Sunday, June 13, 2010

Should a guy pay...

...on a first date?

I’ve been asking myself this since I went on a date with another guy from I really liked his profile and he had a nice smile (yes, yes I'm a sucker for a cute smile). I’ll call him… Mr. Maybe.

When we exchanged numbers, he called almost immediately. The first time we spoke for about 15 minutes. The next day he called again and we spoke for an hour and half – which was not usual for me. But he was able to converse on a variety of subjects, he was funny and he kinda 'got' me. I was pleasantly surprised. He didn’t ask me out right away which was good – not desperate I thought. And when he did finally ask me out 2 days later, it was very casual and I agreed immediately.

The date itself wasn’t too bad... so much as first dates go. The chemistry wasn’t fantastic but it was enjoyable in a light-hearted kind of way.

He was 25 minutes late, but very apologetic about it. Apparently he had to work at the last minute. There was a que at the restaurant we went to and the only available section was the smoking side so we sat there, next to the bar. He lit a cigarette as soon as we sat but not before asking ‘do you mind’? I didn’t know how to say ‘yes, I do mind’ so instead I smiled and shook my head.

We ordered drinks. And chatted a bit about our travelling adventures. Well, his travelling adventures mostly. He asked me if I’d been to the US…I said no. He then ventured to tell me what a great place it was and gave me a very detailed account of one of his camping trips where he’d almost encountered a bear. The bear story continued for quite a bit, but it was I said, he was amusing enough. But I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps if he stopped talking for a bit and asked a little more questions, he’d find that I’ve been to some pretty cool places too. Only he didn’t.

We talked some more trivial stuff. Ordered our food. Exchanged jokes. Drank some more. It was 10.30pm, about 2 and a half hours into our date when my phone buzzed. I was supposed to meet some friends for drinks after. I was told that if the date went well, I should bring him along. After a tiny mental battle whether I should or should not, I decided to ask him. I wasn’t having too bad a date and it might be a good time to see if he was cool to hang out with at a club. But he said he couldn’t - apparently needing to take his parents to church early the next morning. I teased him about being a mummy’s boy. He laughed it off saying no, he isn’t... normally.

Then the weirdest thing happened. The bill came. Out of habit, I pulled my wallet out and took out a couple of notes. Usually (in fact, on all of my previous first dates) what happens next is the guy will tell me to put my wallet away and pay. And I allow it because really, as strange is this sounds, I like it when a man takes charge at the end of a date by footing the bill. It isn’t about the money. It is about being a gentleman… and knowing how to treat a lady. Same as opening the door for her or pulling out the chair for her. And no, I don’t expect the guy to foot all the bills for all our dates.. just the first ones, especially when it is the guy who asks me out. If ever we did go out on a second date, I’d insist on paying. If he didn’t let me, then there are things to consider like perhaps he's a chauvinist, which is a whole other can of worms and a topic for another day.

Anyway, what happened here, is that when I took my wallet out, he took the money I offered, added a couple of notes of his own to it and paid the waiter. When the change came, we split the change in half. I was left thinking, that maybe this wasn’t a romantic date after all.. perhaps he just wants to be friends?

After that he walked me to my car. When we reached the car, he turned to me, looked me in the eye, leaned forward and gave me a hug which lingered slightly longer than a 'just friends' hug should. Then he said that he would really, really like to see me again. Hmmm. Definitely more than friends vibe now. It was pretty confusing.

When I reached the club, I threw the question to all the guys who were at my table.. ‘when you take a girl out on a first date.. do you pay for the date?’. Every one of them gave a very emphatic and resounding ‘YES!’.

So, here are my musings...

Should the guy foot the bill on first dates?

And the big question - should I give Mr. Maybe another chance? (He's asked me out already... I'm stalling)


The Savage said...

Personally, I always pay on the first date. I foot the entire bill including the tip for the wait-staff and if it carries over to a club later in the evening.. I pay that too.. unless she is sneaky and gets me a drink without my knowledge.
Even if I need the money for more important things, I still pay the entire first date.
Not that I have to anymore as I've found that super special someone.

I don't know about giving him a second chance. By what you've said he seems rather self absorbed and if he wasn't willing to make you put your money away I think an American saying is appropriate, "Dump the chump."

eliza said...

Yo little Miss!

Yes, I absolutely think men should pay on the first date- and I'm with you, if he pays on the first, I'll happily pay on the second. It's not about the money, as you said. As for second chances, I agree with Savage- had this dude behaved perfectly minus the payment confusion at the end, I would say go for a second date by all means... but he went on and on about himself. I've had many a date like that.



Toni said...

I think all men will agree, it is good form for the guy to pay the bill on the first date. Even when you are going out with a stinking rich girlfriend, women like to be treated. When I was going out with my lunatic ex, even though I was broke during the asian crisis of 97, I would always pay, and she often over-repaid me massively, because she was old school and didn't want to be seen without a guy paying for her. It is simple etiquette, but on a first date it is crucial to show your intent.

BabyMan said...

