Did He Plan On Sticking Her With The Bill All Along?

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): nb1972wallemp
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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33 Responses to “Did He Plan On Sticking Her With The Bill All Along?”

  1. BTownGirl Says:

    Oy, “In The Company Of Men” is, like, #4 on my Top Ten Completely Traumatic Movies List. Anywhoo, I completely agree, as an Amex-carrier, OF COURSE you bring something else out with you! I don’t think there’s anything you could have really done to avoid this. It sounds like you have a good attitude about dating in general and this is just one you have to chalk up to experience.

  2. Steve Says:

    What I’ve learned from dating? ALWAYS research the venue ahead of time. I’ve been burned a few times when the gal would choose a venue that requires you to order and pay at the register before seating. It’s awkward. I pay for both of us and haven’t even sat down to talk to her yet. She’s counting on me not asking her to chip in. I’ve also had a couple of gals conveniently get up to go to the restroom when the server goes to get the check. This happened a few times before I realized they were avoiding the awkward arrival of the check. Sheesh! I would have paid anyway, but still!

    In this particular situation, the bartender should have asked him to remain behind until the bill was paid.

    Also, $175 on a first date/meet??

    Not wise.

    • SS Says:

      Firstly this is awful… but I would say this: often I would go to a date straight from work. Drive anywhere up to say 30 minutes to meet them. Then spend perhaps 1.5 to 2hrs or more on the date.

      A few drinks coupled with nerves would easily take it’s toll on my bladder and ..probably initially hoping to make it all the way through.. finally given up at the end of the night/meal and run to the bathroom for relief. I would be utterly mortified if a guy assumed I was timing it deliberately!

      I don’t recall any occasion where this actually happened other than when we knew each other well and it was already quid pro quo/I’d paid previously /etc etc)… but I would appreciate your feedback on how to navigate an urgent trip without giving the impression I was trying to escape the check and also without oversharing with a relative stranger! :)

      • fuzzilla Says:

        I was gonna say, I often legit needed the ladies’ room and came back to find the check paid. If a guy really didn’t want to pay he could just leave the check there ’til when she got back, act like it just arrived or something.

        I suppose it’s possible a woman deliberately timed it to avoid the check, but that’s kind of going out of your way to assume the worst of others.

        • SS Says:

          “I suppose it’s possible a woman deliberately timed it to avoid the check, but that’s kind of going out of your way to assume the worst of others.”

          Yes, absolutely agree!

  3. SS Says:

    Two things stand out for me.

    You say you noticed walking in that they only took cash. In that situation as soon as I met my date I would *immediately* say “hey – did you notice?…” because I knew I only had say $20 to my name.

    But you didn’t. And not only did you not say anything, you were complicit in running up a HUGE HUGE (ridiculously) HUGE tab. So I struggle to have much sympathy for getting stuck with a bill that it would appear you were willing to stick *him* with. It almost makes me wonder if it was some weird kind of test that the guy was running. ie. if the woman said up front that she didn’t have cash/didn’t assume he’d pay .. he’d pay. Otherwise he’d be a dick. Which leads me onto my second impression…

    Refusing to answer texts (or more importantly text/call you), and disappearing, and then the bs about the grocery store? What an utter crock of shit. As Judge Judy says: if it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true. Which takes me back to my thought that it was some messed up “test” on women so that they didn’t use him for his money.

    All in all I think this should be a reminder to all women. We should always be prepared to at least pay our own way on every date and never ever assume that a man.. indeed a stranger.. owes it to you to wine and dine you – this is the 21st century for heavens sakes.

  4. Fyodor Says:

    “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.”

    I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t have wanted to pursue things with her.

    • Tadpole Says:

      I’m not saying she was completely right to be judging, but everyone does that to some extent or else gee I wonder you might not turn a date down when the person isn’t as attractive as you’d like them to be.

      • Fyodor Says:

        Of course she is entitled to her standards. It’s her characterization that she is “objectively” more attractive than him and that she can’t understand why he wasn’t into her.

