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. 

Go to and click on the ‘apply for coaching’ button to get started.

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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. sylvana

          Henry, Bbq

          by equal, do you mean equally as masculine? Or do you and Bbq still expect women to be feminine in every other regard when they meet you for a date, just not in the regards that don’t suit you?

        3. Bbq


          They should be as they are, as I am. We can only honestly choose each other at that point.
          All that feminine beauty stuff is either for themselves or other women anyways so if that costs them more money and time how is that anything to do with me?

          I didn’t know that working and earning and spending money on yourself and a woman equaling masculine, while working and earning money and spending it only on yourself equaling feminine, were long held defining rule of femininity and masculinity. I missed that history lesson on gender.

        4. Nikki

          “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.”

          No justification needed. I don’t think men (who extended an invitation) should pay for first date. I know a man pays for first date when he invites a woman to go out on a date. Simple as that.

        5. Bbq


          So you don’t. If you can’t give any reason for why you think you deserve to have someone do something for you but except it anyway (and won’t put any thought into why or give the courtesy of explaining why) then don’t expect people will take what you say seriously or think your opinion holds any weight.

  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.

        1. Lynx

          Bbq, Hairy P, Emily to:

          In dating 50+ men, I have learned to be leery of those who don’t seem to understand the way texting works. Specifically, when a guy takes a day to reply – and I know they are interested, not playing games – it is a huge red flag that they are not keeping up with change, and for me, a growth mindset is an important quality.

          Recently, a met with guy who professed to be in his later 50s, but was really in his mid-60s. On reflection, the way he texted was a total giveaway.

        2. Bbq


          You can want what you want fair enough. But texting has been a part of all my adult life, so it’s not a matter of keeping up with change or not for me (and I’m sure others), Indefinetly understand texting. It’s more that if I’m doing something for a certain length of time, (playing an instrument, doing some activity, or just going for a walk and thinking etc.) I don’t want it interrupted and don’t believe it’s neccessary that it should be or I should live my life in a way that means it’s excpected to be, and I afford the same curtesy to anyone else including women I would date.

          Many people like to constantly text and receive texts, others don’t but do it anyway when it’s needless for them to do so. Why be a slave to (social) texting like some teenage girl if you don’t enjoy it when there’s no reason to be?

  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.

      1. 6.1.1

        Truth. My large county has had only 8 cases thus far for which I am exceedingly grateful. The very small county I just left in Colorado had at least 10x that many.
        I have male friends that have had that very same experience you describe. Evan and many others have stressed the importance of having realistic photos, being yourself and “be the person you want to date”; why is this so difficult?

  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.

      4. 7.1.4
        Yet Another Guy


        “Not paying virtually guarantees failure.”

        From my experience, that assertion is not universally true, not remotely so. Whether or not a man gets a second date has little to do with if he picks up the tab (now, sticking his date with the complete tab is an entirely different situation). Experience has taught me that women tend to want what they feel is unobtainable; therefore, picking up the full tab can be a really bad strategy. Picking up the full tab on the first date at an expensive venue screams “I value you more than I value myself.” I did not pick up the full tab with current girlfriend and there are many well-heeled men who wanted and still want her. She was not interested in these guys (we are past the year and a half mark and our relationship keeps getting stronger).

        In the end, not all women are the same, nor do they all want the same thing in a man. A lot of women are looking for a solid provider type. Willingness to pick up the tab is an indicator of being a provider. However, older executive-level women like my girlfriend have their own money. They do not need a provider. They are looking for a strong, masculine protective type that affords them the type of protection that allows them to live in their feminine. They also want a guy who is smart enough to give them a run for their money intellectually while having a higher than average EQ. I was born a big athletically-built guy with a high IQ. My EQ came from a lot of work on myself and a willingness to learn from my previous mistakes. If we want to talk about an area where most guys blow it, it is not working on their EQ.

        1. shaukat

          ‘However, older executive-level women like my girlfriend have their own money. They do not need a provider.’

          YAG, it’s interesting you mention that potential connection with age and maturity, because I’ve actually noticed it with the late-twenties to mid-thirties group as well. I assumed it’s because of different ideas of equity prevalent among younger generations, many women in that cohort view splitting the bill on the first date as progressive.

        2. Yet Another Guy


          I believe that the reason women in my age cohort who have their own money are willing to pay half has nothing to do with being progressive. It has everything to do with having an equal say in the relationship. What people are failing to realize here is that the “strong provider” model came with strong control over everything in the relationship/marriage. Unlike our parents, women’s liberation gave women in my age cohort the opportunity to continue to work after they had children and the economic freedom that comes with having a career. Like a lot of women, my girlfriend sought a man with high status to marry. Her ex-husband is a very successful medical doctor. However, his status granted him the right to control every decision in the home, not to mention that he failed on his basic duty to make her feel protected (i.e., medical doctors tend to have no shortage of options, even when they are married). I suspect that my girlfriend has plenty of company in our age cohort. Didn’t SE marry a working man because he, among other things, made her feel safe?

  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.

        3. Emily, to

          This isn’t true of online dating because it’s obvious dating is the intention, but if a guy a woman knows as an acquaintance or maybe a friend asks her to do something for the first time one-on-one and she isn’t sure if it’s a date, not picking up the check signals to her he thinks they are going out as friends.

        4. Bbq

          Emily, to

          This may be an etiquette rule that’s generational because it definitely isn’t true of around the millennial generation. It’s inevitable those kind of “chivalrous” signals fade and vanish as dating and relationships get further and further from the idea of women not working and thus it being men’s responsibility to provide for them.

          This isn’t addressed to you but I’m confused as to how some think this (dissapearance) of the male provider etiquette isn’t/won’t continue to be the case. How could it not be?

        5. Emily, to

          “This isn’t addressed to you but I’m confused as to how some think this (disappearance) of the male provider etiquette isn’t/won’t continue to be the case. How could it not be?”
          By your own admission, you have a had a number of first dates, you have never paid for the whole date and every woman has been interested in a second date. (Better odds, by the way, than Brad Pitt, who was years ago jilted mid first date by Christina Applegate.) So I don’t know why this topic seems to have hit a nerve with you.

        6. Bbq

          Emily, to

          It does hit a nerve, but I enjoy that, to me this kind of thing is fun to disagree about.
          The reason it hits a nerve is because today it’s illogical when you think about whats behind it and I’ve never once heard anyone give a logical reason for it (in today’s world). I know some would say that’s true for many things in dating/courtship but I don’t think that’s really the case. IMO these little rituals ie – man paying, all signify something and as far as the man paying goes it is a kind of proof of potential providership which is out of step with the times (unless you just take womens wants as reason enough for it which I dont). Times past it wasn’t illogical as there was fair reason for men to signify providership and fair and coveted reward if they did, so it was all good and fun could be had with it. But today, not so much.
          Of course traditions linger past their purpose, but this one is fast disappearing. Not sure why people are trying to deny it.

          I addressed it to you since you seem one of the reasonable commenters here and thought you might have some thoughts (even if not in agreement) which amounted to more than getting defensive as some have (tho still not defending in any comprehendible way) or justifying it with weird intellectual theories.

        7. Emily, to

          “The reason it hits a nerve is because today it’s illogical”
          It’s not logical. Women like to feel the man is making an effort and taking charge. It’s a feeling; it’s not logic. Just as we learned on this site that men like to feel admired by their partners. I think the word “admired” carries with it a big of heft. As in … someone doing something extraordinary, but the need isn’t based on logic. Now, I’m sure you’re going to argue that men don’t need to be admired and, if so, there’s no need to respond to my post.

        8. Bbq

          Emily, to

          They can like that feeling if they want, but still, there is no doubt at all that the further we get from women being provided for by men and their main purpose being seen as being in the home with children, the less and less it is happening. It being illogical for men to do it and actually insulting to them to be expected to is the reason for it happening less and less, so I guess logic is winning out.

          I’m one example of it not being required, another man posted here saying similar and I would bet that at least half if not more or all men around my age and younger don’t pay for dates AND are still getting follow up dates, so it seems women are adapting just fine without the men paying for dates.

          For my own generation I think many men react to it the same way women from the 70’s or 80’s would have reacted to some man yelling about how a woman’s place was in the home (probably because he wanted to be admired), basically it’s a dinasour attitude which is about to go extinct.

          You fully admit it’s not logical and I’m yet to see one coherent defence of its place in the current world here, all evidence suggests it’s dying out fast, so I don’t get why ppl are so eager to cling to it. I actually find it quite sad (as well as saying a lot) that so many women do honestly seem to upset by the idea of men not paying for them.

          If you ask one gender to do something for the other that they won’t do in return, then that other gender needs to have a way of reciprocating in their own way that the opposite gender also values, rather than doing nothing at all. You should appreciate that idea at least.
          Women’s did, now they don’t and unless they come up with some other way of reciprocating that men appreciate enough to feel them paying is fair, then the observable fact is paying for dates will continue going the way of the dodo.

        9. Emily, to

          ” then the observable fact is paying for dates will continue going the way of the dodo.”
          Not for the guys around my age, so I’m not worried about it. If you want to spread a grass-roots awareness campaign for the guys your age, be my guest.

        10. Bbq

          Emily, to

          No need it’s already wide spread.
          And inevitably will be totally spread soon enoug. But different strokes, I hardly hate people who have been payed for or payed.

      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.

  10. 10

    Bbq and all the other guys arguing with EMK about picking up the tab on the first date:

    What you fail to consider is that EMK is not doling out advice appropriate to *every* person in *every* dating situation in *every* location around the globe. He has a very specific target audience with a very specific objective. And he is clearly more of an authority than any of us on what works and doesn’t work for this audience.

    In arguing with his advice, it’s kinda sorta like walking into a 3-Michelin-star restaurant and insisting the chef de cuisine adopt a production-line cooking approach like McDonald’s.

    1. 10.1


      So you think it’s classy men who pay for women for no reason? And the low-life’s don’t? I’m willing to bet you can’t give any reasoning for that argument. Nice attempt at a back handed insult tho.

