A Dating Disaster Diagnosed

Over the weekend Moxie advised a man who had been milked for a free night out. His story reads like an advertisement for a course in dating logistics.

“Met a girl online and we exchanged a few emails and phone calls and set up the date. Since I recently moved to her area, I suggested we go to a Houlihans or TGIFridays for drinks since I didnt know any other places. Besides, I was familiar with those establishments atmosphere wise and price wise. She then said she preferred a wine bar she frequently goes to instead. I agreed.

We each had 2 glasses of wine (way more expensive than Houlihans or Fridays) and after 2 hours she said she had to leave. The conversation up to that point I thought went very well and there was even some minor shoulder touching when we spoke. SO at that point I knew I enjoyed it more than her. When the bill came, she didnt offer to pay but did say thanks.

When I walked her to her car, I got the cheek kiss and a hug. At that point it was obvious she wasnt interested and we parted. The next day she sends me an email saying I was sweet but not right for each other.

Now the questions. Since she didnt feel anything, should she have stopped after the first glass of wine and maybe had water or soda instead? If she did order the second glass, should she have at least offered to pay when the bill came? This bugs me because she upped the ante on my original suggestion to a more upscale place from Houlihans to that wine bar. Had the same scenario played out in my original offer, it would have cost far less.

I feel like she was in a win-win situation. She gets a potential connection or else a free night at an upscale place. She says she dates frequently and has been on all the dating sites for years (she told me this in person on the date). Sounds to me like she knew exactly what she was doing. Am I being too sensitive about this? At least I found out about a cool new place for any future second or third dates with another girl.”

This case provides a useful roadmap for correcting a number of all-too-typical dating foibles. I’m going to start at the end and work backwards, tracing points at which he could have improved his outcome.

When the bill came. By the time the check came, you had a feeling you enjoyed it more than her. That means the likelihood of a second date or even some escalation on the first date was slim. So you should have asked to split the check, cut your losses and moved on. There’s no sense in making an investment towards future goodwill that you’re never going to collect on. If she protests, remind her that the wine bar was her idea, that she wanted to go there. Should she have offered to pay her share knowing there wasn’t going to be a second encounter? The question contains a false premise – she should have offered to pay her part of the tab regardless.

I can hear the criticism now – “but that’s so rude to ask her to pay! Women don’t like that, it’s not claaaaassy.” OK, so what? A woman who wants to see you again will be popping out of her skin, it’s just not that difficult to tell. If she’s not giving off those signals, then you have nothing to lose except the cost of entertaining a woman who has no interest in seeing you again. I accept a small financial outlay as a skid-greaser towards later dating experiences with a woman (where I expect the investment to even out one way or another). If it’s clear there’s no later experience coming, I’m no longer interested in such generosity.

Guys get into this mindset where they think they’ll dispatch a bad date by ponying up cash just to make it go away. I’ve been there, you just want to get out of there so you get the bill covered as quickly as you can, have an awkward side-hug and go home. But that just perpetuates the modus operandi that it’s the man’s job to sing and dance and the woman’s job to judge the performance.

When she insisted you change the plan. There’s a certain tackiness to being asked out and then requesting that the location be changed to better suit your tastes – trying to upgrade an invitation is a harbinger of flakiness and perpetual dissatisfaction. (If she really used the word “prefer,” that’s pushy and entitled language, as if her desires alone should carry the day.) There’s also a small fitness-test aspect to it, in that you’ll lose points if you fold and she perceives you don’t have any confidence in your original plan. But the bigger issue is that it sets up a frame of reference in which she is in the driver’s seat to insist on being entertained, where she’s dating not to get to know you but to have fun on someone else’s effort, and that’s not a frame in which you are likely to come off as attractive or desireable.

The thing is that you DO need to make the date fun for her, but you need to be inviting her into your life, not acting as her cruise director – so if she insists on dictating the terms of the engagement, you should probably invoke the abundance mentality and back away from the deal entirely. As Moxie said:

I don’t think you gals understand….these guys don’t have to go out with you. They likely have plenty of other options.

Choice of location. Now, in her post Moxie went off on this guy as “cheap,” and she throws in snarky references to Olive Garden and Dave & Buster’s just to rub it in his face.

I don’t think that’s exactly the point, and quite frankly I find girls are way too hung up on “cheap” as if money grows on trees for the express purpose of being plucked by men and subsequently delivered to women. Especially for today’s economy when frugality should be a personal virtue of everybody (don’t let your desire for women shame you out of watching your dollars).

