How to Have a GREAT First Date


Are you sick of going on dating apps, swiping right, texting a million guys, and having horrible coffee dates? If so, you have the power to have a completely different dating experience and go on great first dates. In this Love U Podcast, you will learn to do the opposite of whatever you’re doing now and ensure that your first dates involve dinner, drinks and romance.

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Hi, I’m Evan Marc Katz, Dating Coach for Smart, Strong, Successful Woman, your personal trainer for love. Welcome to Love U Podcast. 

Have you been on a lot of bad dates? Have you discovered that bad dates are both life draining and soul-sucking? Have you considered that the reason you’re going on bad dates is actually your fault? Probably not. 

In today’s Love U Podcast, I am going to show you how to have a great first date and expect better treatment from men overall. 

So this is going to be a longer podcast today because this is something I’m really passionate about; something I’ve been thinking about for a really long time. My view of dates is informed by 17 years of coaching. Ten years of dating. And it doesn’t mean that I’m right and you’re wrong. Anything you’re about to hear that sounds like I’m disagreeing with you is certainly not a personal attack. But yours is probably informed by years of terrible dates, which is obviously going to impact the way you view dating overall. 

The problem and this is a Love U principle that we teach in week one, it’s not about right or wrong. It’s about effective and ineffective rants. I never anytime I say anything that pushes your buttons or challenges you, I’m not trying to suggest that I’m right and you’re inherently wrong for feeling differently. 

The goal is to have success. 

And there are better ways of doing things than others. I think we can all recognize that. 

So if you’ve ever gone on a bunch of dates where the guy’s a half-hour late, then reach for the check, tried too hard to get laid, bitched about his ex for two hours, you have very valid reasons for being wary of dating.

And so what I’m about to propose today is sort of radical. I don’t know anybody else who gives the exact advice that I give. And I like that for a very specific reason. Most people stick with the surface. We’re going a level deeper not to just figure out why, but what to do differently, to get a different result. So my proposal is that your solution to bad dates is actually the problem of creating more bad dates, which is hard to digest. Right?

But if you’re using a dating app, you’re swiping right and you’re texting and meeting guys as quickly as possible for coffee A.S.A.P.. Very specifically to avoid wasting time, that’s the primary reason that dating sucks so much. And the only way to get a different result is to do something different instead of complaining, “wow, this sucks.” So that’s what I hear. I hear a lot of dating sucks. Dating apps suck. Texting sucks. But I don’t see anybody trying to get away from their way of doing things. 

I have a maximalist view of dating.

So understand, as a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women who have everything but the guy, I have a maximalist view of dating. A maximalist view for our purposes is something that results in a best-case scenario. Minimalist approaches usually are in fear of the worst-case scenario. 

So consider me. I’ll pretend to be a guy. My best-case scenario is I go for dinner and drinks on a Saturday night to a great spot near her home atmospheric. Not too expensive. And we talk for three hours until the restaurant kicks us out. There’s another bar we could walk to within a couple of feet that I already scoped out. We go there afterward for drinks on a Saturday night. Closed down that place. It’s 1:00 in the morning. I drive home, walk her to the door. She invites me inside. 

That’s great. The first date for me. Not saying it is for you. For me, that’s a great first date. 

So how do I make that happen? That’s going to be my question. How do I make that happen? 

I’m certainly not going to be by swiping right and going to Starbucks for a 20-minute interview. We’ll get back to that. 

So it’s my worst-case scenario. I guess to go on that same date where the conversation is like pulling teeth and it’s two hours of brushing up against each other’s sensitivities and just talking past each other and not wanting to be there. And then, you know, picking up the check at the end of the night for someone that I decidedly don’t like. I guess that’s the worst-case scenario for a guy. 