      Actually it’s more like having dinner with a woman who punches you in the face at the end of it and when you ask why? she tells you it’s because she likes to. A total lack of respect from one side is being signified in these dinasour attitudes of some women.

      1. 10.1.1


        You misinterpreted my point.

        Full disclosure: on the first date with my former boyfriend, I actually picked up the whole check, and we alternated paying after that. I prefer to pay my own way because I don’t want to feel in anyone’s debt.

        But the fact that my own behavior contradicts EMK’s advice does not undermine his point, because I am not in his target audience. I am not looking for a committed relationship right now.

        I guess I just don’t understand why this issue causes you such anger. If you don’t think it’s a good idea to pick up the tab for a date — don’t do it. Not sure why you need *every* man to agree with you on this.

        1. jo

          Lynx, exactly. Bbq seems to get really angry at certain women, then repeatedly exaggerates the situation or lashes out at them, and then pretends he doesn’t care at all – haha lol – about the situation that’s actually making him so upset. It’s not worth it to argue.

          FWIW, men have usually paid for me, and the ones who haven’t are a mixed bag. Some turn out to be nice. Others are the ultra-defensive type who keep insisting on their rights and their ways, so turn out not to be fun to spend time with. I always offer to split, but the men who insist upon splitting even before I say so or even try to get me to pick up more than my share rarely turn out good. If you were to ask why, I think it’s because their defensiveness and lack of wishing to please the other person – and insistence on catering to themselves – are not generally good qualities in relationships that require some level of conceding to the other, on both parts.

        2. Lynx


          Agree with you that (barring a financial reason) it’s a mixed bag with men who don’t pay. In my case, the relationship eventually ended because he took too passive an approach to life for my taste — and I suppose, on reflection, him passively letting me pick up the tab without making any effort whatsoever to pay even part (much less all) of it, well, that was a pretty clear sign!

          And, when I get to the point that I *am* seeking a committed relationship, I will absolutely follow the EMK way.

        3. Bbq


          How exactly have I lashed out lol?
          If anything it seems you are passively aggressively lashing out at meI’m just asking for any reason at all that makes sense as to why men should pay in this day and age, or even why they shouldn’t offer to split first?

          You say in your own comment that you think men who offer to split have a “lack of wishing to please the other person”, but why would it please you to be payed for in this day and age?

          You can say your ignoring this because it’s pointless to argue if you wish, but I think it’s because you know what your saying isn’t logical and there is no good reason for it. It seems your argument for a lot of this type of thing is that somehow it means the men will turn out better because they’re more alpha, or some other strange theory that doesn’t really follow any logic other than confirming what your attracted to, to be good in your mind.


        4. Jeremy

          @Lynx, question:

          Did your picking up the tab indicate your willingness to shoulder any specific burden in the relationship? The question is rhetorical, as you know. The fact that the answer is extrapolatable to men is equally rhetorical. This heuristic is false. It is one thing to say that men should do it because so many women want it. It is quite another to make assumptions about any given man, given his behavior in this regard.

        5. Bbq


          I don’t do it. But I don’t think arguing a point on a board means someone is incredibly angry about something. We may differ in that. Perhaps a gender thing.
          I won’t repeat myself anymore, but basically just sum up by saying in today’s day and age and for those that have grown up in a generation without the expectation (and that may be where so much contention is being found here no offence to anyone) there just isn’t a good reason for men to pay and as such its become less and less common. And on this board, at least from my point of view, there hasn’t been one single coherent argument for men paying in current times.

          I notice you left a comment below suggesting this could be linked to indecisiveness. Perhaps that could be or could have been true, but equally now, not splitting or expecting to be payed for is often seen as indicating a shallow materialistic entitlement – essentially a stuck up bitch. I’m not saying that to insult you so please don’t take it that way, Im just saying that signals given off by expectation of societal customs change when those customs are changing and when it comes to dating they are changing constantly as society has changed. In the world where women have a earning capacity and independence equal to men, its inevitable that this custom which was brought about by their lack of Thomsen things, will change (and for the most part has.)

          I will give you that if Mr Katzs client base is women in their later 30’s and up this is probably still a excpectation for a lot of them which their peers will indulge, tho that rule is likely in flux on the younger end of that scale (apparently to their disappointment).

  11. 11
    Yet Another Guy


    You are confusing management with leadership. They are not remotely the same thing. The problem is that management gets passed off as leadership today because so few people spend time in the military. The reality is that the military is the only place in modern society where men and women receive formal training in leadership. Anyone can manage if given enough instruction and time to develop. True leaders are rare. Quite frankly, few people advance very far in the military if they do not possess leadership skills, even those who are very good managers.

    What is leadership? It is about one’s ability to get people to voluntarily follow him/her. If people are emulating you, then they are following you. Leaders pull, they do not push people. It is about instilling the feeling of “If you follow me, I will not get you killed.” The word “killed” means many things based on context, but at its core, it is about instilling a feeling of safety. People voluntarily follow people whose actions make them feel safe.

    Where things get conflated on this site is that planning a date has little to do with demonstrating leadership. Taking the lead and planning a date is not a demonstration of one’s leadership skills. Planning a date demonstrates one’s ability to plan and organize, neither of which demonstrate leadership ability. Planning a date demonstrates administrative skills (a.k.a., management skills). At their core, alpha skills are about pure leadership.

    If anyone doubts that leadership and management are separate abilities, all one needs to do is look at bad boys. Bad boys are natural leaders because people want to be like them, but few bad boys make it to the top of major companies because bad boys are usually horrible team players and no one makes it to the top in modern companies without first being a follower. Conversely, most modern organizations that are not startups are almost devoid of true leaders because of the need to follow people who are not true leaders.

    Two more examples of leader versus manager are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, both of which had to hire professional managers to grow the companies they helped to found to the size that they are today. While they may not be your cup of tea, both men have countless followers.

    1. 11.1
      Emily, to

      “Bad boys are natural leaders because people want to be like them, but few bad boys make it to the top of major companies because bad boys are usually horrible team players and no one makes it to the top in modern companies without first being a follower.”
      And isn’t’ a bad boy ok with that? No bad boy worth his salt has the ambition to rise to the top of a modern company if that means having to suck up to people.

      1. 11.1.1
        Yet Another Guy



        1. Emily, to

          But in all fairness, nobody outside of maybe a Steve Jobs lives like a bad boy. I don’t know anybody who can do whatever he/she wants and not have to kiss a least some butt for a paycheck. It’s life. It’s having bills and a mortgage to pay. The key is to kiss the least amount of butt you can get away with while you watch some of your colleagues being so obsequious to authority figures, you are actually cringing. I used to work with a guy who said his goal was to retire with a shred of his dignity in tact. And he did.

        2. Bbq

          Emily, to

          Plenty of people live like bad boys, just watch the next row of meth dealers low level gang members get of in a row at you local prison lol.
          But most people don’t want to be like them and sure wouldn’t want to be lead anywhere by them.

        3. Yet Another Guy


          You are missing a crucial point. Just because you would not want to follow one of the bad boys you mentioned does not mean that they do not have followers. The rate of incarceration for drug manufacturing/distribution offenses tells us that these guys have no shortage of followers.

          I remember the first leadership course I attended in the Navy. The instructor drove home the point that leadership was about setting an example worthy of emulation. Why? Because if people are emulating you, they are following you.

        4. Bbq

          Yet Another Guy

          I understand your point. But the reality is there’s a lot of bad boys who either take part in petty crime, or are on unemployment, with a baby mama they’ve spit with who have no followers at all. Unless you think other people doing petty crime or going on unemployment are following those that have gone before, they’re not really leading them anywhere anymore than anyone who ever had a job at a fast food outlet led and inspired those who started after them.

        5. Emily, to

          “I remember the first leadership course I attended in the Navy. The instructor drove home the point that leadership was about setting an example worthy of emulation. Why? Because if people are emulating you, they are following you.”
          You can’t be emulated in the Navy. Talk about being mired in the system! It is just a bunch of guy who have more power than you following the rules set out by their bosses. Now, you start your own company … then you’re making your own rules. Of course, you still have to please your customers or your distributors, etc. That was my point. There are no true bad boys.

        6. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, to

          Au contraire! Spoken like someone who has never spent a day in uniform. You are looking at leadership in too narrow of a context. While leaders may make decisions, leadership has little to do with making one’s own rules. Managers often make their own rules, but many managers are not leaders. Leadership is about building a “followship “(Google the term). Leadership in the Navy or any other branch of military service is critical, as no amount of force can make a person do something against his/her own will. That person has to freely follow an order. Sure, there is the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Milltary Justice) to add force to an order, but that is only effective up to a point. That is where leadership enters the picture. Once again, leaders instill a sense of “follow me, I will not get you killed,” a sense of safety, into their followers. Failing to create that sense of security usually causes thing to break down.

          In end, I believe that you are confusing “thought leader” with actual leader. Steve Jobs was a thought leader and an actual leader. He had is own ideas, but it was his ability to motivate people to carry them out that made him a leader. Why did people follow Jobs? Because they knew there was a high probability of success due of his track record of success.

          Now, if we want to talk about startups, well, having spent time in a couple of startups, I can honestly say that people who join startups tend to be self-starting, non-conformists; therefore, motivating these people is easy because they usually want to stick it to the man. People who join startups just for the possibility of being issued stock options usually do not make it. If you want to know what it is like to work on a technical startup team, read “Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made” by Andy Hertzfeld. Andy was core member of the MacIntosh development team. Even though Apple was an established company when they started the development of the MacIntosh, the team was composed of a rag-tag group of rebels who succeeded despite starting out with limited resources and quite a bit of opposition. Jobs and Apple’s focus at that point was on the Lisa computer (named after his daughter Lisa Brennan who was born out of wedlock).