The point is that the perception of Friday’s and Houlihan’s is of places you go when you are on a budget and don’t have anywhere better to go. (What’s interesting is that they themselves are chain knockoffs of Fern Bars, highly distinctive yuppie hangouts of the 1980’s.)  And besides, she’s been there before, not to that particular restaurant but to that kind of generic, anonymous place. It’s unclear if he actually told her he “didn’t know any other places,” but in any case his suggestions communicate a lack of knowledge, imagination, or both. One of the benefits of dating in a new area is that it will (or should) get you acquainted with all sorts of vibey places for dessert, ice cream, and unusual beers or cocktails. Browse Yelp and Urbanspoon, and subscribe to a couple of local food blogs. Admittedly, this gets tough if you’re dating in the suburbs and don’t have a lot of mom-and-pop options or places that cater to young adults. Make it work however you can though, a little uniqueness game goes a long way. You can find a lot of places that are just as inexpensive as a midlevel chain but are much better experiences. Think like a hipster.

Incidentally, you’ll want to read Moxie’s thread for the harsh invective from women (including Moxie herself) about how “cheap” and “clueless” the guy was. OMG, can you believe he tried to take her to a chain restaurant?! This kind of shallow status consciousness is unfortunately typical in large sectors of the dating world. Since we have to assume and plan around this sort of bear trap, no woman should get any first-date presumption of being girlfriend material; every woman you date has to start out on Ladder 2, with an option to move to Ladder 1 if she earns (proves) it.

NO DINNER DATES

This date didn’t involve dinner per se, but this is a good time to talk about them anyway. The bottom line: don’t do them, at least not with women you haven’t slept with yet.

I don’t know when or how “dinner dates” became cultural de rigeuer for early dating, but they are a total non-starter in today’s climate. Early dinner dates involve too much sitting down chatting and not enough action, excessive investment of time and money, too little opportunity for kino escalation and put too much pressure on the opening encounters. It’s probably the most effective way to put your provider foot forward and thus get instantly moved into the Boyfriend Zone or worse yet the Beta Orbiter Zone.

For a man who has broken out of blue-pill betatude, it’s difficult to understand the degree to which other men’s minds are stuck in failing dating patterns to the point they can’t imagine anything else. I was approached by a friend recently who asked how to avoid paying for a woman’s dinner on a date. “Don’t go to dinner on the date,” I replied plainly. He was momentarily astounded – the concept of breaking out of the dinner-date script had not entered his mind.

“CHEAP DATES”

As an aside, I have long found it interesting to hear women describe themselves as “cheap dates” – the assumption is that it’s the man’s job to wine and dine her, and that she’s somehow doing him a favor by lowering her level of expectations and saving him some money and trouble.

I used to be really heated up about this topic, but I’ve hit a streak lately of dating women who are very low on the dating-entitlement factor, who offer to pay half (not as a shit test) and are more concerned about my company than where I’m taking them. Part of it is me projecting a frame that is not confused with a wine-and-diner, but another part is plain good luck. Either way it’s been very refreshing.

LESSONS LEARNED

This dude, after telegraphing that he wasn’t on top of his dating game, allowed himself to be bullied into switching the meeting place and then got stuck with the tab for a woman that wasn’t into him. Whether this was all a ruse just so she could get an evening at her chosen wine bar, or if she lost nascent attraction and got what she could on her way out of the arrangement, is unimportant; his moves alone all but determined she wasn’t going to be interested in him by the end of the night. The solution: own the plan, go to a place that is distinctive but where you don’t have to spend a lot of money, and don’t stay in one place too long while the bill climbs and the energy declines.

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57 Comments

Filed under dating and field game

57 responses to “A Dating Disaster Diagnosed

  1. Interesting how you only chose to mention my criticisms of the guy when I was far more critical of the woman.

    And, yes, people will scoff if you suggest meeting at a chain restaurant. Yes, it will make you look cheap and lacking in social aptitude. Nobody in NY wants to hang around with a bunch of tourists. The guy was lazy to not even try to find a more sophisticated location. To sit and whine about how she should have ordered soda if she wasn’t interested in him, when he had the choice to find a better place or stick to his original plan, madeh
    im sound worse.

  2. I like this a lot. But I think this is more of an autopsy or a dissection of a date.
    Great post, you should totally have a lot more posts about this for guys after disaster to see what they did “wrong” and correct accordingly.

  3. Candide

    I’d only accept a change of location suggestion if it were due to allergies and the new place is financially equal to the original.

    If it’s just her “preference”, she’s already too inflexible to date (being in it for freebies aside).

    If she’s hung up on “cheap” – like that lot of over the hill going through the wall crowd at supersonic speed at Moxie’s – bye, cya.

    For some reason, the women who are into me always pay half (or pay in turns) and have no problem going through with it (so they’re not playing the fake offer game). I tend to attract low entitlement women, and my general attitude is probably toxic to the princesses.

  4. Instead of splitting the bill, if one is obviously be used by an entitlement princess, how about excuse yourself to the restroom then leave. Satisfying.