So imagine a guy who might be the male equivalent of you. He has a different experience. And we talked about your experience with the flakes and the guys trying to get laid and the negative guys. So imagine a guy who feels the same way you do about dating. So he’s burned out. He’s been doing this for a long time. A lot of volume, a lack of quality. His experiences, women who are really attractive have a million options and they’re going to flake out on you. Or if they’ve got something to hide, they’re going to wait a long time until meeting and then you’re gonna meet them in person. They’re not going to look like their photo or he’s got a crazy ex who’s sucked up all of his energy and his experience post X has been really negative and dating because, in his perception, women go out with you. Even if they don’t like you, they’re not attracted to you. They go for some taller, richer guy. They just want free dinners. 

A very negative cast on Dating. And that’s his experience. I’m not saying it’s good or bad. We can say what we want about that guy. But in his logical mind, what’s the point of trying to plan a nice date for a woman when 90 percent of the women don’t turn out the way he expects them to? Making a phone call. Planning a date. Spending money with a 50 to 75 percent chance that she’s not going to like him. 

Which, what percentage of guys do you like? So if that’s accurate, it’s a disincentive for a guy to plan a great day. And yet I would still recommend that a guy do it. 

But men aren’t listening to me. They’re not listening to me at all. So what do you see? Selfishly, guy swipes right. Texts, “hey, you want to hang out? What are you doing tonight? Want to come over?” It’s a minimalist dating method and it’s based on low expectations. He’s expecting nothing from you. It’s a volume approach. He’s trying to minimize the amount of time he spends, the amount of energy, thought, emotional investment, money. It’s a minimalist dating approach. And that’s where everybody’s at right now, is this minimalist dating approach. And you can understand his feelings. You can understand how Tinder is ideal for men. It’s not for women who want to be seen and want to be courted and want to be treated well. But if we just look at this like some sort of game theory, you swipe right. As a guy on a thousand women. She’s reasonably attractive. You text a hundred of them and you put in a little effort and you see who’s willing to meet as quickly as possible and hook up as quickly as possible. 

He might be a sincere guy who wants to find a wife. But it’s really hard to resist the pull of this, putting in as little effort as possible for the most possible reward. So there’s very little incentive for a guy to engage in courtship. That’s why you have to differentiate yourself. That’s why you have to sort of flip the script around and listen. This is what I see every day. I’m not in the interest of blaming women if they had bad experiences with men or men who’ve had bad experiences with women. 

But this is what my client’s do over the course of six months. This is what they’re complaining about. Men put in no effort. They’re so lazy. 

And so the solution is to reward them more for being lazy, for a lack of effort? The solution is to continue to swipe right and text and meet strangers for coffee? No, it’s literally the opposite. 

So here’s how we’re gonna do this. Let’s work backward just the way I told you about my ideal first date. Let’s work backward from the best date you’ve ever had. How could we recreate that every single time? And having done this for a pretty long period of time. Believe it or not, a lot of people’s idea of their ideal first date doesn’t begin with a half-hour in a plastic chair at two-thirty in the afternoon at Starbucks. It doesn’t. It’s what we’re doing to avoid wasting time, to avoid getting hurt, to avoid making an investment, to avoid it, to avoid, to avoid. But again, it’s a minimalist approach. How little can we do? 

So if you go with the minimalist approach, he goes with the minimalist approach. We just perpetuate more of this problem. There’s no screening mechanism. There’s no courtship. We’re assuming the worst. And I like to assume the best. That might sound crazy because 90 percent of guys are not useful to us. But we want to screen those men out before the date. 

So close your eyes and imagine you’re in a happy place. What’s an amazing date? Think back to the most amazing date you ever had. What steps can you take to reverse engineer such a situation so something like that could happen again? And how do you nudge a guy into treating you that way? 

So if I were giving advice to men and I did for the four, five years of my career, I would tell them to do this. Now I’m telling you to do this exact thing. 

Because if every other guy is doing this and you got one guy who’s like, hey, you want to talk on the phone? And I call you. And we talk on Zoom for an hour and a half and it goes really well. And I said it was a lot of fun. I’ll call you later this week. And we do that. We start to build up trust and report excitement and anticipation. And now there’s this one guy who’s pulled ahead of all the other guys who are just doing this. This is one guy who’s doing it just by putting in a little bit of time upfront to ensure that if we go on a date. If I take you out, you’re going to have fun and I’m going to have fun. 

