Did She Get Chewed & Screwed? #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): nb1972wallet
Comment: I joined OKC a week ago. I’ve been on 3 dates, two with men who added about 5 in to their height, but were otherwise good for an hour of chat so the dates weren’t a total loss. And yes, I realize this is the norm, not the exception.

My third date suggested a restaurant, that I discovered was cash only when I arrived. I rarely carry cash, since most restaurants accept CCs, but figured I’d just run to the atm if need be. We actually had a great time, despite my lack of attraction. Time flew, we had a LOT to talk about, he was engaging, interesting, showing me pictures of his dog etc.. No attraction, but we were having a great time. But, he didn’t flirt with me at all, which struck me as a bit odd. I’m no model, but I’m objectively better looking then he. He then abruptly decides that we need to leave. He takes out his amex, and the bartender mentions cash only. No big deal right? ATM next door. But he doesn’t have his debit card with him. I suggest he leave his ID. No ID on him. I would have happily covered the entire bill but it was $175. But I have no choice so I go to the ATM and withdraw $250. When I return to the bar he is gone! The bartender says, ‘he thought you left for good, he’s on Bergen st!!’ Now, I was only gone for 10 min, as I was walking to my bank, and I didn’t receive any text from him telling me he was leaving. I pay the bill. I’m not about to go running around Bergen on some wild goose chase so I then text him asking where he is. No reply. I assume he’s just mortified, and that’s why he’s ignoring me. An hour later I send another ‘I went to get cash and you were gone’. An hour later another ‘listen, don’t worry about tonight, I’ve done that before’. Which I haven’t, but I was trying to help him save face, because I believed he was horrified. The next morning I receive this reply ‘let’s be honest. you never came back. you went to the grocery store and never returned. Lesson learned’. no idea where this grocery store comment came from but that’s incidental. I wanted to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but the more I thought about it, the more suspicious I became. Who goes out on a date in nyc with only an AMEX, and no ID or any way to get cash on a date? If you have an Amex, you’re often told no, so you know that many bars don’t accept it and you bring an alternate form of payment. And he picked the bar, he must have known it was cash only. So, I was informed by a friend that this is a thing. Male version of dinner whores. And that the way to avoid this was to make the first date a coffee date. Coffee dates? they’re sterile and boring. Drinks dates are fun. Or, if we’re getting drinks, to never ever ring up a large tab or order food. Well what if I decide I’m hungry? And we’re drinking expensive drinks, and I can afford my half? That’s part of the fun of dating.  And, this guy was an entertainment lawyer (he claims). Even if that was a lie, I could tell he was educated and well employed, this is not someone who needs a free meal. So, is this really a common thing? Any tipoffs? Because I didn’t see any. It wasn’t even scheduled as a dinner date- I was just hungry and we decided to order food at the bar. But he was drinking really expensive port.
Age: 41
City: brooklyn
State: NY

You’re right to wonder who leaves their house without their ID, a debit card, or cash or at least one of those things. I had my wallet stolen years ago and inside was not just my State ID but my social security card because my father always carried his in his wallet (I know, lesson learned.) I went a loooong time without that ID. When I got it replaced, I put it in the wallet I keep in my purse for when I go out. I don’t carry my ID with me unless I know I’m going somewhere were I could be carded because I’m so afraid to lose it again.  The social security card now resides in a lock box with all my other pertinent documentation. So I can give someone a pass for not having their ID on them, and for not having cash because many people no longer carry cash.

But no debit card? That’s fishy. And why couldn’t he take a cash advance on his credit card? Pretty much every credit card allows for that, no? Granted, this is a seriously awkward situation, but there were various ways this guy could have resolved the issue. Leave the card with the bar and then bring cash the next day or call with debit card info, etc.

Could it have been a scam? Eh, I guess. But there were a lot of unknown factors that he couldn’t have anticipated that makes me think it wasn’t. What if the bar brushed it off and said, “Hey, just call us when you get home with your debit card info.” What if you refused to pay for it? The venue has to have a way to accept electronic payment.Especially since this must happen all the time. Who looks to check if a venue accepts credit cards?

To me, this feels like he wasn’t interested and decided he didn’t want to pay the tab himself. Once you left the bar, he took the window of opportunity presented and left. His response to you about accusing you of leaving was just to get you off his back. He certainly wasn’t going to admit that he left you to pay that bill. My guess is that he did have his debit card on him, and probably his ID. He just wanted to avoid having to pay the bill. Did he set out to chew and screw? I don’t think so. I think he decided to do it when he realized he wasn’t interested. He may have selected a cash only place for this very reason, but I think that was the extent of the con. If he was interested, I think he would have paid. If he never intended to pay and just wanted to humiliate a woman, then that’s some serious “In the Company of Men” style nastiness. If you haven’t seen that movie, watch it to get an idea of just how cruel some people can be.

As we’ve discussed here, the first date at a restaurant should really be considered a red flag. Few people do that anymore, especially with online dates. The dinner on the first date is relegated to two types of people – the ones looking for sex or a free meal, and the ones trying too hard. Seasoned daters know not to do this, especially in New York City. Pro tip: never choose a seat at the bar for a first date. It’s not conducive to talking or getting to know someone. Get a table. How you managed to amass a tab of $175 while sitting at the bar is a little curious, but whatever. If you two were sitting at the bar, then how is it that at no point during the date the bartender/server never mentioned the cash only policy? How did he pay for his rounds of expensive merlot? To start a tab you usually if not always have to leave some form of ID with the bar. Unless, of course, the bartender knew him.  Or the bartender was spectacularly bad at his job. I’m starting to think that this guy does this regularly. He takes women out, wines and dines them in the hopes of getting laid. He pays when he thinks that is going to happen, and chews and screws when he doesn’t. Stay classy, dude. And I think he takes them to that bar or a bar where the staff knows him.

He abruptly decided to leave because, even though you thought you were out of his league, he wasn’t into you. He saw that the night wasn’t going to end in a way that would justify spending $250, so he bailed. And..scene.




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147 Responses to “Did She Get Chewed & Screwed? #atwys”

  1. fuzzilla Says:

    **And I think he takes them to that bar or a bar where the staff knows him.**

    I was gonna say he just sounds like a complete ass with shockingly poor manners, but not that it’s some conspiracy or scam.

    After reading Moxie’s whole commentary, though…I dunno, maybe there is something to it that he does this all the time and knew the staff, who were in on it. I mean, why would the waiter let him leave while she was gone? Why would he think, “So *both* members of the party are bailing on a gigantic-ass check? Sure, no big deal…”

    Sheesh. I know you can’t completely avoid bad or disappointing dates, but I think you can avoid howlingly awful ones like this by screening people better and keeping the scope of the date modest.

  2. Selena Says:

    I’m surprised there are bar/restaurants in the US that don’t accept credit cards first off. The whole point of businesses accepting them is to not discourage customers from running up a higher tab than they would if they had to pay in cash. This establishment apparently had high price points – why WOULDN’T they accept credit cards? Sounds shady to me. Is this not unheard of in NYC? And given this wasn’t some food cart/ fast food enterprise, wouldn’t there be signs on the door, menu, behind the bar that they don’t accept credit cards? Have an ATM in the building? What do they do with customers who find themselves surprised by this policy and don’t have enough cash to cover their bill?

    What’s even more surprising is the staff allowed this fellow to walk out the door without paying. What if the OP didn’t come back with cash to pay the bill? Wouldn’t they have made him wait? Made an arrangement with him? Called the police? Whole thing smells very bad.

    My guess is that he is a regular there. That this is a scam he runs. He has a monthly tab there, if the woman pays great for him, if she doesn’t he ends up paying without anyone being wise to what he’s doing.

    If there is a lesson to be learned here, I suppose it’s to limit a date with a stranger to what one is willing to afford on their own. In cash. Even with places that do accept credit cards, a date’s card could be denied.

    • The D-man Says:

      It’s pretty common for restaurants in NYC to be cash only.

      • Selena Says:

        Thank you D-man, I didn’t know this. Since it’s pretty common, do the businesses put signs up saying that’s the case?

        • fuzzilla Says:

          The no credit card thing was pretty surprising to me as well.

          I know there are lots of cash only restaurants in Chicago, but those are more small mom & pop joints that would be adversely affected by the fees associated with taking credit card payments. At a place where you can run up a tab like that? Sounds fishy/doubtful to me. They want you to spend more, and most people generally don’t walk around a major city with that much cash on them.

          • Selena Says:

            I re-read the letter. The OP wrote: “My third date suggested a restaurant, that I discovered was cash only when I arrived. I rarely carry cash, since most restaurants accept CCs, but figured I’d just run to the atm if need be.”

            Sounds like there were signs up stating the no CC policy.

            If she found out the policy as soon as she arrived, it seems even more likely the guy knew it as well.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            I wouldn’t say it’s “common” in New York, but it does exist. And, yes, it makes no business sense and is poor customer service. It’s a free country, of course, but it’s pretty much a requirement in the 21st century to accept electronic payments, which are now ubiquitous. There’s a famous place called Luke’s in Manhattan that was “credit card free” for over 20 years that just began begrudgingly accepting them because of Seamless.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        No, it’s not. While some exist, it certainly isn’t common.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          Is there an echo in here? Meet me at Luke’s in 20 minutes. And, um, don’t forget to bring your debit card.

