Is He Expecting Her To Pay Her Way?

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): honeydatingfail
:
Comment: I met this guy on an online dating site. Our fist date is to go watch a play. I was all happy because I had mentioned that I love the theater. He texts me the play info and told me to pick a date and time. I did.
A few days before the so called date, I ask him if he was able to make reservations. He replied that we could buy the tickets that night. I replied, that I hoped we end up seated together. He stated that he would check with the venue. Gets back to me and tells me we should be fine and tells me the price of the tickets.
Does this mean I’m paying for my ticket? Is our first date; am I too old fashioned?
Divorced, just recently started dating.
Age: 46
City: Lawrence
State: MA

When someone tells you how much something costs, they do it for one of two reasons. Either they want to brag and show you how much they spent OR they’re politely hinting that they’d like it if you offered to kick in. Yes, I think in this case he’s implying that he expects you to pay for your ticket. Which, to be fair, you should if you were the one to suggest going to a play for a first date. That’s a little presumptuous. Dating isn’t what it was ten or more years ago when people went out for expensive first dates. Guys aren’t eager to spend that kind of money on a woman they barely know anymore, especially since most people date two or three times more often now thanks to online dating and speeddating and singles events. In the future, try to avoid first dates that involve more than drinks.

Here’s how you handle this: don’t wait for him to ask you for that money. Offer to give him your share and be prepared to hand that money over. In many cases, guys just want to see if we’ll offer but have no intention of taking our money. It’s the gesture that matters and is appreciated.  If he takes your money, don’t automatically assume he’s cheap. If you were the one who suggested the play,  he is under no obligation to pay for you. And, really, women shouldn’t be expecting a guy to pay for the total cost of a date anymore. It’s appreciated when it happens, but it should never be expected.

He might be trying to demonstrate that he paid attention to a detail in your profile and wanted you to know just how much he spent. It’s unclear how it was decided that you’d go see a play. Either way, it’s still very important that you offer to pay your way. At the very least, that’s the polite thing to do.

Going to a play on a first date isn’t really smart because you’re going to spend most of your time in a theater watching the show. You won’t be able to talk. First dates are about getting to know each other and making good first impressions. You won’t really get a sense of his personality if you’re stuck inside being forced to shush for two hours. Next time, stick to cocktails or coffee (if you don’t drink)  or something less involved that allows for conversation.

Thoughts?

Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)

@ATWYSingle

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11 Responses to “Is He Expecting Her To Pay Her Way?”

  1. Mistori Says:

    Yeah, really, how do you get to know someone you haven’t even met yet when before you even know them you have to deal with things like getting on line, paying for tickets (regardless of who pays) & then shuffling through a crowd & people already seated to get to your seat. All this & then you are lucky if you get a few minutes to say a few words before the play starts or if there is an intermission. Talking during the play is not appropriate as it will disturb the rest of the audience. Then what do you do at the end of the show? Try to get to know each other over a drink or cup of coffee or bite to eat? Then who pays for that?

    We don’t know if you are the one who suggested a play as a date or if you just said that in general conversation & then he suggested it for a date. At any rate, I think if he mentioned the price of the tickets that he is implying that he wants you to pay for your ticket. If you suggested the play I agree with Moxie. If it was his idea I wouldn’t be thrilled but it wouldn’t be a deal breaker. I would just pay & see how the rest of the date goes & evaluate accordingly. BTW if you pay for your ticket it is probably appropriate to offer to pay if you go out afterwards too.

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  2. Nicki Says:

    I love plays and I think a play is an awful idea for a first date. As Moxie already stated, it isn’t a great way to get to know someone. I hope you’re meeting beforehand to at least talk over a cocktail or coffee!

    Did you suggest the play or did he? Also, how expensive is the ticket? These things matter. To give an example as to why, here goes: I love plays, musicals, and sports. If a guy knew that and asked me to one of those things as a first date and the ticket was more than $10-20, I would be super uncomfortable even letting him pay for it if he tried. Dating is so expensive and a first date doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll ever speak to or see someone again. How could I allow a man to spend oodles of money doing something with me that it’s likely he doesn’t really enjoy?