So they will say that’s time wasted. No, it’s time invested to screen people and to avoid a bad date. So if your ground in the idea that dating minimalism is the way to go, guess what? You’re just feeding into the things that men are already doing that you don’t like, putting a little time, little effort, little ability to differentiate themselves all because we’re afraid of wasting time and getting hurt. 

And in order to turn that ship around, you have to nudge men into courtship to avoid texting, to avoid coffee dates. 

Why? And how does this work? Because they want to please you. You’re the goal. If he wants to get anywhere with you, he has to follow your rules. That’s the central premise of Love U. You’re the CEO and men are the interns. So how do you get the intern to follow your application process so that you get the kind of date that feels great? That closes down the bar at 1:00 in the morning if that’s your thing? That ends in a good night kiss instead of a handshake or a hug goodbye. You have the power to make that happen. 

And I go deep on this. I mean, this is just a podcast, but I go deep on this. The entire Love U course, month two is called Meeting Men. And we go through consecutive weeks, flirting, online dating, first dates, courtship. This entire week of material with coaching on how to make sure that if you have a first date, it’s going to be a good one. So check that out. 

Go below this page, read the description, learn more about Love U and I will talk to you there. 

My name is Evan Marc Katz. 

I want to thank you for tuning into another episode of Love U Podcast. 

If you enjoyed it and you learned something valuable, please subscribe, share an honest review on Apple Podcasts, and if you’re ready to find love now look for the link in that description below. Fill out an application to enroll in Love U. 

Thank you so much. 

Are you the woman who has everything except your man? You can have the relationship of your dreams and you don’t have to change to get it. 

In love U, you will gain confidence, let go of unhealthy relationship patterns, learn to trust your judgment, understand and attract quality men, assess long term compatibility and create a passionate, unconditionally loving relationship with a partner who puts you first, never lets you down, and always makes you feel safe, heard, and understood. 

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  1. 1

    Men should never pay for more than half of the first date regardless of respective financial situations. Same goes (tho it need not be tit for tat) for the entire early dating.

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Bbq, you seem more like a troll than a contributor. So please stop offering bad advice on my site. I’m not sure what your purpose is here but you seem to function mostly an antagonist to women. I’m trying to teach them how they deserve to be treated. You seem to be lowering the bar and speaking for yourself – how little YOU give. That’s fine but my advice to women is to avoid men like you…so again, what’s the value of your contributions here? To remind women what NOT to look for in a man?

      1. 1.1.1

        I’m no troll. I’m the furthest thing from a troll ever commented on the internet. I was just making a point which I agree with (which the article seemed to imply was wrong?) that it’s strange and foolish for men to pick up tabs and illogical and entitled for women to except it. And any relationship that starts that way is born under a bad sign.

        I honestly don’t understand why you would advise women to not look for a man who doesn’t offer to pay the whole tab. Or that they deserve a man who will offer. That seems strange to me but maybe it’s a cultural thing. I don’t know.

        I’d say the same thing to anyone anywhere who asked without a second thought and have no hesitation to argue it to the end. But I’m no troll, nor do I even have a purpose here, I just enjoy, does that make me such a bad guy to be avoided? If anything I’m getting trolled by commenters.

        But I’ll stop commenting if that’s not the kind of site you want. I’m sorry if my comments are somehow upsetting to women or they’re not ready for them.

        1. shaukat

          I have no idea if Bbq is a troll or not, but I think he’s largely right on this point (though I’m not ideologically opposed to the idea, as he seems to be). You can have a great first date without the guy picking up the whole tab for dinner and drinks. It might have made sense at one point, but not in 2020. Back when I was actively dating I went on many great first dates like you described where we either split or rotated rounds, and the majority of the women were happy to do it and understood.

        2. Paula

          The only time I offer to split the bill is when I definitely don’t want to see the guy again.

