If It’s Not A Date Does He Still Have To Pay?

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Frankdating11

Comment: I have been noticing on a lot of female profiles recently that say something like the first meeting isn’t considered a date. For example, here is a quote from a woman’s profile in the First Date section:

“Meeting for a cup of coffee or drink, see if there is a spark or interest, then set up a first date.”

If the woman explicitly states that first meeting isn’t considered a date, then do the social expectations of the guy paying for that cup of coffee or drink still apply?

I understand that people may feel a first meeting isn’t a date, but I have never seen it announced upfront as much as I have recently. Any thoughts on this? Thank you.
Age: 49
City: Westchester
State: NY


I would sooner stick a hot fork in my eye than meet someone from a dating site who had this kind of disclaimer in their profile. It reeks of needing to be coddled. It’s thinly veiled ambivalence about the whole online dating process, and I find that kind of thing exhausting. Dating is difficult enough. Nobody needs to be on probation for something they haven’t even done yet.

That first meeting is a date. If you get gussied up and you leave your house to have a conversation with a person in the hopes of there being attraction and chemistry, it’s a date. No amount of soft shoeing is going to change that. People try to make a distinction between the two in order to remove the pressure. The problem with that is that the pressure to perform still exists. The pressure is still there. Changing the label of the meeting doesn’t achieve what they think it achieves.

If someone explicitly states in their profile that the first meeting isn’t a date, then I think both parties should be responsible for paying their own way. Caveat emptor and all that shit. Here’s what typically happens: Two people meet under the guise of it not being a date. Conversation flows. They both flirt. One drink turns to two. Uh oh. Now what? This sure feels like a date! In which case, the best approach is to then treat it as such, forgetting the original disclaimer that this is not a date.

Of course, we all know this is a test, right? If the guy doesn’t offer to pay, he’ll be deemed cheap.

This is why you don’t say things like this in your profile. Comments like this send a mixed message. It’s a date. Deal with it.






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132 Responses to “If It’s Not A Date Does He Still Have To Pay?”

  1. Almontas Says:

    I agree that if the first date is not a real date then you shouldn’t pay….This is not something that I would write on my profile. Nevertheless, I think what they are trying to get at is that the first meeting should not be a dinner or something super expensive or time consuming. More like something low key. If that’s the case couldn’t a man afford a cup of coffee? Would probably get it down to $10.00……If I am going to go out of my way to meet this person…I can afford the cup of coffee.

    If you are that unsure…do not meet them.

    • J Says:

      That’s what I was wondering too. Does it matter? It’s a cup of coffee. Either buy it or don’t but don’t agonize over it. If you can’t afford a cup of coffee you probably can’t afford to date. It’s expensive for all parties involved.

    • C Says:

      Basically, if you want to see the woman again, pay for the coffee. If not, then dont.

      Honestly, I’m surprised this question has come up. I buy coffee, drinks, treats and meals for friends, coworkers, dates and boyfriends. On occassion, I buy coffee and a sandwhich for homeless people. Are there guys out there who are really sweating $1.95 at Starbucks?

      Frankly, I would pass on both the woman who says “this is not a date” and the guy who wants to know “do I have to buy the coffee”.

      • Eliza Says:

        Thank you C! Talk about being exhausting and petty. What an absurd ignorant query to pose. It’s $2. It’s no wonder dating has become anything BUT fun, and something we all look forward to – with nonsense like this, and wanting to see 50+ more photos – minutes before meeting at some lame Starbuck’s for a cup of Joe! This is why – just going out – and meeting someone face to face is something less of a hassle. Than having to through such hurdles in the screeming process with online meets with disclaimers, and warnings, and God knows what else…finger printing is next?!

      • Greg Figueroa Says:

        But what if your friends and co workers expected you to pay every time? It’s great to be generous, but everyone has their limits.

        • Lisa Says:

          It’s not my fault or my problem that a guy I’m going out w/ previously asked out a lot of different women and paid for all those dates and none worked out. Or if he had a girlfrkend who always made him pay when they went out. Past history and nothing to do with me. Maybe I got my hair and toenails done for the last 100 first dates I’d been on. Not his concern.

          • J Says:

            Right! I wore a $150 dress on a date with a man who showed up in flip flops. I was pissed. Another time I wore a really nice and form fitting cocktail dress and 5 inch heels to dinner with yet another guy who showed up in flip flops. To make a long story short even though I’ve noticed a pattern of guys putting little effort into getting ready for dates, I still make every effort to look my best. Two wrongs don’t make a right and trying to screw someone before they screw you makes you both lose. Who knows, the one time I don’t dress up will be the one time a guy does.

            • mindstar Says:

              But did you buy that dress specifically for that date and will you never wear it again? Unlikely. The money the OP spends is gone forever.

              What the OP should realize is that paying for drinks and yes even coffee is a cost of doing business.

              If you not willing to pay for even coffee ALL women will see you as cheap and in the dating game that’s worse than being a bad kisser

              • J Says:

                I didn’t say I bought the dress for the date. I said I wore it. I could’ve worn a $20 dress or better yet a pair of jeans. But no I pulled out my hot, new, more expensive dress in order to make an effort. Effort= the point of my story. Some people waste effort, some people waste money. You can always make more money.

                • Nathan Says:

                  I think women make the mistake of assuming men really care about effort like the dress upgrade. Most of us don’t. If we are attracted to you, either dress will be good. If not, it doesn’t matter what you do.

                  • LostSailor Says:

                    Most of us don’t.

                    Speak for yourself. There’s effort to dress up and there’s effort. If you mean that make-up and great style can’t hide flaws, well, you’re wrong. It can. And just as I would never show up on a date in an old T-shirt and flip-flops, a woman’s effort does matter, for both first impressions and “attraction.” It may or may not go the distance, but it does make a difference…

                    • Nathan Says:

                      My point wasn’t about rejecting the power of great style, nor effort. I’m all for that. What I was talking about is the fact that if a woman has great style, or even a good sense of style, it will be reflected in whatever clothes she has. The cheaper dress will still make a good impression, and the difference between that and the new, expensive dress will be minimal. Some forms of effort are much more likely to be seen than others.

              • Eliza Says:

                The cost of doing “business” – the cost being a whopping – $2. Geez…with that type of mentality–just stay home then. I will pay for my own coffee thank you. So sad….to be reading such nonsense. It’s a lame cup of joe. Nothing more.
                And women also pay with their time, and energy – like men do – so that’s basically everyone’s Cost of Doing Business.
                As for Nathan’s comment…”Some” men do appreciate and acknowledge when a women DOES put effort into how they look, pulled together…and likewise for women who find it appealing when a man shows up looking pulled together and a guy that does put effort into how he looks/shows up for date.

            • Jesse Says:

              What Island do you live on?

        • C Says:

          I’d feel taken advantage of. Thats why I always insist on buying dinner by the 3rd or 4th date and I rarely have my offer rebuffed.

          The problem isnt a need for someone to spend $2 on me. The issue is that someone is deliberately breaking with social norms and its left up to me to read into what is meant by it. Some women will undoubtedly find going dutch as refreshing, many women will read something negative into it. Thats basically what you are seeing.

          If I woke up tomorrow and this social norm of men paying for first dates had passed into antiquaty, I cant speak for others but I personally couldnt care less. I buy myself $2 cups of coffee all the time.

          • Nicole Says:

            “The problem isnt a need for someone to spend $2 on me. The issue is that someone is deliberately breaking with social norms and its left up to me to read into what is meant by it. ”

            Yes. Exactly. I probably went on a couple dozen first dates while I was online, and not one guy accepted my offer to pay my half. So if someone had, I would have seen it as a message that he wasn’t interested and would rather save his money for the next girl.

