Should She Give The Cheap Bad Kisser A 2nd Date?

State: NJ
Age: 44
Comment: I met a guy at a Moxie/ATWYS event and we clicked really well. After a few weeks of emailing and phone calls, we finally met in person.  We found it really easy to talk to each other and I enjoyed getting to know him. At the end of the evening, he asked me to pay my share of the meal.  As a feminist, I have no problem doing this.  As a girl being courted, I was a little surprised as I am accustomed to a gentleman at least offering to pay. Especially as he is an executive at a big corporation with a high salary and I work at a non-profit.  I handed over half the cost of the meal and we ended the date with a hug and made tentative plans to meet the following weekend.

During our second date the next weekend, another dinner, we got along quite well.  Conversation flowed easily and many of our values and thoughts seemed to be in sync. Although I was not unduly physically attracted to him, I felt that we got along so well it was worth spending time with him to see if more romantic feelings might develop. When the check arrived, he said “that will be $45 each.”  This meant the tip would end up being less than 10% so I surreptitiously left a little more to make up for it.

He drove me home and parked outside my building to finish the conversation we were in the middle of. Suddenly, he asked if he could kiss me.  It was said a little shyly and I kind of nodded my head, believing it would be a sweet first kiss, maybe a soft peck on the lips. Instead, he grabbed my head, pulled it forcefully towards him, and drove his tongue into my mouth. It was a very slobbery, aggressive and unpleasant experience.  I tried to push him away but he held my head in a bit of a vice grip and began kissing my face — forehead, eyelid, chin, etc. just when I thought it was over, he went back into my mouth and swirled his tongue round and round in a dizzying imitation of a high school freshman at his first makeout session.  He ended by planting a loud “razberry” on my cheek — so weird.  He ended with “I’m glad we did that.”  When I tried to respond, he asked me not to talk as that would spoil it.

I ended the night thinking I had no interest in seeing him again.  However, the next morning I saw he had left me a voicemail – in it he said “Even though our kiss was obviously a mutual decision, I sensed you were pulling away a little bit so I wanted to let you know that we can go at a slower pace because I want things to work out for both of us.”  Not exactly an apology, but an acknowledgement.

I am left with mixed feelings. Am I wrong to feel that he should have at least offered to pay if he was indeed expecting a romantic relationship?  Is cheapness (not paying, low tip) a quality that can be overlooked?  Am I wrong to feel violated by the aggressive kissing since I sort of gave him permission?  Should I give him another chance since its so hard to find people that you connect well with?  Can sexual chemistry grow from the foundation of a friendship?  I would appreciate any thoughtful advice that will help further my thinking, help me understand his perspective or provide any wisdom.  Thanks!


It sounds to me like you’re trying to force attraction where there is none. If you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it. I appreciate the fact that you’re trying to give this guy a chance. I also admire that you’re not immediately throwing him in the trash. But if the attraction isn’t there, it isn’t there. Sure, you could give it more time and things might turn around. You can do that. But everything in your letter screams “Tell me it’s okay to dump this guy.” The real question is, are you basing your decision on things that really matter, or are you looking for reasons to justify your lack of attraction? Furthermore, if you are looking for reasons to justify your lack of interest, why do you feel a need to justify it at all? A compulsion to defend a choice like this makes me think you feel you’re being unfair somehow. Or maybe you feel that, at our age, we really don’t have a right to “be so picky.”

I’ll say this. At our age, we do have to be careful of buying in to the “I won’t settle” thing. Bottom line is, if we’re the catch we think we are, we wouldn’t be having the difficult we’re having.  But that doesn’t mean that you have to try and force a square peg in to a round hole. Could the things you mentioned be fixed? Yes. That is, if you really want to fix them. Which I don’t think you do.

Am I wrong to feel that he should have at least offered to pay if he was indeed expecting a romantic relationship?

I think you’re wrong to assume to know why he did or didn’t pay. Maybe he didn’t think you were interested. Maybe he didn’t want to offend you. Maybe he doesn’t believe in paying a woman’s way. Maybe you were giving off signs of disinterest and weren’t even aware of it. Maybe he’s going through some financial difficulties. Maybe he was doing what some guys do and testing you. (FYI..guys? Stop that. It makes you look ridiculously douchey. If you’re that bitter, stay home.) There are a lot of reason why this guy didn’t pay.

Is cheapness (not paying, low tip) a quality that can be overlooked?