        3. Bbq


          So what? That isn’t a logical justification of it is it? Why would you be entitled to a man paying for the first date in this day and age? Only either as an example of future expectations or as an empty show of providership. Neither of which you deserve (tho their are deserving circumstances for the first in the long term ie- stay at home or more at home parent – but the first date has nothing to do with that).

          It’s a ridiculous idea, I scoff at women who suggest it and openly mock men who do it. As do most in this day and age. It is those who like it who are silent in its defence having no defence for it other than they like being payed for.

        4. Evan Marc Katz

          Openly mock? Be gone.

        5. Nikki

          “it’s strange and foolish for men to pick up tabs and illogical and entitled for women to except it”

          Once upon a time my SO and I went on our first date. First, he made sure the restaurant was to my liking. He opened the car door and every door we walked in making sure I will not touch the door handle. And yes, he paid for 5 course meal. He is neither strange by making me feel special on our first date nor foolish. He is a smart, successful surgeon. And I’m neither illogical nor entitled because I can hold my own. My SO knew there are other men out there I could be spending time with. And he knew I have standards. And that includes not having a second date with a man who will not pay more than half of dinner.
          Good luck to you. Listen to Evan.

        6. Bbq


          I’m doing fine Nikki but we can always use more luck so thanx.
          Now your so may well have made you feel special and in time you may well have proven to be special and made his life more special.

          BUT the point still stands, in today’s world with both partners working (at least at the time of the first date) there is no logical reason for men to pay more than half, nor one for for women to expect it. Saying there are other men who are willing to do something illogical for you simply because you want them too is no logical justification for why you want it (in todays world).

          There are men with double standards too. Do you follow them without question just because the men like them? Or does that only go in one direction?
          If you have any actual justification for why you think men should pay for you on a first date other than that you like it and some men will do it for you then I’m listening. If not I will continue to view it as an entitled excpectation that’s foolish for men to follow. One which in today’s world I would find frankly degrading.

          No offence to you or Evan but that’s my real feelings on it and they’re not born of bitterness or whatever else you might think, but on reason.
          Sorry but that’s my POV and unless you or someone else can give me a good reason why it shouldn’t be. And I don’t consider “I want it”, “I have standards” or “just do it” good reasons.

      2. 1.1.2

        Evan Marc Katz

        I meant young men not older guys used to it or from a different time. As in two employed youngish people going on a date and the man consistently pays for all women. I mean cmon, it’s ridiculous in this age.

        Tell me you wouldn’t mock a man in his 20’s or 30’s who went around saying he wouldn’t be in a relationship with a woman who didn’t cook all his meals and wash his clothes. This is the same.

      3. 1.1.3

        I’m confused as how BBQ is acting like a troll for paying only for his share of the date?

        He’s not married to the woman he’s out on a date with. He’s not even in a romantic relationship.

        They’re just meeting.

        Say I go on 200 dates in one year with 200 women.

        Am I expected to pay for the 200 dates? My share and my date’s share of the bill?


        Am I on a date with someone who is my equal, or am I going on a date with someone who doesn’t have a job?

        How will I afford paying for the entirety of 200 dates?

        Even paying for my share of 200 dates would put a strain on my finances.

        I don’t have Neymar junior’s bank account, and I don’t think being part of the working class(not all of us guys can be doctors, dentists, engineers, or lawyers) makes me a loser.

        The man paying for the date is a remnant from a time when women weren’t allowed have jobs.

        Nowadays, there are far more women attending college and graduating from college, they’re the ones who move out from their parents house earlier than men do, they’re the ones who find themselves with more money to spend.

        And one thing I noticed when I moved to Europe is how European women, and even the Southern American women who live in Europe, don’t expect a guy to pay.

        Because they feel like the guy’s gonna reckon himself entitled to sex because he paid for the date, and because women don’t want the men to feel like they’re only going out with these guys for a ”free” meal, so what they do is to put half of the bill’s $$ on the table as soon as it arrives.