        7. Emily, to

          You know who was a true bad boy? Marlon Brando. They desperately wanted him for “Apocalypse Now.” He was grossly overweight and didn’t know his lines. They shot around him to make him look thinner and gave him an earpiece. Someone was feeding him the lines. He broke all the rules that were required of the other actors … and they still wanted him. That is a true bad boy. And then he went home with a nice big check. When can do whatever the hell you want to … and they are still calling you and putting up with you … that’s bad boy. It’s a rarefied bunch. We all like to think of ourselves as renegade, but we aren’t. Unless you can live with the kind of freedom I just mentioned. And I don’t know anybody who lives like that.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, to

          “When can do whatever the hell you want to … and they are still calling you and putting up with you … that’s bad boy. ”

          If that is the definition of a bad boy, then I have been a bad boy all of my life. 🙂

        9. Emily, to

          “If that is the definition of a bad boy, then I have been a bad boy all of my life. ”
          Ummm …. I’m not going to argue with you. I don’t think you read anything I wrote.

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, to

          “Ummm …. I’m not going to argue with you. I don’t think you read anything I wrote.”

          I read everything you wrote. I just did not agree with it. The male mind does not work like the female mind.

        11. Emily, to

          To me you have really far out of the establishment to be a bad. boy. And you don’t give a crap about male hierarchy and where you fit in it. You can’t be taking the corporate check and be a bad boy. Most guys who even have a shred of that grow out of it once they get married and have kids. They have to. Their priorities shift. Mortgages and home renovations are not the purview of the bad boy.

        12. Bbq

          Yet Another Guy

          She has a point about the Navy tho. Now no offence I have family from the navy in my own country, but having said that, obviously a ranking system where disobeying orders by those above you will get you punished will make those who willingly enlist into and want to be a part of (and possibly climb the ranks of) said system predisposed to follow their orders.

        13. Yet Another Guy


          “who willingly enlist into and want to be a part of (and possibly climb the ranks of) said system predisposed to follow their orders.”

          Au Contraire! That may be the reason people enlist in your country. However, that is not the way it actually works with the all-volunteer service in the United States. Sure, there are the gung-ho types, but the majority of enlisted personal enlist for economic reasons. They gamble their lives for an opportunity at a better life. They are kids like I was when I was younger. They are not ready for/cannot afford college, but do not want a “McJob,” so they enter the military in order to obtain a job skill that will allow them to earn a decent living after reaching EAOS (End of Active Obligated Service). Most people exit the military after they reach EAOS because few enter the military looking for a career. It is about getting something and getting out. In my case, I received formal and OJT training in computer systems and software engineering at a time when few people had seen a computer. That training and experience led to earning undergraduate and graduate (post-graduate outside of the U.S.) degrees in computer science and engineering as well as a long career after I left the Navy at EAOS.

          Like me, most kids are who are smart enough to get into a occupation that requires intellect are not the easiest kids to lead (it is often referred to as attempting to herd cats). They are just like their civilian counterparts. Sure, they have had training in team building, but smart enlisted people can hold out on you and there is nothing that you can do about it, but try to be a better leader because it is not an offense to not give one’s best effort. Civilian leaders can fire a person who is not giving his/her best effort. Firing someone and placing him/her at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy for less than 100% effort is a much heavier hand than what is available to a military leader. I do not know about your country, but most non-union positions in the U.S. are at-will employment.

          The reality is that most first-time enlistees are just like any other college-age kid with one difference, they are forced to grow up quickly. It takes strong leadership skills to mold these kids into effective service members. The UMCJ helps, but it is not a substitute for leadership. True leaders do not bark orders. They motivate people to give their best and think about people other than themselves. The military is a brotherhood where those who have experienced it are bonded for life. It would not be that way without good leadership.

          One last thing, retired commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers are often called upon to teach leadership to corporations, often as part of a leadership teaching organization. One such organization is Academy Leadersip, which consists of former military commissioned officers who are service academy graduates.

        14. Emily, to

          The military is completely anathema to everything a bad boy would believe in. He’d be out protesting against the military and how much money is spent on defense.

        15. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, to

          “The military is completely anathema to everything a bad boy would believe in. He’d be out protesting against the military and how much money is spent on defense.”

          I agree with you. This part of the discussion is from the discussion took place after Bbq went on the meth tangent. I was merely attempting to demonstrate that there leaders who set an example that one wants to emulate from bad boys who set an example not worthy of emulation. In reality, the bad boys that Bbq mentioned are not really bad boys. They are criminals. Bad boys may live at the edge of the law, but most do not turn to hardcore crime. They have just checked out of the male hierarchy from a competing from financial rewards point of view. Bad boys are every bit as competitive as the next guy in the male sexual hierarchy. They just use a different playbook.

        16. Jeremy

          Guys, not to interject where I’m not wanted, but I really don’t understand the value of the discussion of this archetype. “Bad boy.” Does it exist? Does it matter? Shall we then discuss the “pornstar” archetype, and whether or not a woman has to have her pubic hair removed (versus natural hairlessness) disqualifies her from adhering to the archetype? Why does this matter?
          – You want a good partner, search for a guy who’s a good partner.
          – You want a guy you find exciting? Choose a guy you find exciting. Not because he’s an archetype, but because of the feelings in your head. Which exist irrespective of any external reality. You realize.

        17. Emily, to

          “…most do not turn to hardcore crime. They have just checked out of the male hierarchy from a competing from financial rewards point of view. Bad boys are every bit as competitive as the next guy in the male sexual hierarchy. They just use a different playbook”
          This I agree with, but they are usually winning in the male sexual hierarchy with very little effort. But, again, a true bad boy is very rare. It’s like a true siren. They both exist in books and poems and songs. I can think of maybe one true bad boy off the top of my head who I knew years ago. He’d leave the room and half the women would follow him. And the other men were resentful. But is a very difficult pose to hold for most men over the age of 30. We all get much safer as we get older.

        18. Bbq

          Yet Another Guy
          Emily, to

          I haven’t given as much thought into defining what a true bad boy is and who is disqualified or qualified to be one – to most people it’s just a stereotype, either the bad boy from the movies, or tv, or some loser with different baby mamas (the type that would appear on a jerry springer like show). This is what bad boy loosely means to most people, you can both make up your own definitions of the word to make it mean either something you desire or admire but that’s what most people think of.

          Honestly this over defining of what a bad boy is or isn’t is silly and a pointless argument because you both have a very personalised definition.

        19. Bbq

          Yet Another Guy

          It’s the same in my country (Australia) too. I respect your service and agree to an extent with what your saying, however I’d suggest maybe in a way your too close to see the wood from the trees here.

  12. 12


    I agreed with @jo that men who don’t pick up the tab are a “mixed bag”, didn’t intend to make a sweeping generalization along the lines of “all men who let women pay are passive” or anything. That was just my own unique experience.

    On thinking more deeply about the issue, I was raised in a family where you fought for the dinner check, regardless of who you were dining with, whether a friend or lover or family member. Generosity was a token gesture of love and friendship.

    So maybe that’s why I am bemused by the extent of the discussion on this topic. It doesn’t seem like a weird power play – it just seems like a nice thing to do.

    1. 12.1

      Hmm, but if it was just a nice thing to do, women would be fighting men for the cheque, would they not? 🙂

      1. 12.1.1


        Bingo! (and they know it)

  13. 13

    I’ve been thinking about dating typologies, kinda like Myers Briggs, but I’ve only discerned one dimension and this discussion seems appropriate to share my thoughts. I think determining the “type” would be helpful in narrowing down prospects. It also seems that the types would be gender specific. Of course there is a spectrum between these 2 extremes. I’ve met women from each extreme.

    For women, are you:
    Type T: I am the woman and women don’t pursue. I follow The Rules. I expect the man to be chivalrous- to initiate, plan, pay. A quality man will gladly do those things and expect nothing in return, even if I decide that he’s not right for me. When in his presence, I will not touch a doorknob or reach for the check. I expect the first date to be dinner at a nice restaurant. I believe that the man should do all the contacting and all of the paying. I will gladly respond and show appreciation. After all, I am the prize.
    Type C: I don’t mind contributing, contacting, and planning. Things should be somewhat balanced in terms of sharing the efforts and expenses of a relationship. Women and men are equal in the workplace, why shouldn’t we be equal in the datingplace? I expect to observe his effort and I expect to show my efforts as well. I believe that we should get to know each other slowly and the initial dates should be simple but fun- walks/hikes, museums, free concerts, etc. After all, WE are the prize.

    1. 13.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I get your point but a little too binary for me, Scott. I teach women to be a blend of BOTH.

  14. 14

    You betcha’! Again, I am not the best to weigh in on this topic. I honestly cannot remember the last time a guy treated me to anything more lavish than a cappuccino.

    1. 14.1

      Lol. I’m certainly not one to weigh in on the topic either, given that I’ve not been on a first date in almost two decades. Still, the topic is more fraught than you’re implying, Lynx. For many women, there is both entitlement and expectation. Some women even offer to split the tab, and decline a second date if the guy accepts their offer. Because a quality man…. pays. This is sooo problematic. Because if paying equals quality, what does that say about women? About their expectations, about the fact that they so rarely pay? About how they will or won’t reciprocate?

      Again, I have no qualms with Evan’s advice for men to pay. If the goal is success with the broadest base of women, you can’t lose by offering to pay. More women will accept an offer of a second date if you do. But what does bother me is when women take this for granted, and worse, obfuscate that it’s a total non issue for them, while simultaneously making radical character judgments based upon its feet of clay.

      Most men aren’t looking for a spectrum between Scott’s type T and C. They’re looking for C. The only reason at all for a woman to act at all like T is to protect herself. How is a man to protect himself?

      1. 14.1.1

        How is a man to protect himself? How about standing firm to what we believe in? Like I said above, women want equality in the workplace, men should want equality in the datingplace. To have it otherwise is to be a hypocrite.
        I’ve been thinking about the statement that paying is the most effective way to succeed in dating and the best analogy I can come up with is that it’s like saying that the most effective way to win the lottery is to buy all the number combinations.
        By paying, exactly what are we being effective at? And what are we being ineffective at?
        By paying (so as not to possibly offend the woman), aren’t men contributing to longevity of this antiquated custom?
        If we don’t pay and consequently don’t get a second date, neither does the woman.
        Guys- it’s time to put our penis hats on and start a revolution.