It is very confusing for guys these days. We don't know whether to hold the door or not; ask for a kiss or just take it. It can be very nerve wracking. The "rules" are as many as there are women. Perhaps he thought he was being progressive in allowing you to foot part of the bill on your first date. I dont' know what this says about him, it's too soon to tell. But I'd have to agree with those you asked at the club: save extentuating circumstances, a lost wallet or something of the like, a man should always, always, always pay on the first date.

little miss angry said...

the savage - a true gentleman you are in my books. kinda jealous of your super special someone ;) 'dump the chump' eh. keep you posted.

eliza - glad you feel the same way. he did go on about himself for a bit but nothing too personal. its just that i've been on sooo many bad dates that this actually looks pretty good in comparison. god, i'm deprived!

toni - i completely agree! it IS in good form and it IS crucial to show intent. otherwise it leaves us just feeling confused and how does that help anybody, right?

little miss angry said...

babyman - also a gentleman! and honestly that DID cross my mind. that maybe he was being progressive and did not want to come across as anti-feminist or something. only i don't think i was giving any ultra feminist vibes. a lot can be read from not just what a woman says (which usually come in subtle hints) but also from her body language..

having said that, i don't envy a man's position. we do have a tendency of saying something and then going ahead and doing something completely contradictory to what we just said ;)

Larissa said...

I don't mind paying my share or footing the whole bill, but I always feel weird when I do that- it never seems like men actually enjoy that. It feels like I'm taking away their opportunity to be manly. It doesn't prove anything to me if he pays, it doesn't make me think he's more of a man or a gentlemen or anything, but it seems to prove something to them, so I don't look into it too much.

But Mr. Maybe sounds like a waste of time, to be honest- between being late and talking about himself for so long, I don't see why he deserves another chance.

Ken said...

The man should always pay on the first date. BUT the woman should thank him. Not getting thanked for dinner on a first date is a deal-breaker for me.

Should you see him again? No. He should have asked you about yourself and not been so self-absorbed.

Miss OverThinker said...

Like everyone else already said, the guy should definitely pay on the first date.. for me it would be a big turn off if he didn't..

jassy_onya'e said...

It's more of a turn off that he watched you take out your wallet without stopping you. Even here in the u.s guys usually pay, can't say it's tradition, but the first one it is. I don't like his rudeness on being late, he really should have paid, and the whole smoking thing, he needs to realize not everyone likes to smoke.....ugh yea this is Mr. Maybe not so much!!

Snafugirl said...

YES! He should pay on the first date. Period.

jo said...

normally i'll say yes. the girl should offer to pay but in general for a first date, the guy should decline her offer and pay for it.

but i'm not sure bout mr maybe's situation. it could just be that he's kinda broke. or that he's trying to take things slower. or that he (misguidedly) thought it might be rude if he didn't accept your offer to pay for your share.

but aside from this, him being self-absorbed and not interested enough in asking you questions bout you makes me a lil iffy towards him.

Ca88andra said...

I think he should have told you to put your money away, but maybe he was confused about who pays when himself? Perhaps try one more date and see what happens.

Being Samiantha said...

Dump The Chump!

Lights up at the table, is late, doesn't pay.

I"ve been on a lot of bad first dates too (one being arrested- long story. I can put up with some cos I find a lot of men are intimitated by independant women.

With that said, woman all want to be treated nicely.

A man who is secrure with himself, will walk on the right side of the sidewalk(curb), pull your chair out, offer his hand to help you rise from your chair, helps with your jacket et cetra. Can hold a conversation, debate, listen and still choose to disagree without being a push over.

All these things tells me he is a man strong enough to date me.

But in short, the man should be who he is, not someone he things we want him to be. (Same with women).

Good Luck, Keep us posted!

little miss angry said...

larissa - you make a very good point. men do feel good when i allow them to pay. hmmm wonder what makes mr.maybe different.

ken - not thanking is just downright bad manners. i can understand why it'd be a deal breaker. and yes, i would have appreciated a little more questions about me.

miss overthinker - it seems to be a turn off for me too. i'm still stalling... though he's called and asked me out more times sinse.

jassy onya'e - i tolerated the rudeness and the smoking (we were at a bar). but the paying bit and the self absorbtion definitely turned me off.

little miss angry said...

snafu - lol. someone should tell HIM that!

jo - agreed. though i don't think he was broke exactly. yea.. the self absorbtion definitely a turn-off.

ca88andra - my friends are advising me to just give him another shot. but i'm just so not feeling right now though maybe i might if he's persistent enough ;)

being samiantha - i totally agree. and you just described my perfect man too ;) i probably won't dump the chump. he has been calling and asking me out. i'll give it maybe another week or so to see how this pans out and whether i might change my mind about meeting him again. will definitely keep you guys posted.

Queenie said...

What a dingaling! There's something to be said about a guy that doesn't pay on the first date. I mean, yeah it's cool to split the bill down the road but on the first date? I think you might find that there will be other things that aggravate you about this dude. I would give him another shot but I would keep my radar on for little red flags.