        Don’t feel like we’re insulting your viewership, Mr. Evans. We feel like you’ve been doing a great job helping these successful, beautiful, smart, kind, women finding what they’re looking for, but I feel like there’s more to a man, to a potential husband, than the size of his wallet, and how willing he is with parting with it, especially when the ladies we’re talking about already have their own money.

        Now if we were talking about college girls who don’t have a job, dating a man who is 10 years or more older than them, then sure, it would make sense if they were expecting the guy to pay for the date.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You guys need a dating coach. Want to do well with women? Pay during early courtship. Want to be “right”? Keep doing what you’re doing.

  2. 2
    Hairy Palms

    Totally agree with you Evan.

    I would add that while men should hone their chivalry skills, the ladies can brush up with flirting 101 skills.

    Sometimes us nice guys need you to bat your eyelashes or drop your handkerchief.

  3. 3

    Evan Marc Katz

    Ban me if you want but leave these last few comments if you can.
    Think about it, women cooking and cleaning comes from a time where men worked all day so it was an expectation of something they would do in return – their half of the equation if you will. A man paying for dates comes from the same time where women didn’t work so didn’t have the money. Now if two people choose that life later in a relationship then that is fine, but on a date? At this point how is it not absurd that any women can have that expectation? Or say it as tho it’s reasonable?

    A man would be openly mocked if he went around making similar statements about women fulfilling there feminine duties – ie cooking, cleaning, looking pretty and smiling more. But it’s ok for a woman to say and expect this? These women who want to be payed for are throwbacks, or at least they are in this instance while shunning every other aspect of the lifestyle which actually made it make sense for men to pay.

    If I’m wrong then please explain how.

  4. 4

    Yeah, I can see where BBQ is coming from.

    My parents were born in the 50s.

    When my father bought the house I was raised in, when my parents got married to each other, the arrangement they had was that my dad would work outside of the house and provide the money needed to buy the house and maintain it, that he would provide the funds to run the household, and in return my mother would take care of the children and take care of his aging parents.

    It worked fine for them.

    Now, I’m a millennial.

    I don’t expect women to know how to cook, to WANT to cook, or to have an interest in being a stay-at-home mother, especially since I’m not interested in having a child, biological or adopted, so it would make no sense for me to support a girlfriend to be a stay-at-home mother.

    I went to college, graduated with 2 degrees(Taken in Europe: no college debt), but I’ve been working since the age of 18 as a bartender in nightclubs and bars.

    I got a base wage I get paid monthly, and I also get tips and freelancer work, but that’s money that I’m setting aside for myself for a rainy day, and if I was to start paying for my date’s share of the bill, or if I was to start buying them gifts or taking them on trips to the beach or what, I would find my bank account deplected soon enough.

    I feel that if someone is attracted to me, they are not going to mind paying for their share of the date because they are there with me, for me, because of me, not because of what I can offer them($$) or a car ride. Which would be hard considering I don’t have a car and I have no interest in having one.

    Hairy Palms,

    I learned early in life that when a woman is attracted to you, she will either be very flirty and be obvious about it, or she will approach you on the subway, train, college, workplace, wherever it is, and ask you out.

    My best relationships were the ones where the lady in question took charge and showed herself to be confident, to have high self-esteem(by going after what she wanted) and by showing she is very attracted to me, by taking charge, instead of sending signals of interest and then expecting me to approach her.

    My mom was born in the 50s and she was the one who approached my dad, as my dad didn’t even notice her as he was with his friends, and she was the one who asked him out, and all that, and I’ve always felt from that that there’s nothing sexier when a lady wants you bad enough to risk rejection.

    Then again, I’m a millennial, so the way women and men from different generations act and interact with each other varies from generation to generation.

  5. 5
    Hairy Palms

    Henry, I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Reflecting back on my failed marriages, and the failures I’ve observed around me, the one constant factor was the man had more status. But did the men get respect?

    As much as I value equality, I don’t think it’s probable that a woman would marry her equal.

    I date occasionally but I typically flip the script so to speak. I don’t initiate contact. I also block communication if they’ve read my email and haven’t responded in 24 hours. I pay for the first 2 dates. I ask them to plan the third date.

