3 Rules for Men to Follow to Avoid Getting Trapped by Women Who Date for Dinner
Dating, as a middle-aged guy in Manhattan, has been an adventure. What I have discovered is that while I was going on first dates in the hopes of having a second date and maybe even finding a relationship, some women were dating for sport – the sport of getting a nice dinner paid for. All they had to do was manipulate the date logistics in a way that suckered me into buying them dinner and they have achieved their goal. You know the saying, nice guys finish last or in this case, $100 dollars plus or minus poorer, with little to show for it.
Now before all of you ladies start sending me (more) hate mail, I am not saying that all or even most women do this. But some do, and most men who have significant dating experience have encountered this situation. Some women even admit they do it like Rose Clifford, who was featured in a recent NY Post Article. And for those of you who think otherwise, it seems that most women still expect the man to pay for the first date. And essentially every man and woman I have spoken to about this, agrees with that.
Here are three recent dates I had that illustrate how easy it is to get caught in the pay-for-dinner play:
Date #1: When I spoke with her on the phone I wasn’t sure we were compatible but I figured how could a quick meet on a late Wednesday afternoon hurt? I suggested that we meet at a nice bar I knew near her. She said, “I really like the W Hotel. I really like the lounge in there.”
We meet at “The Living Room” in the W Hotel at 5pm and sat down on one of the couches and ordered drinks. About 10 minutes in, she said she hadn’t eaten much for lunch asked to see the menu. And then proceeded to order two “small” appetizers to go with her second drink. The date ended an hour later when she said she had to get home because her babysitter had to leave. There was no offer on her part to even split the bill. I paid the $80 bill and never saw her again. I felt like a schmuck.
Date #2: About a month later and a bit wiser (so I thought) I made plans with a woman who lived across the Hudson River in Jersey City to meet me at by the 9/11 Memorial at 4:30pm. She had told me on our initial phone call that she had never seen it and since I knew several nice places to hang out within a block, I suggested a quick tour of the memorial and we could grab a drink.
At 4:20pm, as I was walking to meet her, she sent me a text saying she was sorry but was delayed and was right now walking out her door. There were two more texts that followed with excuses for more delays. She showed up at 6pm, 90 minutes after our scheduled meeting time.
She was very apologetic, gave me a big hug and said it was unusual for her to be so late and she would make it up to me. I believed her. We toured the 9/11 Memorial for about 15 minutes and then I pointed to a bar within eyesight and said let’s go have a drink. She informed me that at this point she was hungry and would get sick if she drank on an empty stomach and needed dinner first. Three hours later we ended the dinner date with me $125 poorer. There was no offer on her part to even split the bill. There was no second date, despite her reaching out to me again.
Date #3: I recently matched with a very attractive woman on a picture-based dating app. We had a nice first call and I suggested we meet Saturday, 3pm for coffee. She said had errands to run and asked if we could push back the time to 4pm. I agreed, but that got me thinking. So, I went back and looked at her dating profile and this is what it said:
“Single, no kids, fun, sweet, upscale, business-savvy, selective… Enjoys fine dining in Manhattan and…. That last phrase poked me right in the eye. But maybe I was being paranoid?
Saturday came and I was just about to head to our date when I got the text I somehow knew I was going to get: “Sorry, I’m running a little behind, can we meet at 5:30pm?” I waited a few minutes to think about things, even considering that I might be judging her unfairly, and even if she wasn’t trying to sucker me into a free meal, moving a first date and hour and half later, 45 minutes before the date, is just unacceptable. So, I told her I had plans and her coming at 5:30pm would make our time together too short. I felt like I had finally manned-up.
These three date experiences along with a bunch of others has lead me to suggest these three rules for men trying to avoid getting suckered into paying for a meal they never intended to:
- You Pick the Place: If you are paying, you pick the venue for the date. You should know in advance what you are potentially paying for. If she insists on changing the place make sure you know it well and it’s acceptable to you. If it’s not, hold firm and if she doesn’t agree, pass on her.
- Late for a First Date is Unacceptable: I’d say follow the 30-minute rule. If she can’t get there within 30 minutes of the scheduled time cancel the date. And don’t get fooled by late creep – where she says I’m running late multiple times before the same date. Even if she’s not being late to get a free meal, she’s disrespected you and that’s not a way to start any relationship you want to be in.
- Look for Warning Signs: Listen carefully to what she says or what she has written in her dating profile. If she says she likes fine dining, great wine or frequent travel, you should believe her. She very well may intend on getting you to indulge her in those things. My dating profile talks about what I have to offer women. Her profile shouldn’t talk about what she wants, it should also talk about what she has to offer.
Have you had a similar experience on dates? If yes, did you end up paying for dinner or not?
Good luck men.