        1. Jeremy

          There will always be another guy who’ll pay. And not many women want to date the man wearing the penis hat. One can be an idealist or one can be a rational. What is one’s goal?

          It is one thing to say that by not paying, one effectively filters out the women who expect a man to pay, and that may be a good strategy for a man who doesn’t want such a woman. But how many options does he have otherwise? If he’s awash in options, it won’t matter, he can afford his idealism. If he ain’t, it will, and he can’t, necessarily.

          That was YAG’s point about himself being a “bad boy”, as I understood it. Not in the workplace arena, but with women. The ability to do as he pleased and still be desired, awash with options. How many men can say the same?

          The answer to the question, “how will men protect themselves” is that they won’t. They can’t. Women don’t understand this. They perceive us as strong, aggressors. The last ones who require any sort of protection.

        2. Emily, to

          “Guys- it’s time to put our penis hats on and start a revolution.”
          That is never going to happen. Men aren’t going to run the risk of forgoing sex to prove a point. Women won’t do it, either. MGTOW is different. It’s men who don’t do well with women, anyway.

        3. Bbq

          Emily, to

          Reality is this is already happening everywhere. Nowadays a lot of men don’t pay and in spite of what some commenters here are saying are successful with women, in fact it’s pretty much a non issue. Funny comment about the penis hat revolution, but it’s really just a slowish moving consequence of “equality” that this happens.


          I don’t know how old you are but I sense many of the commenters here are upper middle aged and beyond. That’s fine and great, but as such they’re giving an accurate picture of what dating rules and etiquette are to them and their peers, not what they’ve changed to be for younger generations as a result of the dating scene excpectations catching up to the rest of life in this regard. It’s totally normal not to pay and happens regularly, you don’t need to make a scene about it, just do it.
          Now Jeremy may think this is going to cut down your options because some other guy somewhere will pay, but the reality is it won’t, most women will accept it. Emily, to may think that men who don’t pay are or will be seen as weird losers and idealists trying to prove a point who can’t get women anyway, but of course she’s wrong, it happens everyday. Without trying to offend either of them, I sense they may both be speaking from generational experience, which reflects there current reality but maybe not yours.
          At least, when I look around and look at my life and friends I can say without wishful thinking that is doesn’t reflect mine.

      2. 14.1.2

        @Jeremy “One can be an idealist or one can be a rational. What is one’s goal?”
        This is another way of asking whether you’d prefer to be right or happy, a dichotomy that makes me cringe when I hear it because it doesn’t have to be one OR the other.

        “The only reason at all for a woman to act at all like T is to protect herself.” It’s not that they’re protecting themselves but rather they think that’s how it should be, they deserve it, they’re entitled to having a man fawn over them.

        1. Jeremy

          It only doesn’t have to be the one or the other when it doesn’t have to be the one or the other. It does when it does. If that makes sense to you. It makes you cringe because you don’t like what it says. But what it says is generally true, and here it is, spelled out:
          – Men pay for women’s company because men want women more than women want men. When the latter is not true, neither is the former. When men have more options, when men are more in demand, men don’t need to pay. You want to know whether you need to pay? Look at your options. That may be depressing, but it’s also somewhat pragmatic.

          Look, Scott, I feel you. The notion that men should pay for dates is indeed a conceptual anachronism. It’s sexist as hell. It’s insulting. It’s morally wrong. There’s just no two ways about it. Any justifications offered are only obfuscations of why women want what they want. Just excuses for the inexcusable. But what does that matter? What does that change? Do you want women or don’t you?

          Fight the battles that matter, hold your ground when it matters. Don’t waste your energy on battles that don’t matter. Because the women who will split the cheque happily with you? Might not be the ones you find attractive, in being or behavior, otherwise. I’m not suggesting you date the entitled ones, like the one you met at the gym that time. I’m saying to date a sweet one, who will do lots for you, and happens to hope you’ll pay for the first few dates. Battles worth fighting….

        2. Jeremy

          I might have misinterpreted what Scott was saying. In your example, Evan, the OP was a man who was happy to conform to gender roles and do the lion’s share of planning and paying. He was happy to pay for dinners. He just wanted a gesture from the woman he was dating – buy the ice cream, for example. I’d interpreted Scott a bit differently, to want equal(ish) responsibility for splitting the cheque. Ie. Not conforming to the gender role. What I wrote above applies to the latter, not the former. If all a man wants is to conform to a traditional role and have the slightest bit of reciprocation, I don’t think his prospects will be terribly reduced. At least, not reduced in terms of anyone he’d actually want to date.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Sorry, I meant this was what Scott OUGHT to be saying.

        4. jo

          Really enjoying this conversation here.

          Jeremy and Scott, I agree with most of what you write. Jeremy, yes, you touched on the truth that men do by and large want women more than women want men (at least in one sense), which might explain a very large part of the ‘pay on the first date’ phenomenon.

          But WRT Scott’s designation of women as on a spectrum from T to C – this is where I think most of the men on here have left out an important point, because you don’t know the woman’s experience. MANY of us would be happy to be more C (this is not in contradiction to what I had written earlier). But even for those of us younger than you, we’ve been socialised since – I dunno, maybe the single digits? – that we are not supposed to pursue, that men don’t like it when women pursue, that we are supposed to let them do everything and that if we initiate, we’ll be shut down. And then we go out into real life, and we discover this sad truth for ourselves. Even with the SAME MAN… I try initiating, being more of the proactive one, he shies away. Next time when I back off, he suddenly wants me. I think many women can relate to this. IRL, if what we keep both hearing and experiencing is that men hate it when we initiate, then you can see why we move toward T, regardless of if our true nature is closer to C.

          Can we meet in the middle? I guess that’s an intermediate between swinging all the way from T to C. But understand why it’s taking so long and also ask yourselves, men, if you would really want a woman to initiate and pursue. Because that is not what many of us are seeing IRL.

        5. Jeremy

          I think you raise a good and valid point, Jo. I’d suggest parsing out 2 different phenomena, though. There’s a) the phenomenon of women asking men out, paying, and flipping the social script, versus b) the phenomenon of women paying half, or a share, or offering to get/plan the next one.

          I think more men will be overtly uncomfortable with a than b, and I’d posit that their discomfort with each stems from a different anxiety. The discomfort with a) stems from having the paradigm shifted, resulting in a fight or flight reaction. Men get surprised, men flee.

          But with b) , I think the anxiety is different. Men are taught from an early age that the only way they will be desired by women is through their wallets. So they woo women by paying for them and hoping for desire as reciprocation. If they can’t pay, they worry that no desire will be forthcoming. And for some, if desire is forthcoming without paying, there is a subconscious belief that the woman can’t be a quality woman. Because a quality woman would need money spent on her. Sooo dysfunctional. Result of dysfunctional upbringing, toxic messaging. And reinforced by women saying same. And by the fact that it’s so often true. Because many women want men’s efforts more than they want the man. Which is, in itself, soooo toxic. Of course, this is also an anxiety for a), but I think becomes more salient once the surprise of a paradigm shift is less of a factor.

        6. Jeremy

          But I really do think that both of these anxieties are less of a factor in young men today than they were in the past, especially the second one. And will be even less factors from men’s perspective in the future. Women’s perspective, though, may remain static. Which is interesting, given how much women have changed in other ways, toward egalitarianism, when they perceived advantage to that change.

        7. Emily, to

          “Even with the SAME MAN… I try initiating, being more of the proactive one, he shies away.”
          I remember being at my friend’s house and watching my friend’s mother give my friend’s brother messages from girls who had called him. We were in high school, and my friend’s family was making fun of the girls who called. So was her brother. If her brother was interested in a girl, he called her himself. And girls were calling all the time. He was very good looking. He could have sat back and let them dance around him. He didn’t want that.

        8. Emily, to

          “So they woo women by paying for them and hoping for desire as reciprocation. If they can’t pay, they worry that no desire will be forthcoming. And for some, if desire is forthcoming without paying, there is a subconscious belief that the woman can’t be a quality woman. Because a quality woman would need money spent on her. Sooo dysfunctional. Result of dysfunctional upbringing, toxic messaging. And reinforced by women saying same. ”
          There are some women (certainly not all) who won’t care if the man pays and plans if she’s really into the guy. As much as you’ve written about wanting to be desired, I’m surprised you didn’t date with that in mind. (No sarcasm meant.) Of course, you won’t know what kind of woman she is a on a first date, but for some women, all the rules she applies to other men won’t apply to the guy she really likes, even against her better judgment.

        9. Bbq

          Emily, to

          In my high schools often the girl would give the guy a letter or note expressing her interest, either by slipping it thru the vents in his locker or having her friends deliver it, usually with some small present (although some were were very over priced, which is hilarious to think about now), then after all that the guy would ask her out (or not as this could come totally unexpected from someone they’d never talked too). I guess in a way it was kind of like the man paying but still with the possibility of being turned down.

          Anyway, I always thought it was sweet and feminine the way they’d pour their hearts out and go to the trouble of getting a gift, yet still be so shy and nervous when you actually responded to this. It definitely made ya feel like a big important man, kind of like some Prince recieving gifts with the presentation of a possible Princess lol.

          I have no idea if this was commonplace in North America at this time, but in my state in my country it was. Your story about the high school kid reminded me of it. Lol, weird.

        10. Emily, to

          “I have no idea if this was commonplace in North America at this time, but in my state in my country it was. Your story about the high school kid reminded me of it. Lol, weird.”
          Every time I read you posts I think: I’m getting old. I don’t understand your generation at all.
          “Your story about the high school kid reminded me of it. Lol, weird.”
          He was getting calls because he was good looking and popular. No, I don’t think other guys were getting that kind of attention, just like the unpopular and unattractive girls weren’t getting attention. And I stress — he didn’t like the girls who were calling. Idk, maybe the fact that they were calling inflated his ego, but he eventually had a long-term girlfriend who he went after.