            I personally found coffee dates to be a sign that someone was unsure, either about dating in general or me in particular. Only twice did the guy suggest just meeting for coffee, all the others wanted happy hour, lunch, or dinner for a first date. Both guys who wanted a coffee meet and greet were obviously hedging their bets and planning a quick escape – one actually told me so at the end of the date, the other was more subtle and just said that he was “pleasantly surprised” by me, lol.

            Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with coffee – I’m an addict myself. It’s just that I’d rather go out with a guy who’s optimistic, excited to meet me, and ready to have a great time together than one who’s expecting to be disappointed. I’m guessing in places where coffee first dates are the norm, women don’t read anything into it and it’s not a big deal.

            • C Says:

              Thats a really interesting perspective. I’ve been on tons of coffee dates and never thought anything of it but you are so right about a coffee date being pessimistic and a case of hedging your bets. I always suggested coffee dates because I didnt want the guy to spend much money knowing that at least 9 times out of 10 there wouldnt be a second date. I never realized how pessimistic that was! I guess learning to have very low expectations is the downside of online dating.

              • Nathan Says:

                Coffee dates are not pessimistic. They are just an easy default that people fall back on. The thing is, a guy can be excited to meet you and optimistic through the roof in any venue. And likewise, a guy can pay for a fancy meal for you and have been lukewarm about you from the moment you walked in the door.

                People seem to forget that we are usually talking about strangers meeting for the first time. Which means venue choices are going to be about comfort and ease. Coffee. Drinks. Somewhere with light food options. Whichever it is, the point is being somewhere familiar and not very expensive.

                In addition, there is also the unfortunate numbers game with online dating. Once you have been around awhile, the novelty of getting excited and being highly optimistic wears off. And the desire and/or ability to take every first date out for a fancy meal also tends to go. Which means either that you become more picky and go out less, or you opt for coffee or happy hour dates. This may seem pessimistic, but it often is just being realistic.

                • Nicole Says:

                  “In addition, there is also the unfortunate numbers game with online dating. Once you have been around awhile, the novelty of getting excited and being highly optimistic wears off. ”

                  I never felt like that. Maybe I never dated enough to feel that way? Both times I tried online dating, I had a blast. And both times, I met somebody awesome within a couple of months of going on 2-3 dates a week.

                  Honestly I was super excited about every first date. And I had fun on all of them, even when it was obvious the guy and I weren’t a good fit. Everyone I met was, at minimum, interesting and fun to talk to.

                  I did email with a few guys who seemed super skeptical about finding someone. One flat out asked me why someone “pretty and personable” would even be online, one asked if he was being catfished, lol. I had no interest in meeting those men, if you go into it with that attitude, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

                  • Nathan Says:

                    “I had no interest in meeting those men, if you go into it with that attitude, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy.” I had no interest in women who displayed similar attitudes. I met women who had nothing but complaints about their lives to share, or who had so little self esteem left from their dating experiences that we could barely have a conversation.

                    There’s a difference, though, between that and the general recognition that the odds are you’re just meeting once. Or maybe a handful of times. I was always interested and engaged on my dates, usually had a good time, and certainly there was some hope lingering behind that it might turn into something. But eventually, the super excitement phases passes. You were fortunate.

                  • C Says:

                    The expectation that every date can lead to something special is lost (for me anyway) after doing enough online dating. Ive done it off and on for over a decade so probably at least a half dozen times. It got to the point where meeting someone I actually wanted to go out with became a pleasant surprise so I started planning for quick, cheap, easy first meeting. I suppose whether you call that realism or pessimism depends on you point of view.

                    • Nicole Says:

                      I didn’t so much have an expectation that most dates would lead to something special… Just that they would be fun in and of themselves. I like meeting new people. I like trying new restaurants or bars. (I actually like trying new coffee houses and going for walks, too.)

                      I guess I just hated the idea that a first date should be a screening date, rather then a chance to meet someone cool and have a nice time.

                  • MistyMary Says:

                    My experience was similar. Did eharm after my divorce and had a two year relationship. Then Match and had a 1yr relationship.

                    I loved coffee dates. They were fun, no pressure, and sooooo much less akward than going out. I don’t see why people would consider it pessimistic, and I can’t for the life of me understand how a man could feel put out buying a cup of coffee. It seems to be a minimal investment to me if you aren’t asking out every available woman online.

                    Dating shouldn’t be a numbers game if you are doing it right., and aren’t just feeding your ego. I got an overwhelming response online and I screened very carefully. If their was an interest I made sure there was a fair amount of quality and consistent communication, and phone conversations before meeting. Why all the level jumping? Can’t people just enjoy the process and reign in their expecatations a little bit? It’s just coffee!

      • Steve From the City Next Door Says:

        I am coming to you Starbucks… I cannot seem to get out of one for less than about $4 a person…with women being toward the higher end. I have had a date order a drink that was almost $10 with tip (some venti Frappie with an extra shot…oh and almond milk…etc)

        I have no problem paying back for my friends and family. They do the same for me too.

        My dating (or not I guess in the case) experience has been that I am always expected to pay. It gets old. If a friend always expects me to pay he gets labelled a free loader and doesn’t get invited along.

        • mindstar Says:

          Yep Steve it’s the old conflict between the patriarchal expectation that men should always play and the modern Western feminist principles of complete social, legal and fiscal equality. (Paraphrasing a quote I once read) but its NOT going to change. So again it’s a cost of doing business.

          • LostSailor Says:

            it’s the old conflict between the patriarchal expectation

            Women (and even hardcore feminists) will rail against patriarchy right up until the moment the check arrives, and then the unspoken thing is that maybe some parts of patriarch aren’t so bad…

            • C Says:

              Theres a lot of old patriarchal norms that benefited women that have been tossed out including the no sex before marriage and no sex before commitment rules. The days of a pump and dump turning shot gun wedding have been replaced with a child support check and the message that it was her own stupid fault.  

              If you dont want to pay for 1st dates, by all means dont. I promise if you ask women to go dutch when you show up for that first date, most will. So whats stopping you?

              • LostSailor Says:

                If you dont want to pay for 1st dates, by all means dont. I…So whats stopping you?

                Nothing. There have certainly been a few dates where my date did the fake reach for the check and I’ve given them a smile and a “Thanks!” The look on their face has always been priceless. Of course, there was no second date, nor was I expecting one. And that’s the point. For all the social change, men are still expected to pay, especially if they want a second or third date.

                With women I’ve been in longer term relationships with, this isn’t a problem and we always tended to alternate. One even planned and paid for a surprise lunch at Per Se.

                As for the detritus of the sexual revolution, I’m not complaining, it’s done pretty well by me. But as far as I’m concerned, single mothers made their choice and are on their own.

    • Selena Says:

      “I think what they are trying to get at is that the first meeting should not be a dinner or something super expensive or time consuming. ”

      Sounds sensible to me. If people are meeting for the first time they don’t know how attracted they may or may not be, or whether or not they will have a rapport. A coffee/ drink date can always be extended. A dinner/activity date cannot usually be shortened without appearing rude.

      As far as paying for the coffee/drink…a man does not make a bad impression by offering to pay especially for something so small, so why not?

