Author Topic: First date paying for dinner question.  (Read 23677 times)

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Vall

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #90 on: March 27, 2012, 05:45:17 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.

jmarvellous

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #91 on: March 27, 2012, 05:47:58 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.)

lollylegs

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #92 on: March 27, 2012, 06:29:38 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."

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #93 on: March 27, 2012, 06:59:55 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"

baglady

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #94 on: March 27, 2012, 08:26:18 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.
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Allyson

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #95 on: March 27, 2012, 10:14:18 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.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #96 on: March 28, 2012, 06:56:26 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. 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #97 on: March 28, 2012, 07:24:23 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.

DavidH

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #98 on: March 28, 2012, 11:32:42 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.

Tai

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #99 on: March 28, 2012, 12:58:48 PM »
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". 


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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #100 on: March 28, 2012, 01:21:29 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!   ::)

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Reason

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #101 on: March 28, 2012, 02:33:59 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).


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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #102 on: March 28, 2012, 02:46:10 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.
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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #103 on: March 28, 2012, 03:48:58 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.

SiotehCat

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Re: First date paying for dinner question.
« Reply #104 on: March 28, 2012, 03:54:02 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.