  5. I was on a date with this girl who was definitely headed in that direction. After driving miles to pick her up, she suggests we drive out even further to some fancy restaurants the meals from which i would be paying. So we ate in the town where she lived at a 50’s drive in type place (interesting) and she paid her way. Needless to say the date was a disaster, but getting used and tossed would have been much worse.

  6. Yeah, I’m going to stick with coffee dates from now on for first dates. If she’s interested, she’ll go. If she’s looking for a free ride, she can hop on someone else.

  7. For a while I only have had “dates” after the fact.

  8. I think it was the juggler book (or was it the badboy one?) which did it for me. Plus some DeAngelos interviews with Tyler. Ah man. These days when I didnt know shit.

    If you are going to meet with her, do something that breaks the ice and makes you interact a lot. Physical stuff, or intellectual stuff, depending on where you are at and who you’re dealing with. So something sport related with dosis of adrenaline, or something you can play together, or a museum, or something that can ignite a debate (assuming you’re into). And whatever you do and wherever you take her, you have to be in charge, it’s gotta be fun, and it’s gotta be about you taking her to your world. AKA: you make all the decisions, baby.

    If you have that frame of mind and take charge spirit, you can get away with taking her to dinner. Assuming you bounce to a bar after and get drunk and fuck her in the way back home. No? then dont do the dinner thing. Dont do the movies thing. Dont bring chocolates dont court her. Instead, take her off her feet, rob her from her world, take her to your life, for the ride. When she does that, and if / when she likes it, she´ll also lose her clothing and inhibitions. And she´ll trust you, because she’s seen you in charge.

    This is incredibly difficult to pull off if your life isnt that interesting on its own: you´ll be asking HER what she wants to do etc. So first make yourself happy and your life interesting. Then share it.

    When you have an interesting life… the most fun aspects of it wont be about what you eat nor which movies you see. So the “dates” wont be about such things either.

  9. Tinkabell

    Try a little tenderness….YOU really don’t have to make a fool of yourself…really!!!!

  10. Infantry

    Go for drinks for the first ‘date’ >> ‘I’ll get the first round’.

    I can’t remember being burnt on this strategy.

  11. deti

    Cosign. Excellent post.

    In my single days I used to pick up the tab for dinner dates (!) as a matter of course. I thought it was a matter of Emily Post etiquette to pay so as to avoid discomfort and awkwardness of “who is going to pick up the check”. And I thought it was taboo for a man to ask a woman to split the check. And, I thought it was a DHV to show her I had the cash to pay the full freight.

    I can’t even tell you how much money I wasted on women who weren’t interested.

    Sorry, Emily Post. You’re great for mixed groups, formal dinners, and telling me which fork to use. The SMP is a different world. And if she’s not interested, no man has anything to lose by insisting that she pick up half. And if she’s not already attracted, paying for her gets you no DHV points.

  12. Jason773

    I’m not familiar with Moxie in the ‘sphere, but the post above makes her sound like an entitled idiot. Is there a prereq for a date where $14 martinis are a must? If it’s a first date, each person owes the other absolutely nothing. The choice of location is much less important than the vibe that’s put forth.

  13. deti

    It’s funny about a girl paying half. In my single days a girl insisting on paying half was sending a clear signal she was NOT interested and didn’t even consider your encounter a “date”.

  14. P Ray

    ^ That still is true depending on where you date.
    Other clear signs of a date going bad:
    – woman tells you all about her problems
    – says she doesn’t get along with her family
    – talks about “love at first sight” (apparently this only happens to women, men are horndogs)
    – lies to you about her qualifications
    – lies to you about her dating past

    The important thing to remember is you lose nothing from recognising a person who will be bad to you regardless of how well you treat them.
    Too many men grow up with the idea that all love needs is effort on the mans’ part.
    When it also needs
    – a woman attracted to the guy
    – a man who knows he is being strung along and should just cut the interaction.

  15. As an aside, I have long found it interesting to hear women describe themselves as “cheap dates” – the assumption is that it’s the man’s job to wine and dine her, and that she’s somehow doing him a favor by lowering her level of expectations and saving him some money and trouble.

    This is tricky (maybe not so much for the younger crowd as things have changed so much) but dating 15-20 years ago, it would have been considered very rude for a woman to offer to pay or to go someplace cheap. It would mean at the very least she recognized a man didn’t make a lot of money and it would be a huge blow to his ego and woman used to actually try to avoid a blow like that. Girls using it these days are very likely trying to show that they are not entitled like so many of the other girls out there and many girls are probably still wary enough to try to tread that fine line between not bursting an ego (no, I am not saying ego is a bad thing. That makes the man and women used to try to protect it) and not showing entitlement.