        • LostSailor Says:

          Actually, it’s not as uncommon as you might think. I know of quite a few bars and restaurants that are cash-only.

          But they tend to be smaller bars and restaurants that are BYOB and don’t have full liquor licenses. Which doesn’t sound like the kind of place the OP described if there was a bartender and they were serving expensive port (and who the hell drinks expensive port on a date? Sound pretentious to me).

          And, as the OP notes, yes, there are many places that don’t take Amex. Amex’s fee structure is different from MasterCard and Visa since, technically, it’s not a “credit” card and, technically, the total has to be paid monthly (yes, they have “sign and travel” credit option, but they’re still skirting the line). Amex costs more for the business to process on average than regular credit cards.

          • LostSailor Says:

            Also wanted to say that every place I know that are cash-only have very prominently placed signs at the entrance stating that. And usually on the menus. And sometimes on signs behind the bar. But the servers or bartenders don’t usually specifically tell the customers once they’re seated.

            • Selena Says:

              Since NYC attracts millions of visitors I would expect any cash-only establishment to have very prominent signage. Many travelers don’t like to carry large amounts of cash. And many have grown up associating NYC with muggings thanks to television and movies.

              Also, in a cash-only bar wouldn’t the bartender ask for payment after the first drink, or ask if they wanted to run a tab? If the customer wanted to run a tab, that would be the time for the bartender to state the policy.

              I think owners would want this simply to minimize the number of tourists running up tabs expecting to pay with plastic and finding out they can’t.

  3. AC Says:

    When I read the headline I thought, “Omg, some newbie gave $$$ to a complete stranger. When will people learn?” This, is totally new so the OP shouldn’t feel bad. There are a couple of things I disagree with here. Who doesn’t carry an ID? What if you need it for some reason. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone suggest sitting at the bar on a first date is a bad idea. If anything, I would think this is more conducive to conversation. Then again, what do I know? I think Fuzilla points out the biggest red flag of all. Why would the staff let him and her both leave? Basically they allowed him to stick her with the check. Add to the fact that he suggest the place. Someone there knew what was up and that they were getting there money. Add to that what Moxie said about not asking for an ID. The only places I’ve seen that happen are bars where I know the bartenders.

    This was a good old fashioned con job.

  4. Alan Says:

    i’m not disagreeing with you but i hate sitting at tables versus bars. Particularly when first-dating. Not interactive enough and sometimes you need more than one person to interact with in an early dating experience. I do disagree given OP’s age that restaurants are bad place to meet for first date as long as they have a decent sized bar and are happy to have customers that just want a drink or snack.

    as to the plight described by OP: guy was a scumbag. cannot believe this type of thing happens often. hopefully you just let it go. Not sure how you could have managed this thing. I understand OP person paid the entire tab but as da lawyers say: you weren’t jointly and severally liable for the bill. You didn’t even know the bum. Personally I would have told the bartender “separate tabs” and paid just your portion–tipping well as usual. If the guy wasn’t a regular in an “all cash” bar and they let a $175 tab build the bartender was a total idiot and deserves to comp restaurant for its loss.

    i know off track but just wanted to get it off my chest.

  5. Kyra Says:

    I gotta say, I don’t trust the bartender at all. What business lets both parties walk out without leaving some sort of collateral behind?

    I definitely wouldn’t have paid for a douchebag that walked out on me; I would have given the restaurant his contact information and they can deal with getting his portion.

    • LostSailor Says:

      Except they wouldn’t let you just give them his contact info. If he splits and you’re still there, they’re not going to let you go without paying the entire bill. Leaving “collateral” isn’t an option, either.

  6. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “I’m no model, but I’m objectively better looking then he.”

    Yeah, this just goes to show that you don’t get to decide whether you’re out of someone’s league. Only THEY get to decide.

    I do think this was a scam – not necessarily an extensively pre-meditated one, but the bartender definitely knew him. I mean, yeah, he let the guy leave and how did the bartender know that “he’s on Bergen Street.” Is that a place where people go?

    If you, the OP, truly intended to pay your share of the bill then you would have said “WAIT, I HAVE NO CASH” immediately when you arrived and noticed it was cash only. Fair enough, most women, like you, expect men to pay, but don’t try to feed us this bullshit that you intended to pay all along. You were hungry and a girl’s gotta eat.

    Ironically, this guy has found a way to exploit women’s expectations, and the awkwardness that results when those expectations are not met. I definitely see why you did what you did. When the bill comes, I always offer to pay (and do pay) the whole bill even if I know the date’s not going anywhere. No one wants to seem cheap. (Of course, it doesn’t make the 5:00 news when a guy pays the bill.) In theory, the better way to have handled this, as someone else suggested, was to tell the bartender to split the bill and pay your half. But, again, that’s REALLY hard to do in a live situation.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **Ironically, this guy has found a way to exploit women’s expectations, and the awkwardness that results when those expectations are not met.**

      I’m kind of wondering, if this guy does this all the time and if someone does a a bit of recon work, they’ll find the guy’s blog called “Table’s Turned!” that he’s hoping to turn into a book.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **If you, the OP, truly intended to pay your share of the bill then you would have said “WAIT, I HAVE NO CASH” immediately when you arrived and noticed it was cash only.**

      That’s true. I always bring cash.

    • Selena Says:

      Yes, if someone expected to pay their share, (or even considered they might) wouldn’t it be awkward to run up a high tab and then leave to go to the ATM when the check came? Awkward also ofcourse to bring up the subject of paying with someone you just met before even ordering. If anything it would be an incentive to keep the tab low, not raise it by ordering more drinks and dinner. Especially knowing you weren’t particularly attracted to your date.

      I still think the guy was running a scam, but there is a bit of karma here for the OP as well.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Reading between the lines of her letter, now, I think this may have actually been punishment for her “upgrading” the drinks date to dinner and then assuming he would pay. She was a just a little too conspicuously defensive about her incongruous, intention to pay.

        • Selena Says:

          Interesting possibility DMN.

          I think it’s odd she didn’t mention going to the ATM before ordering the second drink, much less dinner. Since this was the first time they met, she couldn’t be certain he was going to treat. She also said she felt NO ATTRACTION (her caps) and maybe he picked up on that? No attraction plus running up a high tab knowing you don’t have any cash on you, is kind of suspicious – or could at least look that way.

        • Yvonne Says:

          What is the big deal about having a first date be drinks and apps or a light meal at the restaurant bar? However, this was an expensive bar which her date suggested, and a bar at which he drank “really expensive port”. On her dime. Expensive drinks can add up quickly. I think she was naive more than anything else, but HE was the one who was out to scam her.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          I think this may have actually been punishment for her “upgrading” the drinks date to dinner and then assuming he would pay.

          There may be something to this. Sitting at the bar says, “I just plan on drinks.” But still, $175? What the hell did she order? How much did they drink?

          • Mj Says:

            How can you date in nyc and think that’s a lot for drinks and food in a nice place? He was drinking expensive port which could be 30 bucks a glass, plus whatever she drank and whatever they ate. 175 isn’t much of a stretch though way too much for a first date. Let’s not make him the innocent one here, he picked an expensive bar so it was really scum bag move of him to do this to her. Especially since I’m sure the tab was so high because if drinks not a couple apps. If he was pissed that she had the audacity to want to oreder food at a bar that serves food, he should’ve taken her to a dive bar with a happy hour and no food on the menu. As much as I agree she probably should have stuck to drinks, and that she should have been prepared with cash, he should have been prepared that the date would get expensive and picked a different place.

        • John Says:

          DMN and Selena have totally nailed it.

          DMN points out she never intended to pay as evidenced by the fact she didn’t get cash prior to ordering when she realized it was cash only. Then she isn’t attracted to him but still wants to order food. And then comes off like she had no problem paying even though it was her initial expectation that he would. So he turned the tables and stuck her with it.

          Good call DMN. And good call Selena that her getting stuck with the bill was the bad karma coming back her way for running up the bill on a guy she wasn’t into.

  7. Noquay Says:

    There are lots of places that are cash only and every one I know of has a highly visible sign identifying it as such. Here, not having ID would be really fishy as most folks drive everywhere and yep, Amex is notorious for not being accepted by many businesses. The charge rate is higher. The high tab indicates that yep, this dude is well known and does this often. Why an establishment would condone such behavior is beyond understanding. Apart from this, there are some other issues here; one, you may think he is batting over his league but he probably does not. Here, lots of out of shape, unemployed dudes living in a trailer feel entitled to in shape, attractive, high income chix. Folks only look at what you have on offer. Yep, coffee dates may be dull but are a good way to weed out problem children with minimal investment, cheaper too. Generally dudes wanting to hook up are not gonna do a coffee/lunch date. Gone. You will always meet dudes who lie about some aspect of themselves, the point is to minimize investment in those you have no attraction/interest in.