    • AC Says:

      What you said about the first date not being time-consuming or expensive is a great point. It seems any time a question having to do with money or etiquette is posed, there’a circle of readers who like to to bash OP’s who dare ask such questions. Talk about being judgmental. To the OP, there’s nothing wrong with your question. Anyone who takes a shot at you is saying more about themselves and they are about you

      • Selena Says:

        As a question from a young man new to dating I wouldn’t see anything wrong with it. From a 49 yr old man it seems odd.

        • AC Says:

          Some 49 year-olds haven’t dated in 10-20 years
          because they’re recently divorced and the rules have changed
          so much. I think the best advice is if you like the woman
          pay, if not don’t. Nobody owes anybody

          • Selena Says:

            And as we see from the comment section of this blog, there is often disagreement about what the ‘rules’ are. :)

          • James Says:

            I always pay for the first date. That’s what being a man is all about. If a guy is too cheap to do that, well then, expect to be alone awhile. Some women will appreciate it and say thank you. Others won’t even say thank you. It’s to be expected. Those who don’t say thank you are ditched.
            Part of dating for a man means dressing decently and paying for the freaking date. If a woman joins me for a drink I will pay. If I feel I’m being played then I do a vanishing act. I’ve done it before.

      • AC Says:

        “Anyone who takes a shot at you is saying more about themselves and they are about you”

        Hence, the thumbs down party. I hate being right sometimes

    • Howard Says:

      With online dating, I understand the need for a look over. I just pay for this type of thing even if a woman offers. But I am not going to put my standard on every guy. For some guys, the principle of a woman offering means something. And I can understand their position. The guys I don’t get are the ones who think ten bucks is that much, but it aint my budget, so don’t let me be hating.

      The tricky part though, with these things, is often when things go well and the first encounter flows into a full blown date. I generally pay for those, because it means the chemistry is really good. I think a woman should make some offer in these situations because the encounter enters into a new budget situation, which the guy may not have planned on. While I don’t care so much about her offering on the coffee thing, it does speak volumes about her sense of consideration for others, when she offers on the upgraded date. When that happens, I generally say, “My treat this time, maybe next time”

      One of the things about being online enough, is being able to decipher really early. If one learns this, then even the coffee date becomes unnecessary, or just the prelude to the upgraded date. Endless coffee dates can become such a waste of time. There is a myth that the more opportunities we have, the better chances we have, ergo many coffee dates. The trap here is that we may lower our standards, because we have less skin in the game.

      Moxie does not believe in phone conversations before physically meeting online prospects. I however, have had very good success with the brief phone conversation, before physically meeting. It’s more about the communication style that matters to me. I don’t even need to be on the phone that long to figure if the communication is going to flow when we meet.

      • ThatFatBish Says:

        Yeah, I’m not putting my cute clothes on and leaving my house to meet someone I haven’t at least chatted with on the phone.

        • Yvonne Says:

          A short phone call has always been enlightening for me, and has helped me to weed out a handful of weirdos. It’s made me feel more comfortable around the other person when we actually did meet. In fact, I think that the women who write the disclaimers that the OP referred to would be better served by a quick phone chat, rather than pretend that a meeting is not a real date.

          • J Says:

            I agree. On a whim I had a guy call me because I like to hear guys voices for whatever reason. He was annoying to talk to. Every time I answered a question he asked for an explanation. Him: how are you? Me: I’m good, how are you? Him: you’re good? How good? Like, good good or just kind of good?

            Like wtf lol no. He clearly lacked social skills and doesn’t know how to make quick polite convo and move onto real convo. I could imagine being trapped at dinner with him for an hour explaining how good I currently am, which would be a complete lie by the time I’m done explaining.

            5 minutes on the phone can give you a preview of your dates level of conversationalism (did I just make that word up?) do however keep it short and continue the convo when you meet up.

            • Jess Says:

              This method isn’t fool-proof. I don’t believe a phone call really gives you any more insight into a person because they’re still communicating via some kind of device. People can still put on airs through the phone.

              I had a guy call me once, and we had great rapport over the phone and through text. In person, NOTHING.

              • J Says:

                That’s very true but I do think it removes one level of anonymity that they have when communicating through text.

                • Howard Says:

                  I’ll tel you some of the benefits of that short phone call. I could list more, but I will keep it to five things. It’s not a perfect science. It’s not a test. It’s more about that person and me getting some feel for each other and priming the pump as they say, so we whet each other’s appetite for the future conversation that will take place on the date:

                  1. The sound of someone’s voice. does it have enough or too much feline or bass to it. Is it whiny? Is it soothing? Is it reassuring? Does it sound friendly? It’s amazing how much we can pick up, in just a few seconds when it comes to this. It might not seem like a lot, but just the tone of some people’s voices can grate on us.

                  2. The possibility of too many dead moments in future communication. Yes, silence can be golden sometimes, but there is a big difference between uncomfortable silence and taking a moment to feel each others energy.

                  3. The ability to avoid the inquisition. Some people just don’t know how to communicate, and imagine they should ask a thousand questions. They never learned that in great conversations, people volunteer information, rather than having it squeezed out of them. I really try my best to avoid these gestapo-like people.

                  4. The quality of the conversation. While I don’t wish for us to discus quarks or neutrinos, I certainly couldn’t give two flying f@#%s about Rihana and Chris Brown or any of the typical gossip that has invaded popular culture.

                  5. The ability, and most importantly, the willingness of someone to truly connect on an emotional level. Some people are just not ready, in spite of all they say in their profiles. We all have a little baggage and shortcomings in our ability to connect, but there is a scale to this thing, and some people are just too far gone on that scale, for us to invest our precious time. The amazing thing is how quickly we can pick this up if we are looking for it.

  2. Sarah Says:

    That is an odd disclaimer to include in one’s profile. If you can get past that, no, you are not expected to pay for a first meeting.

  3. BostonRobin Says:

    How about this take on such ads: you don’t have to pay because you’re not going to meet such silly people at all!

    It’s cheaper in the long run to insist on a “real” first date, typically involving drinks and appetizers–dinner is not at all necessary. Coffee dates, in my experience, have never gone anywhere. My time is way too valuable for this sort of in-person date vetting. Figure out if each other is date-worthy by emailing and talking in advance!

    • AC Says:

      100% agree. Coffee dates equal lame.I’ve yet to see one go anywhere either. Now, if I ask a woman out for a drink and she comes back with the coffee suggestion, I dismiss her immediately.

      • Greg Figueroa Says:

        You can’t engage someone over coffee? Does a bar or restaurant atmosphere put you in a dating mood? Lame dates can happen over drinks or coffee. Granted, the disclaimer makes my eyes roll over. I would expect guys put that disclaimer in their profiles.

        • AC Says:

          It’s not a disclaimer, just my prerogative. Granted, I can count on
          both hands the number of coffee dates I’ve been on. All
          have been pretty useless. Can that happen over a drink? Of course, The
          real problem is a coffee date sends some negative messages…I’m screening you,…I
          can only squeeze you in for 15-30 minutes. Unless of course you
          don’t drink, Then the question becomes do you want to date
          someone who doesn’t drink if you do?

        • BostonRobin Says:

          So many coffee places have bright lights, paper cups, uncomfortable seating. Mood killer. Yes, there are a few cozier spots here and there, but they’re hard to find. Also, I drink (in moderation) and don’t like dating people who don’t. BTDT.

          Mostly, though, it’s the idea that I’m being “screened.” Nope.

      • C Says:

        I’m with Greg.

        I’ve ended up in an 8 month relationship with a guy I met for a coffee date. I dont see how where you meet matters if theres genuine chemisry. The thing that never happens when you go out for a coffee date (in my experience) is a hookup.