    I firmly believe that first dates should be simple and inexpensive. They should also be in an atmosphere where two people can talk freely.

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  3. bbdawg Says:

    Generally speaking it’s bad form to expect a man to spend a significant amount on a first date. These days I think anything more than a couple of drinks is a lot to expect on a first date, UNLESS the man wants to impress YOU in which case he would not be asking or mentioning prices…or in this case, if he were a season ticket holder and had extra tickets already…otherwise…just don’t accept offers like that.

    it happens that a man wants to impress you initially by spending lots of money but that is generally, actually, a bad sign, in my experience. It means that he is overcompensating for something. Last time a man amazingly bought me dinner on a first date at this expensive restaurant and wooed me with such a *romantic* gesture, he was still legally married to someone else, as I later found out, when I confronted him after finding pictures of his kids on facebook. So please accept that initially, the humblest might be the truest gift. If someone doesn’t know you, they have no reason to overextend themselves. They shouldn’t have to.

    Split the ticket prices.

    Next time, suggest something really inexpensive and don’t expect more than a couple of drinks.

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    • Mistori Says:

      I had a similar experience. I went on a first date with a man I knew & I had a specific reason to think he was single. He pulled into the restaurant & before getting out of the car he gave me a pair of diamond earrings. Not expensive diamonds but still that is an awfully expensive gift for a first date. I knew something was up. So at dinner I wanted to clarify to be sure so I asked if he was divorced & without batting an eyelash he said, no, he was married. Then he proceeded to tell me a story that they are separated but live at different ends of the same house because of the kids. I later found out through the grape vine that his MO is to buy women expensive gifts. Anyway, I sat politely through the rest of the dinner as I was shocked & didn’t know what to say. Then when he dropped me off & asked me out again I told him no, that I don’t date married men & separated & living in the same house is a married man.

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      • bbdawg Says:

        It’s so interesting how men are able to lie to get validation, esp.about marital status…thanks for sharing.

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  4. Kyra Says:

    I personally don’t think it’s smart to even accept the offer of going to a play on a first date, whether you pay fro your own ticket or not.

    Anything in a theatre or stadium should be after at least a couple of dates, after you’ve gotten the chance to know one another.

    Not to mention, I think expecting him to pay for tickets is just taking advantage, a bit. Theatre prices are expensive, at the very least they’re the cost of a meal – I just find it inconsiderate that your first instinct wasn’t to offer to pay for your own ticket.

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    • sandra Says:

      I don`t think it is inconsiderate of her at all. Lots of people state in their profile or conversation they love the theatre, doesn`t mean they go very often, or can afford to. He invited her to see a play, which is clumsy on his part if he was not prepared to pay.
      The smarter thing for her to do is decline the offer to the theatre, and suggest they meet for drinks, and see the play another time.

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      • Kyra Says:

        Sorry if I didn’t convey my thoughts properly, I meant if she were planning on accepting his invitation she should know to offer to pay her share.

        It might just be a personality quirk of mine, but I just can’t let someone get me tickets and not offer to pay them back.

        I do agree that she should decline and make another suggestion.

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  5. HammersAndNails Says:

    At best he’s a clumsy dater. Why do this to yourself? Just pick something you can afford and pick up the check.

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  6. Yvonne Says:

    Of course, going to a play on a first date is a lousy idea, but I’m going to cut the OP some slack as a newly divorced dater. I may be wrong, but I’m also going to assume that her date suggested the play because she mentioned that she loved the theater. “He texts me the play info and told me to pick a date and time” sounds like his initiative.

    If he did suggest it, he should pay, but first dates should really be a simple way to assess mutual attraction and interest. What if you don’t even like each other in person? A full-on theater date is just too expensive, time-consuming, and logistically complicated.

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  7. Selena Says:

    What stuck out to me is that he refused to consider making reservations, instead insisting they pick up the tickets at the venue. Not only does this suggest he expects her to buy her own, but it leaves him the option of canceling the date easily. I think I’d be wondering if he was actually going to follow through. Not a great beginning.

    Better to make a drink date first. If that goes well, the pick another date to see the play.

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