!

Back to the original topic, I will add to the chorus of people who find the OP's friend extremely rude.

I was never a person who thought that a first date must include dinner, but I did not accept dates from men who pulled the "let's meet for drinks at a restaurant immediately before dinner time" because I don't like that strategy.  It's a test, to see if you are good enough/attractive enough/whatever enough to stay for dinner.  Then if you make the cut, suddenly it's "hey let's just get a table!"  No thanks.  If you want a dinner date, ask for one in advance.  Sure there is a risk you won't like me and will have to sit through dinner with someone you don't like.  But I'm taking that risk too by accepting a dinner date.  If you can't/won't take that risk, then our personalities aren't going to match.  I would accept first dates other than dinner, just not that particular type.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 04, 2012, 04:27:00 PM
I had one guy contact me on an on-line dating site.  He was going to drive to my city (~1 hour) and take me out to dinner.  It made me a little uncomfortable, since we hadn't communicated much.  So I countered with meeting about halfway and starting with coffee.  I never heard from him again.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: lollylegs on April 04, 2012, 07:29:54 PM
Also, my male friends generally said that they wouldn't ask a woman on a second date if she hadn't at least offered to pay.

Did they mean in general or THIS woman specifically?  Because if they mean in general, I find that very odd and not at all my experience.  In my dating days, if a man asked me to dinner and chose a restaurant, I understood that to mean that he was offering to pay for dinner.  In every situation like this, my date grabbed the check as soon as it arrived.  One time, exactly one time, I offered to contribute after my date had grabbed the check.  He was actually insulted, and said "I asked you to dinner, I would not have asked if I expected you to pay".  After that I was a bit afraid to offer in the future!  Also, I never heard from "insulted man" again.  So I literally have had the opposite experience as your post, lol.  I guess that just shows how varied our experiences can be!

-snip-

Well the two situations are a bit different, the woman in the OP wasn't invited to dinner.  But I do agree with you, when I was dating I found it was a 50/50 split between guys who would get insulted if you offered to pay and guys who would get insulted if you didn't at least reach for the bill.  dating experiences really are varied, aren't they?
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: Emmy on April 22, 2012, 12:02:14 PM
I thought this was interesting - I told Sara's story to a group of friends.  I got to the part where the check came and Sara looked at the guy, waiting for him to take it, and the woman in my group immediately said "Oh no, that's so rude!"  After I finished the story, the two men didn't care whether Sara outright asked her date to pay.  One guy said "he clearly didn't like her or he would have grabbed the check right away" and the other indicated that if he had been the date, he probably would have paid (to avoid the awkwardness) but not considered a second date.

In my own dating history - on first dates (where the guy asked me out), I always offered to split the check.  It was a holdover from being a poor student, but this was well into my early 30s.  I found that the guys who accepted the offer to split the check never asked for a second date.  Guys who insisted on paying the whole tab were the ones who were interested.

I have been married for 6 years, but did a lot of online dating before meeting DH.  I also found the bolded to be true.  One surefire sign a guy was interested in another date was when he quickly picked up the tab on a first date.  When the guy accepted my offer to split the bill, usually I never heard from him again.  I actually preferred it because I would rather pay my own way if I knew there was no chemistry and I wouldn't see the guy again.  In a situation that was not a date, such as dining out with a group of friends, when a guy would offer to pick up the tab for my meal, buy me a snack, ect. that often meant he liked me. 

I am more old-fashioned and appreciate a guy who plans and pays for a first date, but still feel Sara was wrong.  It was rude of her to change the plans and then expect him to pay for her meal.  She can't expect that everybody has the same views on dating that she does and that the guy taking the girl out for dinner on a first date is something everybody does.  I am Sara's age and find the fact that she knew Jon was is in his early 20's and doesn't have a lot of money makes her behavior even more rude.  $20 may not be a lot of money to many people including Sara, but would be a lot of money to many people in their early 20's. 

If Sara has expectations of a dinner date, she should only accept dinner dates.  I also think she is much less likely to find guys who would take women on dinner dates in their early 20's.  When I was that age, many of my dates were just hanging out at somebody's house, taking a walk in a park, going to a movie, or something else inexpensive.  Many people that age have several expenses, but don't have high paying jobs.
Title: Re: First date paying for dinner question.
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on April 22, 2012, 03:26:00 PM
It's not just the money - Sara changed the entire atmosphere of the date.  If I was invited over for drinks and gaming at someone's house, I'd expect a casual, laid-back evening.  Suddenly, going out to a fancy sit-down restaurant gets thrown into the mix.  I wouldn't have the mindset for that and would probably be underdressed.  If Sara really just wanted something to eat, regardless of who she expected to pay, why didn't she just order pizza or take-out and stick with the original plan?  Sounds like she deliberately pulled a bait-and-switch to me.