      • MistyMary Says:

        Bad approach AC. Going for drinks= lame attempt to get a women drunk and get in her pants…or worse, a guy who can’t loosen up and communicate without alcohol. What is wrong with a cup of coffee?

        • AC Says:

          Sorry Misty but your comment falls under the “really????”category.

          Considering most first dates, even with drinks happen after work on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, I’d consider that bad strategy for getting into a womans pants. On top of that, who’d wa to date someone with that type of suspicious attitude?

  4. J Says:

    I had a guy from okc ask me to meet. The. A few hours beforehand asked for more pictures to make sure I wasn’t fatter than my pictures. I declined and told him that I didn’t have any recent photos and he would be seeing me shortly anyways. Well long story short after he met me and realized I wasn’t fat he then declared it a date and asked where I wanted to eat dinner. That should’ve been my first clue that something wasn’t right with him. We live and we learn.

    • Eliza Says:

      And J: With people this Skeptical over whatever experiences they had – with others who posted false photos–I would just not bother with that level of cynical paranoia behavior, worried – and therefore asking for more snapshots. Who needs to jump through such hurdles for some stranger. He is STILL unsure – with the photos you already provided. Tell him to walk. After his declaration — I would have walked. Such a cliche.

    • J Says:

      I forgot to add that he himself was heavier than his photos. I couldn’t believe the double standard! I was actually 15 pounds less than my photos lol

  5. Selena Says:

    I have a question related to this and the thread of a couple days ago. If one pays for their own coffee/drinks/dinner/ticket is a written thank you note expected? Or does that only apply when the other person treats?

    • Lisa Says:

      A written thank you note isn’t a reasonable expectation ever IMO. But you should always be cordial on a date and thank the person for meeting you and for a nice time. (And if you stick me w/ half the check it will be the ~last~ nice time.)

      • Greg Figueroa Says:

        You mean half the check of the food you ate? Sometimes guys don’t pay for someone they’re not interested in.

        • Lisa Says:

          I’ve only had to pay for myself twice. One guy was…being egalatarian, I guess. No second date. And the other was unemployed, broke and w/o a car (only learned of this on the actual date). No second date there either.

          Right, if the guy asks me out for a drink, dinner, coffee, to shoot pool, to go to the circus whatever, I want him to pay for all of it. If it turns into something, I will definitely reciprocate; I am very generous w/ the men I date. But if we don’t continue seeing each other, he’s SOL on whatever he laid out for out date. That’s the risk involved.

          • Nathan Says:

            When I think of my online dating experience, I rarely paid for coffee dates, but almost always offered to pay for a first meal together. Or drinks on the rare occasions that happened.

            Most of the time, the first meetings were for coffee or some other low or no cost activity. This pattern didn’t seem to harm me in terms of getting second dates, but I also live in the Midwest, and dated women who tended to be lower middle class like myself.

            The last two long term relationships, including the one I’m currently in, began on coffee dates where we just bought our own drinks. Most of the shorter term relationships in between also began on low cost, or no cost activities.

            I don’t assume that my experience can be turned into some advice for anyone. But I also have to wonder if some of this has to do with regional/location differences and also where you’re at on the financial totem pole.

          • LostSailor Says:

            That’s just the risk involved? While I’ll agree with the truth of that, I hope I never date you. I expect to pay on dates, but the attitude of “you’re SOL, it’s just the way it is” puts you out of contention. Because it bleeds through. Guys have to pay for your consideration. Entitlement is ugly…

    • AC Says:

      I think it depends. Coffee or a drink, I think a verbal thank you is sufficient, especially if you’re not interested in seeing them again.Why a lead person on? If they reach out again and ask for another date, then thank them and say you’re not interested ( insert painless white lie here). proactively saying you’re not interested when the other person doesn’t reach out since all kinds of negative messages.

      • Selena Says:

        My thoughts were really about the woman reaching out after the date. I understand sending a thank you text/email after a date is something men appreciate. If the check was split obviously you wouldn’t send a thank you for treating, but would you send one thanking for the invitation/had a great time meeting you/so forth?

        The idea being a thank you follow up is not just about thanks it’s about expressing interest. I’m curious about how common this is.

  6. Eliza Says:

    In today’s dating genre…BOTH parties are responsible for paying their own way ANYWAY…and if you don’t – you are viewed as trying to take advantage of a man for some free meal. As for a cup of coffee…yes, I would just pay for my own coffee, not a big deal…but how long can you sit at some Starbuck’s…and it’s just a quick meeting/date whatever. If someone is going to nickel and dime me, and put up such a fuss about who is going to pay for a lousy cup of coffee…I really don’t have time to waste with someone of that caliber. I wouldn’t meet someone that is making such absurd “disclaimers” and crying like some little girl about “who is going to pay, bla bla bla”. For that, I get together with my friends…and have a better time. Such nonsense, over a $2 cup of coffee. Geez. And Selena, I only thank the person if I truly enjoyed the conversation. IF I actually paid for my own dinner–there is nothing to thank them for…other than the conversation – IF in fact it was enjoyable. If the person sitting across from me is rude and uninteresting. A simple, “glad we had a chance to meet” and Good night will do. I find my own way home, and obviously never see them again. Nothing to thank them for. For what? Wasting my time, or being rude? I keep it cordial though.

  7. Lisa Says:

    “Meeting for a cup of coffee or drink, see if there is a spark or interest, then set up a first date.”

    To me the issue is that a person who writes such a thing appears overly controlling. Why do you need to dictate exactlty how the process should unfold? We are all adults; we all know what dating is. Sometimes it’s coffee, sometimes an expensive meal, sometimes a walk on the beach, sometimes a cold beer and a game of darts. Who cares??? Why be so uptight about it? If the conversation flows in the direction of “you like seafood, too? What’s your fav seafood restaurant?” then go w/ the flow and meet him at Joe’s Crab Shack. If it veers off to shooting pool, do that. If he wants you to try the best burger in town, oblige him. Be flexible.

    Whether it’s a date or not, is just a question of semantics. Whatever you call it, if he/she asks, he/she should pay. Just good manners. Dutch treat is just a tacky way of trying to…again…control the situation.

    I have read on men’s profiles stuff like “sorry but if you think i’m paying for you on the first date, you got it F’d up.”

    Like ppl said upthread, it’s just a few dollars. Spend the $2, $5, $15 and show a little decorum.

  8. Yvonne Says:

    I think it was Gertrude Stein who said, “A date is a date is a date is a date”. And guys, step up and buy the cup of coffee, otherwise you will be seen as cheap, uninterested, or both.

  9. Erine Says:

    I agree that if I were a man, I wouldn’t go out with a woman with such disclaimer, and if I were a woman , I would not go out with a man who was sweating the eight Dollar splurge at Starbucks.
    A coffee date can totally be a first date thing. My most passionate and meaningful relationship started with a walk and a cup of tea at Starbucks (the guy did ask if I wanted to actually grab a bite beforehand ). Dating is hard because people are too difficult (myself included back in my dating days).

  10. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Men should pay on first “date” or meeting or whatever. There’s no point in struggling to find logic or principle to it because there is none. Literally none. It is just a social convention. And a necessary one to avoid chaos in what would otherwise be an awkward situation. I assume that was the root of the OP’s question, and not whether he could afford a coffee.

    Once again, we have the women claiming it’s “just” a cup if coffee or drinks or whatever completely oblivious to the implication. Just for the record, if someone buys me a cup of coffee, I actually appreciate it. I might even say thank you. The screaming entitlement around here is not attractive ever but I’m sure it’s working for you.