  8. Tinker Says:

    As soon as the bartender said ‘he thought you’d left for good, he’s on Bergen street) it was clear the guy was sticking you with the check because, as others have pointed out, why would the bartender let the guy leave especially if the guy told the bartender he thought you’d left for good! How would he have been paid?
    And then the bartender is throwing out street names where *you* can find him? Nah.
    I’m sorry this happened to you.

  9. C Says:

    OMG! The only way this could have gotten worse is if he had taken a bunch of food to go with him and stuck her with the bill.

    I’m so sorry! For whatever its worth, you were very gracious and much kinder then I would have been. And this is incredibly unusual so dont let it scare you.

  10. D. Says:

    My first reaction to this story was “WTF?!?!” I’ve literally never heard of a dude doing something like this. It’s bizarre. Plus, the notion of dining and dashing or saying “She’s got it” and then leaving? Again, WTF?! I’ve heard of people doing shitty things on dates, but that’s gotta be one of the worst I’ve heard.

    I wouldn’t assume that this is the kind of thing that will ever happen again. It may, however, give the OP a winning story in “Who’s got the worst date ever?” challenges.

  11. mindstar Says:

    He claimed to be an entertainment lawyer and didn’t even have a businss card with him? EVERY lawyer ALWAYS carries business cards. You never know when you’ll meet a new client.

    Re Bergen Street its in Brooklyn and runs from Cobble Hill through Prospect Heights. Depending on where in the street you are there are lots of bars, restaurants etc. This guy was likely a local.

    As others have said this guy scammed you and it appears the bartender knew. NO bartender lets anyone walk out on a bill that large.

    I disagree with not doing dinner dates. At a minimum I want to go to a place where I can can order food (wine bar, tapas, etc) since when I go out its usually 7:30-8pm and its like been 6+ hours since lunch assuming I had lunch.

    Lesson learned ALWAYS have cash with you.

  12. Yvonne Says:

    Agree that this was a scam and that the bartender probably knew, otherwise I cannot imagine letting both parties leave before anyone has paid the bill. The man’s comment that you were not planning to come back was b.s., and designed to deflect blame onto you. You DID come back and you did pay the tab, but he never offered reimbursement.

    There was an ATM right next door, yet you decided to walk 10 minutes to your bank? Why? To avoid the extra fee? Did your date know you were going to the bank or did he think you were going next door? He could have used the extra time to bail on you.

    It may not always be popular, but I do try to get a bit of personal info about someone before meeting. It also may not be popular, but I like to know what a man does for a living and where he works. Not because I’m a golddigger, but because I’m genuinely curious about what he does, and I’d like to know that he’s actually employed.

    I’m guessing this man told you he was an “entertainment layer”, and that’s about all you know about him. “I could tell he was educated and well employed, this is not someone who needs a free meal.” Are you certain? Con artists can be very smooth.

  13. Lexyluvsny Says:

    This was a scam from go – he’s an entertainment lawyer?? If he was he wouldn’t brag on an online site – it would attract to many entertainment wanna-be’s. I’m kind of bitchy & definitely cheap so if I got screwed out of $250 I’d be pissed. What do you know about this guy? Do you know where he works? Even if he lied, a few clicks on Facebook & google & you might come up with something. So I’d threaten to show up at his job! I’d also call out the bartender – call the owner of the place & let him know he’s got a scammer working for him & you are calling the police! I bet he’s run this scam on a few women – so stop him – unless you have $250 to throw away!

    • C Says:

      I’d just let this go. Nothing good can come from harrassing this guy. She isnt going to get her money back and the stress, frustration and anger of chasing down this jerk cant be worth it. Sooner or later, he will cross the wrong woman and Karma will catch up with him.

  14. Mark Says:

    Somehow, the entire tone of this letter seems…well…a little off to me. Both from his side as well as yours. Sorry, but that is how is see it.

    First and foremost, there is a reason why many people insist on a simple coffee/drink/whatever for a first meet and greet. You can pretty much tell most of the time if someone is going to be compatible with you. Were they fudging on their profile? You can fairly quickly find out. No chemistry or just not feeling it? Ditto. Your first two encounters with other guys should have made that point obvious.

    So you arrive at a restaurant of his choosing only to find out they don’t accept CC? Then why assume that you would be able to go to an ATM machine “if need be” later on in the evening? Just before you stepped in you could have easily gotten cash to cover your fair share of the tab at the end. Why wait till the end? I would feel real queasy about someone at the end telling me that they need to step out for a moment and get the cash. Fast forward- Total bill of $175. He has no ID, blah blah blah. Yeah, I am gonna say that you were likely scammed. Not entirely certain, but pretty close too it. After all, he is the one who initially suggested the place. Even if he didn’t know at first about payment policy, he would have found out just as you did upon entering. Not to mention the staff behavior – just don’t see that happening.

    Doesn’t feel good does it? Nor should it. That’s why many guys insist on something very low key for the first time meet. It allows both sides to pass muster from the other party, for whatever reason and to move forward as circumstances dictate.

    He claims he was an entertainment attorney? Possible, but I doubt it. While his actions may not have explicitly run afoul of the Rules of Professional Conduct, this behavior is not the way to win friends and influence people. Like many professions, word gets around one way or another. Any decent sort of referral pipeline would dry up.

  15. nb1972 Says:

    Well, we were drinking expensive wine, and we decided to order a lot of food once we arrived. It wasn’t planned as a dinner date, per se. Cash only policy- not sure why the bartender didn’t mention it; maybe because it’s stated on the menu? Not sure why he didn’t ask for a card to open a tab; in retrospect, that is strange. I don’t think he knew the bartenders, as I think they would have suggested that he just call in with his debit card number.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Whose idea was it to get food?

    • Lisa Says:

      They’re saying they think he was working in cahoots w/ the bartender…to try to create a situation where you felt forced to cover the entire check. (And if the plan failed, he’d have to pay.)

  16. nb1972 Says:

    I can understand the ID part. I don’t carry an ID for the reason Moxie stated.. I lost mine once and getting a new one was a nightmare, so unless I know I’ll be carded, I don’t risk taking it out and losing it.

    • Lisa Says:

      I can’t understand it. Moxie said she no longer carries her SScard. OK. But why wouldn’t you bring your driver’s license/nondriver’s ID? That is what it’s for.

  17. Lisa Says:

    “Coffee dates? they’re sterile and boring. Drinks dates are fun.”

    You have the rest of your life to go on fun dates when you know he’s Mr. Right. Until then, order a splash of flavored syrup in your coffee and be a wee bit sterile and boring…until you know what you’re working with!

    I haven’t lived in NYC in quite a while so I’m not sure how long it takes to run up a $200 tab at a bar. And I am also not sure how a date w/ an ugly man with whom you had no chemistry could be described as “great” or why you’d choose to upgrade it and risk sending him the wrong message.

    I can’t identify an tip-offs but I can share some common advice that might head some of this off…

    The first date should be something quick and inexpensive.

    Don’t linger around if you don’t like him.

    Don’t upgrade if you don’t like him.

    Don’t offer to pay if you didn’t ask him out. (If he asked you, this was his problem to figure out.)


    I can’t believe you texted this assclown three times. Why?????

  18. nb1972 Says:

    My idea. The menu looked good, and I realized I was actually hungry when I sat down. He also ordered food. I often don’t pay close attention, so if I noticed the cash only requirement on the menu then he must have. But, maybe not. I’ve missed it at times.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Aaaaand…there it is. You upgraded, he was pissed, he stuck you with the tab. He lied about not having cash or a debit card. Of course he ordered food. He knew you’d be paying for it.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Nailed it. A girl’s gotta eat, right?

      In your original letter, you said you noticed the “cash only” policy when you arrived… and we believed you. Why didn’t you say, “I don’t have cash so we should either go get some, or go somewhere else” before you even went in?

      Just admit you planned on eating on his dime.

      Here’s what happened. Your date paid the bartender for his portion with cash after you left and told the bartender that you would come back and pay your share. Your date knew you weren’t interested, or was not interested himself.

      • Selena Says:

        Payday for the bartender in that scenario given she paid the full amount plus tip.

        • mindstar Says:

          With any luck the bartender will split some of it with him since she did upgrade for a guy she found unattractive

      • Mj Says:

        Meh, if he was so pissed that she ordered good there are a million dive bars in the city (yup I live in nyc too) that have cheap happy hours and do not offer food. Personally I wouldn’t order food on a date unless they brought it up especially if I wasn’t into the guy. But he still is the one who suggested the place so he should have been prepared for a possibly expensive date. Like I said there are alternatives it’s nyc for gods sake get beers at a pub. Furthermore if he was so against the food then he could have said “I’m not really hungry” it’s complete bullshit to excuse his behavior because she ordered food on a date in a place of his choosing that you know, offered food. I don’t think he was mad about her ordering food I think he was friends with the bar tender (Williamsburg hipsters tend to know each other well) and was planning this out. He was drinking expensive port of a reason. He chose an expensive place over a dive or pub for a reason. Last thing, I have been on dates where my offer to pay was accepted. Nothing odd or awkward about it. Personally I’d never let this douche get away with it and I’d only pay my way and leave the bartender to deal with the other half.

