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The Relationship Corner Roundtable: First Dates and Expectations

The Relationship Corner Roundtable: 
First Dates and Expectations 

Dating these days is impossible. False sense of entitlement, inflated expectations and outdated traditional dating roles tend to make things even harder than they need to be. For me, there are various roadblocks that stop me from being heavily involved in the dating scene, my own hesitation to jump into something being one of them. I've been on a few dates so far this year, and while nothing noteworthy has come from those really, its still been an enjoyable experience.

One topic that remains in rotation on social media is dating. The first date is always the most discussed, and everyone has their own theory on it. It is common for people to believe that the man should not only pay for the first date, but every date, in most cases. I've gathered my own theory on the first date and while I'm no expert, I think logically on this. I sat down with a few of my Eyes On The Ring and DAR family(including Speed On The Beat, @RachelValeria, and our new columnist @CurlsandSports) for a roundtable on first dates, expectations and who should pay(or if women should ever pay)

*The First Date and Expectations
@TrueGodImmortal
-Usually, the man asks the woman out on the date and he's essentially expected to pay because he asked her out. I don't necessarily disagree with this way of thinking, but I personally feel the first date, especially if you're just getting to know each other, should be split down the middle. Why? Because there's no harm there. You come into the date, say you pay for dinner and she pays for the movie or something, and if at the end of the date, you find that you two aren't compatible, you go your separate ways with very little money spent either way. In the event you go dutch and enjoy it? You can cover the 2nd and/or 3rd date with her if you'd like from there. I've paid for a first date before and I've gone dutch on a first date. I had a more enjoyable experience going "dutch" on the first date. Not that who paid for it was a big deal, it was just her insistence to pay her portion showed the interest was strong.

I've had good and bad first dates. My first date with my long term ex was simple as hell. We were fresh out of high school and we just went to get Teriyaki Chicken and go see The Exorcism of Emily Rose. I paid for that date, but due to circumstances, there was no other way to go about it. I ended up with that woman for years so I'd say that first date was successful. On the flip side, I went on a date with a woman to a very nice restaurant down the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and had a terrible time. I paid for that one too and regretted it. Then, I went on a date that was split, and we just went to the movies and ate. We ended up enjoying each other's company and spent more time together, so that was successful I'd say. There are no real rules to first dates, only preferences, and I definitely don't go in with expectations, because you're setting yourself up for failure. The best dates are the ones with no pressure, relaxed environment, and focus on you two getting to know each other.

@SpeedOnTheBeat
-First dates are tricky. They could define a relationship going forward, could be a complete clusterfuck. My first dates tend to be slightly clusterfuck with a dash of "she will love me forever." Oddly enough, it's usually through no fault of our own. I expect just to get to know a person. If I want to just smash, I wouldn't call it a date. I'd say "hey, let's meet for coffee, go watch Netflix, and let me fuck your brains out, because why not?" But, I expect just to get to know what makes her tick, so I can try to not tick her off, but keep her...wound up. And women can pay. I'd of course offer up, but if she's persistent and is all "nah, I've got this," cool. I'll pay for dessert or the next outing or the movie and whatnot.

@RachelValeria(aka Doe Kavana)
-A first date should be no pressure. Sure, you will feel pressure to look a certain way or act a certain way but a first date should be simple: comfortable and short. A first date shouldn't be drawn out. First dates should be quick and let you get a more of a glimpse of the other person. They SHOULD leave you wanting more by design. Coffee, lunch, etc. public. I don't go into first dates with expectations because I hate being let down. So I just go in optimistic, and what happens happens. I'm basically just trying to see if compatibility is there.

In regards to first dates and the guy always paying, imagine how many first dates a guy goes on a year. How much money is that?! It is a nice, sweet, gesture for the guy to pay, but shouldn't be taken advantage of. However, I also understand that some guys feel the need to always pay, and good for him if he can afford that. As far as a woman paying, I think women should want to pay sometimes. You shouldn't always pay either. Has to be balance.

@CurlsandSports(Erika F.)
You meet a cute guy on the bus and you’re secretly hoping for him to actually call you since he did ask for your number. Then, the moment comes. A mysterious unknown number happens to come across your cell phone screen and you’re wondering, “Oh my god. Is it him?” Yes, answer before it goes to voicemail. But these days, you’ll get a text message. It’s almost as if phone calls are going extinct. Back to the first interaction. After a great conversation, you both make plans for Friday night and now it’s time to think about that outfit.

The day of the date comes and there’s so much to say. In fact, you’re actually impressed with him and how he chose this place. After a nice meal, the waiter looks over and brings the check. Who grabs for it? Do you make a movement to even try to pay the bill? It’s often a topic of discussion on Twitter. The whole “$200 dates” will always strike an opinion out of anyone. My policy? Always stretch and attempt to pay it. Chivalry is not dead. In fact, men love when you attempt to pay for things even though they both know he’s going to pay. It’s the thought that counts. Women who just sit there and wait for him to grab the check may get a phone call or nothing at all.

Now, what if you both decide to split the check? That’s even more interesting and it may turn you off completely. The act of splitting a check on the first date may downright offend you. This man isn’t a friend; you’re obviously there because you’re attracted to him. Splitting a check on the first date is huge no no.

*In Conclusion

With all that being said, there's still no method to a first date. What works for one might not work for you and that's okay. Just be realistic and understanding. There has been so much nonsense on 200 dollar dates(which is ridiculous in reality, who the hell cares about the price of the date? You're really focusing on the wrong shit. False sense of entitlement again). There was even a crazy post that a regular date should be 275 dollars with 125 dollars of that going to gifts for the female. Are you kidding me? While today's social media likes to joke about "broke boys" and men being too broke to pay for expensive dates, the truth is we all have bills, things to take care financially before a date even becomes a priority. Simplifying dating could make things so much easier in this regard.

Be willing to compromise and understand the first date is about you and that person getting to know each other more, not just about you being wined and dined or trying to impress someone. Just be yourself. Have fun. If they like you, they like you. If it doesn't work, fine. That happens. There's no manual to this, it's all trial and error. Good luck out there daters, try to enjoy yourself.

-True

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