    • Lisa Says:

      I would and do always say thank you. At least twice. Even for coffee.

      What is the implication we are missing?

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        That you assume a person is buying you something because reasons.

        • Lisa Says:

          Because of…reasons?

          Selfish reasons?
          Different reasons?
          My own reasons?

          • Lisa Says:

            i’m just asking for clarification?

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              My initial comment was clear and succinct, as was my response to your dumb question, which I now regret. Your answer lies within. Happy hunting.

              • Lisa Says:

                “That you assume a person is buying you something because reasons.”

                That doesn’t make sense. If my asking for clarification was dumb, this is idiotic.

                • Nathan Says:

                  DMN’s original point is that it’s 2014, and there’s really no logical reason for maintaining antiquated financial rules around paying for first dates or non-dates or whatever.

                  The thing is, I see a lot of women making value judgements on men paying or not paying for first dates. When the reality is that when we are paying, we’re just following an old social convention. There’s really nothing special happening. You have to look beyond the money a guy spends to find out if he actually gives a damn about you.

                  Frankly, I have to doubt that a woman who otherwise is really into a guy is going to reject him outright because he didn’t buy her a cup of coffee or a drink. She might be a bit turned off by it, but odds are, he’ll be given a pass. At least in the beginning.

                  This whole who pays debate is really about rejecting people who you’re on the fence about or not into. It’s an easy thing to fixate on. “He’s cheap.” Or “she acted entitled, so I didn’t pay.” When the reality is that you weren’t that into each other.

                  I have to agree with Erine. Dating is hard because people want everything to go exactly how they want it. Instead of real generosity without strings, more often than not, what you have is a forced display.

                  • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                    Nathan, you are the Comment Sherpa, guiding Lisa and others through the peaks and precipices of my treacherous words.

                  • POV Says:

                    Correct. All of these “rules” are for guys the woman isn’t interested in. If she’s interested in him, it all goes out the window.

                    It’s a stupid, antiquated game played. “Liberated” women who many times make much more than I expecting me to pay 100% for a first date for the “chance” for a second one.

                    I’ve learned though. I just grab the check by default and don’t stress about it. If she offers to pay I’ll take her up on it, without making a point of calculating her share.

                    Guess what. If she’s interested in me she’ll still go out with me. If she wasn’t interested, well at least I didn’t throw good money after bad. And if offering is a “test” that I failed by accepting the offer, well bye!

                  • MistyMary Says:

                    I think people need to lower their expectations, and take a more relaxed approach to these first “dates” and just view it as an opportunity to meet a new person. I went on plenty of coffee dates. One man I wasn’t interested in was very chivalrous and coffee turned into lunch. We had no chemistry but became friends and stayed in contact. I ended up introducing him to one of my girlfriends and they became great friends and even took a trip together (platonically) He finally found someone and we all remain friends. How cool is that? You never know what will come of meeting someone. Common courtesy goes a long way, and bad manners will usually bite you in the ass.

    • C Says:

      I was also raised to believe that when someone is invited over for a home cooked meal, they MUST bring either a bottle of wine or desert.

      I know. I’m such an entitled bitch.

      Its not a matter of entitlement, its a social dance. If you dont like the norm, you dont have to live by the norm, but dont be surprised when your behavior is seen in a negative light.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        What an insightful comment When I said that men paying was a useful “social convention” I guess i didn’t see your angle that it was a social convention.

        That’s not the entitlement. The entitlement is assuming the social convention and then arrogantly saying it’s JUST a coffee or a few drinks. I mean it’s not like I was expecting bareback anal sex on our first date. I was JUST expectong a blow job. Jeez. Why get all upset about it, right? (That was a sarcastic analogy for the imbeciles who have troublle with comprehension).

  11. Dean Says:

    I think the people who are focusing on the cup of coffee aspect of this are missing the point. Guy always pay for the coffee. Slam dunk there.

    The question also mentioned a drink at a bar. That’s where the ambiguity lies and is probably the spirit of the question.

    I would always pay for the coffee even if the girl had that disclaimer. But I am not so sure about the bar/drink with that disclaimer. That’s a good question since drinks at a bar are a different animal.

    Moxie gave a great answer. I will avoid those ladies with that disclaimer going forward. Eliza, Selena, Erine I agree the guy should cover the coffee. But what are your thoughts on the more expensive outing? That will add value to this topic. Bashing the guy because he is questioning paying for coffee doesn’t add any value here other than to hear you whine about how cheap he is.

    • J Says:

      How about, if you ask her out… Just pay. She likely won’t hate you for doing so. If she prefers to pay herself, she will let you know. Before you go into the whole “guys always do the asking” spiel, think about whether or not you find a woman to be work a $3 cup of coffee or a $7 drink. If not, don’t ask. Save your money and your time.

    • Lisa Says:

      I think if the guy initiates the date, he should pay. There will be plenty of times later on when I will pay.

      • mindstar Says:

        Yes but by your own statement “But if we don’t continue seeing each other, he’s SOL on whatever he laid out for out date. That’s the risk involved.”

        The OP may be one of those men who is just tired of shelling out for coffee, drinks, dinners etc and having it go no where. Now he wants to reduce his risk unfortunately he can only do that by being cheap. A lose-lose situation

        • J Says:

          I’m sure plenty of women feel the same way about having sex with guys and having it go nowhere. Either do it because you want to or don’t. But don’t complain about the outcome of your choice.

    • C Says:

      I’m a woman so take my opinion with a grain of salt. When it comes to internet dating, I would advise men to avoid expensive first dates and avoid women who expect expensive first dates. In the age of internet dating, I thik most people are very accustomed to accepting coffee first dates so never feel pressured to offer any more then that to a complete stranger unles YOU want to.

      As for drinks, I believe the general social expectation is for the man to pick up the tab unless the woman insists. Sorry.

      The date venue will depend on your end game. If your goal is to slowly get to know someone, then coffee is a good place to start. If you are hoping for something more physical for the first date, then coffee probably wont do. Optionally, you can always start with coffee and escallate to drinks/dinner if the mood strikes you.

      • LostSailor Says:

        Actually, C, I agree with you, except for the coffee date, which I won’t do. But everything else in this comment is pretty realistic. People should listen. Even if you are a woman… :-)

        • C Says:

          Lol. Thanks LS. I generally admire your pov, so nice to get the nod.

          I can totally appreciate that starbucks isnt the most romantic atmosphere.

      • POV Says:

        That seems sensible to me. I skip the coffee dates, because I don’t drink coffee. I don’t see the level of entitlement for fancy dinner on my first dates, but maybe I sniff them out on a profile or in email. Things like “I believe in chivalry” and “I believe in being treated like a lady/queen/princess” are tells.

  12. ot Says:

    The purpose of the disclaimer is to delay the three date rule.

  13. Selena Says:


    I’ve read another dating blog – Evan Marc Katz – for years. On that one many, many women have written they prefer first dates to be low key and low cost. Reason being if there is no connection, neither party is out much money, or spending an awkward amount of time until they can gracefully exit. I think that is the intention of women who describe coffee/drink under the “First Date” section of a profile. Perhaps it’s unimaginative, but what do you think the reaction would be if a woman put under that section, $$$bar, followed by $$$restaurant, then $$$jazz club? The differentiating between meeting and first date probably could be better phrased, but I don’t see it as some kind of disclaimer to get hyped up over. Call it a meeting, call it a date, it’s still the first time activity many people, both men and women prefer.