        11. Bbq

          Emily, to

          Don’t feel bad, I meant my post was the weird one, just that you reminded me of it.
          Why did the girls take it upon themselves to do that lol? No one was asking them too, it wasn’t it on TV or movies at the time.
          I still remember one of my mates being presented with a +$200 dollar pair of basketball shoes at school by a girl, her family had actually helped her buy them to give to him! Crazy!

        12. Jeremy

          Emily, you wrote, “As much as you’ve written about wanting to be desired, I’m surprised you didn’t date with that in mind…. for some women, all the rules she applies to other men won’t apply to the guy she really likes, even against her better judgment.”

          But of course I dated with that in mind, Emily. But here’s the problem: The majority of men are not the sort that women glance at sideways from across a room. This is what YAG means when he talks about top 20% guys. Not that the other 80% never get looked at, but that they get looked at rarely, and usually so covertly that they’ll never know. For those men, myself included, female desire is never felt. So we believe we have to earn it. Which is, after all, what we’ve been taught we have to do. Taught by the elder generation, taught by women. Women who seem happy enough to be with us, as long as we’re dancing the dance. I EXACTLY dated with this in mind. I just believed that I had to earn desire. Other men never had to earn it. The desire they got and the desire I did….not at all the same.

          I believe BBQ is correct that the whole men paying trope is slowly fizzling out. But not because of egalitarianism on women’s part. But rather because women are happy just to go on real dates, and not be right-swiped for a booty call on some Tinder-type app. I think that so many young women today have no idea what they are supposed to even do on dates, what is even supposed to be done by men, confused as they are by the absolutely contradictory stories of modern egalitarianism and their own internal wants. Do they pay because they really want to? Because they really believe they should? Or do they pay half because they believe they HAVE to, that men won’t date them if they don’t? If so, maybe women will start to experience life the way men do. I sort of doubt it, though. Because men still want women more than the reverse.

        13. Emily, to

          “This is what YAG means when he talks about top 20% guys. Not that the other 80% never get looked at, but that they get looked at rarely…For those men, myself included, female desire is never felt. So we believe we have to earn it. … The desire they got and the desire I did….not at all the same.”
          You are probably talking to the wrong person. I have felt very attracted to guys who were probably not in the top 20%. I don’t know why. My father is not remotely handsome! 🙂 Maybe that has something to do with it. Or they dinged off some psychological weirdness in me. Who knows? But they didn’t have to earn my desire. Remember, too, that I’m not really into acts of service or gifts. While those things aren’t horrible, they certainly aren’t a requirement.
          “I believe BBQ is correct that the whole men paying trope is slowly fizzling out…. If so, maybe women will start to experience life the way men do. I sort of doubt it, though. Because men still want women more than the reverse.”
          I don’t think it will ever even out completely. You hit the nail on the head as to why. But men can change that. Women rely on a broader base of people emotionally. If men did the same, instead of relying only on their partners, things would be different. That’s a societal change that would allow deeper male friendships.

        14. Lynx

          To Jeremy’s point: “Men pay for women’s company because men want women more than women want men.”

          There’s an expression, “Women need to fall in love to have sex, men need to have sex to fall in love.” While that is certainly not true for every woman — especially with younger generations as slut-shaming declines — it is true for a lot of women.

          And for some women, having a guy take charge, plan a first date, and pay for it, well, it nudges them toward falling in love, and makes sex more likely. Win-win. For women who earn a decent income, I would bet it’s not so much about the money as wanting to be attracted to a guy that, honestly, she’s not feeling super hot for yet.

          My two cents, could be wrong.

        15. Jeremy

          Lynx, I appreciate your thoughts. I don’t want you to think I am replying to them with any reflexive negativity – I’m not. But I really do think you’re quite wrong here. The expression that you quoted is wrong. Indeed, women absolutely do not need to fall in love to have sex. And men absolutely do not need to have sex to fall in love. In fact, when it comes to love, I’d posit that what makes men fall in love and what makes women fall in love is exactly the same. Connection. Men like sex, men prefer to have it if we can, but sex is not love, and having sex does not make a man fall in love if he isn’t otherwise so inclined.

          If we accept that, for the moment, and suspend disbelief, then consider what the world should look like. Both men and women want to fall in love. Both men and women fall in love based on CONNECTION. If one says that a woman will be nudged toward love by a man planning and paying….how exactly is that connection? It isn’t really, is it? What it is is the feeling of being desired, which in turn makes a woman desire herself, which removes her brakes and allows her to think in a sexual frame of mind, which opens the door for her to feel sexual desire. Not love. Nothing to do with love.

          If a couple sits down over a nice meal and has a deep conversation in which they both feel a connection, that should be the beginning of a basis for love. If a woman then sees that the cheque comes and the man doesn’t entirely pick it up, should that negate the connection she feels? If it does….what does that say about her?

          I won’t say what it says, but I’ll say what it disconfirms. It disconfirms the hell out of the notion that what she wants is to fall in love with a person. Seems far more likely that what she wants is to be shown a role by a PERSONA. That ain’t love.

        16. Lynx

          There you go, @Jeremy, my friend. You have proved I was indeed wrong. Glad I gave myself an out 😉

      3. 14.1.3

        “But how many options does he have otherwise?”

        Exactly Jeremy. His options are not at all connected to his willingness to pay for the entire first date. He may turn certain women off by not picking up the whole cheque, but whether he has other options he can then turn to is based on other factors. Imo a man should improve himself in all those other areas rather than acting from a scarcity mindset.

        That said, I do believe it’s tacky, cheap, and even a bit pathetic when a man insists on splitting say a $25 bill. I’d never act that way based on ideals. I see no problem with it though when the bill is more substantial.

        1. Jeremy

          Shaukat, “His options are not at all connected to his willingness to pay for the entire first date.” – Well, his options for getting a FIRST date are not connected to his willingness to pay, but his options for getting a SECOND date are. Men who have enough of the former don’t need as much of the latter. And frankly, for many women, the fact that the man has those options more than makes up for his willingness to pay in terms of his desirability. It’s all about options.

          ….And also maybe about what he wants. Because a woman looking to settle down and maybe have kids with a man is looking for a different mix of qualities than one looking for sex and excitement. The former is more likely to view his willingness to pay for the date as an important heuristic for his “dad” potential. Does he want to be a dad? Does he want that to be his role? If so, he’s got to act the role. If not, not.

      4. 14.1.4

        Jeremy- you simply nailed it the last time this was discussed and what you said is one of my favorite quotes from this blog. You said the following quote, and the dynamic you mention that women hate is also the dynamic that I hate. Jo asked about men enjoying the dating process.
        “I would say that men enjoy it to varying degrees. Much like women with sex. I would say, EXACTLY like women with sex. The reason women don’t lead with sex during dating, as per my example above, isn’t necessarily because they don’t like it, but rather because they don’t want to be used. In the same way, it’s not that men can’t enjoy a nice evening out with a woman – it’s that we don’t enjoy jumping through someone else’s hoops while being told to expect nothing in return. To plan, pay, initiate, bear all the responsibility and accountability…. And to be told that we’re only quality men of we do so with no expectation of reciprocation. Seriously, do you think women would ever put up with such?

        I realize that the women griping about their past experiences initiating with men aren’t saying that they were rejected, they’re saying they hated the resulting dynamic. The not being sure the guy desired them at all, the having to jump through hoops to earn affection. Do they not realize…. That’s exactly how it ALWAYS is for men? That the dynamic they hate is the other gender’s norm? THAT is what men dislike, Jo.”

        1. Jeremy

          Yes, I remember writing that, Scott, and I still agree with what I said then (surprise?). But my point then wasn’t to say that women should reciprocate money for money. It was to explain to any women who cared to understand men, that what men wanted to reciprocate for their courtship efforts was female desire. Not money. Not sewing clothes, not making dinners, not marriage and household chores. Desire. Honest answer, Scott – if a woman was really into you, overtly so, would you mind paying for the dates?

        2. Adrian

          Hi Jeremy,

          How have you been? I haven’t been on the blog in awhile, glad to see that you’re still commenting…

          I agree with everything you’ve been saying on this blog post. However, something I don’t completely understand is your definition of desire. I am assuming you’re meaning it as a verb and not a noun, something expressed through action.

          I remember when you and SparklingEmerald and Miss Happy first debated over this issue because, they misunderstood what you were saying. It is the same thing you’re trying to say to Scott which is, women do court man and women do expressed desire but they do it in a way that denotes how woman would want to be courted & desired not how a male would be want to be courted & desired.

          So this is why I asked what would be examples of a woman showing you desire if you do not want her cooking for you or making you gifts?… I am asking for myself as well by the way.

        3. Jeremy

          Hi Adrian. Nice to see you here again, I hope you’ve been well.

          Yes, I definitely meant desire in the sense of being the recipient of a woman’s action rather than her state of being. It’s easy enough for women to understand, I think. You know what you want him to do for you? Do it for him. But in kind, not in substance. Words…

          Here’s what I mean. What we give is almost always what we want to receive. A person whose love language is words will give words of love, not only to express love to a partner, but also to teach that partner what to give back in return. What is desired. A woman who obsesses over a man wants that man to obsess over her. A man who courts a woman with outrageous courtship efforts wants such efforts back from her…in kind. He doesn’t want her to take him to dinner, to plan or pay – that’s his job. Her doing so takes away from his efforts. But he wants her EFFORTS back, not just her appreciation (though he does want the appreciation too). But the efforts should be in the realm he perceives as her realm, not his. Generally the realm of sexuality, though for some men it could be other things.

          Men don’t want to have to do all the sexual work. We don’t want to risk rejection every time we touch women. We don’t want to have to win a woman’s interest. We want her to express interest in us. A flirty smile. A sideways look across a room. A kiss, initiated by her. A touch on the leg. Sometimes more. Doesn’t have to be at the level of porn (in which women almost always initiate), but that’s the idea.

          Jo’s point is valid – some men get freaked out by too much of a flipped script. Not because they don’t want the desire, but because they are surprised and don’t know how to react. They are not used to being on the defensive, and they panic. But they panic because the experience is just so unusual. Were it not unusual, it would not be frightening.