Just because he didn’t pay for you doesn’t mean he’s cheap. I’ll give you the low tip thing. That’s a stickler for me as well, but I’ve made that mistake before of calculating incorrectly. It happens. You don’t know enough about this guy to make broad assumptions. He did call you and acknowledge that you seemed distant during and after the kiss. That’s a sign that he’s not totally self-absorbed. He’s acknowledging you and your feelings. That’s something worth considering.

You’ve set up this and all of  these questions so that there’s really only one plausible answer.  Pose the situation this way and the natural response would be No, you shouldn’t see him again. The way you’ve framed this whole scenario makes it clear what you want to do, but you also want to appear as though you’re trying to be flexible. It’s either one or the other. Can’t be both.

Am I wrong to feel violated by the aggressive kissing since I sort of gave him permission?

Ok. Let’s back up here for a moment. I’m not sure when this little trend started wherein women like to paint men as predatory creeps simply because they guy expresses some physical interest, but it’s absolute bullshit. It’s also quite offensive to anybody who has been truly violated. Some dude who doesn’t know how to kiss is not “violating” you. The man in the story is guilty of being a bad kisser. Not forcing himself upon a woman . Those are two very different things. Some guys are tools and deserve the ire they get. But some women need to see the difference between a man who is intentionally ignoring her signals and a man who is just socially clueless and inexperienced. They also need to learn how to recognize when they are projecting their issues on to the guy and trying to make him out to be the bad guy just to reconcile with their own regret or insecurity. Take these examples:

1. Women meets man. Man sends her a text asking her to meet for a drink. Woman tells man she has a busy week ahead of her but doesn’t specify how or why. Guy sends a text the next day asking if she’s free for a drink. Woman says no and complains to friends about how pushy the guy is. She agrees to meet him later in the week at a loud bar with a DJ, with friends in tow. (Hi. Rude.) The guy ends up standing close to her to talk to her. Woman accuses him of “violating her personal space.” Or,gee, maybe IT WAS LOUD IN THAT BAR YOU CHOSE and he wanted to be sure you heard him. At one point they attempt to move through the crowd to a quieter spot. Man puts hand on the small of the woman’s back as they walk. Women tells friends he once again was invading her personal space. (Actually, I think that’s somewhat chivalrous, as their trying to guide you through a crowd safely.)  She then allows this man, the one she said kept invading her space, to escort her through a dark parking lot and offers him a ride to his car. Upon arriving at his car, guy leans in for a kiss. Omigod!!! Predator! Predator!!!! Woman declines his invite for  a second date because she felt the guy didn’t pay attention to her signals and violated her personal space.

2. Woman dates a guy with a female roommate. One morning she wakes up to find him lying on his roommates bed, with his female roommate who is clad only in a “nightgown”, watching television. Man is accused of not being a gentleman. It couldn’t be that he was trying to be courteous and not wake her and chose to go to his roommates room to watch TV so as not to disturb her. He MUST be trying to seduce his roommate while she’s asleep in the other room.

3. Woman gets fixed up with a guy through friends. Woman decides the guy is a jerk and turns down his invitation for another date. Woman reads the newspaper some time later (it’s not clear when) and reads about the man, and learns the man is now engaged. Women does some Googling and learns he’s been with the woman for some time. (Good thing she was so disinterested in him.) Therefore, it MUST be that the man was a cheating asshole. Which makes no sense because she was introduced to him via a friend. So now the friend and the guy are complicit in his act of douchebaggery. Couldn’t be that he and this woman took a break. It HAS to be that he’s an unfaithful louse and his friend was a pimp.

All of these are examples of how some women like to immediately assume the worst in men. Now, maybe these guys were all shady. Or maybe these women are just really, really insecure or trying to justify why they discarded yet another perfectly decent guy.

OP, if you’ve decided he’s cheap, then there doesn’t seem to be a point in me trying to talk you out of not seeing him again. Which is what I think you want me to do. Sorry. Not giving you absolution.  I’m sure you have girlfriends who would be happy to tell you they think this guy is a cheap face-raper. You don’t need me.


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25 Responses to “Should She Give The Cheap Bad Kisser A 2nd Date?”

  1. CoolDude Says:

    ” As a feminist, I have no problem doing this. As a girl being courted, I was a little surprised as I am accustomed to a gentleman at least offering to pay.”

    Time to pick a side ladies. You can’t be a feminist only when it’s convenient. I am a male who is a STRONG supporter of women having equal pay, equal rights, equal benefits, etc. That being said, you can’t ONLY get the benefits of equality and none of the cons.