  5. Nick Says:

    Really sucks getting stuck with a big tab and a date going nowhere. Takes a toll on your finances and confidence, especially if you’re single and trying to date several times a month. Been happening to guys for years. No more fancy first dates. Save that for serious girlfriend. Unreal how many women list “dinner & drinks” as first date in their online profiles. Great idea, especially if you’re not paying?! Sign me up! I’m not being cheap, just practical. Women sticking the guy with the big bill is equivalent to the guy sleeping with you and never calling again. Doesn’t feel good. Btw, that was still a douche move by the guy in the article.

  6. coffeestop Says:

    The one thing that did bother me about the OP was that they made a piont of saying how much better looking they were than the dine and dash guy. Makes me think OP is used to dates paying for the whole thing. However, dine and dash man completely did that on purpose for unknown reasons, there was no misunderstanding. I am assuming that in NYC a 175$ bill is not that crazy, it would be in Memphis. I would freak the fuck out if I got stuck with that, and I would never expect a man to drop that on me unless it was a celebration dinner with an exclusive partner.

    If I am going on a date I always bring cash plus my debit card. Last date I went on the dude paid even though I had my money out. He finally agreed to let me leave a tip so I was generous. His big reason which I hear quite a bit is the “I am a southern gentleman” thing. Southerners are passive aggressive so there is a good chance my date complained to his buddies about having to pay for the woman again. I feel like this is a battle I cannot win, I have paid my share and insulted somebody as in they told me they were insulted. I have a date tomorrow at a moderately priced place tomorrow. I am going in once again expecting to pay my share who knows what will happen.

    • mindstar3000 Says:

      Better policy if they won’t even let you cover the tip and if you don’t want to insult these Southern gentlemen is to say something along the lines of “Next one is on me” and then actually plan and pay for the next date. Of course this is not likely to be an option unless you’re both open to a second date.

      • coffeestop Says:

        Agreed and I have done that before when I was sure there was going to be a second date but it is not always easy to tell. How many times do we see OPs here saying they thought they had great chemistry with somebody only to realize that was apparently just their perception.

  7. Tadpole Says:

    Bottom line is that he was a douche canoe that stuck her with the bill. However, if I were to notice on the way into a place that it was cash only and I knew I didn’t have any, then I wouldn’t have gone in. I would have asked to go elsewhere. It would probably lead to some serious awkwardness, because here in the south the men will practically fight you to pay early on. I expect to pay when I go out. If I decided the date wasn’t going to lead anywhere, then I don’t want the guy thinking I used him for a free meal, which can be difficult since being in the south a lot of guys still think you’re suppose to do a meal for a first date.

    Second thing is that I’m really not sure how she should’ve handled that. She can’t kick herself for him slipping out while she was gone, because if she would’ve stayed and he left “for money” then he just wouldn’t have come back and she would still have been left with that bill. And lord honey why would you allow yourself to rack up such a tab when you knew you didn’t have any cash? I would’ve gotten the cheapest drink I could to keep it as low as possible especially if I had already decided I wasn’t interested. There wouldn’t have been any need to keep ordering drinks to prolong a date that I knew wasn’t going anywhere. I think she just let her brain take a mini vacation.

  8. freddy Says:

    Hard to tell hearing only one side. While im old school, and always assume I’ll be picking up the tab, its nice to have your date offer to help with the bill. Maybe he was taken back by what you ordered, (did you also order expense cocktails-martinis/wine/champagne…you said you ordered food at the bar…was his intention just drinks) After racking up a $175 you had an empty purse? Maybe he got the idea you had no intention of even offering to help with the bill, and took offense??
    And if the ATM was close, i wouldnt think he’d have time to flee unless you were taking your time, (passive aggressive move ?) Anyway…the story has some missing info…just sayin

  9. fuzzilla Says:

    It seems really odd that a place where you could run up such a huge bill would be cash only. I could understand if it’s a small mom and pop taqueria that’s fairly inexpensive and would be adversely affected by the fees associated with accepting plastic. But $175? If you can afford something like that and do it all the time, I’d think you would put it on a card rather than walking around New York City with scads of cash on your person.

    • The D-man Says:

      In Manhattan my experience has been that most restaurants from midtown south are cash only, though maybe not Wall Street.

      • Shadowcat Says:

        Actually D-Man, I have to disagree with you there. I haven’t seen an all cash dive joint since the Mars Bar closed (I know, I’m dating myself) Everyone in the city takes CC’s. (New Yorkers know I mean Manhattan, not the outter boroughs) Any establishment that pays 20K/month for rent takes plastic, and that’s pretty typical for NY.