          I recall a woman I dated in my early 20s. Took her to a movie on our first date. She took my hand as we watched, held it and stroked it. It was really nice. Really took the pressure off me to break the touch barrier. Really showed me, in a limited way at least, that she was interested in more than sitting and watching a movie. I didn’t at all regret paying for the tickets. Even the popcorn! 🙂

        4. Emily, to

          “It was to explain to any women who cared to understand men, that what men wanted to reciprocate for their courtship efforts was female desire. Not money. Not sewing clothes, not making dinners, not marriage and household chores.”
          But for some women, they may need time to get to know the man. She may like him but not be ready for all kinds of physical affection on date one. Or even date 2. Desire is a strong word

        5. Jeremy

          I realize, Emily. That’s what we men are complaining about. The having to bear the burden of courtship until the woman feels she wants to start reciprocating. It is indeed a burden. But it’s less of one if the woman actually knows how to reciprocate, when she finally decides to do so.

        6. Bbq


          For me, talk of flipping the script or men seeing it as their job to pay and plan (which entails all of phoning a restaurant most times, wow what manly effort! no wonder they like it!) is somewhat missing the mark.

          The point is, it’s not seen as manly to pay by a lot of men now or unmanly not to, that’s not a consideration. it’s seen by them as rude when women don’t pay. It’s Like someone eating all the snacks of a shared plate or taking up two seats when there’s no others left. It’s gone beyond the point of any concern about gender etiquette and straight into the realm of basic social etiquette.

          Some women may not want that to be the case but who cares? They’ll get the picture.

        7. Adrian

          Hi Jeremy,

          Before I respond to your response to my previous question about desire, let me first ask you this:

          You said, “Man want women more than women want men”

          Since Mrs. Happy is not around I’m gonna use one of the forbidden words the “P” word.

          Does this “Power” imbalance ever even out or get close to equal? Or perhaps I should rephrase the question. I remember you often spoke of the difficulties in your marriage and the relationship of other couples you observed because of this power imbalance to the point where when I was last on the blog you spoke of seeking therapy because of the PTSD that this imbalance in your marriage caused you.

          If you were to go back to when you were young and single what would you do to help ensure more equality in your relationship? I agree with Evan that it’s not about fair or unfair it’s about what works with women whether we men like it or not.

          But I also feel like there has to be a way to show women how you want to be treated without scaring them off because I agree unless you’re a YAG, most men aren’t inundated with a plethora of options. However, women have so many options that it’s easier for them to “next” you and wait for a guy who will only accept what she’s willing to give and how she’s willing to give it.

          So big bring Jeremy what would you do differently to ensure more equality in a relationship in the way that you want to receive it not the way your partner wants to give it? I’m working under the assumption that since your wife and you have set up a routine that has existed for decades getting her to change would be harder but if you were thirty and dating again knowing what you know now you could possibly think of a way to navigate around this problem.

        8. Jeremy

          What would I have done differently, Adrian? Nothing in the beginning. I did it right. And I say that after years and years of introspection into that very question. My relationship as it was during the courtship period was very happy, and not at all filled with angst, argument, or lack of desire. Yes, I paid for the first few dates. Seems to me that I paid for most of the dates. But I didn’t mind doing so, because she reciprocated with the emotional receptivity and sexuality that I wanted.

          Adrian, the marital conflict that I’ve so often described here on this blog was a complex result of what happens when couples have children and fail to take perspective. When they instead internalize certain societal messages, along with being consumed by their own stresses. It is common as hell, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with what we are discussing here. The problem during my marital difficulties never was a lack of egalitarianism. It was the fact that my wife perceived herself as having to do EVERYTHING herself.

          I mean, imagine for a moment, suspend disbelief – imagine a woman who has just carried a pregnancy for 9 months at severe hardship to her physical and emotional well-being. Just given birth, dealing with a cranky baby, home all day, stressed, sleep deprived. Sees her husband leading a relatively normal life from her POV. Body not changed, work not much changed. And HE wants something from HER? If he spent all day every day doing things for her, it STILL wouldn’t right the power balance in her eyes, would it? She sees herself as the disadvantaged one.

          THAT was my problem, Adrian. Blindness caused by a perception of power running the OPPOSITE direction from the way I saw it run. THAT is a difficult problem to solve, Adrian. But the one we’re talking about here? Not so much. Pick a woman who is happy to give you what you want. And decide what that is. You want a woman who will pay her equal share? Cool. They’re out there. What are you willing to trade for it? Femininity? Emotional receptivity? Realize that there will likely BE a trade. You want a woman who is overtly sexual, who will go after you physically? Cool, they’re out there. What are you willing to trade for it? Modesty? Emotional receptivity? Sanity?

          What do you need, what do you want, what can you live without, what are you better off without?

        9. Emily, to

          “That’s what we men are complaining about. The having to bear the burden of courtship until the woman feels she wants to start reciprocating. ”
          Is there no other way to feel the women is reciprocating other that it getting physical? I guess for the modern woman it’s probably better if she pays for herself on the date. That way, after 2 dates and her decision to decline a third, he doesn’t feel taken advantage of. And then she doesn’t feel any pressure to get physical if she’s not interested in doing so. A lot of dating is trial and error. The likelihood a woman lands a series of dates with different men with whom she knows pretty early on she wants to get physical is probably pretty low.

      5. 14.1.5

        Scott – “if a woman was really into you, overtly so, would you mind paying for the dates?”
        Jeremy- nothing stings worse than to initiate/plan/pay and then get ghosted, or blown off. I hate bad investments, maybe has something to do with all my stock market losses.
        I was thinking back to some relationships I had and I do remember feeling somewhat resentful of how the woman assumed that I was always picking up the check, kinda like a kid assume the parent will pick it up. It seems that women just assume that if we’re dating, I’m paying. But my biggest beef is the first few dates where there is no real affection. As stated above by another poster, it’s common for us all to go on hundreds of dates and for the guy to be responsible for the cost, it gets very expensive very quickly for guys and it’s a privilege for the woman that many seem to think they’re entitled to. I do my best to avoid spending any significant money on the first few dates as has been suggested to me on this site.
        Now, I did have instances where the women were classy (IMO) and they picked up the check because they decided we weren’t going to see each other again. Once, a woman insisted on picking up the check and told me that she knew how men were taken advantage of, and she DID want to see me again, and we did. She even sent me an article about how 30% of the women go on dates just to get free meals.
        So it occurred to me just tonight on a walk why this is my hot button topic. About 20 years ago, my manager wanted to get me promoted but told me, verbatim, that there weren’t enough spots for white males. A part time woman ended up getting the promotion and it felt like the worst punch in the gut. Literally sucked the wind out of me. It’s a $100B+ company.
        One final thing before I leave this conversation- there definitely are some Type C women out there but my experience has been that there are far more type T women. The descriptions I posted are composites of women I’ve met, plus some comments from Match profiles and comments from this blog. The T stands for Traditional and C for Contemporary.
        Jeremy- I’ve really enjoyed your thoughts and comments. I’ve literally copied and saved some of them. Thanks for sharing. I think it’s time for me to exit.

        1. Jeremy

          I’d be sorry if you did exit, Scott. I think your thoughts are valuable. And I understand as well as anyone how such topics can lead to spiralling negativity.

          You wrote, “My biggest beef is the first few dates where there is no real affection.” Exactly. I know. So what are you paying for, right? If you argue that you’re paying for the opportunity to develop affection, why should that only be valuable to the man? I know. Makes no sense. I acknowledged that it’s sexist and anachronistic. If you can find a type C woman whom you like and who likes you, all the better. My problem was that the type C women often came with attitudes that I found unattractive or incompatible in other realms.

          One couple with whom we’re friends has a very type C wife. Was very vocal about not wanting an engagement ring, no diamonds for her, splitting the cheque for all the dates, feminist all the way. Ok, cool. But she’s also shrill and grating as hell. No softness, no femininity. Her husband is so henpecked. Another couple I know – both lawyers, wife extremely feminist, equality in everything. SUCH a ball-buster. Like, if the term “boner-shrinker” had a pictorial definition in Webster’s dictionary, it would have her picture beside it. There’s feminism, and then there’s using feminism as a cudgel.

          This is not to imply that there’s necessarily a correlation between a woman wanting to pay her share of dating versus such behavior. There isn’t necessarily. But I have found that there is less selection among those women who insist on paying their share, and such behavior is perhaps more common in that subset, if that makes sense? You want a very feminine woman? There is a cost. She’ll expect that you pick up the tab for the first few dates. It’s not the cost to her, it’s the cost of keeping options open. I think.

        2. jo

          Jeremy, Emily, Scott – lots of interesting ideas to unpack here. Jeremy, your answer here is hilarious, and I think it partially answers Emily’s question above, of ‘can the woman reciprocate in any way other than physically?’. Your implied answer, and the one I would have given too, is that a form of reciprocation that all the men in my experience seem to appreciate is a feminine attitude. That’s expressed in how one dresses and grooms oneself, and in how one acts around the man. In today’s PC world, it’s a little hard to talk about this without invoking groans in the more woke. But… we all know it exists.

          The thing that I think many men don’t know is that it really is hard work, and often perceived as a sacrifice, for women to act this way if in every other realm of life, we must be go-getters and independent and strong. Because then we have to keep switching our personae back and forth, which feels unnatural and inherently wrong, as though we’re sacrificing some real part of ourselves to put on a show for another.

          Not that women should all adopt the boner-shrinker attitude that Jeremy describes hilariously 🙂 if we want to be the ‘C’ women that Scott describes, but what I would like to ask you is this: Is the way these women behave really so different from how men behave? Because if it really turns out to be the same, then that is a logical price (lack of femininity) for what certain men expect in return: NOT to have to pay, or in any case to split bills. Why should women do the back-and-forth switching out personalities thing, which is tiresome and doesn’t feel natural (you men should try it if you don’t believe me) – if we’re paying for ourselves? Maybe men do want femininity, in which case they ought to give masculinity in the form of providership after all?