  19. nb1972 Says:

    I didn’t even consider the fact that the staff let him leave before I arrived with money. That doesn’t make any sense, so yes, they must have been ‘in’ on it in some respect. This makes it even more depressing and surprising. And he lives close by in Downtown Brooklyn, so it makes sense that this is his go to place. I can’t believe this shit goes on.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      You don’t understand. I don’t think he does this regularly. I think he did it *to you* specifically because you ordered food. That explains why he ran up an expensive tab.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        I always thought the legendary “dinner-whore-punisher” was a myth told with false bravado by MRA-types. Finally spotted a live one!

      • Mj Says:

        No offense but that theory is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. If you live in nyc you’ll know that expensive wine costs a hell of a lot more than bar food. Particularly expensive port. I’m disappointed that you’re pinning this on her when he is the one who chose the place. Would it have been so hard for him to say I’m not hungry?? Would it have been so hard for him to pick a dive bar or pub?? He chose a pricey place that offered food instead of a place that only serves happy hour price drinks so the tab was both of their responsibility. I’ve refused getting food on a date it’s not very hard. He was planning this with or without the food. Give me a break.

  20. nb1972 Says:

    My initial thought was that he told the bartender he was on Bergen st so i could find him. But, if he wanted me to find him he would have just stayed there! So wrong on that one too. And when I was on my way out, he was acting like he was horrified, said he absolutely refused to let me pay, he asked the bartender if he could return tomorrow, bartender said no. If the bartender said yes, then I wouldn’t have to cover the entire tab. So yeah, bartender was full of shit.

  21. Yvonne Says:

    Since when is ordering food at a restaurant such a bad thing, though? He could have said he wasn’t really hungry, but he did also order. They still could have split the check. I can’t see how this justifies the guy sticking her with the entire tab.

    • Selena Says:

      She could have also refused to pay his share. Or walked out of the restaurant ostensibly to get money and just kept walking.

      Kind of risky for him to run up a tab if really wasn’t prepared to pay it. HE could have ended up paying the whole thing.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Since when is ordering food at a restaurant such a bad thing, though?

      It’s rude and inappropriate. You wait until the person presumed to be paying suggest you order food. Then you order. Especially at a pricey restaurant that only accepts cash and you know you have no cash on you. She expected him to pay, he didn’t. End scene.

      The guy intentionally sat at the bar, which meant he didn’t plan on eating. When she suggested they order food, he wasn’t going to say no and look like a jack ass. Women who do this put the men in an uncomfortable position, as they are often forced to go along with it and can’t speak up or else risk looking like a douche.

      If you suggest food, then you need to make it clear you plan on paying for it. But, again, most guys aren’t going to let the woman do that. So in the end they’re forced to pay for much more than they originally planned.

  22. nb1972 Says:

    No, I didn’t pretend to intend to pay all along, those are your words, not mine. I’m not feeding anyone bullshit, so save the cynicism. I simply stated that I could go to the ATM if need be. And yes, I did think, oh, I have no cash, but, if we were to split it, the atm is across the street. This wasn’t a 5 star restaurant, running across the street for cash isn’t some sort of faux pas. But, if i’m not attracted, I insist on splitting it because it’s an easy way to send the ‘I’m not interested’ message, so I don’t go on any date without access to cash.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Ok NB, I’m going easy on you because you did get scammed, and I feel sorry that you’re out $100. But your story is changing before our eyes. You can’t pull that “cynicism” shit with people who “get to the bottom of things” for a living, ok?

    • mindstar Says:

      If the ATM was across the street why did it take you 10 minutes?

  23. nb1972 Says:

    I never mentioned I didn’t have cash on me. And I didn’t look at the menu until we were a few drinks in. And we were having fun, and didn’t want to interrupt it. I just figured I’d get cash after. Paying my half wasn’t something I intended to stick on him. Yeah, I made some missteps, but i wasn’t out to scam this guy for a plate of chicken and a tiramisu.

    • Selena Says:

      What did you say when the check came?

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      We’re all well versed in the who pays the check dance and how these things work. We all know that when you go on a first date, you bring cash just in case. If you don’t, now you do.

    • John Says:

      See, here’s the thing. The guy probably was attracted to you in the beginning. He has no idea if you are into him or not. Only you know that. So, many guys will offer up a second round of drinks or some appetizers in the hopes of extending the date and making a good impression of getting a second date with you.

      If you weren’t into him, then you should have declined any further drinks or food beyond the first drink. Even if I knew a girl was gonna pay her half (which you don’t obviously), I would stop ordering. Because why would I pay for more drinks or food (even if it was just my own portion) when I was with someone who wasn’t attracted to me?

      You broke all kinds of dating etiquette and got what you deserved. You think you have a good story to tell? I think the guy has a better one to tell.

  24. nb1972 Says:

    We drank a LOT. And the port, which he was drinking, was expensive. Most of the bill was alcohol. By the time we ordered dinner, I absolutely planned to cover my half. and like i said, it was kind of awkward to run to the atm mid date. just easier when the check came. It was across the street. This place was like a gastro pub, expensive, but casual.

  25. nb1972 Says:

    But yeah, I can definitely see how he thought I’d stick him with the tab. So Moxie is probably right on that.

  26. nb1972 Says:

    He ordered food as well, approximately the same cost as mine. But like I said, the majority of the bill was drinks. But yeah, he ended the date abruptly because while we were having fun, he knew he wasn’t getting laid, and thought he’d be stuck with a bill that didn’t have any sexual silver lining.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Holy Christ on a Cracker.

      He stuck you with the bill because you ordered food. You’re not acknowledging how you totally brought this on yourself by being rude and ordering food. And I call major bullshit on the whole debit card/cash thing. You’re not 14 going on your first date. You know how these things go. You don’t whip out your debit card at the end of a date and say, “Well, gee, let me put my half on my card.” If you do, stop doing that, because it’s awkward. We all know there is a possibility that we will not be interested in the other person, ergo we all know that we may end up having to pay our share of the tab. Using the lack of cash excuse is just another way to force a guy to pay the tab.

      You don’t bring cash because you don’t plan on paying.

  27. nb1972 Says:

    Jesus, I can’t believe how cynical some of the people are here. I don’t mislead a man I don’t want to see again by letting him pay. I’d rather pay my end then have to reject him later when he follows up, if he’s interested. I go out to dinner alone often, it’s not some Greek tragedy to pay for my meal/drinks. I wasn’t trying to scam the guy in any way.

  28. nb1972 Says:

    And if I really wanted to stick him with the bill, I simply wouldn’t have returned to pay it.

  29. nb1972 Says:

    I don’t usually bring cash. I don’t carry cash in general, which yeah, I should, if only to avoid spending 10 bucks at the bodega just so i can have a 2$ bag of cookies. I’ve never been to an upscale NYC restaurant that only takes cash. Yeah, maybe some cheap ethnic places, but an upscale pub? It didn’t cross my mind that they wouldn’t take debit cards. Lesson learned the hard way.

  30. nb1972 Says:

    Huh? Just because you’re some sort of private investigator or what have you, you’re some expert on human motivation? Apparently not. And yeah, it is cynical. I’m a pretty good authority on myself, and I’m well aware of what my intentions were.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Ha, yes, and this investigation has closed so I don’t know why there is still talking. Oh, wait, yes I do.

    • mindstar Says:

      nb1972 your intentions are known only to you. Other people can only judge you on your actions. And a 40+ woman who goes on a first date and doesn’t bring cash? Just seems odd.

  31. nb1972 Says:

    Didn’t sense any attraction from him either. But yeah, if there is, on his part, I expect him to pay. It’s a reasonable expectation because that’s what men do on dates.

  32. nb1972 Says:

    no the bank was about 10 min round trip. yeah i spend a ton of money on atm fees, since i never grab cash from my own bank when i’m near it. It wasn’t much further and considering the fact that I was covering the bill I didn’t give a shit about making him wait another 5 min. Why he said he thought I went to the grocery store makes no sense at all. no idea on that one. And, like an idiot, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and reassured him that it was no big deal!!! Didn’t cross my mind that he’d do this, he seemed completely normal. No red flags, nothing. And he ordered food too.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Of course he ordered food too, and of course he ordered expensive wine. He was setting you up.He knew he was going to stick you with the tab. Jesus.

      • Lisa Says:

        That sounds really deranged. And makes him way more of a jackass still than what you are purporting nb1972 to be.

  33. nb1972 Says:

    yeah, i do pull out my debit card and offer to split it. how else do you split a bill?

    I noticed the cash only when we started ordering food from the menu. because that’s where i noted the policy, not on the door when I walked in. As I stated. We were about 3 drinks in when we started ordering food. Anyhow, I’m not going to stay in some pissing contest defending myself. My question was what was this guy up to. Now I know.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      yeah, i do pull out my debit card and offer to split it. how else do you split a bill

      WITH CASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Oh my God, are you serious? You don’t try and put your share of the bill on your card. That’s a total inconvenience to the guy you’re out with and the wait staff. It makes an already awkward situation more awkward. You bring cash. It’s just not possible that you don’t know this. You knew the place was cash only, you knew you weren’t interested in him, yet you proceeded to ORDER FOOD while you SAT AT THE BAR and consume multiple drinks.