  16. Regarding the chain restaurant, this guy came across as cheap more so because he made the suggestion while sort of shuffling his feet and doing the “aw geez, I just don’t know where else to go”. He immediately pushed himself into her frame and she took advantage (while simultaneously writing him off). I have no idea how one would go about doing this, but if he had owned the date as his own, it wouldn’t have matter much at all where they went or how much it had cost.

  17. NMH

    I think taking a woman to a relatively inexpensive place is an outstanding shit test for a man to five to a woman. If she cant handle a chain restaurant than she is a entitled snob, and then “buyer beware” (meaning the man becomes aware of what he is getting into with this snobby woman).

    If she handles the cheap place with aplomb she is a class act. If she is attractive, then the man has struck gold.

  18. @Moxie

    “And, yes, people will scoff if you suggest meeting at a chain restaurant. Yes, it will make you look cheap and lacking in social aptitude. Nobody in NY wants to hang around with a bunch of tourists.”

    You live in NYC. Please don’t make assumptions about the rest of the country regarding restaurant perceptions. Let’s be honest, NYC (and LA and South Florida) does not reflect the rest of the country where 10 of millions of single live and date.

    But such assumptions serve to underscore the point of never, ever having dinner on the first date – drinks, coffee, ice cream, walk in the part, flying a kite… anything but dinner!

    Plus, any woman who suggests a venue change for the first date is going to be flaky and a likely shit-tester down the road.

    Finally, it is the man’s job to have first date options and do the suggesting (stating, really). If a man isn’t prepared for a first date (with a time and place), he shouldn’t be dating.

  19. greenlander

    Great post, Badger. But it made me cringe a little bit when I thought of my former life when I behaved just like this poor sap. If anyone here invents a time machine, please go back to about 1990 and just beat the living crap out of me until I get some sense, ok?

    One of my strategies was to do the same “date” over and over again with each new girl I was cycling through. The date was to start out at a coffee shop at around 6pm after work. If it’s obviously not going where, then just get rid of her. My investment up to this point: $6.

    If the date was going well, then I suggest we bounce to a wine bar a couple of doors down. It’s a small, intimate place with only about 15 seats and I know the owner (who is always there serving) really well. I’d get her a little tipsy and really get the kino going. She did a great job of giving me social proof. I was inviting her into my own little cool world. At this point I’d be in for about $60, but who cares… at that point I know from coffee that she’s worth spending money on. (I was making $200K+ at the time.)

    Then later when I’d come in alone or with my guy friends the owner would give me her impressions of the girls. We had some great laughs and became good friends.

    For awhile I was bringing three or four girls a week there. The bartender/owner said she had no idea I was such a “dating machine” when she first met me lol.

    The axiom “NEVER DO DINNER DATES” is just dead-on. At dinner the girl will get a little tired and relaxed, the food will mitigate the alcohol effect, and it’s really hard to get kino going across a table of food. The rule you have to have is “first you ride my cock, then I take you out for some dinner dates.”

  20. The guy who submitted the letter lives in NY. That’s why my commentary skewed the way it did.

    Plus, any woman who suggests a venue change for the first date is going to be flaky and a likely shit-tester down the road.

    Absolutely. I was much harsher on the woman than they guy. The guy just came off as a harmless if clueless clod who got bamboozled by some serial dater. The woman wasn’t interested from the get go. She was looking to be “wined and dined” because she believes that that’s what men are supposed to do. The fact that she revealed that she gets a lot of dates and has been on those sites for years showed her lack of self-awareness. Of course, some of the female commenters got upset because I didn’t offer her “understanding.” Sorry, but this chick was probably late thirties/early forties. All that “understanding” that she’s received for why she’s still on those sites is why she’s still single.

    Finally, it is the man’s job to have first date options and do the suggesting (stating, really). If a man isn’t prepared for a first date (with a
    time and place), he shouldn’t be dating.

    Agreed. This guy made himself vulnerable by suggesting a chain restaurant. There’s just no excuse for not being more proactive at 45 years old.

  21. CL

    And, yes, people will scoff if you suggest meeting at a chain restaurant. Yes, it will make you look cheap and lacking in social aptitude.

    Superficial princess alert.

  22. deti

    CL:

    “And, yes, people will scoff if you suggest meeting at a chain restaurant. Yes, it will make you look cheap and lacking in social aptitude.

    Superficial princess alert.”

    Yep. Rule of thumb is this: If she’s attracted to you, she’ll do what you want to do. She’ll crawl over broken glass to be with you. If she doesn’t want to go to a chain restaurant for a drink or two and demands to go somewhere else, she’s probably just not that into you.

    I’m convinced this is why men invite women over to their houses for a video. Yeah, it’s cheap. But he wants to find out how attracted she is while keeping his investment at a minimum. And in this SMP I can’t blame a man for using that tactic.

  23. CL

    @ deti

    I also fail to see anything classy about a woman who accepts what are essentially gifts from a man she doesn’t even like/fancy or with whom she doesn’t intend on having any further interactions.