          Rhetorical questions since I’m thankfully out of the dating world, but these are real questions for the future of dating.

        3. Jeremy

          I think you’re probably right, Jo. I have no doubt whatsoever that being feminine is a challenge for many women. I’d sort of offer a chicken-and-egg question as to which is the natural state and which is the adaptation – the masculine persona or the feminine. And, of course, the answer will vary by the woman and her personality. Some are feminine all the time, some have built a masculine artifice for their work and sink back into a natural state when away from work, others adopt a feminine persona for dating which is an effortful digression from their naturally masculine personality. And some are butch all the time.

          I’d only add that your suggestion for men to “try it out sometime” is exactly what Scott and I were talking about. The persona of the man who plans, pays, adopts a leadership role – that persona isn’t natural for every man. Not even most men. Men do, indeed, “try out” personas not natural to them. I’d posit, in fact, that it is far more difficult for men to extricate themselves from their persona than it is for women. Women, I’ve observed, tend to care less about their persona as they age. Men care at least as much, possibly more. Doubly-bound.

          Indeed, I agree with your penultimate sentence – that if men want femininity in women, maybe they should offer masculinity in the form of providership. Sounds fair. And true to form, men’s expression is encased in what we do, while women’s is in who they are. Action vs state of being. Not quite the same. Both are effortful, but one is concrete and the other abstract. Like a Land for Peace deal. Not quite a fair trade. Because I know very well what land means, what does peace mean? I know what paying for a date means. What does femininity mean? Eye of beholder type thing. If it was universal, men wouldn’t complain.

        4. Emily, to

          As corny as it sounds, women relax in their femininity around men who are masculine. I’m not necessarily talking about paying for dates but what I call “tcbing” — taking care of business. The person I was around my grandfather was very different than the person I am around my father, who, as long as I can remember, has had women, for lack of a better description, kind of take over things for him. It’s not necessarily the role I want to play but that’s his personality.

        5. Bbq

          Jeremy and jo

          This may seem like a rude thing to say (or angry to Jo), but the truth that neither of you seem to understand or acknowledge is that the only femine response to men paying for dates and taking part in the rituals of dating which show things associated with masculine roles like providing in courtship that actually motivates them to do so, was to become their wives for life and bear and raise their children. And to have men know and expect them to do so and be assured of their place in this picture.

          A feminine turn of way may be nice and all, but if you think that is enough to motivate this in men in the majority across generations when the above things are long missing you are deluding yourself. The reality is there are no small shows of femininity that are enough to motivate it, because the small shows of masculinity like this are all signaling a long term ability which no longer has a counter point to match it (by which I mean what is it that they are showing there ability to provide for exactly?).

          The reality is the shows of femininity are empty because she isn’t excpecting to fill any type of longstanding type of feminine role like the one above (or at least the man has no way of knowing that she willl).
          An actual reciprocation with a empty show of masculinity for an equally empty show of femininity wouldnt be for the man to pay for the date. It would be more like the man and women combining money and then the man pretending to pay for the whole date (but not actually doing so), and so putting on an empty show of being a provider that wouldn’t eventualize, in the same way women’s shows of femininity don’t lead to them actually taking up old feminine roles. But this isn’t what is being suggested by the women here.

  15. 15

    @jeremy: look up!

    [Technical note: maybe I have suddenly forgotten how to click the correct “Reply” link, but I could swear I clicked the subordinate reply to 12.1, but ended up here]

  16. 16

    Hi ScottH,

    Not to disregard your experiences but again I agree with Evan courting is the cost of doing business.

    I was reading the process of what doctors have to go through at the end of medical school to get a residency/job. They have to pay out of their own pocket to fly all over the country, pay for the hotel stay, the cab ride, and their food while there. All this money JUST to be interviewed… NO job guarantee. I’ve read that the average number of hospitals they apply to and interview for can be up in the double digits.

    Most medical students are broke and largely in debt. So why do they do this? Why don’t they complain? Because it is a long term investment that is worth it in the end. Put in the work now and make the sacrifices to have the reward in the end. Is not dating the same? How many times has Evan and other married men talked about the benefits of being in a good long-term relationship? How many times has Evan quoted study after study that shows that on average women do more and give more in relationships? Studies that show people-especially men-are happier in relationships than being single?… Courtship seems like a worthy investment to me when you know you are almost guaranteed to get back more than you put in at the beginning.

    You said, “So it occurred to me just tonight on a walk why this is my hot button topic. About 20 years ago, my manager wanted to get me promoted but told me, verbatim, that there weren’t enough spots for white males. A part time woman ended up getting the promotion and it felt like the worst punch in the gut. Literally sucked the wind out of me.”

    So… Because of something one company did and now you are bitter towards all women? Why blame women who were not there or who were not part of the company? How many times have women on this site said over and over that it’s not the money/cost of the date that matters but the effort?

    And finally that 30% study you quoted. Yes that sounds bad… Until you realize that it ALSO means that 70% of women do NOT use men for free meals.

    1. 16.1
      Mrs Happy

      Hi Adrian,

      Yes I’ve often thought about your point above regarding “Courtship seems like a worthy investment to me when you know you are almost guaranteed to get back more than you put in at the beginning.”

      People are writing a lot about the effort involved in organising dates. I’m not belittling mental work, but seriously, suggesting a night, time and restaurant, to someone who has said yes she wants to spend time with you, is hardly the most challenging feat of your day, surely. And if it is, good grief, you might need a more interesting job, or some more cognitively challenging hobbies or friends.

      In every single married couple I see, there is a pattern of the man having organised the first couple of dates, then each individual contributing roughly equally w.r.t. effort (maybe not cost, and this usually depending on earning potential and role acceptance, though I’m sure personality comes into it) while they are in a committed relationship, then, once married, the woman forevermore doing almost or 100% of the social organising for the couple or family, plus his extended family, even down to buying his family’s Christmas presents. Talk about a small token effort at the beginning, for a lifetime of reward, w.r.t. booking a few restaurants in the first month of knowing one another. Jeez.

      Like my hubby: in the first weeks of dating he cooked me dinner twice, and I thought, wow, pretty good, I’ve found a man who can and will cook. For the next about oh EIGHT YEARS I cooked every evening meal for us. I now view those 2 dinners as false advertising, like a push-up bra. (I just showed him this paragraph and he laughed in what I am convinced is a guilty manner.)

      And Adrian, don’t think I didn’t see your naughty word above. I’m watching you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

      1. 16.1.1

        Mrs happy

        Are people writing a lot about the mental effort of organising dates tho?
        Organising a date is maybe a phone call at most, who’s complaining about that? I don’t understand either the so called difficulty of doing it or why any woman is impressed by it. Someone help me out?

    2. 16.2

      Adrian- 30% are pretty terrible odds against the male, if that is indeed accurate and it speaks to the prevalence of entitlement among women.

      Your med student analogy is completely irrelevant so I will not address that.

      Do you remember YAG’s story about the time he arranged to meet a woman for drinks only to arrive and find that she’s seated herself at a table and ordered dinner? He rightfully excused himself to the bathroom and left (I think that’s how the story goes.) That kind of mentality that so many women have (NOT ALL, for sure) is what drives me crazy and I believe it should drive all men insane. If we stopped tolerating this behavior, women would have no choice but to also change. They want us as much as we want them.

      Women fought hard for equality in the workplace. They have had the same pay and opportunities (if not more so!) as men. Now that they have equality, along with it comes the associated rights, responsibilities, and privileges of EQUALITY. As I’ve said many times before on this blog, women want the same promotion as men from 9-5 but from 5-9 they want chivalry. That is simply hypocritical bullshit. I find it interesting that 99% of sanitation workers are still men. What happened to equality in the workplace? Oh, that only applies to desirable jobs, silly me……

      You mention doing what’s effective. I believe that is doing what someone else wants you to do. Do you not have limits? Boundaries? What about what you and I want? What if I wanted and expected a bj on the first date? They would scoff at us for having such an expectation. As Jeremy skillfully said, “…we don’t enjoy jumping through someone else’s hoops while being told to expect nothing in return. …. And to be told that we’re only quality men of we do so with no expectation of reciprocation. Seriously, do you think women would ever put up with such?” Why should men put up with it? And I believe the answers are that women have the power to get that from us. That a bigger fool will come along and suck up to the desires of the hot woman.

      All this talk about fitting into masculine and feminine roles makes my eyes gloss over. Of course I want a feminine woman and I expect her to want a masculine man. The antiquated custom being discussed here does not have to define those roles. How about, I want a nice contemporary feminine woman who has fair expectations of the courting process and will not soak me and then walk away if I dare do something she found distasteful. I dated someone a while back for a short time. She was masterful in telling me what she wanted and getting me to jump like a circus dog. She literally ordered me to do things with her eyes like a border collie herding sheep. It was totally disgusting. But she was super hot and had an accent, so I was pu$$y blind and without boundaries.

      Dr Phil would definitely call me a “right fighter” and then he would say that such people are usually lonely.
      Go ahead and be a people pleaser. I’d rather be lonely.
      And I’m sure Evan would like this to end.

      1. 16.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        You ever notice that those who complain the most about reality (both men and women) are the ones who refuse to accept it? Far more likely to focus on being “right” than being “effective.”

      2. 16.2.2
        Mrs Happy

        When I read YAG’s story I was surprised by a number of things, including that he he left, but I wondered whether his interpretation of why she’d ordered food before he arrived was correct.

        She arrives way before him, really early. YAG is ex-military, and military men do not turn up late to dates, they’re either precisely on time or annoyingly early. For her to have enough time to wait, be seated, get the menu, and order, all before YAG arrives, means she got there say 20-30 minutes early. Why?

        The generally accepted etiquette is, it’s okay to order a drink while you wait for your companion to arrive, but not usually food, you order food after they arrive. So why did she order food? It’s a very unusual thing for a woman to do. Women observe the social niceties and most won’t make a bold move like that, it’s not good manners, and manners are drilled into females (into all people, but women follow social rules more) from an early age. It’s also considered somewhat unfeminine to have a big appetite.