    • Millie Says:

      I am definitely a feminist and much prefer to pay for my own initial drink or coffee.

      After that I prefer treating–and it goes both ways, I pick up the whole tab as well. I guess some people prefer to split bc it gets less messy as to if one place was pricier than the other, but I don’t worry about that. I also don’t tend to get caught up in who ordered what if I go out with a girlfriend and she ordered 2 glasses of wine to my 1. I don’t make her pay more.

      But really, the point is there are much less awkward ways of conveying you’d like to split the check than. “Your share will be $45.” And shortchanging the server to a 10% tip is just unacceptable.

  2. Nicole Says:

    “Can sexual chemistry grow from the foundation of a friendship?”

    Yes, it can, but in my experience that only happens in a situation where you really are friends, independently, before you start to date. I’ve been close, platonic friends with guys and developed romantic feelings months or years into the friendship – my ex husband and I started as buddies in college.

    But someone you met at a singles event and went out with twice isn’t really a friend. He’s someone you’re dating (or deciding if you want to date). There’s an expectation that there will be kissing and touching and, at some point, sex. If you’re not wanting those things, and you want to try being friends instead, you can tell him that. Maybe you’ll get a new friend out of this. But it’s not fair to ask a guy to hang around indefinitely in some weird boyfriend/friend gray area while you wait and see if any chemistry grows between you.

    And from your letter, I really don’t get the sense you want to date this guy. I had similar troubles cutting things off when there was no real reason except “not feeling it” so I understand why you’re trying so hard to rationalize this. But you don’t need a good reason or any reason really – if you don’t want to date someone, don’t date them.

    As for the kissing… being a bad kisser is a deal breaker for a lot of people (and for good reason!) You don’t need to justify disliking the kiss by painting it as some sort of creepy boundary violation. You just didn’t like kissing him… And from your description of the kiss, I don’t blame you!

  3. RunDon'tWalk Says:

    In June of this year I got out of a 16-month relationship with a guy. From experience I can tell you if you’re not feeling it now, you’re not gonna be feeling it down the line; in fact, any lingering annoyances you have at this stage will only fester into full-blown resentment in the future. TRUST ME ON THIS.

    Also, if you can’t feel enthusiastic about the kissing, then you shouldn’t even bother because it’s likely not going to improve (another lesson I learned from Mr. 16 Months).

  4. fuzzilla Says:

    **He ended by planting a loud “razberry” on my cheek — so weird.**

    This is really all you need to know.

  5. Yvonne Says:

    This man sounds a bit clueless. I wouldn’t be too impressed if I was invited out to dinner on a first or second date with a high-level executive who announced at the end of the meal, “that will be $45 for your share.” And a man who held my head while he dove his tongue into my mouth and twirled it around…well, your use of the word “slobbery” is enough for me.

    Cheapness is an unattractive quality for many people. For some women, though, it might not be a deal-breaker, but if it is for you, it’s not necessary to apologize for it. If you’re not that physically attracted, and the kissing is such a turn-off, that’s something that can’t really be helped. It’s always best to trust your gut feeling, and if something unduly troubling or annoying about a person, don’t second-guess that, as long as you don’t think you’re being unreasonable.

    I think you’re feeling uncertain because this man does have some qualities you like, and he is easy to talk to. That’s a good basis for a friendship, but if the physical chemistry isn’t there, then the relationship isn’t meant to move beyond friendship.

  6. Ben Iyyar Says:

    In 1964, the Hollies sang a song actually called “It’s in her kiss, that’s where it is.’ I feel that way too, that one way to really know if you are into someone, or that they are into you, is by the intimacy of your kissing them. Of course this incident has far more angles to it. PA, the writer seems to have pretty firm expectations about how her date should behave, even though this was their first time out. Thus I got the impression that she was setting herself up for failure with this fellow, and that the final straw was the sloppy kiss. I know for myself that I like my expectations to be fulfilled by others, but I am old enough now to realize that I have no good reason to expect others to please me. Sure, I expect courtesy, respect, pleasantness, and mature behavior, but very few people are out looking to make my day wonderful, indeed, most people would like others to make their day “wonderful!” As to the kissing, yes, I agree, “It’s most definitely in her kiss!”

  7. Mark Says:


    You can’t push on a string.

    You went out with the guy several times. That means you have more than just one impression of the guy. I think it’s fair to say that impression is not a positive one.