      • Chester Says:

        Moxie, I learn so much from you. I have been in this situation and I feel the pressure but wasn’t even able to verbalize it.

        I also have a female friend and she always pulls out the credit card to split, and instinctively avoid the awkwardness by offering to pay. Later, I would say I’ll pick up this, you can pick up the next one. She objected to that because she didn’t want to feel obligated. So we still have awkward moments when the bill arrives and some arguments at well.

  34. nb1972 Says:

    I knew nothing except what was on his OKC profile, and he did list that he was an entertainment lawyer. I’ve probably been on 10 online dates. most have been pretty uneventful. I don’t research people before I meet them, because I don’t expect this shit. But I will now.

  35. nb1972 Says:

    If I wasn’t open to paying my half, I certainly wouldn’t have returned and paid his half as well. The bar didn’t have any identifying info on me. He works in the neighborhood, as he mentioned on the date, so yes, this is probably his go to bar.

  36. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    Using my superior sleuthing skills, I have deduced that nb1972 does not know how to use the “reply” button.

  37. D. Says:

    Look, guys get pissed about their dates upgrading, and they get particularly pissed when they aren’t that interested in the other person. When a guy invites you out, social convention suggests that you’re his guest, meaning he’ll pay for you. In most cases, men accept this and are prepared to pay. Maybe you’ll suggest/insist on splitting the bill, but most men have their shit together enough to know that if they invited you out, they’re paying the tab.

    When you upgrade the date to dinner without him suggesting it, it puts him in a very awkward position, because social convention STILL suggests that he will pay, even if he doesn’t want to, even if he’s never going to see you again. When this happens, he’s basically got three options: (1) decline to get food, end the date, and pay for his drink (and maybe hers); (2) tell her to go ahead, but split the check when it comes; or (3) resign himself to getting stuck paying a higher bill than he wanted to for someone he’ll likely never see again and maybe doesn’t even have any desire to see. I suppose we also now know a 4th option…

    Bottom line: don’t upgrade dates. Just don’t do it.

    Maybe you’re prepared to pay your own way, but plenty of guys will feel obligated to pay even if you offer, even if they don’t want to. They’ll assume you’re just trying to get a free meal from them in most cases, even if you aren’t. Upgrading can sour an otherwise good date if you do it without him suggesting it, again, because social convention says he’s paying, and that means you’re imposing upon his generosity (even if you don’t intend it to be taken that way).

    If you simply must eat because you’re about to pass out from low blood sugar or something, be prepared to pay. In this case, that would’ve meant you had cash on hand already. If you don’t, all it seems like is, again, you simply assumed the guy would pay. When you got up to go get cash and took 10 minutes doing so, it was fair of him to assume that you bailed on him entirely.

    Your intention of paying is irrelevant. He doesn’t know you intend to pay. All he sees is a woman expecting him to pick up a more expensive tab than he planned on paying, followed by a woman who walked out the door. Period. That’s what he sees, because that’s what you showed him. The fact that you planned to pay from the moment you ordered food, the fact that you withdrew money with every intent of returning, the fact that you donated 33% of the money you withdrew to his favorite charity, he knows none of that. All he sees is you ordering food he has to pay for, and then you walking out the door.

    If you’d stuck with just drinks, I expect the guy would’ve been pleasant enough, would’ve paid, and that would’ve been that. As it is, whether you intended to send this message or not, it came across as you presuming upon his generosity due to social convention, followed by you bailing on him entirely. In this case, either he nailed you for it, or the bartender pocketed two tabs. Either way, live and learn.

    • Lisa Says:

      I don’t disagree w/ your admonitions against upgrading.

      However, when my bf and I were planning our first date, he threw out several suggestions of places to go/things to do…that ranged from free to pricey. We didn’t know each other and he had no idea what I liked to do/eat. He was open to whatever. So I agreed to one of his suggestions to go to this sports bar/bowling alley/restaurant/arcade place. We walked in and sat at the bar. The date was going well and I started to get hungry. I asked if we could get a table. He said OK. We both ordered food. I didn’t have any cash. But if he had made a big deal about the food I ordered, I would have put half the bill on my debit card (no inconvenience for anyone).

      Weeks after the fact, I asked him how he was feeling on the date. And he told me, “great…once you asked if we could get a table. Then I was pretty sure you liked me.”

      Maybe he’s just naive.

      But I also felt upgrading in that situation would be a good thing. But I knew I liked him and I felt he liked me, too.

      I wouldn’t try to extend a date w/ a man I wasn’t into tho. Free meal or no. I just wouldn’t waste my time.

      • Tinker Says:

        This raises an interesting point- if the date is going really well continuing it by ordering food wouldn’t be seen as a negative upgrade but maybe a positive ‘let’s keep the good times rolling’ type of thing

        • Tinker Says:

          But I guess the offer should come from the guy though to be safe. Alright I’ve worked it out; carry on.

          • D. Says:

            This. While a date might be going well, it’s still probably best to let the guy suggest getting food. Again, it’s really more about what the polite thing to do is. You’re his guest. If you were going to a friend’s house for an afternoon BBQ, you wouldn’t get drunk and say “Hey, it’s ok if I crash here, right?” That would be imposing upon their hospitality. Same deal with upgrading a date.

            If you’re really starving, you can suggest getting food, but again, be prepared to pay. If you’ve decided where to go in advance, you can always check ahead to make sure they take plastic. Yelp, menupages.com, Google, the place’s own website, any of these will usually have this info. That way, if you aren’t in the habit of carrying cash, you can know to go grab some. Just have enough to pay for what you’d expect would be your half, if you end up having to. In Lisa’s case, the bowling alley took plastic, so she was prepared.

            But a little common sense and thinking ahead can also help here. If you’re meeting up a little later than when you’d normally eat, and it isn’t clear that you’re meeting for dinner, grab a quick bite at your place before you leave. Granola bar, half a sandwich, whatever. Just something so you won’t be starving on the date. Plan ahead.

            In all likelihood, though, if the date is one of those ambiguous “drinks….and maybe food?” dates, and it’s going as well as you think, the guy will probably want to keep it going and will suggest food. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s disinterested if he doesn’t, but no guy is gonna suggest spending more of his time and money if he isn’t digging you.

            • Chester Says:

              D, Your initial post and assessment on this thread are words of gold. Lisa’s contrary experience has two major differences. 1. They were both very into each other. 2. Her suggestion to get a table is almost like inviting him to a different venue. He will usually close out the initial tab (or transfer it), they will both have to get up and there is an implicit invitation that is from her. This is very different situation from where the guy has an open tab and the girl suggests getting dinner there. The guy also has more ways to respectfully decline the “Lets grab a table” due to this break.
              Using the house invitation analogy… The first is like inviting a friend over for drinks and the friend says “I’m getting hungry, let’s cook up those steaks in your fridge”. The second is like “I’m getting hungry, let’s grab a pizza at that pizzashop next door”

  38. nb1972 Says:

    Yeah, cash is probably easier, but I’ve split bills with my debit card several times. never seemed to be an issue.

  39. nb1972 Says:

    D. yes, that all makes sense. mistakes on my end, but walking out on a high bill? And if he was waiting for me to return, why didn’t he at least text or call?

    • D. Says:

      Again, he has no idea what your intentions are when you leave the restaurant. He may have been fed up by the point you did that and it went longer than 5 minutes. Or maybe he just paid the bartender or said “Look, I need to go home and pay, but you know me, I’ll be back. If she asks, tell her where I went.” Maybe the bartender scammed a full tab out of each of you. I have no idea.

      But I do know that this would have all gone a lot more smoothly if you just stuck with drinks and/or let him suggest food, and if you’d had cash on hand to pay your half of the bill. When you saw the bar was cash only, that’s when you should’ve gone to get cash. That would’ve left you prepared to pay when the bill came.

      In a sense, what happened to you is what happens to guys when a woman upgrades: they get stuck paying a higher tab than they planned. This guy just wasn’t playing that game and instead stuck you with the tab. I think it’s rather a dick move, but that’s not really the point.

      Don’t upgrade in the future and it won’t be a problem. Be ready and able to pay your half — on the spot — and you won’t have a guy leaving you holding the bill. At that point, you’ve paid your half, and the rest is his problem. But yeah, this is kinda what it’s like for a guy when a woman spontaneously upgrades. It suggests “Oh, you’ve got this, right?”

      Also, hit the “Reply” button below each individual post if you want to reply directly to someone.

  40. nb1972 Says:

    I texted him because I thought he left and didn’t return because he too mortified. I assumed he really did expect to pay with his amex and didn’t notice the cash only note on the menu. I basically gave him the benefit of the doubt. Until the next morning when I received a nasty text AFTER I had told him it was no big deal and I’ve done the same thing.