    I agree with you that a woman is clear about her intentions when she likes you. Mixed signals are a pass for me. Asking about status right away (I.e. rent/own, how long have you lived there?) means no 2nd date from me.

    If she insists on paying her share, I take that as a hint of no interest.

    Finding mutual interest is challenging to say the least.

    1. 5.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Another person who is terrible at dating giving unsolicited dating advice. Sigh.

    2. 5.2
      Emily, to

      Hairy P.,
      ” I also block communication if they’ve read my email and haven’t responded in 24 hours.”
      Some people take a while to respond to emails or they want to wait until they have time to sit down and craft a response. But I think if someone doesn’t respond to a text within your time frame– and how much time does a text take? 30 seconds? — that’s not a good sign. I mean, if a friend asked you to an upcoming lunch a few days in the future, you’d respond within a few hours or at the very least by the next day.

      1. 5.2.1
        Hairy Palms

        Exactly Emily. I think a 6-12 hour wait time for a response is reasonable for texting.

        Keep in mind this is in the very beginning of getting to know someone.

        Regarding blocking someone? Not personal at all. Just an easy way to avoid wasting time on someone. Especially in the LA area where the dating pond is huge.

        1. Emily, to

          Hairy Palms,
          ” I think a 6-12 hour wait time for a response is reasonable for texting. …Regarding blocking someone? Not personal at all. Just an easy way to avoid wasting time on someone.”
          I agree. Most people have their phones glued to them, carrying them with them wherever they go. If someone takes much more than at most a day to text u back to you, you aren’t a priority. People let you know how important you are to them by their actions … so just sit back and watch what they do.

      2. 5.2.2

        Hairy P, Emily to

        I’m gonna have to disagree on the phone thing not being a good sign. I can easily go all day without looking at my phone then by the time I do (if I do) it’s to late to respond. Often longer. Some folk aren’t phone folk, it’s not neccassarily an indication of affection. Tho I’ll admit if you want to be able to reach your partner most of the time it’s a very bad sign about their personality lol.

  6. 6

    Screening, whether you are meeting online or IRL is key. Despite this, one does run into the person who doesn’t resemble their photo (actually walked right by one poor dude as he was totally unrecognizable) or who is rather strange IRL. Dating is a crapshoot and even bad ones have something to learn from. One thing folks could do to get 2nd dates is to have honest photos and portray yourself as who you really are. Yes, perhaps you will get screened out by some but that would go a long way to avoid “wasting” ones time and money. To Hairy: I’d love to date my equal, someone educated, healthy, ecologically conscious. However, in my age range (60’s-70’s), such is very hard to find.

    1. 6.1

      Hi, Noquay,

      Agree with you on screening, and the fact that even that’s not foolproof. I met one woman I completely didn’t recognize; turned out there was a good reason-she used her sister’s photo! Some strange folks out there in cyberspace, I guess.

      “however, in my age range(60’s-70’s), such is very hard to find”

      That’s been my experience too. Then again you and I are kinda out in rural America, and I guess most people like that aren’t. At least, we are pretty much away from this virus, and more lately, the current social chaos, so I suppose that’s something to be grateful for.

  7. 7

    “Want to do well with women? Pay during early courtship.”

    There’s really not that strong of a correlation.

    1. 7.1
      Evan Marc Katz


      Paying doesn’t guarantee you success.
      Not paying virtually guarantees failure.

      1. 7.1.1

        Ok, we can agree to disagree on this point Evan, I don’t want to hijack this topic of yours. However, I will say that I went on probably over a hundred 1st dates when I was still dating. I’m not just making stuff up in my head. What you’re saying is certainly true for some women, and was probably true generally a decade ago, but that failure correlation hasn’t been my general experience. If you have a good time on a date (like you described) and the woman likes you, I found it rare that not paying for everything on a first date is a deal breaker. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying a guy should be a selfish prick and insist on splitting a $25 drink date, just that splitting some of say a $100 bill if the date goes til 1am isn’t unreasonable, and is not a usually a deal breaker.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          I talk to women for a living. There is NO downside to picking up the check. There is SO much downside to being perceived as cheap. So yeah, I don’t know what we’re arguing about.