    The first date ought to be for the purpose of finding out if there is any connection, and there’s no need to spend a small fortune to determine that.

  24. And in this SMP I can’t blame a man for using that tactic.

    I agree. When the overwhelming lament is “Where have all the good men gone?” it means that it is now time for women to prove themselves to men. It is no longer the other way around. Heh, another unintended consequence of feminism.

  25. CL

    It all sounds of a similar ilk to this:

    Not as brazenly obvious, but animated by the same spirit.

  26. xclampa

    I don’t think pretending someone you’re not is good for future dates. Students and people in their 20s are on a low budget, and the rest is still facing down economy. Being frugal is a virtue. Let’s face it.

    Being open about it is more of a problem. My strategy is I don’t order anything I cannot pay for by myself at the moment (and won’t regret paying for) but not all women share this logic. If at some point you think the tab is getting too heavy to pick up, say you’re sorry but you only have this much on you and you can’t pay for more. If she doesn’t want to split then pay the bill, get out and go for a nice walk (not too long if she’s wearing high heels/looks tired).

    I don’t begin with the expectation of the date paying in full. Especially if we changed plans on the spot because I didn’t feel good about it (and my right to do so comes from the fact that I assume I will pay at the end of the meeting as well as the fact that there’s only so much of pub-time I can stand – meaning null, just my personal preference, and should the date announce his choice of place ahead of time I will tell him I can’t stand pubs). If I want to switch the place I ask the date, not with a commanding manner, if he would go with me to a different place and offer to split the bill from the beginning since it was my idea. If he’s still not able to pick up half of the tab (which has not happened) I would just suggest doing something else or going someplace else.
    If he wouldn’t agree to change and insist on the place – I would try to explain why I won’t enjoy myself there.

    If I were to go on a real dinner date (which has not happened to date) or any date I would still apply the “don’t order what you can’t pay for” logic and… honestly? Allow the guy to pay *only* if he insisted or completely swept me off my feet. I like my independence and I do not yield it easily. Upsetting male bank balances is not why I work hard to be independent.

    I have a problem with kissing at the end of the date. Sometimes it’s just way too soon to kiss someone – why should I if I don’t know this person well and there was only 1 date to get to know him (or her)? It doesn’t mean the date wasn’t good, it means I want to know someone a bit more.

    On a related matter: do you have problems with choosing dating spots and dating ideas?

  27. Man. I feel bad for the guy, but I do think he handled the whole situation poorly.

    If you’re going to try and do a lion show, you need to know how to handle lions. From what I’ve heard, thats about how the NYC dating scene is.

    No excuses for the chain restaurant thing. If he wanted to go to a chain, he shouldn’t have made an excuse. It should have just been done level and straight. He should have taken control and not let her change the venue.

    If he felt embarrassed about the venue, he should have googled a place that sounded fun and just gone there. A quick line of, “Oh, I’m new to town so I feel adventurous. I found this place and want to go there.” is great. I don’t think I’ve ever had a woman turn down such an offer. Usually, if I’m trying a new place on a date, I make it known that I like exploring new places and doing new things with women on dates. Usually its cheaper, more exciting, and can lead to a good story or two even if the date goes south.

    If you don’t like the place, you have a great excuse for a venue change mid date! Make it seem like more time’s past, go to the bar down the street or invite her back to your place to open a bottle of wine (you did stock up on a bottle incase the date went well, right?). Hell, if there’s a nice park around open the bottle, poor it into some water bottles, and drag her out around the park. Get a little tingle for breaking laws on public drinking, show her a nice night, wander around the city, and get to know it and her at the same time!

    It’s about what I do myself. I know a really nice pub that has a super quiet, neighborhood feel to it and a good patio. First dates for me usually go there if we’re in my part of town (and I try to make it that). Then, if things go well, it’s back to my place for some wine on the stoop. Enjoy the Chicago night, some fire flies, some watching people go by, good conversation, and a million opportunities to escalate kino, show off my apartment, and bring her into my frame and my life.

    If you can’t bring someone into your frame and your life, while I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t be dating (gotta learn somehow!), you should be trying to figure out how to do so. The guy only wants to blame the woman in his email, instead of asking what he did wrong. If you get passively led around by an entitlement princess, this is what you get. Someone hand the man a red pill.

  28. Joe

    Dude’s fault. Needed to recon the area, perhaps using this newfangled “internets” thing, and find good options. Not all chains are bad – Mortons, The Palm, Ruth’s Chris, Legal Seafood – they usually have really excelent bars with very good wine selections, and a range of prices. Plus there are probably local haunts that are quite nice.