  41. Lexyluvsny Says:

    I’d still try to get my 1/2 of the bill back! !And avoid anyone online who claims to make too much money on OKC & anyone claiming to be a doctor, lawyer or movie producer :-)

  42. nb1972 Says:

    Get my half? I think that’s a waste of time. My assumption is that the bartender doesn’t care whose half is whose. that’s not his problem.

  43. nb1972 Says:

    Yeah, upgrading BAD idea. lesson learned on that.

  44. nb1972 Says:

    I was really enjoying his company. Despite the lack of attraction on both our parts, were having fun, (I thought he was too) so no reason to end the date.

  45. nb1972 Says:

    When the check came, i went to get my debit in my bag, and he forked over the amex first. He was refusing to let me pay, I could have just gone with that and left it up to him to figure out his half, but I returned with 200$.

    • Selena Says:

      Okay. I wondered if when the check came you informed him then of the need to hit the ATM. To me, that looks worse than telling him earlier before the bill got so high. But you did pull out your debit card believing it to be used for cash, so I can understand your surprise when they refused to take it.

      Not sure what to think about the guy. It seems near certain he made some arrangement with the bartender in order to leave before you got back with the money. Whether it was premeditated to stick you will the bill, or a crime of opportunity, I couldn’t say.

      I hope you’ve found some of the comments useful, I know I have.

      -Don’t upgrade the date
      – Bring enough cash to pay for what you order
      – Don’t extend a date with someone you are not romantically interested

      I’ll add, if you think you might get hungry while on the date, eat something beforehand. You’ll be less tempted to order food, and it’ll help absorb the alcohol.

      Sorry you had this experience, but I think it sparked some great discussion. :)

  46. Tinker Says:

    So when you decide to order food and see it’s cash only, it would’ve been nice to say ‘I don’t have cash on me, I’m happy to go to the ATM when the check comes’. That way it’s a heads up that you are not trying to spend more money of his than he planned to spend. That’s an easy fix for future dates.
    And while I’ve never seen a waiter have a problem splitting a bill on two debit cards, especially if you do it in half and not try to itemize, it’s still best to have some cash on you on dates. Always.

  47. Yvonne Says:

    I still say that they guy picked the pricey place. If he’s been there before, he knows their policies. I’m still questioning his going on the date with the wrong credit card, no debit card, no cash, and no ID. I’m guessing the bartender let him leave because he knows him. Maybe she shouldn’t have ordered food without saying she would pay upfront, but he still drank expensive drinks, he still ate, and he still should have reimbursed her for half the bill.

  48. Wolfy Says:

    Even I know to have cash for dates. Still do, even with a guy I’ve been seeing over a month that doesn’t let me pay. It’s just much easier and convenient when going out to unknown places. It also makes you look better prepared and less of a user.

  49. Wolfy Says:

    I’ve had first date dinners (lessons learned) with somewhat attractive males but zero attraction/connection. Both times I stated that rest assured I’ve got my half. One guy seemed to appreciate that and never offered to pay. He was the nice, but no connection. The other was so socially awkward, conversation was like bouncing pennies off the wall. I made it clear that I wanted to end it and most definitely pay my half, but he argued to pay even invited me to a movie after. I guess saying i wanted to leave and looking around was not enought of a clue. Anyways, the lesson is cash is king and is the best resolve for getting out of any sticky situations, whether a awkward date or the Mexican policia

  50. bbdawg Says:

    This is interesting…Ok so the OP goes to a cash-only restaurant which she noticed at some point during the date…and proceeds to order…knowing the bill would be high…knowing SHE has NO cash on herself…Ok that alone is wrong…personally unless I am actually exclusively (or at least very clearly) dating someone I don’t accept expensive dates, and if I did, I would have a discussion with the other person to make sure it’s ok. Also, I try to have enough to at least cover my end of the bill, just in case.

    A lawyer who lives in downtown Brooklyn is not swimming in cash.

    I once went on a date with a “lawyer” who had pictures of himself in front of an expensive restaurant in Manhattan on his profile…it turns out he was unemployed when I met him, and doing contract, low-paid “document review” work when it came up (I mentioned that it was unusual that he was available at 7pm). Not all “lawyers” are partners, not all lawyers are wealthy. If you go on a date with a “lawyer” who is available at an early-ish hour during the week, keep that in mind. Also, I agree with mindstar, lawyers have business cards on them.

    Even if this dude wasn’t a lawyer and if he was scamming you, you shouldn’t assume things. Yeah maybe he was. He may or may not know the bartender. But that doesn’t mean you should have run such a tab.

    • Lisa Says:

      “A lawyer who lives in downtown Brooklyn is not swimming in cash.”

      How can you conclude that? Many Bklyn neighbords are extremely affluent. it’s not the downtown Bkyln of the 70s and 80s.

      • bbdawg Says:

        Make that what you will, Lisa. In my opinion, if a lawyer makes “a lot of money/a good living” he is more likely to live in Manhattan, or if he lives in Brooklyn, in specific areas like Brooklyn Heights. What I am saying is that the OP assumes that because the man is a lawyer he has money and can afford random 200-dollar dates with women he isn’t attracted to (as per her admission). What I am saying is, if she is looking a dude to take her out on expensive dates, he is not the best candidate, I am making that assumption based on the neighborhood and the fact that he announced that he is an “entertainment lawyer” on his dating profile, but had no business card on him.

        What kind of person makes grand pronoucements about his career on his dating profile? Most men who are actually wealthy don’t spell that out so as to avoid “gold diggers” and the ones that do, do for a reason – to barter wealth for youth.

        An “entertainment lawyer” is going to need to attend events which most likely happen in Manhattan and he should be client-centric if possible. A man who is in the age range to have gone out on a date with the OP (mid-late 40s and older) would most likely already be well-off/secure by now, if he is indeed an “entertainment lawyer”.

        Downtown Brooklyn isn’t the most convenient or atttractive to live, it is not a place that is super easy to get to and from areas like downtown/Midtown Manhattan and Williamsburg. Given that most lawyers work long hours, it’s ideal to have a short commute if possible.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          You win the award for wrongest comment ever.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          I am literally holding my head together to keep parts of my brain from falling out because my head has exploded.

          HE HAD A BUSINESS CARD ON HIM!!!!! He LIED. How is this all so confusing and difficult to understand?

          And, NO, where he lives has nothing to do with any of it. Maybe he found a place at a good price that he bought.

          Stating he’s an entertainment lawyer in his profile is not a grand announcement. Lots of people specify what it is they do for work in their profile.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            Please. As morally bankrupt as “entertainment lawyers” are known to be, we all know they would never lie. Especially ones who are over 40. Because that’s just crazy. Almost as crazy as someone not carrying business cards on a date. I mean those business cards open all kinds of doors.

            • ATWYSingle Says:

              Whoops. Sorry. I forgot. This isn’t about determining what actually happened, it’s about tossing around baseless theories that completely ignore the obvious.

        • Lisa Says:

          The courthouses are all right there in downtown Bklyn.

          It’s a big area and where he lives could border Bklyn Heights or Ft. Greene or wherever.

  51. Lexyluvsny Says:

    You were scammed! If you want to be a door mat & let this guy & his friend screw you out of money fine! Maybe you have that kind of money to waste – you do have expensive taste as you’ve referenced how you were guzzling down expensive wine. But then why are you upset? You had a nice meal & drinks!

  52. AC Says:

    After reading the comments, I went back and reread the OP’s letter. A couple of questions and a few comments:

    If the place was clearly no cash, why not get money before entering?

    If you’re not attracted to this guy, why stick around AND order food?

    This makes it appear that you had no problem sticking him with a large tab. I’ve seen this happen several times where a woman tries to upgrade the date. The considerate ones will say point blank they’re hungry and will pay their fair share. Other times, I’ll swear it’s a shit test. Make no mistake, what this guy did was sleazy and downright mean, but I can assure you there are bitter guys taking notes on this and/or giving him props for finding a way to turn the tables.

    Again, this whole situation reeks of some sort of scam – the biggest red flag being the bartender’s reaction. If you’re genuinely pissed off about this and need peace of mind, go back to the bar. You may not find this guy there but I’m sure the bartender will be there. Threaten to tell the owner or say you’ll post something on Yelp. Do something about it.

    Whatever you chose, don’t listen to your friends shitty advice about sticking to coffee dates. You’re right, they’re lame (especially for NYC) and you’ll come across as some wounded bird which will turn off potentially interested guys.

    • Wolfy Says:

      Whatever you chose, don’t listen to your friends shitty advice about sticking to coffee dates. You’re right, they’re lame (especially for NYC) and you’ll come across as some wounded bird which will turn off potentially interested guys.

      I seriously don’t see anything wrong with coffee dates. It might be lamo in NY, but I live in Cali and love coffee. Low stress, easy out, low investment, no bear goggles, what’s not to love?

      I’ve had coffee, cocktails, lunch, and dinner dates, and my coffee dates have been the only type of dates that got me two LTR and 2-3 dates on two others.

  53. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    “I’m no model, but I’m objectively better looking then he.”