    Whether it’s coffee or a cocktail a man is not going to lose points by treating. Where’s the ambiguity? I didn’t call the OP cheap. I do think it’s odd a 49 yr old man would have this question. Woman says she likes cheap first dates, why not run with that? :)

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Fun fact: A lot of people who comment on blogs make shit up to make themselves sound better than everyone else.

      I am always amused by the women who leap to announce how they are so not high-maintenance and prefer “low key” dates like coffee, or how they always offer to pay their share of the bill, etc. Commenting on a blog like this one or Evan’s, where there are a number of members of the opposite sex, tends to bring out people’s competitive sides.

      In other words, they’re full of it. Sorry, but anybody who says they prefer coffee dates because it lowers expectations and prevents an inordinate money to be spent is pandering for compliments or upvotes. The people who actually opt for coffee dates or walks in the park or what have you are usually trying to prove something to the person they’re meeting.

      • Selena Says:

        “The people who actually opt for coffee dates or walks in the park or what have you are usually trying to prove something to the person they’re meeting.”

        What are they trying to prove? I’m genuinely curious Moxie.

        • C Says:

          Theres no way to win. Damned if you go expensive. Damned if you go cheap. Damned if you offer to pay. Damned if you dont.

        • Lisa Says:

          Maybe they are trrying to prove that they are so magnanimous and selfless and above the entitled princess stuff?

          I actually like coffee! I find the atmosphere at coffee shops (even Starbucks) to be very comfortable and conducive to having a nice, relaxed conversation.

          My main goal on the first date is to be able to talk and get a glimpse of his personality…it doesn’t matter how much he spends. But it is nice to have something to sip and nosh on while talking.

          • Selena Says:

            I had the idea people liked coffee dates because they were inexpensive, conveniently located and open all hours.

            I like drink dates, but I can see how coffee houses, walks in the park, etc. would appeal to those who prefer quieter atmospheres for a first meet.

            • J Says:

              And then there’s me. I don’t like coffee because I immediately have to go to the bathroom. Though natural, not something I like doing on a date. I also don’t like drinking with strangers because it only takes one for me to get dunk and begin seriously over sharing. Not sexy either. I prefer a quick meal and if that isn’t an option, ice cream at the very least.

        • AC Says:

          Maybe it’s a city thing. If you live or work in a major or even a small city, what’s an extra hour out of your week to meet someone for a drink after work?

    • LostSailor Says:

      many women have written they prefer first dates to be low key and low cost. Reason being if there is no connection, [she can avoid an
      awkward amount of time until [she] can gracefully exit.

      Yeah, exactly why I don’t do coffee dates.

      I don’t want to give you an easy out. Then again, it’s hard to be charming with the bright lights and barking baristas of a pedestrian coffee shop…

  14. krismae Says:

    I think going around about who should pay for what and how thanks should go is missing the point. It’s pretty simple–guys, if you’re interested in seeing the woman again, pay for the coffee, drink, appetizer. If she is trying to upgrade to some upscale restaurant, either stick to your guns and do coffee/drinks, cancel the date altogether, or go and don’t complain when you get stuck with the bill (hint: if she’s upgrading, she expects you to pay no matter what). You have been given a preview of her character, and now you can make a decision on whether you want to see her again. Women, if you are interested in seeing a guy again, offer to pay your half and thank him if he treats. Most of the time, you can pretty much gauge a man’s interest if he turns down your offer to pay. I’ve been on a couple first dates/meetings/whatever you want to call them, where the guy took me up on the offer to pay my portion. I never heard from them after that, and in both cases I remember, there was a lack of mutual attraction from the get-go. The whole point of the first date is to see if you click. If you are turned off by someone’s lack of consideration, then that’s an obvious sign to move on. No harm, no foul.

    • Lisa Says:

      “If you are turned off by someone’s lack of consideration, then that’s an obvious sign to move on. No harm, no foul.”

      But sometimes a person will do something ~unintentionally~ that turns the other off. I guess bc there is no concensus as to how certain things are supposaed to be handled. i’ve even heard of men (not men i’ve dated) saying they are actually scared to offer to pay the entire bill. They feel women will find that offensive. IDK how there is so much misunderstanding re. this issue.

      • C Says:

        Thats ok. This is all part of identifying compatibility. Some women will want a more chivalrous guy, and some women will want a man who expects are more equal relationship, and other women still will want to be the bread winner in the relationship.

        If a guy is doing something that continually yields results he doesnt like, hopefully he will try something new.

        I went through a butch phase where I insisted on total equality, always paid my half on every date, and generally acted in a somewhat masculine manner. I found that I was attracting passive men who wanted me to dominate them. I didnt like it so I changed up my game. No more passive guys who want to be dominated. Easy peasy.

      • krismae Says:

        Like C says, it’s about identifying compatibility. The things someone unintentionally does are the things you need to be aware of. Those are the behaviors that you’re stuck with years down the road.

  15. fuzzilla Says:

    I think on PlentyofFish you’re prompted to describe your ideal/typical first date; it’s a standard category to fill out. Granted, I don’t date women, but I wouldn’t really think anything of the woman’s comment one way or the other. To me it’s on par with, “My friends are important to me and I love to laugh” – kind of cliche/filler material, but if they otherwise seemed cool, I’d overlook it.

  16. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I agree with some of the other commenters that the disclaimer is a clumsy attempt by people in the OP’s age group to indicate that they’d like a “drinks date” instead of a “dinner date.” They want the quick, casual dates that people in their 20s have. Doesn’t mean it’s not a date. Just means it’s casual.

  17. LostSailor Says:

    Frank, what Moxie said, +1.

    Any woman who puts in her profile that she just wants to “meet up” and doesn’t consider it a first date isn’t worth your time. Online, the run-up to a first date is the text/email conversation, maybe a phone call (a partial red flag in my book, though I’ve done it). A first meeting is a date. If she just want’s it to be a “meet-up’ to see if there’s a “spark” then I’d say she should split the bill.

    But this has been hashed out here ad nausem. It’s a date and the man pays. There really is no argument.

    Frank, at 49, you should have figure this out a while ago. If you want a second date, pay for the first. And the second. And probably the third. If you don’t know there’s anything there by then, move on. Frank, you don’t explain your circumstances, but I’m going to guess that you’ve been off the dating market for a while, for whatever reason. The rules have changed: there are few rules. One is, yes, you’re still going to pay. The corollary is that if you’re going to pay, date on your terms. You’re paying, so set the venue and take the lead. Don’t bother with women who want to suss you out first, they’re looking for excuses to reject you. Don’t give in. They’ll still make their decision on that first date, so you might as well maximize your chance.