    On the first date you felt a little twinge when he asked you out and then he sprung the split the bill bit at the end. Generally speaking, the person who asks out foots the bill unless agreed beforehand.

    More problematic is the kiss episode. Face it, this was not a tender kiss. Not one of affection. As you described it, it was one step short of him ramming his tongue down your throat.

    You afforded him several opportunities to have him show you who he is and what he is about. He did that. Or at least I think so. More importantly, I believe you think so.

    Simply put, do you envision yourself with this type of guy?

    If the answer is yes, then by all means continue seeing him.

    If not, then if/when he asks you out again, simply and politely say you just aren’t feeling then chemistry thing and look for a guy more in line who you are looking for.

    Best of luck.

  8. Ishtar Says:

    I’ll admit, I’m a bit mystified by the frequent use of the term ‘gentleman’ by female advice-seekers. Why are they so concerned that men be ‘real gentlemen’ and ‘chivalrous’?

    Maybe because I’m European, but the idea of ‘gentleman’ has mostly negative connotations for me – it seems like an antiquated ideal, from a time during which rigid class and gender roles were the norm. (Because ‘gentleman’ is a class term as much as a gender term, and I mean ‘class’ in a negative sense.) And I say this as a woman and lover of 19th century literature. As a person, you shouldn’t want to live in that time.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      A vocal and visibile group of women think cherry picking is their birth right and are oddly completely impervious to reason when you try to explain that it’s unlikely, unrealistic, and selfish.

      It’s like me expecting to be a bank robber, but not go to jail, since I’m not really fond of that part. Yet, they are disappointed when things don’t work out like this. Chivalry when it gets them something, never when it takes something away. Feminism when it works for them, never when requires something of them.

      • Ishtar Says:

        No, I just can’t (to use modern parlance) which such people either. Pick one ideology. If a woman wants chivalrous gestures she has to be content with the downsides of such a society that is set up for chivalry as well. And of course the class aspect of it.

        • Howard Says:

          Too many people don’t want equality; they want privilege. And that applies to men, women and children. It’s the ego in our heads talking too much.

          I don’t worry so much about right and wrong on this debate. Yes there are things that are right and wrong, but hammering that home changes nothing. What is more important, is being successful in the things we wish in life, especially having a life partner, or at the very least harmonius relationships with those men or women we interact with now.

          And that is becoming a problem, so people do have to ask themselves if they can do things differently, not so much whether they are right or wrong.

          The flaw I see in creating modern relationships is starting out from too privileged a perspective. Yes, we should have self esteem, but we do have to market ourselves in the best light when communicating. I suppose it’s a little like looking for a job. Marketing ourselves well has devolved into the material trappings we present, rather that the true nature that comes out of us.

  9. bbdawg Says:

    I have had a similar experience as the OP’s in terms of kissing with someone I met from online over a year ago, we texted and met and while he was a lot more appealing in photos, he was still very attractive and like the OP’s description “had a great career”. It was the worst kiss ever, like being 12 years old and a boy sticking his tongue into your mouth…

    At this age (this man was 40 years old), it shows that there is a strong lack of empathy and perhaps no history of intimacy in that he’s obviously never had a girlfriend who could teach him or at least let him know that his technique was not working.

    Fast-forward: the sex is just as bad. There was no second meeting, nope. A kiss really does tell a lot. I remember reading one of Moxie posts where she said “there is a reason a man has reached a certain age and never married or settled down”. When you find out what that is, and the bell rings in your head, it’s time for the lucky escape!

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Yeah, I remember an OKCupid date where the guy’s kiss was, like, all tongue and no lips. Gross. I immediately pulled away. I remember we were watching “Greg the Bunny” and he was like, “Oh, should we pause ’til this episode’s over?” I was like, “Um…yeah…” Because it’s so suspenseful to me what’s gonna happen on this canceled TV show, the DVD of which I’ve owned for five years. I think I gave him one more chance, we went out one more time, and that was it (that time he turned me off because he kept pushing for me to give him a ride to where we were meeting. I didn’t mind that he asked, but when I said, “Yeah, that’s not gonna work because I have this other stuff going on and it’s a bit out of the way” he ignored that and kept pushing. That’s probably my #1 pet peeve when people keep asking me a question I’ve already answered).

      Anyway, yeah, the OP is obviously not into this guy but feels guilty just saying and owning that for some reason. Maybe it’s because the way he’s following up forces her to be more direct about it than she feels comfortable? But what’s the alternative?