      2. 7.1.2

        Evan Marc Katz

        I’ve been on my share of first dates (not bragging – I’m no cassanova nor am I a basement incel type) and have never once payed for the whole date. Ive also never once not had a follow up date/meeting. That’s the truth.
        So I can say without any doubt (at least in Australia) that this simply isn’t true.

        I didn’t pay for all the first date I had with my now gf (actually it was hot dogs in a botanic gardens and she bought them) and tho we don’t split every time now, at no point have I ever payed more (averaging out) for dates/going out than her.

        The reality is this “being cheap” stuff is a throwback to the entitlement of the past, which made sense once but now doesn’t. If I heard a woman say that men who didn’t pay for the whole first dates were “cheap” The type of woman I’d be picturing saying it would be some wanna be Instagram model with clown lip fillers and an obnoxious boring personality. I’m far from alone amongst my generation (I’m 30) of men in feeling this and the generations below and maybe a few above as well.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You do you, man. But even though I give advice to women now, I can also tell you how to be far more effective with women. Thankfully, you’ve got a handle on this and are in a happy relationship now, so we’re good.

        2. Buck25

          I don’t know about the dating scene “Down Under”, but I can tell you that as far as dating in the States goes, Evan has the better of the argument, in my experience.

          Of course, you have to remember that my generation was raised to assume that the man paid for the first date (and maybe succeeding dates, depending on the woman’s circumstances). So personally, I’ve never had a problem with that. These days, you DO find more women willing to split the tab, or occasionally pay it, if you’ve been dating a while. However, other than money, there really isn’t a downside for the guy paying the whole tab on a first date (unless the woman insists on splitting it, which some do; often so as not to feel obligated). Besides, you can always plan a first date that’s not so costly; there’s no rule that a first date has to be a fancy dinner date, and in fact, most of mine have not been. I don’t think you have to have a $100 or more tab, even if you can afford it; and you might make a better first impression being a bit less conventional anyway.

          With a much younger set, (as in your generation), that may be changing; I obviously don’t date in that age group, so I wouldn’t really know first hand.

        3. Bbq


          I get it and I agree that for some generations it was and is the expectation, that’s ingrained and it would be a pretty pointless hill to die on dating in those groups. But for myself who has mainly dated women in their 20’s, it’s far from expected and tho there are some women who may like it, they would rarely come out an announce it as in that generation how could it be seen as anything but entitled?
          It really isn’t this big obstacle that its being made out to be ime, a large percentage of women don’t have an issue with it and those that do, well I don’t want them and apparently have somehow refrained from ever going on a date with one so I guess they are of a certain character which is visible anyways (and as I say, they can’t really argue for it without looking bad).

          So what’s the benefit to not doing it?
          It’s the same benefit a woman receives from not always being the one to make dinner every single night after she and her partner come home from working – that is, the self respect that remains when you don’t give in to a ridiculous and unfair demand that someone makes of you.

          A lot of women will understand that and those that don’t will have to learn to live with it, because for me and most guys I know and the women they date it’s the present, and for all it’s the future.

      3. 7.1.3

        ‘There is NO downside to picking up the cheque…”

        There is where I partially disagree, at least in the current environment. Suppose a guy is single and goes on one date a week (which if I’m not mistaken is what you advise your clients). Suppose the dates follow the formula you outlined (which is a good one). Now, suppose even though a good time was had and the guy picked up the cheque on all occasions, 3 out of 4 women decide they felt a stronger spark with someone else or it’s just not what they’re looking for long term. That could easily come to $300. It’s not even necessarily the money spent, it’s the feeling that comes with it. But in one sense I agree, it’s best to take the risk if you were really excited about seeing her again.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          It’s the cost of doing business. Same as a woman deciding to do her hair, makeup and nails to ensure men are attracted to her.

