I am no love Guru. I’ll admit that from the beginning. I don’t even want to be. There are, however, some things about dating that I just feel like I want to address.
Now that I have that waiver out of the way, a quick synopsis of a conversation I had with a friend of mine recently. They’d talked on the phone a few times, planned to meet up to go out, and she gave him the chore of picking the place (I don’t REALLY think it’s a chore, more on that later). She calls him a couple hours before the date to find out where he’d chosen, only to find out that he hadn’t. Hard pressed to pick (as they are getting ready to meet up) he reaches for an old reliable , a restaurant along the lines of Golden Corral. They meet. She is dress (ish), he has on a track jacket and a skull-cap. They eat. The meal comes up to about $20, and he asks if she has cash to leave the tip because he doesn’t put it on his card.
As she is recounting this encounter, my laughter is punctuating the telling. Why? I just think there are certain rules to dating, and that these rules go both ways.
1) If you ask for the date, you pay.
2) Not only do you pay, but you plan the date.
3) First impressions are a big deal.
You read correctly. That first one, I think, is a big one. If I ask you to go out, I’m going to be ready to pay. I’m probably not going to fight a whole lot if you insist that you’ll pay, but that’s my plan when we decide to meet. I believe in it. It’s not a “I don’t need you kind of thing”, it’s just a common courtesy thing.
The second point is just a follow-up to the first. How many times have you have this conversation:
Him/Her: “Let’s go do something”.
Her/Him: “Okay, what do you want to do?”
Him/Her: “I don’t know.”
If you have had it once, it might have been once too many times. Seriously though, if I ask you to go out, I have an idea of what I want to do. It can be the movies, a restaurant, a walk in the park…I could keep going. I have a plan. Notice, not all of the choices cost money. If you are paying to walk then I got a plot I’m charging admission to walk on too. Date’s DON’T have to cost money!!! Have you ever seen Half Baked? They walked around New York, Dave got his date a hot dog and they shared an ice cream (she didn’t know it was because he was low on funds). More importantly, they had a chance to talk/get to know each other. That kind of date is PRICELESS.
While I’m on the subject of price, I think it’s an important one to sit with for a while. Now, if I don’t have a caviar budget, I’m not going to suggest a 5 star restaurant. If taking you out is going to put a hurting on my wallet, I might suggest making you a meal. We can talk about what you do and don’t eat, and then I can take a quick peek (or a long one depending on how tight the budget is) at the store ads and pick a meal that is going to be cost efficient. If I have talked up my culinary skills to you, I don’t think this is a bad way to go. *I’m not saying you need to have any and everyone in your house, I don’t endorse it at ALL. This is a suggestion based solely on each individual’s discretion.*
Lastly, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to get kind of dressy for a first date. You can keep it casual and still be nice. Maybe you have on jeans and a nice shirt. Depending on how you meet (let’s say online for instance), it will be your first time seeing each other in person. If you met in a club, it might be your first time meeting in real light. (I’m not saying anything about club lighting..except that you might bend over and touch your toes in the club…but not under those restaurant lights. It could be good to let him see you in another light).
Just my thoughts.