      I suppose bad kissing is something that can be worked on if you’re truly motivated because you *really* like the person otherwise. If you don’t, what’s in it for you? This reminds me of Moxie’s post about what separates okay sex from amazing sex. Okay sex can turn into amazing sex with better communication and connection, but if *terrible* is the baseline? It doesn’t speak well of the person’s communication and listening skills. If you’re not absolutely crazy about the person in every way but that, then…life’s too short for all that work. Might be more tolerable when your’e young and your cohort is less experienced, but in your 30s, 40s and beyond..?

  10. Noquay Says:

    Yep, sounds like the OP ain’t into him. Habits seen as annoying will only seem more so over time. This guy does seem somewhat socially clueless. Here in the states, the terms gentleman and lady have nothing to do with Euro aristocracy but rather are used to describe folk that have manners and conduct themselves with dignity. Unfortunately in the dating world, and real life, a good many men and women lack these qualities. Feminism covers a broad spectrum of beliefs/behaviors from a sort of backlash against 500+ years of patriarchy in this country, to women who see themselves as equals to men, have supported and educated themselves. I know a lot of you dudes here are probably younger than I so let me state that most of us older chix grew up in an era where we saw our moms forced into housewifery whether they wanted or could function in that role or not. Although they grew apart from their husbands, they had no education, job skills, even the ability to drive, so they stayed trapped or
    moved back in with parents. We feminist types do not hate men, we want to live our lives according to our abilities, not some antiquated model foisted upon us. I do dress and act as a lady, am well spoken, but also support myself, grow food, cut firewood.

  11. mxf Says:

    “When I tried to respond, he asked me not to talk as that would spoil it.”

    Of all the things the OP describes, this one bothered me the most. A bit too businesslike about splitting the cheque? Fine. Cheap tipper? Not at all appealing, but the kind of thing you could discuss together when you know each other better. Terrible kisser? Doesn’t bode well at all, but being told not to offer feedback or share that we needed to back it up a bit because the kissing style made me uncomfortable would be the actual deal breaker in all of this. It’s a weird thing to say, especially since his follow-up voicemail indicates that he already knew there was nothing to “spoil.” He just didn’t want to hear it from her.

    • Yvonne Says:

      If he asked her out, he probably chose the restaurant. It’s wrong to choose a pricier restaurant and then ask your date (whom you can guess probably makes much less than you do) to pay half. Shortchanging the server on top of it, and then letting your date make up the difference, isn’t very considerate.

      He probably sensed something was amiss after she tried to pull away. I suspect he knew that letting her talk afterwards would have spoiled things for HIM.

  12. Howard Says:

    Hey. I’m a guy, and I’m telling you, fuhgetaboutit. Some guys are just not ready. They are fixer-uppers. This guy is somebody’s fixer-upper, but he isn’t your fixer-upper. Too many knocks against, what attracts you to a man. Too little attraction on your part will doom this, if you proceed. I know the executive thing, is what’s keeping you interested, but you have to get over telling yourself that he is a catch..

  13. D. Says:

    Based on the kiss, I have to ask whether this guy looked like Ashton Kutcher, or if he looked older, maybe Alan Funt? ‘Cause the whole description of the kiss seriously sounded like something dreamed up as a prank.

    Otherwise, if you don’t want to date someone…don’t date them. You don’t need a justification beyond “I don’t want to date you.”

  14. Tinker Says:

    ‘Don’t talk, that’ll spoil it’. Um, what? He gets no points from me for pointing out after the fact that she tried to pull away- if he felt that he should’ve let her go and he damn sure shouldn’t have told her to shut up afterwards. That being said, I don’t think he’s necessarily predatory, but definitely awkward and clueless.
    And PA, you are under no obligation to give the awkward and clueless a shot.

  15. D'Alias Says:

    This man sounds like a loser. I wouldn’t go out with him based upon the “that’ll be $45.00 please” & the Cheap Tip. Gyping service progessons is a pet peeve of mine. This whole “who pays” debate disgusts me.

    As far as the bill, I dont like the way he went about it. Sounds petty. Basic manners in my circle dictate that when I go out with friends we usually just pull out our cards & evenly split it. I expect the same on a date but am happy when the man pays (@ least @ first). It’s a nice gesture. I can get the next date or something else later, like buy the movie tickets from a bending machine.

    The Kiss just sounds like basic lack of chemistry to me. It doesn’t sound like what he did was so bad, but more like you just really weren’t into it. Attraction can’t be faked. If it isn’t there, I’d saying on.

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