    Play your game, not their’s, and you’ll do much better…

  18. Cleo Says:

    I’ve been reading for a few weeks now & this is my first comment. I’ve seen a recurrent theme when it comes to men paying for dates. It’s been written in comments mostly by men although I think by Moxie in some of her responses & some women in comments too. It’s that men don’t really want to pay but that they do that because it is expected. Of course it’s not all men & of course the women don’t say it’s about every date. I’m not referring to the number of times, just that I get the impression that sometimes some men are of the mind set that they pay begrudgingly. We all know that basically men look for sex & women tend more to look for money. However IMHO there are 2 types of women: 1 – the Gold digger type, some more obvious than others, some looking for wealth & others that are simply looking for security but in either case they are looking for the actual financial benefits that a man can provide, & then there is #2 – the type of women who can support themselves but want to “know” that the man has something to contribute. You see, women are hard wired to see men as providers & protectors, so even if we don’t need them to provide, we want to know that they can in the event we needed them to. In other words we want to know that they are competent & capable & that they have our back. One way they illustrate this is by paying for us, at least in the beginning. The #2 types (of which I am 1) usually don’t mind splitting the bills a little later on.
    The point is that even when a women CAN take care of herself, she likes to think that if she is with a man that he can take care of he IF need be & that he would LIKE to do so. Because if he likes doing so it would indicate that it is more in his nature to do so & so that it will be more likely that he actually will do so & less stressful & more successful for both of them.
    There is a reason I am bringing this up. It comes back to the sex factor for men. It seems that they think it is ok to pay merely because it is expected yet they do not want a woman who has sex with them merely because it is expected. I have repeatedly read here that one of the reasons a man does not like waiting too long for sex is not just the wait itself but also because he then starts to wonder if the reason the woman is waiting is because she does not like sex. So then he starts to wonder if the wait is worth it because then even when she is ready, how good will it be if she doesn’t enjoy it?
    So same for a woman. What good is the man paying if he is not truly of a generous spirit? To women of the #1 type that I described above, they may not care. But for me I do not want a man who merely pays because it is expected. I find that people, men & women alike, who are cheap, are cheap across the board in matter that extend beyond the wallet. They are usually cheap with their time, with their emotions, with their words in expressing their emotions, with sharing other possessions & other things that I can not think of right now. They do not let their energy flow. They tend to hold back.
    So anyway, in conclusion, I know that you cannot always tell at first, sometimes it is as simple as a man pays or he doesn’t pay, but sometimes his demeanor is telling. Just as I’m sure most men would prefer a sexy poor girl to a frigid rich girl, I would prefer a poor man with a generous spirit to a cheap wealthy man any day!

    • Lisa Says:

      “I find that people, men & women alike, who are cheap, are cheap across the board in matter that extend beyond the wallet. They are usually cheap with their time, with their emotions, with their words in expressing their emotions, with sharing other possessions & other things that I can not think of right now. They do not let their energy flow. They tend to hold back.”

      This is a really interesting observation! Probably right.

      And yes, it’s true, I have run into some guys who didn’t have money for gas…had to pay their utility bills in installments…had $5 to their name. Ppl create all kinds of auras and images and impressions and you never know if they are real or total BS. I’m no golddigger! I have been blessed w/ the resources to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. And I need to know that the guy who’s trying to holla at me today isn’t going to be trying to sponge off me and take food out of my kids’ mouth and clothes of their back a few months from now. (Yes, they have tried!) There are plenty of men who will think nothing of moving into a woman’s home, eating her food, letting her pay for everything and become very comfortable doing so. I need a man who can hold his own. Yes, I want a man who thinks nothing of springing for dates, buying me gifts for my birthday, anniversaries, holidays, etc., travelling occasionally, and so on.

      I know some men don’t pay for dates simply bc they don’t want to (and that goes to the earlier point about being stingy in every aspect of life YUCK); but there are also men who don’t pay bc it would be a financial hardship for them to do so (also a bad situation).

      • John Says:

        ” And I need to know that the guy who’s trying to holla at me today isn’t going to be trying to sponge off me and take food out of my kids’ mouth and clothes of their back a few months from now.”

        I think that when people resort to hyperbole to make their point, they are the ones guilty of the supposed infraction they complain about.

  19. bbdawg Says:


  20. Aksarben Says:

    I’m always amused by discussions of men’s dating “cheapness”. We all know that when 4 guys go out they split the bill evenly or take turns buying but when 4 women go out and the bill comes 4 little calculators get whipped out followed intense accounting so that each woman can assure herself that she’s not paying 1 penny more than her share. They’ll also leave the waitress her shittiest tip of the night. Ladies: you’re the ” pot” calling the “kettle” black.

    • bbdawg Says:

      You’re wrong about women, sorry. You have to remember that most women take care of families and there is an overwhelming number of households that are run by women (single mothers). I was raised by one who became an ivy league professor. I’d like to meet a man who was as generous as my mother – or my aunts – were to their own children. Generosity is implicit in the nature of women – we take care of others. The poorer the culture, the more men sponge off women, have kids and leave the households. The more strict women are when it comes to what they will put up with from men, the better the outcomes are for families in the long run. Women tend to be the ones who provide stability and care with sometimes meager resources.

      • mindstar Says:

        Except the comment was about how men and women split a bill. A mother’s care and generosity towards her own flesh and blood is in no way a barometer of how she treats strangers.

        The younger and prettier a waitress is the worse she will be tipped by a group of women.

        • bbdawg Says:

          Jesus christ, mindstar. You’ve got chips on your shoulder, wow. I don’t know any females including myself who are bad tippers. This sort of creeping mysogyny must reflect on your dating experiences. I have never had that experience with female friends.

          • LostSailor Says:

            Sorry, you used (and misspelled) the word “misogyny” and therefore, by sub-iteration of Godwin’s Law 3.7, you immediately lose.

            Mindstar is quite correct that your comment above completely sidesteps and ignores the post you’re commenting on. Aksarben’s comment was about women in groups and their tipping habits. No one was talking about your strawwoman about “generosity is implicit in the nature of women.” Which isn’t universally true anyway; women can be the most vicious of competitors when their interests are imperiled. Neither Aksarben nor mindstar was positing that women can’t be generous and supportive of their children, family, or loved ones (though that, too, is not universal).

            Talk about a chip on a shoulder: your off-topic rant about the generosity, sacrifice, and nobility of women, especially of single mothers, prompted by the observation that women, especially in groups, can be pernicious and poor tippers, coupled with the misandrous slagging of men in comparison, reveals a huge chip on both of your shoulders, and belies any hint of generosity, caring, or nurturing.

            I used to work in bars and restaurants and have quite a number of friends who still do, and generally, groups of women tend to act just as Aksarben describes, where men generally don’t.

            This is not an Earth-shaking revelation. You might want to check your butthurtness…

            • bbdawg Says:

              Sorry LS. Try again. Try another excuse as to why men are annoyed they have to pay $40 dollars or whatever. Cue in “women are cheap, nasty, mean…the old ones give pretty girls bad tips…”. Any old comment will do to justify the basic idea that women are bad people because, well they want men to pay for the first date.

              Yeah mine was a positive rant in defense of women who are essentially “bad people “because they judge men for not paying for drinks/coffee/whatever. Please give me a break. Keep your $40 and *come again*.

              According to these PUA-influenced types women are bad because:
              -they think they are all that
              -they get old
              -they think they hot when they’re not
              -they’re not worth it
              -they’re fat
              -they’re not supermodels
              -they think men should pay
              -wait until they get the payback
              -they think they’re entitled
              -they only care about their iphone
              -(insert classic comment here)

              Whatever dude. DEAL with it.

              • LostSailor Says:

                Well, one thing is clear, intense anger clouds critical thinking.

                A comment on how men and women in groups split the check and their tipping characteristics sends you off on a tail spin rant that women are all innately generous, beneficent Earth mothers and men are all misogynistic deadbeats who apparently think all women are “bad people.”

                If you’d been following along at home, you’d see that I at least have consistently maintained that, yes, men should be paying for dates in the early stages. I find it amusing in this feminist egalitarian age that this is so, but I don’t object to it. Then again, I find this over-the-top rant amusing.

                It shows the massive chip on your shoulder must be getting heavier, which, perhaps is what you should be dealing with…

                • John Says:

                  Give it up BBDAWG. Lost Sailor kicked your butt in this debate. Move onto the next topic already.

                  Also, one thing to consider is this: The blog post was not about whether a guy should pay on a date. The post was about the confusion what to do when the woman declares it a non date.