  8. 8

    Not that comparable in my view. 1). Women often do a lot of that for themselves, not just male attention; 2). Men have costs for self-improvement as well (gym membership, etc), 3). The costs are generally different.

    1. 8.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Do women like it when you pick up the check? Yes. Then do it. It’s effective. Period. Exclamation point. Not paying just screams “cheap and not chivalrous.” If that’s the message you wanna send, go ahead.

      1. 8.1.1

        Evan, I agree with you and Buck25 based on my personal experience. In theory, everything others have argued here makes sense: dates should be paid equally just as household jobs should be shared equally (although I think that the person who does the asking should be prepared to pay the whole thing; that can be either the woman or the man). But IME, the men who turned out to be great long-term partners, including my current bf, are the ones who did not hesitate to pay; while the men who insisted on splitting even if they did the asking turned out to be undesirable in other ways and were not good partners.

        While we could begin to speculate all the reasons why, I’m afraid that anything I’d write on that topic could be taken as insulting, even if it isn’t. But I agree with you, and wonder if it’s wrapped up in women wanting alpha men because of certain signals that prove true.

        1. Bbq


          Who cares about meeting the definition of an alpha man? Or a high-value man? If it means doing nonsensical things that make little sense simply because some women like them (tho they have long since shunned any kind of standard for reciprocating on their end) then who cares? There’s clearly no benefit to it other than a loss of self respect. Not that I care, but I would have thought that wasn’t so alpha.

          Seems to me the word alpha man or whatever other term is being used here in the same way a person would give a dog a treat or a pat after they’d performed a trick without being asked. I for one, can’t see myself as some lion king after needlessly providing for a woman because of her gendered expectations when she would scoff at gendered expectations thrust on her.

          IMO a thinking man with logic and self respect wouldn’t pay for all the dates, a thinking woman with logic and self respect (and true respect for men) wouldn’t desire him too.

        2. shaukat

          Jo, you’ve offered an anecdote, and I don’t doubt your own experiences. But I can counteract it with my own: the best partners I had (grounded, considerate, generous, etc) were the women who offered and insisted on splitting the bills early on. Anecdotes don’t prove much in the way of correlations.

      2. 8.1.2

        Evan Marc Katz

        Many things are potential effective with the other sex for both males and females that are pointless and degrading, that’s not a good enough reason to do them. Some guys may call women who don’t put out on the first few dates frigid, some guys may call women who don’t cook and clean at their want unfeminine, should women do those things?

        There’s nothing cheap about thinking a grown women with the potential to work and function in today’s society should contribute her half to expenses in a relationship which hasn’t become dependent through parenting. And chivalrous has no meaning anymore – how could it?
        I like your blog and find you even handed and open in general but I can’t understand why your so sure of this. No offence but the 1800’s have come and gone man.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Done wasting my breath on someone who talks but doesn’t listen.

        2. Bbq

          Evan Marc Katz

          I listen I just don’t agree. I didn’t convince you either now did I? It’s alright matey, some topics are just sticking points.

      3. 8.1.3

        I think we generally agree dude, just pointing to some of the issues that arise when someone holds such a rigid stance on this issue. I think there is some room for nuance here, that’s all.

  9. 9
    male in USA

    yes, men should worry about coming across as cheap; women should worry about men feeling like they’re an ATM. Do men not have feelings? Should women not be concerned about that? Do women like it when a man picks up the check? Who wouldn’t like that? How about what men like?

    Act like a CEO and treat him like an intern? What self respecting man would allow himself to be treated like an intern by a CEO? Isn’t the CEO supposed to lead, initiate, and pay. How about CEO to CEO? If a woman treated me like an intern, she’d have to find another intern.

    In this time of vast social reform and the demands for equality, recognition, accountability, and mutual respect, it’s way past time for women to stop expecting to be treated like baby dolls by men they’re demanding parity with. Men paying for all first dates devalues us significantly. Come on, it’s 2020.

    But hey, I’m terrible at dating too.

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