    With good recon, he’d have been able to avoid the lame suggestion (I’m new here… TGI Fridays?) and counter the wine bar maneuver. She doesn’t sound totally manipulative; it sounds more like she gave him a good shot and it just didn’t work out – not surprising since he let himself get into a subordinate position with her at the outset. Two glasses of wine in NYC? Small potatoes. Not a disaster, just a misfire from the start.

  29. Violet

    While we are on the topic of entitlement.. A women who expects to be wined and dined might be entitled. But there’s something about this guy’s comment about “she should have ordered a soda if she didn’t like me” that makes me squeemish. Like he would have been ok spending the money, but only if the (entitled) woman liked him and wanted to go out again..? Ok, maybe she was a gold digger, but what if you’re not sure if you like a guy during a date? You might not even be sure until days later.

    Paying for a date is a sunk cost and should be treated as such. Sometimes guys have a different sort of entitlement along the lines of “I paid [a lot] therefore you should like me.” Sometimes guys INSIST on paying for first dates (i.e., I offer to pay half and they literally pull the check away from me) and on at least 2 occasions I’ve encountered guys who were hostile when I didn’t want to see them again. One literally said, “I don’t normally drop $50 on happy hour” in an angry email to me. (I had offered to pay half.) I paid for you, therefore you should like me. Am I a hooker, or someone you want to date? Consider the costs of a first date entirely independent on whether or not a girl will like you. If a girl likes you because you spent a lot of money on her, she’s a gold digger. Myself and other girls I know have also been put in really uncomfortable situations when guys made first or second dates that were really elaborate and expensive and insisted on paying. Thus my new dating policy is first dates will be very brief and something simple. That way no one gets uncomfortable or angry. No one is ever going to send a “I don’t normally drop $3.50 on frozen yogurt..” email.

  30. Retrenched

    @ CL

    “The first date ought to be for the purpose of finding out if there is any connection, and there’s no need to spend a small fortune to determine that.”

    Absolutely spot on.

    A woman who is offended by inexpensive date offers is a woman who should be avoided anyway.

  31. DC Phil

    My $0.02, adjusted for inflation . . .

    1. Agree . . . if the chick isn’t jumping out of her skin to see you again, then it’s a clear indication that this is going nowhere. Even worse is when she employs the handshake before and after the date, not to mention boilerplate “so what do you do?” type of conversation, as if she’s interested in looking at your resume instead of you as a person. It’s incumbent on the guy to learn rudimentary body language to see if the chick is interested in him more than as a temporary diversion/amusement from her oh-so-fabulous life, which includes drink-whoring. No overt IOIs and effort on her end? Cut her loose and delete her number. Even more so if she does something like put a time constraint on you on the first date or before the date. If the latter, then force her to reschedule. If she refuses, either directly or indirectly, kick her to the curb.

    However, keep in mind that there are times when initial impressions can be incorrect. For example, the woman I’m currently dating and I went out to a jazz club for fhe first date, one that I know well. It was on a Friday (bad day to go), so it was a bit noisy. Conversation was a bit so-so, in my view, and she walked with me back to the Metro. I was ready to delete her number the next day, but she sent me a text thanking me for the evening and wondering how my day was going. I took this as a sign that she was definitely interested, and so decided against deleting her number. Now, we have great sex together and love spending time with each other. :)

    2. Agree . . . taking the chick to a chain restaurant, though showing some thought in terms of keeping things simple and maybe inexpensive (gotta watch not to use the word “cheap”!), showed a lack of imagination. The guy has to find places that are out of the way, off the beaten path, and more interesting. Also, preferably someplace that isn’t noisy, like the local bar on a Friday or Saturday night.

    Lastly, YOU, the guy, choose the location, and provide one or two alternates. (This will come the more you go out and find out what’s out there.) Then she can counteroffer if she wants. If you know that she’s choosing someplace expensive, then you insist on someplace else. If she insists, then be prepared to walk, or be prepared to spend more than your allotted amount (see below.) Sometimes, you might have to take the hit financially. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    In the past several months, I’ve done the following for first dates: coffee, drinks, or an activity. Or, a combination of coffee/drinks and an activity. The point is to not sit there and allow the date to degenerate into boring conversation. The chick being a drink-whore notwithstanding, she surely has been on enough boring dates and she doesn’t need to be on another one. Granted, it’s not his job to be the singing and dancing monkey, but a little creativity might go a long way.

    Also, about cost, accept that you, the guy, are likely going to be paying for the date if this is the first time you’ve met her. It’s the price of admission, you could say, and there are no social mechanisms in place to shame the chick in ponying up her part of the bill. Therefore, go to someplace where you’re not going to spend more than, say, $20-30. Drinks are fine; dinner is not. Under NO circumstance should you take a chick that you’re not banging to dinner.

