If you have been a close follower of this blog from the start, then there’s a chance you’ve seen about two or three versions of this post before – only to see it disappear within a week or two. The reason for that is because
I’m super indecisive my feelings about the First Date Check problem keep changing.
The Early Stage of The Picky Dater
For a while (basically from the time I graduated college and entered the real dating world until a little less than a year ago), my expectations for a first date were old-fashioned: the guy should pay. I would offer up the payment, but it was always done in the fake-attempt-to-grab-my-wallet fashion. There were instances when I would go out to dinner with someone and the bill would be a lot higher than just drinks would be, and in those situations I was okay with justifying the split. However, if all we were getting was drinks and we ended up splitting it… then I seriously judged him.
The Late 2014 – Early 2015 Stage of The Picky Dater
I can’t put my finger on an exact day or particular date I went on, but I eventually came to realize that I was being a bit unfair and old-fashioned sexist to expect the guy to ALWAYS foot the bill. Going on unsuccessful date after unsuccessful date started to feel like more like a chore than something I wanted to do, and I must have come to the realization that guys probably go on shitty dates too and still have to pay for everything on top of that. So I started to feel bad and lowered my expectations.
But not THAT much. I still had certain expectations for the guy to pay on date #1. Basically, my rule of thumb was that if the guy would go to a location that was convenient for me, then I would definitely be cool with splitting. However, if I agree to haul my ass to the opposite side of the city (because Lord knows I’m not venturing farther than that for a first date) while you walk down the street, there was zero chance I’d be pleased with splitting. Exhibit A: this guy.
The Current Stage of The Picky Dater
In my reflections of 2014, one thing I noted was how my expectation for a guy to pay on the first date was equivalent to my obligation to respond to him after a first date regardless of how it went. I mean, it is only fair. For a short while, I stuck with that mentality, allowed the guys to pay on the first date, and then rather than ignoring them and hoping they’d get the hint when they asked me out again, I would tell them I felt something was missing and wish them well.
Now, I still totally think that is a fair way to think about it, so that hasn’t changed. What’s changed now is my willingness to actually tell a guy I don’t want to go out with him again. That probably sounds a bit cruel to some of you, but honestly, most guys DO get the hint when a girl doesn’t respond after the first date. I’ve had it happen to me, and while it can suck because you thought the date went well, the reality is that that just happens. Sometimes the person you went out with just didn’t feel the same way about the date that you did. Plus, c’mon guys (and girls), rejection sucks. Personally, I’d rather take the “soft rejection” of the guy going silent than the “hard rejection” of being told I’m not worth a second date. In that same vein, though, there are absolutely those people who just don’t catch on (and I’m not innocent of this myself), and those are the times you might need to spell out the hard truth for them – albeit in the nicest, most sugar-coated way possible.
So nowadays, I’m insistent – VERY insistent – on splitting on the first date. Why? Well, I could say it’s because I’m just trying to be fair, but that’s not why. I could say that it’s the feminist thing to do, but that’s also not why. Honestly, it’s because 9.9 first dates out of 10, I have no interest in going out for a second time. That’s a lot of guys to let down (because, you know, obvvvviously they want to take me out again), and I really don’t want to be handing out these “hard rejections” anymore, especially after knowing the guys only 90 minutes or so. At this point, I’m okay with trading my money for the right to ignore a guy after the first date if I want to.
So that’s why. It’s half out of laziness, half out of just not giving a shit.
Soooo… what if I like the guy? Haha, well let’s get to that point first.
So that’s my current take on the First Date Check problem. If it changes again, I’ll just update it here.
Ok people, I know you are reading this (the stats for this blog still baffle me considering I am so bad at updating it). What are your thoughts on The First Date Check problem?