    God, I would certainly hope so. You are a woman, after all.

  54. AnnieNonymous Says:

    The guy is the one who picked the restaurant. He knew they didn’t accept cards. I can give the OP a pass on not getting cash beforehand because there’s usually an ATM in a cash-only bar or not far away outside. She might have wanted to wait until the check so she’d know how much cash to take out. I think it was an accident of circumstances that he ditched her, but he always planned on making her pay.

  55. LostSailor Says:

    A comedy of errors and a, uh, vibrant comment thread.

    This may be repetitive. Fair warning.

    Was NB “scammed”? Maybe, maybe not. The evidence for is that he picked the gastropub and, at least by the OP, he never actually said he didn’t have cash, just that he tried to pay with Amex and said he didn’t have a debit card or ID, and, most damning, they let him leave apparently without paying the bill. Did the bartender know him? Who knows, not enough evidence.

    Now, the other side. Did he know the place was cash-only? Maybe. And perhaps he actually had the cash. But by NB’s own admission, she didn’t feel any attraction to this guy (she’s “objectively better looking, but he “didn’t flirt with [her] at all”), yet continued the date, going several rounds of expensive wine and then ramping it up to ordering food. No where in NB’s letter is it suggested that she offered to split the bill before ordering.

    When he “abruptly decides” to end the date (was another round on order contemplated?) and he takes out the Amex, she suggests he leave his ID before going to the ATM “next door.” The message there is clear: She expects him to pay; he’s an entertainment lawyer after all. Other comments notwithstanding, NB also commented that if she thinks a guy in attracted and interested, even is she is not, she expects him to pay, because that’s what men on dates do (other “intentions” stated to the contrary notwithstanding and not communicated to the man in question). She would have covered the bill, but it was $175! So, apparently happily covering the bill is okay, unless it’s too large, then, not so much.

    Cut to, she says she’s going to the ATM and he looks “horrified.” I would pay real money to have seen how that interaction went. The ATM is “next door,” yet she was gone 10 minutes. Depending on how that scene went, and with the assurance that she took coat (if any) and all personal effects and left…

    Now, did he know the bartender? Or did the bartender take pity on him and trusted him to come back and pay the bill? Who knows. He leaves thinking she’s walked out, perhaps saying he’s walking down Bergen. She returns, pays, and wonders why he didn’t send a text saying he was leaving (why bother if he thought she’d ditched him because he couldn’t pay?). She sends two texts: Where are you? (you bastard for making me pay!) and “don’t worry, I’ve done that before” (running out on a guy on a date, leaving him to deal with the bill).

    Not to slag on NB. It could have legit been a complete misunderstanding. Or maybe he was running a scam. It’s just if you look at it from the other side, it’s not so clear.

    NB asks: Who goes out on a date in nyc with only an AMEX, and no ID or any way to get cash on a date? I say: who goes out on a date without cash or way to pay but expects someone else to pay. Well, most women.

    His response to NB’s texts is not unreasonable. He thought she’d played him and skipped. That she doesn’t understand the “grocery store” comment is disingenuous. Brooklyn bodegas.

    As I said to start, there are some suspicious element here on his part. But not as nefarious as it might seem at first.

    Just another perspective…

    • Selena Says:

      “Now, did he know the bartender? Or did the bartender take pity on him and trusted him to come back and pay the bill?”

      In one of her comments NB wrote her date asked the bartender if he could come back and pay tomorrow and the bartender said no. Possibly she was gone so long at the ATM both the date and the bartender thought she wasn’t coming back? What’s the bartender supposed to do? Calling the police might be too much of a hassle and bad for other customers to see. The guy could have told him he was going down Bergen St. to get cash and the bartender just let him go. Maybe he’d come back and pay, if not, well the business would just have to write it off.

      She comes back and pays. Starts sending him texts. He’s off the hook for the bill. Since there apparently isn’t mutual attraction…what the hell…might as well let her eat the tab.

      It’s what I was thinking when I commented that this could of been a crime of opportunity, not necessarily premeditated. It feels more plausible to me than he and the bartender being “in cahoots” scamming women.

      • AC Says:

        I’ve never worked in the bar industry, but why would a bartender risk his job over to strangers? Maybe we should find the name of this bar and set up a sting operation?

        • Selena Says:

          I’ve worked in the bar/restaurant industry as both a server and a bookkeeper. It’s common for managers to “comp” the tab of an unhappy customer simply in the hopes said customer won’t bad mouth the restaurant. Bartenders willing to risk their job for strangers? Not common.

          If this particular bartender let the guy go without paying or promising to pay later it might be because he had managerial authority to do so, OR he got permission from the manager/owner. We don’t know since date dude was gone when NB came back and the bartender didn’t tell her why he let him go.

          A sting on this particular bar would have to involve women going on dates with the same guy NB did. Impractical, but might make for another interesting thread. :)

          • AC Says:

            We would need NB to provide this guys profile info. first. Have an attractive woman email him, see if he takes the bait…set up a date.

            This will never happen but it would be an interesting experiment.

    • AC Says:

      I think you make some interesting points. Still, I have to ask what bartender would like to people walk out of a bar with $175 tab outstanding? It sounds like he wasn’t too worried about getting the money.

      • Lisa Says:

        I’m curious what everyone means by “let him walk out.” Unless bartendersd are in the business of pulling guns on customers, I don’t see how the bartender would be able to stop him.

        • Tinker Says:

          The way the story is told it sounds like the guy had a convo with the bartender and said he was leaving ( he mentioned that he didn’t think she was coming back, said he’d be on Bergen street). Bartender didn’t mention that he tried to stop him and he didn’t seem flustered or bothered or anything when she came back to pay. Quite fishy- I’ve never heard of anyone giving the bartender a heads up when they were walking out on their tab lol
          So while the bartender couldn’t have physically stopped him, you’d think he’d be quite upset/flustered if he thought folks were running out on the bill.

  56. LostSailor Says:

    And to address a couple of thing Moxie said in her reply:

    I don’t carry my ID with me unless I know I’m going somewhere were I could be carded because I’m so afraid to lose it again…and for not having cash because many people no longer carry cash.
    But no debit card? That’s fishy. And why couldn’t he take a cash advance on his credit card?

    Most people’s ID is a driver’s license. I’ve had my wallet stolen and while it was a bit of a pain to get it replaced, it wasn’t that bad.

    So, who the fuck who live in NYC doesn’t carry ID on them? Only when you “could be carded”? Sorry, in our 40s or later, you’re not worried about being carded. The only place you’ll be carded regardless of age in NYC is at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. I was only carded once in the last three years at both MSG and Barclay’s and the last two only at concerts. Maybe it’s just a woman thing. I don’t know of any guy (and please guys chime in if I’m wrong) that doesn’t carry his ID with him.

    I don’t have a debit card. I also try to limit what I pay on credit (though I usually do credit on dates because I don’t want to deal with the cash–on dates) and prefer to pay cash for most things, so I usually carry a couple of hundred in cash.

    And while I completely agree that “dinner dates” are only for when you’ve established a real relationship (and I do like checking out both new restaurants and my old favorites, especially steak houses), I’ll often set first or second dates for restaurants that have really good bars. (if your in NY, the bar at Keen’s is great for that) and sit at the bar. I much prefer the bar to a table: you’re usually sitting next to each other rather than across a table, and closer than a table can do. And I’m not adverse to ordering some food, but you got to control that shit, suggest sharing an app rather than ordering dinner.

    The bottom line is to take responsibility for your own dating, don’t expect a free ride, and, in NB’s case, learn from the experience and don’t get cynical…

  57. NB Says:

    Lost sailor- he did said he didn’t have cash, hence me leaving to get some.

    • Mark Says:


      There is the thing. You are 41, not 21. You have had a few years of dating experience.

      You did not mention that you had just gotten out of a long term relationship only to find that the dating world landscape has changed. Nor did you say that you relocated to Brooklyn from another part of the country where they might do things very differently. So you really ought to have a good grounding in what the social conventions are in this regard and should know better. Especially in a major metro area like NYC.

      You found out that this was a cash only joint (although you materially changed your story about when you actually found out). Both of you ran up a hefty tab. You on your own accord, without his invitation, unilaterally decided to order food from the menu. You continued to engage him in conversation even though you knew there was no attraction from your end instead of politely calling an end to the thing after the first drink or two. All this time the bill is moving higher and higher. He picked up on this. At the end when he pulls his stunt with the card, it was only then that you mentioned that you had no cash. If you were in his shoes, given what you have been saying, what would you have likely thought and done?

      I’m sure you can appreciate why an ordinary person of reasonable sensitivities might find this questionable. From his end as well as yours. Any number of people who chimed in here gave their input. Much of it fair, or at least worth considering.

      Be prepared for contingencies and treat other in the same way that you would want to be treated. Life is a lot easier that way. For everyone.

  58. NB Says:

    Nor did I go out without the ability to pay. It didnt cross my mind that it woukd be cash only. I bought my debit card, and was obviously able to pay. When he said grocery store, i was thinking key foods or something. Most people call bodegas bodegas.