  32. Here’s an easy way to weed out entitled princesses (and also make it a fun time).

    Have a solid (first) date plan with venues in mind, but don’t tell her. When you ask her out, tell her to meet you at a nice public place like a park on a sunny day, in front of a museum or some other cool landmark in your area, and add “we’ll go from there”. From that point, you can take her to coffee, hot chocolate, wine etc. it’s up to how you feel and how much you like her.

    No serial dater or entitled princess or low interest woman will ever say yes to those dates, because they can’t see exactly what they can get from you. Only women who are interested in *sharing* a good time together will agree to those dates. A bonus for her (and you) is the small sense of adventure this plan brings: you meet up then explore the area together, more fun than knowing the venue in advance (possibly bloating up the expectations) and arranging schedule as if it’s a work meeting.

    You can be sure that you will get a lot of “No”s for such a date invitation, but the Yes you get will be from interested, low maintenance women.

  33. Infantry

    I like your suggestion Candide. It’s a way to meet someone on a more ‘down to earth’ level. Some more status orientated people might balk at it, but for people that aren’t status orientated that’s a feature, not a bug. It also sets up a low level adventure vibe.

    I used to do something similar a few years ago. There was some riverside parklands full of people, an artifical beach, a ferris wheel, markets (trinkets, clothes etc) and pubs. This was in a city known for good weather. You could just meet up and go for a stroll out in the sun, browsing some wares (good for teasing) and eventually wander over to get a drink on an upstairs balcony overlooking it all (isolated couches>>win). Lots of comfort, lots of fun and very cheap.

  34. “Some more status orientated people might balk at it”

    You want them to, because the plan is to filter them out before you invest anything at all. It will only let through women who are truly easy going (low maintenance, down to earth, not status oriented, as you might put it) and are fairly interested in you.

    It is a fitness test. ;)

  35. @ violet. Instead of having short, boring dates with all the guys you want to string around, how about you go on fun, interesting dates, but only with guys you’re attracted to? Or is that not an option for you?

  36. DC Phil

    @Candide

    Good post. This is what I’ve done since last year at a small park near my place here in DC. It’s out of the way and few people know about it, so the “normal” and non-entitled chicks are intrigued to see it and learn more about it. The downside is that it’s not close to any eating or drinking establishments, so I save it for just an activity date and/or doing a small picnic, where she and I might agree in each bringing something like our own drinks or a small snack.

  37. CL

    @ Candide

    It also tests for the ability and willingness of a woman to be led. If it’s a solid relationship you’re after, this is an important point.

  38. Orion

    Another way to frame it would have been answering to the change of locale “your asking me out then? ok.” At that point, he shouldn’t consider himself on the hook for the tab. When the bill comes, simply pass it to her. At most, only offer to split it, saying “ahh, I understand you can’t afford the full bill. Things are tough all over.” Leave it at that.

  39. Violet

    @ alphamission Why would you assume that I’m stringing anyone along at all rather than just giving someone a chance? You agree to the date under some assumption there’s a chance you might really like each other. Of course it would be every person’s preference to only go out on fun, interesting dates with people they’re attracted to, but 1) sometimes you don’t know if you’re attracted to someone until you’ve been on at least one date with them 2) you can plan the most interesting date on earth, but if you don’t like the person, the date won’t really be fun. Save the fun and interesting date for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th date or whatever.

  40. @ CL

    Yes that’s precisely the idea!

  41. @ violet, if you plan a date to not be interesting and fun, thats exactly what it will be. I think this is why men are supposed to take charge in these situations. Apparently a woman will plan intentionally boring dates, and wonder why things just arent panning out. Also, it takes a woman 2 seconds to know if she isnt interested in a man. Of course, most women will continually find a way to disqualify a man (shit tests), even if that means taking him for all he’s worth, just to see if he’ll be weak enough to give it to you.

  42. P Ray

    You agree to the date under some assumption there’s a chance you might really like each other. Of course it would be every person’s preference to only go out on fun, interesting dates with people they’re attracted to, but 1) sometimes you don’t know if you’re attracted to someone until you’ve been on at least one date with them 2) you can plan the most interesting date on earth, but if you don’t like the person, the date won’t really be fun.
    Some women agree to the date so that OTHER men see them as desirable.
    Why are you dating someone you aren’t attracted to … to become attracted to them?

  43. Violet

    @alphamission, P Ray
    I think you guys are assuming that when I said “attractive” I meant “meaning minimal standards for looks”. I meant attractive as in “Something about this person makes me want to keep hanging out with them.”

    For the record, I’ve been on very few boring dates. What has made a date great is not the sky diving or cute little market we walked around, but the great conversation. If someone is boring on a coffee date or over a few drinks, they are probably not someone you can even talk to… Do you really want to date this person? I doubt that women are deliberately planning boring dates as shit tests– they are probably just boring as people.

  44. I found that Vox’s new article says a lot about all this. There shouldnt be a wondering about where to go on a first date, just invite her into your life and do what you would do for fun, but now with her. You are auditioning her to be part of your life. Another reason why the man has to plan the date as well.

