Posted by: Shar & Mare | February 16, 2011

Q & A: First Date – Drinks, Dinner Or Both?


To Dine Or Not To Dine

Can you be independent AND pampered?

Question
Met a guy on line and we are going out on Friday night. Meeting for drinks and then he said, “we can also do dinner if we both feel like it.” That’s fine, but I am very independent and don’t want to feel obligated to split a dinner if I am not “feeling it.” Any suggestions?

Mariann:
Going to dinner has nothing to do with being independent. It has to be about whether you enjoy your dates’ company and if you want to spend more time with them. A suggestion about staying for dinner can be stressful because if he does not ask then does it mean he is not interested? I would say that you have to be somewhere and can do drinks and if you like him … then go out again … perhaps for dinner. And, if he asks you to dinner and you accept then … he asked … please let him pay. Splitting the bill does not mean you are independent. Just accept the dinner … and at the end (but before the check arrives) … say, “Thank you so much for dinner. I enjoyed it.” And if you open your wallet, may lightening strike down and stop your hand from stupidity. Allow the man to court you. Let us know what you do.

Sharon:
You’re not obligated to do anything if you’re “not feeling it”. That said, I’m reading some underlying hesitancy in your question that I suspect has nothing to do with dinner. Perhaps you’re not sure if this guy is someone that you’d have fun with over the extended time of drinks and dinner? Most women, myself included, would leap at the chance to see a guy who I was very interested in…wouldn’t question the drinks and maybe dinner thing at all. Except maybe to stress over whether he was really into me and was using the “maybe” as an escape route. And remember, the maybe thing could be your escape route too….so go for drinks and if it leads to dinner – and you’re happy about that – then enjoy.

Since he did the inviting then in your case, I would certainly expect him to treat for the evening. I’m not as hard-nosed as Mariann is about things like who pays (I’ve met FAR too many men who said it was everything from sweet and charming to a total turn-on when a woman offered to pay), but as I said…his invite…his treat. If you hit it off and go out again you can always take the inviter/payer role the next time around.

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Responses

  1. Meet for the drink and then see how you feel. Don’t plan before your meet, because you never know. He could be a dud and after 1/2 a glass of wine, you are out of there or a great guy and you want to not only go to dinner, but dancing as well. Just go with it, what do you have to lose, other than a couple of hours??

  2. My policy was no dinner on a first date – just drinks. My thought was that I did not want to be on a dud date (and, unfortunately, almost all were duds) and having to wait for and then finish a meal. It’s so much easier to down that first drink and explain you have to go let your dog out. Or, if it’s going well, order another 😉 The “maybe dinner afterwards” puts some pressure on it – for both of you. I’m with Mare – tell him you only have time for drinks then if you do hit it off there will be plenty of opportunity for dinner next time.

  3. I’m a drinks gal myself (boy was that ever an understatement). I’m with Click in that unless you’re TOTALLY feelin’ the guy, never do dinner as a 1st date. Always drinks and if things go well, 2 drinks ~ and plans for a subsequent dinner date. 🙂

    And, as I’ve learned, offering to pay (or even split) on a 1st date sets the tone for any subsequent dates (not that I go on many subsequent dates). I have a bad habit of offering and then I hold it against the guy if he takes me up on my offer. How’s that for backwards reasoning?

  4. Hey Dirty… maybe we aren’t the same person after all – if it’s going really well, uhm, why stop at two??? And I always offer to pay (well, I reach for my purse – and not in a slow-mo “I have no intention of actually coughing up any cash way”) and I’ve never been taken up on it. If he did take me up on it, well hell yeah, I’d hold it against him. Or not hold anything against him, if we’re being literal.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments on this post! Just love to get a good conversation goin’.

    Seems the first date plans is a hot topic, everyone has their own favored game plan for date number one. And I’m on the same wavelength as both of you Click and Dirty. I offer (sincerely) to pay half but, on the rare occasions when a date has taken me up on it, am really put-off by this. I think that even though we’re all independent and totally capable, it’s good to know that a guy has the grace to pick up the first tab. Says a lot about how strong he’ll be in a long term relationship.

  6. Thanks for all the great comments on this post! Just love to get a good conversation goin’.

    Seems the first date plans is a hot topic, everyone has their own favored game plan for date number one. And I’m on the same wavelength as both of you Click and Dirty. I offer (sincerely) to pay half but, on the rare occasions when a date has taken me up on it, am really put-off by this. I think that even though we’re all independent and totally capable, it’s good to know that a guy has the grace to pick up the first tab. Says a lot about how strong he’ll be in a long term relationship.
    Sharon


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