Question: After a year of online dating I have decided the best first dates are coffee dates because of the low cost and casual, quiet atmosphere. There is one place in particular that I try to meet my first dates at. Every time I suggest it, they never heard of it but they always tell me upon arrival it is such a cute place and love the atmosphere. It looks like the set of Friends with cozy tables/chairs and couches.
The problem is that this coffee place has desserts and serves food. When the wait staff brings the menu, the coffee,teas,desserts are on the same menu as the flat bread sandwiches and other foods they serve. The ladies act pleasantly surprised they have such good food selections and then want to order the food. That surprises me because when we make plans, I suggest coffee/tea and never mention food.
When they mention they want to try the grilled chicken panini or spinach dip with bread, I feel like I am put on the spot. Not every girl does this, but enough of them do to prompt me to write. My choices are to go along with it and take it in stride or object. I have never objected. Of course I will follow suit and order something to eat too since it would feel awkward if she ate and I watched her. I think their intention is to meet for coffee but when they see the menu perhaps they think food is fair game? My plans for a low cost first coffee date turns into a more moderate $35 date. Not expensive but certainly not the intended $10 cost I was counting upon. After a year of online dating, I know it is a fool’s game to spend anything more than 10 bucks on a first meeting due to the uncertainty of first date outcomes.
Some of these dates went on to 2nd and 3rd dates and sometimes more so the initial investment was well worth it in the end for me with those women. But some went the route of 1st date failure with the no chemistry reasoning or disappearing act. I wonder why many ladies feel it is OK to ask or suggest the food when the menu is brought to us when the whole point of being there in the first place was just coffee. It seems my only options are to object at the meal ordering (and kill the chances of a successful date), go along with it (increase the chances of a successful date like I have done) or not bring them there at all. The last option would be a shame because the place is just that good. Can you give me your thoughts on this? Thank you.
The appropriate protocol for a first date, especially a first meet up from an online date, is to stick to the plan. If the plan is to meet “for drinks” then nobody should assume that it’s okay to upgrade. Eat before the date. It’s rude to show up for a pre-arranged cocktail/coffee date and then take it upon yourself to upgrade. If you are hungry, then you should make it clear to your date that you plan on covering your share of the tab for that order. Stick to the plan.
If you don’t want to get bamboozled into paying more than $10 for a date, then find a place that doesn’t offer food. If it is that big of a deal for you then don’t put yourself in a situation to have to break your piggy bank open and spend a whole $35.
As much as I loathe people who take advantage in situations like this, I find it unfortunate that you’re one of those “I refuse to spend more than $10 on a date” guys. You must have heard that from another guy or on some forum somewhere. Allow me to womansplain something to you…never take dating advice from guys who gather on the internet to trash woman and dating. The whole reason they are there is because they haven’t had much luck. Ergo, their advice is tainted and they don’t actually want you to succeed. They will use you as a soldier to carry out their desire to hurt women.
Breaking….dating isn’t cheap. Nobody can successfully date when they decide that they are going to be one of the “smart” people and not spend more than $10 on a date. Plus, unless you don’t drink alcohol, coffee dates are lame. There. I said it. The settings of places like that are not conducive to creating the right environment. Those places are loud and have a slew of laptop hobos (TM Gawker) hovering around. Those types of dates are stiff and unpleasant.
It’s fine to say that you’re not going to spend more than X amount on a date. Nobody is saying you need to spend $100 on a date. But you should be willing to fork over more than the equivalent of an 8 year old’s allowance. I understand how frustrating it can be to hand over $50-$75 a date to have nothing come of it. But that’s dating. You win some, you lose some. If you walk into every date with the mindset that you refuse to be played or taken advantage of, you’re sabotaging your chances of success. You will never revolutionize the dating game with your little Ten Dollar Test. Trust me.
You need to change your approach. Your first dates should be at a modestly priced bar. Don’t take a menu if offered. That should be a clue to the woman that you don’t plan on eating or footing a bill beyond what you originally agreed. If she doesn’t follow your lead, then let her order whatever. If you like her and want to see her again, pay the bill. If you don’t, slide that check right over to her side and put down a $20. Don’t blink an eye or worry what she’ll think of you. Who cares? You’ll never see her again.
The true problem here is that you care way too much what these women think. They don’t appear to show the same concern, do they? If you don’t like her, don’t pay for her. If you do, pay. It’s simple. If she’s a smart woman, she’ll know that she needs to demonstrate her appreciation with a genuine offer to help pay the bill or an offer to cover what she ordered. If she’s not and she expects guys to just foot the bill because they’re the man, then that’s why they’re single in the first place. They will go out with guys who pay the tab every time and delude themselves into believing that the guy does that because he really likes them. Um..not necessarily. $100/$200 per date is nothing to a lot of men. If a woman refuses to reach into her pocket date after date, I can assure you that there is a really good chance that she will end up sleeping with that guy and then never hear from him again. If a guy doesn’t see that offer or see any true reciprocation on the first few dates, he checks out emotionally and mentally. It then becomes about getting a return on his investment. You do it to yourselves, ladies.
Just like men can spot the “I won’t sleep with a guy until we’re exclusive because I’ve been pumped and dumped over and over” women, women can spot the “I won’t pay much for a date because I go after women way out of my league and get used” men. Really, we’re on to you. We know what you’re doing with the coffee date idea. That’s probably a reason why so many of these women take it upon themselves to order from the menu. You’re telling women, with your decision to take them to Central Perk, that you’re someone who gets taken advantage of.That’s usually what happens with these kinds of tests. They back fire. A lot.
You could also maybe cut back on the number of dates you go on in any given time frame. You don’t have to meet anybody who shows interest, you know. You are allowed to filter people out. Your pool will not dry up. Part of the problem here is that you appear to have bad taste in women.
I agree with you that it’s rude of these women to make these assumptions. The upside is that this a great way to get a glimpse of the woman’s beliefs and expectations. But to whine about it just makes you seem weak. Dating costs money. Women like to feel desired and appreciated and, unfortunately, use how much a man spends as a barometer for how interested he is. Sometimes you just need to suck it up and go with it.