  45. deti

    “The bottom line: don’t do [dinner dates], at least not with women you haven’t slept with yet.

    “I don’t know when or how “dinner dates” became cultural de rigeuer for early dating, but they are a total non-starter in today’s climate.”

    This point bears some amplification. Badger makes some good points and let me add this: dinner dates aren’t in a man’s interest early on. It’s too much investment too soon. He’s putting too much money on the line too early.

    Second, it’s a level of investment she has not earned.

    Third, he’s showing her he considers himself low value, because he’s willing to risk all his value for next to nothing in return. He is showing her that he does not consider his investment to be worth very much if he’s willing to put it out there immediately.

  46. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You, 7-8-12 | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

  47. As someone who did a lot of dating in NY, I would like to ask where in NYC is he dating? Is he from Manhattan or the Outer Boroughs. Depending on where you live, a TGI Fridays might be the only place to get drinks that isn’t a complete dive.

    On the flip side, one thing I used to do when I was dating was to make a point to avoid Manhattan south of 110th Street on dates unless we had something more serious going. Since I’m an Outer Borough guy at heart, they would have to be comfortable where I am, not where you are. In my experience, it worked out well. If nothing else, it filters out people who are comfortable in your space from people who aren’t.

  48. Candide

    To add to deti’s:

    Fourth, dinner dates sub-communicate a different set of values: that of a Provider. You want to signal you have values of a Lover first: thrill, excitement, adventure etc. Can’t do that while you’re sitting down & eating. Frankly, our modern society do way too much sitting down & eating already, in and outside of dating.

  49. “Fourth, dinner dates sub-communicate a different set of values: that of a Provider. You want to signal you have values of a Lover first: thrill, excitement, adventure etc.”

    I constantly advise men to keep this dichotomy in mind. It’s one of the first, and most useful, concepts I got from the David de Angelo school of game.

    Women like to accuse men of the Madonna-whore complex (which I find a roundabout way of trying to defang their own intrasexual slut-shaming operation). But have their own untenable dichotomy – the lover-provider thing, the sequestering of men into the tingle box or the jingle box. One she gives to; the other she takes from. There’s no sense getting upset or moralistic about it, it’s just the way things are. The good thing is that you can choose your side.

    And as I’ve spoken about with regard to The Cliff, women seem prone to take a rather balanced man and caricature him in their minds to be one or the other, despite the fact many men can play either or both roles. Because of The Cliff, men really need to err on the side of too little provider and too much lover rather than the other way around – it’s also a way to avoid being fleeced and played for a chump, but its prime value is making sure she doesn’t reject you for giving off too much doormat vibe.

    Lover-provider really hits the issue in a more congruent way than the common alpha-beta nomenclature.

  50. Doc

    This woman was typical of the type that gets together with a Beta who lets her walk all over him… When I meet women, it’s on my terms, where I want to go. If they don’t want to go there – no worries, I’ll see them some other time. I’ve had several who suddenly were able to make it after all… Most women just want to see if they can get away with it – especially if they don’t know you.

    Women want a man who will take control and not put up with their crap. If you let them get away with it, they will write you off. You want them to know you see them on your terms, and they are easily replaced if need be. Women actually want to be called on this crap – they don’t want to be able to walk all over you – but you have to stop them cold.

    As to what it should cost – I never put out any money till she has pre-qualified by sharing my bed, and then it’s gradual more of a reward for being a “good-girl” then anything else. So if she behaves, and works to make sure that I’m happy – I’m more likely to take her to a play the next time as a reward. But I NEVER put out any money, unless it’s as a reward for her – and then only every now and then, so that she doesn’t come to expect it. I want her to appreciate things more, and the best way to do that is to ensure she has to really go the extra mile…

    Women are like your dog – reward them for good behavior to enforce their tendency to want to please you, and punish their bad behavior. It may not be politically correct, but it works.

  51. “She then said she preferred a wine bar she frequently goes to instead. I agreed.”

    that’s where the problems started.

    he’s following her lead. that is not sexy for a girl.

    a girl does not a fuck a guy that she can boss around.

  52. “At least I found out about a cool new place for any future second or third dates with another girl.”

    haha at least this part is true.

  53. i shouldn’t laugh. i used to be this guy. up until VERY recently.

  54. “I find girls are way too hung up on “cheap” as if money grows on trees for the express purpose of being plucked by men and subsequently delivered to women.”

    love this quote.

  55. I agree with you here…

    “The first date ought to be for the purpose of finding out if there is any connection, and there’s no need to spend a small fortune to determine that.”

    First date should be low budget, you definitely don’t want to blow a load of money and have the girl expecting the same every time.

  56. Pingback: The Boss Lady | The Badger Hut

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