There are many awkward phases of a date, even on a date that is going really well. When you first meet, hand shake or cheek kiss? End of the night, cheek kiss or mouth kiss? But I always find one of the most awkward parts to be when the bill arrives.
In my very long (god help me) experience of dating, if the man accepts your offer to pay half, or lets you pick up the entire bill, especially on a first date, it’s a fairly strong sign he’s not interested*. I’ve had a date stand over with me with his hand out whilst I counted out $3.50 for a skim cappuccino. I had another man call me and say “I would really love to take you out for dinner”. He chose the restaurant and it was our second date. When the bill arrived he carefully added up what I had consumed and informed me down to the cent how much my portion of the bill was. That was also our last date.
For the most part, I always offer to pay half. I am employed, I can pay for my own meal, and for the most part, the guy usually says, that’s fine, I’ve got it. But this did not happen last night.
There has been a bit of communication break down between me and the man I went out with last night. We’ve met a few times for coffee and nothing ever happened so I assumed it was just a friend thing, whilst he, apparently, assumed we were dating. I wrote about this a couple of posts ago. So we sorted things out and confirmed that we would go out on an actual date. I was having a really nice time. I leaned right into the date and enjoyed two very pleasant glasses of wine, even though they came in stemless wine glasses, the most pretentious of dining trends since the truly vile serving of food on boards. Forgive me, that had to be said.
So as he was paying the bill, I offered to contribute, and he said yes and tucked my cash very swiftly into his wallet! I cannot tell you how quickly my evening plummeted after that. I suppose I could have not offered any money at all, he certainly didn’t ask for it, but the fact that he took it rather than offering to treat me to dinner made me feel as though he wasn’t interested in me.
Now you may accuse me of being sexist, but I don’t think I am. Do I think a man should pay simply because he is the man? No, I don’t. I think that whoever pays is dictated not by gender but by circumstance. I recently went on a couple of dates with a man who paid both times. I thanked him and said that I really didn’t expect him to automatically pay for me. He said it was fine, he gets paid well and he knew that I am supporting two children on my own. I felt this was very thoughtful and made me feel special. The fact that I’ve never heard from him again has taken the shine off a bit but these things happen.
Last night it didn’t feel great not to be treated. The chap I was with has no dependents and is gainfully employed. When he accepted my offer, it sort of felt like he was saying “I have no interest in impressing you, you’re nothing special to me”. And yet, he opened the car door for me on each occasion. You can see my confusion right?
So I put it to you dear reader, should I see this chap again? Should I tell him how his behaviour made me feel? Should I just stay at home and pledge my true love to Netflix? Or should I give him just one more chance?
*An addendum: turns out my previous experience was correct. Next!