                  If the woman didn’t state that, then there would be no blog post. Capice?

                • mindstar Says:

                  Just to follow up with Lost Sailor and John’s comments bbdawg if you read my posts on this issue I have no problem paying on a first date and for the record I often pay far more than $40 dollars.

                  Like L.S. I am amused by women who demand equality and special treatment but that doesn not stop me from paying for first, second, third dates.

                  I said men should consider paying for first dates and even these lame audition coffee dates as a price of doing business and just do it.

        • bbdawg Says:

          Here’s the thing: men on dates are being auditioned to be a potential partner. That means someone who will stick around to raise a child and will provide resources in case of a pregnancy. How a woman treats her own family is crucial because a man is being auditioned to be a partner with whom a woman will form a family. That is the goal of most women of child bearing age, and even of women who don’t want kids: to form a stable family unit.

          If a man balks at paying for a couple of dates he is not fit to be a potential BF/husband because he is taking into consideration the fact that once a relationship is established the woman does most of the work, takes care of the man, cooks (I do) and splits the bill in restaurants thereafter. This sort of nitpicky comment reflects the underlying anger that some men carry over this. If you don’t want to pay $40 or whatever for a couple of drinks, get better at PUA and go pick up anonymous women at bars and clubs. It’s not a huge issue.

          • Nathan Says:

            What is this? The 1950s? I swear for all the claims people make about being so “modern” and “free,” the tone and aims sure sound pretty damned retrograde a lot of the time.

    • Yvonne Says:

      Really? I have several female friends who have worked as waitstaff in their younger days. Because of this, they are especially careful to leave a generous tip. “We all know” that you don’t speak for everyone.

    • Cleo Says:

      Re: Aksarben’s Comment: As for me & my female friends, we also usually split the bill evenly just like you & your male friends do & do NOT do the calculator thing, that is, if one of us is not trying to pay the whole thing. As for tipping, it is usually 18-20%. Perhaps it is my generation or my age (56) or the fact that my friends & I are professionals or the fact that most of us were waitresses when we were going to school.

    • C Says:

      Thats rediculous. The best tipper I know is a woman. Her father was a minister and she always tipped everyone very well. Even the tip jar at coffee houses where I would never tip. She always took care of those less fortunate then herself and there are many of those since she makes a comfortable 6 figure salary and she has a family too.

      And yes the calculators do come out at group lunches but thats because none of us want to screw our friends.

      The last time I was at a lunch were someone screwed the group by shorting us about $20-40 was a selfish guy.

      Entitlement and stinginess arent gender specific.

      • Nicole Says:

        Wait, seriously? Calculators?
        I have never in my life seen anyone, male or female, do that. You split it evenly or someone treats (and you take turns if that’s the deal).
        So I think the answer is nothing’s universal.

  21. Emm Says:

    I don’t know if I agree with this. I think that it is perfectly fine to put in your profile that you believe that the first time you meet up with someone it’s a “feeler” stage. It makes the situation more comfortable without the pressure of having to try really hard to make it work. Meeting up with someone for coffee to feel if there is a spark right away is a safe way of meeting rather than having to deal with going on a “date” and having to tell the person that you’re not interested after the your initial first “date.” If someone feels like treating you, then so be it. It doesn’t mean that it’s a date. If my friend pays for my drinks or meal, it’s a kind gesture.

  22. MistyMary Says:

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!! You should.

    Ok, while doing the whole online dating thing, I never put in my profile that the first meeting wasn’t a “date”. But…I did insist that first dates be something very casual, usually a cup of coffee. The reasoning for this is:

    ~ It’s Inexpensive
    ~ There’s is a limited time commitment
    ~ It is a flexible, morning, lunch or evening option.
    ~ It’s an opportunity to dress casually, and be more “myself” than getting all dressed up for a dinner date. IMO being “yourself” is always the best bet when getting to know someone.

    As for who pays……I used to believe that the man should always pay, and I have met a lot of men who do insist on paying for dates.

    I always attempt to pay my own way on the first date because I don’t want to feel indebted. Some men seem a tad bit insulted by this. I think it depends on your upbringing. For instance, I worked for a married couple from Austria. The man would make Starbucks runs and ask each of the women in his employment if they wanted anything. If we tried to give him money he would get upset. His wife explained that in their culture it was considered unthinkable and unmanly for a man to ask a woman to pay for anything.

    In my honest opinion though, if you are the one asking a woman out, and make plans… you should be willing to fork out the capital for whatever those plans entail. She is, after all, meeting you at your request and if you don’t at least offer, you can expect to be written off.

    I have only been asked to pay on a date twice.

    An old boyfriend asked me to out to dinner for our first date and I insisted on splitting the check. At that point he had been working pretty hard to get that first date, and I was trying to feel things out. I just wasn’t all that jazzed about him. Paying my share was sort of my way of saying “I’m keeping this casual” even though we really had hit it off during the meal.

    When he asked me out to dinner for our second date my expectations were very different. He was trying to impress me, and insisted on checking out his friend’s new restaurant…which was way beyond my budget.

    When the bill for our meal came, he asked me to pay half. Honestly I was shocked, and I know the look that flashed across my face gave it away. I did my best to recover quickly, and coughed up the money for my portion of the bill with a smile.

    On the inside I was seething and pretty much ready to write him off. I never said anything, but he must have realized he made a mis-step, because after that he insisted on paying for every cocktail, cup of coffee, and meal we ever had for the duration of what ended up being a really good relationship.

    If he hadn’t I probably would have dumped him, STAT. Maybe that sounds harsh, and old fashioned…go ahead, you can hate bomb me if you want.

    The second time a man asked me to pay was a man I was engaged to. We had split and he wanted a second chance. He wasn’t a different man the second time around and didn’t treat me well. He started to be resentful about paying for dates. It ended up that he was cheating on me, and that was just a sign of a man who wasn’t wholly invested in the relationship. Needless to say I dumped him.

    Going dutch is what I do when I go out with my guy friends. When a man pays for a date it shows he is putting his best foot forward, and to me at least, is a gesture that says that he is invested in getting to know me. It’s sort of my litmus test and it has proven to be true.

    My ex-husband, for instance on our first date, planned an old fashioned lunch picnic, complete with the traditional basket, filled with fruit, brie, a bottle of wine and presented me with a small hand blown glass teddy bear he’d had made to commemerate the occaision.
    It wasn’t the money he’d spent on the date that impressed me, but the creativity, the care, and effort he put into it that made a good and memorable first impression. He let me know right off the bat what his intentions were, and what kind of person he was. He was letting me know that he was a keeper and he was. He proved to be a good man, and a great father.

    Obviously the dating world is different nowadays. It’s sad really. Men don’t seem to think they should have to try hard, and women collectively let them off the hook. You teach people how to treat you. Have our standards sunk so damn low that we can’t expect a man to offer to buy a cup of flippin coffee?! Dear God.

    And men…why would you want to be that guy? Honestly. If people are looking to just “hook-up” and cycle through an endless line of meaningless partners with a bare minimum investment…well. there are sites for that.

    It’s all about intent. If your intention is to find “the one” then be prepared to do the work, take your time, and buy a cup of coffee or two. But for heaven’s sake, if you don’t want to invest in the dating process…then you shouldn’t be dating, Mr. Stingy McStingypants.

  23. BostonRobin Says:

    This is the sort of nonsense that is driving good people away from online dating. All the pearl clutching about whether it’s a date or not or whom should pay. Clearly we’re looking at an absence of basic social skills.

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