  10. mxf Says:

    “let’s be honest. you never came back. you went to the grocery store and never returned. Lesson learned’.”

    new theory: he did manage to pay for the bill somehow while she was off getting cash, then stormed off when he thought she wasn’t returning. then she came back, bartender tells her the guy took off, lets her pay A SECOND TIME and pockets the cash. several text miscommunications ensue. why else would he say “lesson learned”? a dine-and-dasher wouldn’t have been so indignant if he did the exact same thing he accused her of doing.

    that bartender might be running a pretty awesome scam on first dates who sit at his bar…

    • Shadowcat Says:

      I SO thought this myself! Honestly, it was my first thought… Maybe some of the folks that “begged” this don’t understand what some people will do to skim a buck or two.

      • Sophie Says:

        Exactly! The only thing I had a thought about was how did two people get to leave an establishment without paying for a $175 tab. There is no bar in NYC that would not have someone be held accountable for that tab.

  11. Sarah Says:

    I don’t even know where to begin with this. Someone who picked the bar with the cash only policy (WTF), and who has an AmEx, but no debit card should at least have a smart phone with Venmo already installed. This was definitely planned. There is no other explanation.

  12. jp Says:

    Here’s another theory. The guy was the one who thought SHE had left him stuck with the bill. After all leaving him alone in the restaurant for 10 minutes he would think he was taking advantage of. To get out of the situation he convinced the waiter that his girlfriend was coming back and then took off himself.

    • Yvonne Says:

      Really, 10 minutes isn’t that long to wait for someone to walk to an ATM, withdraw cash and return. He certainly could have texted her, if he was worried. I do think this man planned to stick this woman with the bill, at least as long as there wasn’t any chemistry. Sure he was drinking “really expensive port”. He wasn’t planning to pay for it.

      If she’d been trying to stick him with the bill, it obviously didn’t work, and a nice guy would have at least reimbursed her for his share without trying to come up with a b.s. excuse to blame her. And it seems really odd that the bartender let both of them leave without collecting any money first. As Moxie noted, it’s possible that the bartender in in on this little game.

      One more thing, someone can appear well-educated and well-employed, and still be a con artist. In fact, it makes pulling a scam that much easier.

  13. ATWYSingle Says:

    I liked that she was persistently texting him to say she was okay with the fact that he left despite saying in the beginning that she wasn’t attracted to him. Like, wut? Why are you blowing up this asshole’s phone with texts pleading for a response when he just stuck you with a $250 bill if you didn’t find him attractive?

    No ID? No ATM card? The whole thing was a fucking scam from start to finish.

  14. stephanie Says:

    why do i feel like i’ve read this EXACT story somewhere else, i don’t know, a few years back?? it has an air of familiarity to it that is pretty uncanny. regardless. the red flags abound before the ditch and dine. lesson learned to the OP i guess.

  15. Jake Says:

    The guy wasn’t attracted to her, and so he left. Was it the best menthod of ditching someone? No, but I don’t feel sorry for the OP. She came across as smug and like she was doing him a favor by being on a date with him. Look how many times she mentioned there was no attraction. Also, she said she was superior in looks to him. Perhaps it was a scam. Or maybe she was just an insufferable snotty douchette who deserved to be ditched. Remember indignant ladies, there’s always two sides to a story.

  16. AMW Says:

    I swear this is a report. You’ve had this exact situation in a previous letter.

  17. Donnie K Says:

    I remember this post from around a year and a half ago. Look at the facts. It was a scam. How do we know? The bartender let him walk and somehow knew he was “on Bergen Street.” I’m not saying this was planned from the start and the bartender was in on it from the get go. What’s obvious is the bartender was comfortable enough to let the guy leave. He’s probably a regular.

    Regardless, there’s a couple lessons to learn. First, if you’re going to upgrade, be prepared to chip in. Second, don’t sit down and have a meal and multiple drinks with someone you’re not attracted to. Unless you’re splitting the bill down the middle, someone’s getting burned. Make no mistake, what this guy did was a scumbag move. At the same time, the OP is not some innocent victim.

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