But First, You Pay

I recently saw something on Facebook that struck me as fascinating and out of the ordinary:  it was a debate about something other than Miley Cyrus.  Seriously, can we stop talking about shit that doesn’t matter and talk about shit that matters only slightly more?  Like the age-old question:  WHO PAYS FOR DATES?

A male “Friend” of mine posited that it is uncouth for a woman to make a man pay for a first date if it is extraordinarily expensive and then leave the date promptly after the meal is finished.  This left me feeling uneasy, even though I slightly agree.  Here is my personal rule.


The first date is coffee.  Morning, noon, night, doesn’t matter, I will always drink coffee.  You can have tea.  Or nothing!  But there will be coffee. 

I love coffee and I still love this mug!

And yes, you pay.  You pay for the coffee.  You asked me out, remember?  I’m going to reach for my wallet, and pretend I’m going to pay, but this is the Dating Dance We Do.  You Pay.

Approximately one hour into the date, my phone will ring.  I have set up an emergency Bad Date Calling System wherein one of my good friends has agreed to call me with a faux emergency.  If I answer the call, I’m going to have to leave.  Emergency!  If I let it go to voicemail, it’s on to Step Two.

Step Two:  “Thanks for the coffee!  Can I be honest with you?  I haven’t had breakfast/lunch/dinner yet.  Would you like to get something to eat?”  I will then walk to a nearby food establishment where we can sit/talk for longer where the food costs roughly $5 per person and again, YOU PAY.  Sorry, but you can muster $5 or so for falafel for two.  Again, you asked me out.  And you made it to Step Two.  So deal with it.

Step Two is going well!  I’ll excuse myself to the restroom, text my Emergency Call Friend how well it is all going, apologize for not answering, promise details upon the morrow.  Returning to the table, I will ask if you would like to take a walk.

Step Three:  Dessert, of course.  “Thanks so much for paying for dinner!  Let me buy you an ice cream cone!”  That’s it.  That means you’d better text me tomorrow to arrange future plans because the date has officially Gone Well.

So that’s my tried-and-true method:  Coffee, Food, Dessert.  And First, You Pay.


2 responses to “But First, You Pay”

  1. As a man who has recently met someone and will soon be "asking out" said person, I appreciate your wisdom. One problem…I don't drink coffee and I don't know if she does either. That aside…with the plethora of Groupons, Living Social and other deals out there, can you speak to how women feel these days about their date using "coupons"?

  2. […] As you will recall, I worked out the precise formula for a pressure-free first date years ago. […]

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