trying to understand dating

In my ongoing pursuit of knowledge about the opposite sex I have met a few new gentlemen (purely in pursuit of knowledge, cocktails are a bonus).

I’ve always hated “dating”.  An agreed upon location with awkward conversation trying to suss out things you have in common.  Only to realize the only thing in common is that you both breathe.  Followed by the requisite let’s do this again or I’ll call you (with hopes that neither actually occur).

I’m more of the let’s grab a beer and have an honest conversation.  My manners are not always stellar, I do swear like a trucker and am incredibly sarcastic.  While I can be crass and inappropriate, I am well read, can tell you what the odd fork at top of your plate is for, what’s the difference between a pinot and a cabernet, and I can walk quite well in 4″ Pradas.

What I don’t know is who pays? We are now in a culture of equality and shattered glass ceilings. But truth be told, I’m a southerner and I have no problem with doors being held and the guy picking up the tab.  I also have no problem paying my share for the outting if it’s not a date.  But I think I feel (kinda wishy-washy) the fella should pay for the first date, if it’s a date.  Which then leads to the question- is this a date?!

I googled this query and have no clearer answer than when I started.  Everyone has an opinion, but is there really a right or wrong answer here?  I’m really trying not to be the giant gaff I feel I am headed for.

This is one of those questions that has so many connotations.  I am not a gold digger.  If a guy is loaded but is bald, fat and has no personality I can’t fake being interested.  While every girl fantasizes about finding some rich, handsome, witty guy the movie ending doesn’t really happen.  I don’t entirely care what you do for a living, but  I do need to know you make enough that I am not going to be supporting you.

In the new world of online dating, the initial awkward conversation should be a thing of the past.  But when there is no spark or he has no personality, how do you (meaning me) say thanks but no thanks?  How honest are you?  I really hate this part!

I see a giant sink hole waiting to suck me up.  I hate dating.  I hate trying to figure out what all these codes and signals mean.  I feel like a train conductor that has a locomotive heading right for me and I forgot to read the manual of what the colored flags mean.

Published by Lula Harp

I'm a mad scientist trying to find my tools.

8 thoughts on “trying to understand dating

  1. A Guy’s Perspective on $ and Dating:

    If it’s an internet date, the tab should be split 50/50.

    If it’s a traditional date (guy asks the girl out in the real world), the guy should pay.

    If it’s a non-traditional date (girl asks the guy out in the real world), she should pay, even though the guy might try to pay at the end of the evening based on social norms.

    Here’s the thing: Guys never get treated for a night out. NEVER. Unless it’s his birthday or there was a huge accomplishment recently (usually one that involves significant financial gain), guys always end up paying and considering that it’s nearly 2012 and all the politics and blah blah blah, that’s a bogus social norm.

    If fair is equal, equal is fair. Put your money down, ladies.

    My last tip for women on dates:

    Don’t ever make that lame, hesitant reach towards your purse or wherever your money is and look at your date when the bill comes as if to ask, “Do you really want me to pay?”. It’s obvious and every guy I know hates it. Hates it. Loathes it. The axe falls immediately after. Regardless of how well the date went before the bill came, you’ve been demoted in his mind.

    If you actually put some money down, 99% of guys you go out with will think you are great. Oddly enough, this will probably result in the guy wanting to take you out and spoil you, entirely at their expense.


  2. Interesting post. I feel the same way out in the ocean we call the dating scene. As a simple man from the Upper Midwest, I was raised that no matter what, than man must pay for the first round of drinks. If the date went well and a second round was ordered, a little different story. But on the whole, the guy must pay for the first meeting. The pig (pragmatist) in me, says it is an investment in the future and a premium on the ultimate bet that things may work out. That premium is often lost, but that is the cost of playing in the game.

    If a second, third or any subsequent event occurs, that is the time for the opposite party to pay their share. (Paying dutch is a pain for both people, and more so, the server.) Make it simple, pay for the first date, and if you have enough chops to warrant a second, then the other party pays.

    As for the post above that took exception to the “hesitant reach,” that is a normal part of the game. That move has been perfected by businessmen, lawyers, bankers and such regarding the “game” that is a working lunch. I have seen many people passively reach for a wallet that never meant any intention of paying. It was a common courtesy that beneficiaries provide upon their benefactors. It says “I know I don’t have to, but I am willing….”

    A date is no different. It is all a game, and ultimately, one person has to pony up and (excuse the vulgarity) have the balls to put some skin into the game. Yeah sometimes investments dont work out, sometimes they do. If you believe that everything should be equal and hunky dory, go join the occupy movement, but please help solidify their message. I still do not know what they want other than to camp.

    In summary Love is War. There are casualties, but there is always a cost. Mostly financial.


  3. Found your blog via your ‘like’ to Articles of Absurdity “Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting.” I like your analogy, “I feel like a train conductor that has a locomotive heading right for me and I forgot to read the manual of what the colored flags mean.” I’m from below the Mason Dixon Line and I was raised to open doors for women and pay for dates. However, times have changed, so after the first date, I ask if opening the doors bothers her. Paying a share of the costs, well, if she insists; but this is a date and not ‘buying a round for friends.’


    1. Steve- thanks for stopping by and your comments. It is just so darn confusing out there! I’m heading to your blog next to check out how confused the other half is!


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