Just after I wrote about ways to avoid a bad date, I got Debbi Dickinson’s latest newsletter in which she also embraces the value of coffee dates for those first few meetings. Even more interesting, she also maintains that old-fashioned dating rules still apply in today’s high-tech world on online dating. Here’s Debbie:
I have women ask me about dating etiquette. Essentially do the traditional dating rules still apply today?
The answer is mostly they do.
So, here is my take.
I believe when on a date, the gentleman pays. Pure and simple; if I have to pull out my wallet to pay for anything on the first date … there will be no second date. No exceptions.
Are doors opened and chairs pulled out for me … yes, they should be.
What has changed for me however is that I use to insist a gentleman would take me out to dinner and I would use his selection of restaurant as a weighing factor on whether or not there would be a second date. Call me shallow. Absolutely!!! It was one of my many learning experiences along the dating journey.
After about my first 6 months of spending 2 hours at dinner with gentlemen I really had no interest in; I came to the conclusion that it really didn’t matter where our first date was. I also realized how judgmental I was being. I was so glad I changed my tune; because it made my dating much more flexible as to what time of the day we met and what we did.
By the time, Grand Dude and I met I was well beyond the hang-up of where we went. I had learned that it’s the person I’m getting to know; not the venue. Our first 3-4 dates where at a local Starbuck’s. I’m so grateful for changing my tune on that point. Our conversations were so rich when we talked and still are to this day.
Another tradition that fell by the wayside is a man picking me up at home. That NEVER happened until I’m sure there is a future in our dating. We always met at a public spot. First is safety for me. Second is safety for my child.
Speaking of children. Be wary of anyone who wants to rush you to meet their children or wants to meet yours. Anyone wanting to pull kids into the relationship too soon never appealed to me. I am a firm believer that the relationship with the adults needs to be firm before introducing the kids.
Grand Dude and I didn’t meet each other’s kids until our third month of regular dating when both of us KNEW our relationship was going to be long-term.
The inverse is true as well. I dated some men who absolutely had no desire to meet my daughter; they just wanted a relationship with me and me alone. I moved on from those men as well.
The dating scene was an area that I grew emotionally stronger. I learned what was of value to me in another person and more importantly not to compromise on the values important to me. It is one of the reasons it took five years of dating to find Grand Dude and fall passionately in love.
The Divorce Coach Says
As a feminist, I have always struggled with the idea that the gentleman always pays so I don’t have quite the black and white rule as Debbi. I know that part of my struggle is feeling somehow indebted to someone. However, when my date does pay, I see that as an indicator of manners and generosity. Like Debbi, I do expect doors to be opened, for my order to be taken first and for me to be seated first. Those are just courtesies and I don’t think they conflict with being a feminist.
I’m curious … what are your expectations for your date paying? Does it make a difference if you did the asking? Are the rules for a first date different from the second or fourth or tenth?
Debbi Dickinson is a Divorce and Addiction Expert. She is the founder of Stepping Into Joy. As a divorced sober mother, she is passionate about assisting other women move beyond their divorce and begin creating an extraordinary life for themselves. Her website is: www.steppingintojoy.com or you can follow her on Twitter @debbidickinson
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