  59. Steve From the City Next Door Says:

    My guess is that it was either a total scam or something like this…
    The ATM is across the street…they see her go someplace else (either directly or CCTV). Then either the guy goes across the street to the ATM (possibly with other bar worker), gets cash and pays — or — the bar suddenly has a card machine — for the catering side of the business or some other lame excuse — but they will do it for an extra $20.

    For the original email:I discovered was cash only when I arrived
    later: I noticed the cash only when we started ordering food from the menu
    The story is a-changin.

  60. Lisa Says:

    I’m not convinced it was a scam or a retributive punishment for upgrading.

    I think it’s possible this ugly, awkward clod got a reccommendation from a friend about where to take a woman on a first date. He wasn’t well-prepared, probably doesn’t date much, might have been new to the area. He might have been embarrassed, might have been fumbling and mumbling around while NB1972 was on her way to the ATM. When she took too long, he got mad and more embarrassed, convinced she’d skipped out on him, and he went to look for his own ATM (on Bergen St). The bartender might be used to this type of confusion when the check comes, and figured there was a decent chance one or both would return w/ some cash.

    We have no way of knowing whether or not the guy ever returned w/ money.

    Personally, if i’d been told to meet a guy I didn’t know at a restaurant I wasn’t familiar with and discovered when I got there that it was cash only, “I’d just say to the guy when he got there, “hey, did you realize this place is cash only? I won’t order much.”

    Then he’s on notice. It’s his problem then.

    Not convinced this was premeditated or retalliatory.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      I shouldn’t indulge you because, as usual, you’re raising innocuous points/questions and being willfully obtuse in order to hijack the thread for yourself, but:

      Yes, we all know how appropriate and wonderful and just a god damn slice of heaven you are to men and how they adore you for it.

      He ditched her and didn’t want to pay anything. The end.

    • Selena Says:

      The more I thought about this yesterday, the more I saw ‘reasonable doubt’ as to a deliberate scam also.

      I find it strange though that a man would go out for the evening with only an Amex card in his wallet. Other commenters have pointed out Amex isn’t accepted everywhere. Don’t people who rely on Amex also carry an alternative payment method just for this possibility?

      If he did go back the next day to pay the tab, he knows the OP did pay it and wasn’t lying. The fact he hasn’t offered an apology or partial re-imbursement is interesting.

      • BostonRobin Says:

        Anyone who “only has Amex” (or even Discover, lol) and no cash has no intention of paying. They know perfectly well that most places don’t take it.

        BTDT, stuck with the bill, learned to keep first dates brief and inexpensive. I think I would bail if someone started running up a big tab. Also? no one should ever show up to a date without any means to pay.

        • Lisa Says:

          Restaurants in NYC take Amex way more than in any other city I’ve been to. My whole childhood, all my parents had were Amex cards and we went out to eat a lot and those were the cards used. It might have changed somewhat but if you have only Amex, NYC is the city.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        People are getting stuck on what he said he had on him in the form of payment and not considering the most likely answer that he lied about not having a debit card or cash on him.

        He lied. He had cash and a debit card on him. He didn’t offer an apology or reimbursement because, once more with feeling, he intentionally stuck her with the bill.

        • Selena Says:

          What about the bartender? He lied to the bartender as well as the OP when he said he didn’t have anything, but an Amex card. Was the bartender a buddy who knew what the guy was trying to do?

          When the OP didn’t go to the ATM across the street, it seems reasonable that both the date and the bartender could assume she skipped. Does the date then pay off the bartender with the cash he pretended not to have? Looks pretty sleazy in front of the bartender if they not buddies. Would a 40 something man do that?

          And then the OP does come back and the bartender accepts HER payment. Pocketing that is kind of risky if he and the date dude weren’t friends.

          Also, this guy had no way of knowing the woman would pay the bill. It’s a cash bar. How many women go out on a date with $200 cash? What if she didn’t bring her debit card? Gave the bartender only enough cash to pay her share or a portion of the bill? She could have agreed to go to the ATM for the full amount and then thought, “F this, I’m not paying for his port!” and left. Or never intended to get money at all and left.

          The theory the guy ran up the bill knowing he was going to stick her with it is tidy until one sees how easily HE could have been stuck with it. Maybe he thought it was worth the gamble?

          • Yvonne Says:

            If we he unhappy about her “upgrading” the date, couldn’t he have simply said, “Shall we split this?” when the check came?

            • Selena Says:

              “If we he unhappy about her “upgrading” the date, couldn’t he have simply said, “Shall we split this?” when the check came?”

              Which seems a more likely scenario than a middle aged man creating an elaborate ruse with the complicity of a bartender.

              The whole claiming to have only an Amex card thing though…just seems so shady.

      • D. Says:

        It’s not that interesting, though, if you put yourself in his shoes.

        From his perspective, she’s just some woman who blithely invited herself to eat on his dime, and who then bailed on him. He doesn’t know she came back to the bar. He doesn’t know she always intended to pay, even though she didn’t have cash. All he knows is he invited her for drinks, she ordered food, and then she just left. If someone did that to you, I expect you wouldn’t have any intention of seeing them again, and therefore wouldn’t give a damn what they thought of you. And you might even think that you’re the one owed the apology.

        Best case scenario is that he found out she paid after the fact, he’s mildly embarrassed at the whole situation (but possibly still believes she always meant to stick him with the full bill), and figures he’ll still never see her again, so there’s no point in reaching out to her. Shit happens, life goes on.

        • Selena Says:

          I find that all plausible D. But what man goes out on a date with no cash, no debit card, no ID, only an Amex card? It also seems plausible he lied about that. What do you think?

          • D. Says:

            I agree that it’s unlikely that a grown man would leave the house with only his AMEX card and random scraps of paper in his wallet, but in the last analysis, does it really matter what the truth is here?

            Maybe the guy was a weirdo who only carries an AMEX card. Although I think it’s more likely that either he lied in the moment, to get her to pay, or that he figured she wasn’t coming back and the bartender let him go.

            But does it really matter what he was thinking? I mean, what’s the point of analyzing that? Even if he was a sleaze who planned this whole thing, she wouldn’t have gotten stuck paying the whole check if she’d made even a few different decisions, such as:

            – Getting cash as soon as she saw it was a cash-only establishment. Like, in the moment, not “Oh, I’ll get it later if I have to.”

            – Not upgrading to dinner.

            – Not sticking around for drink after drink and food after that, if she knew she wasn’t interested in the guy. Don’t waste people’s time or money. Or your own, for that matter. People go on dating sites to date, not to make new platonic buddies.

            It doesn’t really matter if he was weirdly awkward and also unprepared, or a master manipulator who played her. She still got stuck with the tab, and the tab was a lot higher than it would’ve been if she’d been able to pay her portion in cash, and stuck with just drinks.

            • Selena Says:

              Thanks for replying.

              “It doesn’t really matter if he was weirdly awkward and also unprepared, or a master manipulator who played her. She still got stuck with the tab, and the tab was a lot higher than it would’ve been if she’d been able to pay her portion in cash, and stuck with just drinks.”

              Very much agree.

              You did a good job explaining how upgrading to dinner looks to men in your previous posts as well.

    • AC Says:

      “I think it’s possible this ugly, awkward clod got a recommendation from a friend about where to take a woman on a first date. He wasn’t well-prepared, probably doesn’t date much, might have been new to the area”

      And I think you’re grasping at straws. Now this guys ugly (you’re judging the looks of a man you’ve never met)awkward, and inexperienced? Sorry but awkward, inexperienced guys GET STUCK paying $175 tabs for entitled women who have no interest in them. Whether this was preplanned or a game time decision (when she upgraded) this guy knew what he was doing.

  61. AC Says:

    We can go back and forth all day. The only person who knows the truth is the guy and maybe the bartender (if they were in “cahoots.”) Here’s the lesson boys and girls:

    Ladies- if you’re not attracted to the man. Excuse yourself after one drink. You’re not obligated to pay because the man did ask you out, but he will respect you more if you do. If the conversation is so “engaging” that you must stay, be prepared to buck up. If he insists on paying anyway, offer more than an insincere reach- tell him you insist on paying your share. If he still refuses to let you pay…it’s on his stubborn ass for trying too hard to be a gentleman or being clueless enough to think it will get him laid at a future date.

    Guys – if you sense a woman isn’t interested, don’t force the matter. Let her leave. If she wants to order food and you’re not hungry – say “I’m not hungry.” Some women will offer to pay for an appetizer and ask you to help them finish it. After all, alcohol on an empty stomach after work can lead to an all too quick buzz so she may really need to eat in order to keep the date going. Here’s where it gets tricky. If the bill comes and you’re feeling no chemistry, don’t be a wuss – ask for her share. What’s the worst that can happen? Some woman you’ll never see again will complain to her friends about the cheap guy she went on a date on. You’ll have an extra $50 in your pocket. And for the love of God, if you sense a woman isn’t interested but she still sticks around, don’t pay the bill in the hoping you’ll make a good impression. As mentioned above, it won’t get you laid.

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