        Putting those together, when I initially read his story, I thought it reasonably likely she got there quite early and planned to quickly buy herself some food before the date started. But then YAG arrives early and she hasn’t eaten it yet. Maybe she has worked all day, was too busy to eat lunch, so last ate last night at dinner, and is famished. Maybe she has just come off a religious or medical fast. I don’t know. YAG more knows what sort of person she is, not much more because he left without spending much time together, but he’d read the situation with more info than I have. I just thought it was quite likely she just ordered food because she was hungry, and needed something to eat, so as to ward off a headache or whatever, before their date started, especially if she knows they are just having drinks and otherwise she won’t get to eat for a few hours.

        I’d not leave if a man did that, though I’d wonder about his manners, but if it was just a plate of appetizers or something to snack on over his initial drink, I’d just think he had a good appetite and not be fussed at all, in fact probably on balance like it. (I’m always trying to feed up well-framed men. I want their muscles to stay big.) If he’d ordered his entire dinner before I’d arrived, I’d stay partly to work out why he did it, because that’s just odd, and partly because I’m already there and not going to leave over something like that after I’d made effort to look presentable and go out. But I’d not feel any pressure to pay for his meal at the end, so I appreciate I can more comfortably afford to indulge my curiosity here.

        YAG’s issue was that he would have felt uncomfortable not offering to pay at the end. There are some men who wouldn’t feel that discomfort, at the end they’d say to her, ‘you ate, I’ll pay for drinks and you can pay for your dinner’, so they would have stayed.

        If the woman planned to just buy her own food she was probably shocked and hurt YAG left as he did. She probably would have assumed he didn’t like her looks, maybe behaviour. Leaving like that is a harsh way to communicate that to someone. But YAG is coming at this experience after paying tens of thousands of dollars for dates, so he (and other men) are understandably sensitive to being hurt themselves. And YAG, like most men, likes women with more feminine behaviour and better manners, more ability to consider and do what is comfortable for him. Nothing wrong with that, we all like good manners, and manners are all about making the people around you comfortable. She made YAG uncomfortable.

        1. ScottH

          Mrs Happy- about 30 years ago, I had a conversation with a former boss who was in the navy on submarines. We were talking about how we track the Russians and how they track us and look for signs of launching missiles and other aggression. I remember asking him what happens if they make a noise that sounds like aggression but isn’t. He said that they are very careful not to do that.
          A long winded way of saying that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guys are going to think it’s a duck. We are very simple minded creatures. You know that.
          Or Occam’s Razor. If she orders dinner while on a date, she’s going to expect us to pay. Refer back to the 30% statistic. It’s just plain rude to do what she did. No buts, or maybes, or probablys.
          Be very careful not to do things that can be interpreted in ways that you don’t want. Especially these days in the US.
          I say, good for YAG, even though he called me cheap.

        2. jo

          Scott, I would hope that you wouldn’t act as YAG did if you found yourself in a similar situation. His response smacks of extreme defensiveness, and lack of ability or willingness to communicate – not just unattractive qualities, but also poor indicators of relationship skills.

          Like Mrs Happy, I could easily see a situation in which a woman had agreed to meet a man for drinks, but then got hungry, so she ordered herself food and may well have already paid the bill for that, or else intended to do so. For a man to react that defensively if he saw her eating food seems… pathetic. Surely he could have asked her for clarification if he was THAT worried about springing for her food. Surely he himself could have considered that his date might be hungry (kind of a human thing, you know?). But to just vanish on her like, leaving her no notice or explanation for such a small ‘offense’ (if it were even that), that is so rude and immature – beyond dating, a profoundly antisocial way to interact with anyone.

          Mrs Happy is being kind when she tries to excuse such defensive behaviour based on possible past experiences. But might I invoke Evan’s oft-repeated advice, which is: not to bring baggage from past relationships (or one-time encounters) to foist onto the person immediately in front of us now. Every human being is different. Common courtesy and a willingness to ask questions and communicate are always wise. There’s no macho points in being such a boor.

    3. 16.3

      Adrian- I will respond to your medical school comment.
      You do know that there are now several medical schools that are tuition free (my favorite word): NYU, Washington University, Cornell, Columbia, Cleveland Clinic, Geffen in Calif. They went from $250k to near $0. Some even offer free books and food. Look it up.
      I believe this change would fall under the category of “reform.”
      Now let me ask you: are you doing what you believe in, or are you doing what someone else is telling you what you should think and do to get the desired results, people with vested interests?
      People with advantages and benefits fight tooth and nail to maintain them and make all kinds of strange arguments to defend them. Beware. The dating model that a lot of women my age adhere to goes back to the 1950’s and even much older.

    4. 16.4

      Hi Adrian,

      I’ve heard this type of analogy before, and I think it’s completely misplaced for this reason: it assumes men should interact with women the same way you would respond to a high powered employer/company. I have no interest in doing that because it sets the wrong dynamic in terms of what I’d be looking for.

      1. 16.4.1

        Hi Shaukat,

        You have been on this blog for a long time and this is one of the points that you have continually argued with Evan against so anything I say will not do anything to persuade you.

        Therefore all I will say is if it is working for you that is all that matters. Though I must admit that you do not come off as emotionally bitter towards dating as some of the other men who are vehemently against paying so I do not understand why you continue to argue whenever this subject comes up; if having women pay half is working for you why comment?

        1. shaukat

          Hi Adrian,

          You’re right, I’m not bitter at all and have been seeing someone for awhile now. I’m also not opposed to picking up the tab on principle (I’ve done it many times). The reason I give push back on this issue is because I honestly think it could send the wrong message to younger men with little experience that paying/courting is all you need to be successful with women. I’m not saying this is the msg Evan is sending, nor should he necessarily focus on the other elements of attraction for men (after all, he is a dating coach for women). But since courting seems to be the only issue that’s ever brought up when it comes to male dating strategies here, I sometimes feel the need to push back, that’s all.

  17. 17

    Hello Bbq, Lynx, and Jo,

    Bbq said, “The point is, it’s not seen as manly to pay by a lot of men now or unmanly not to, that’s not a consideration. it’s seen by them as rude when women don’t pay. It’s gone beyond the point of any concern about gender etiquette and straight into the realm of basic social etiquette.”

    No social etiquette is that men pay for dates. No matter how big MGTOW, Red & Black Pills, PUA, and any other group out there think they are; they are only a minority compared to the vast majority of men and women who do follow the etiquette rule of men courting women.

    Men are the pursuers women are the choosers, it is up to the ones that are choosing to decide what is and is not quality traits in the realm of dating a.k.a the definition of a man or masculine. I have been on college campuses with 18 year olds, at parties with 30 year olds, and around enough people over 40 who follow this social dating rule without even thinking about it. I have no idea what some of the guys here are talking about in regards to men no longer choosing to pay, it still happens a lot within all age groups.

    Lynx said, “For women who earn a decent income, I would bet it’s not so much about the money as wanting to be attracted to a guy that, honestly, she’s not feeling super hot for yet.”

    I understand your intent but I am going to slightly disagree with your wording. I think courting has nothing to do with attraction in stead it is used as a filter or interview test to see if the guy is qualified. Most women know if they find a guy attracted or not before they even accept his date request. However, I do agree that how he scores with courting can increase or diminish her ultimate decision on dating him or not… but again that has nothing to do with attraction.

    Jo said, “Why should women do the back-and-forth switching out personalities thing, which is tiresome and doesn’t feel natural (you men should try it if you don’t believe me)”

    But men do; ALL THE TIME! I am not sure how long you have been reading the comments of this blog but Jeremy speaks about this a LOT! The vast majority of things we men do in dating are NOT natural to us, we don’t necessarily enjoy them but we do them because that is what women like. Yes it is exhausting but we do it anyway; obviously your comment was not meant to be condescending so don’t take my reply that way. However, to suggest that men should trying doing something on a post where literally men are complaining about NOT liking what they ARE DOING to win the approval of women seems…

    Jo said, “a form of reciprocation that all the men in my experience seem to appreciate is a feminine attitude. That’s expressed in how one dresses and grooms oneself, and in how one acts around the man… The thing that I think many men don’t know is that it really is hard work, and often perceived as a sacrifice, for women”

    Yes we men do love femininity and appreciate the effort of a woman who dresses and grooms herself so that we find her attractive. What we don’t love is how “some” women are so selfish that they only see their effort. Women get their hair done, men get their hair done, women buy nice outfits, men buy nice outfits, women try to exercise and smell good, men exercise and smell good. Women smile & laugh at his jokes, show enthusiasm to be with him, and try to make him feel good when she is around him, men smile & laugh at her jokes, show enthusiasm to be with her, and try to make her feel good when he is around her.

    Women do nothing unique by being warm, fun, hygienic and groomed-sorry. Nevertheless, many women often tout these things and their subsequent cost as if they are equivalent or greater than what the man invests when he pays for meals, entertainment, trips, etc. while courting a woman. Do you know what happens to men who don’t dress nicely, are hygienic, and have a warm fun personality??? Women don’t choose them as partners. So to say that men are not putting in the SAME amount of effort in trying to be attractive for a woman in addition to what he puts in financially for the actual date is disingenuous… or ignorant. I can not tell which.

    Ultimately pretty much everything leads me back to one of Evan’s core saying, “it’s not about what is fair or unfair it is about what works” and that brings me comfort. Because if you spend all your time looking at the hypocrisy and double standards of both sides you would have a dark view on the opposite gender and dating in general.

    1. 17.1

      Adrian and Jeremy

      No you are very much mistaken. There are some who follow it and many who don’t. The number who don’t increases significantly with each generation, which is obviously directly correlated to the change in society, as I say it’s not a matter of being masculine or not, but more that it’s simply ridiculous to go on doing when a woman’s wallet is as full of cards as your own. In my experience with mostly mid 20’s to mid 30’s I would say about 60% to 70% don’t follow it.

      You say that it is up to women to define what are or aren’t quality traits and this is true in the short term, however makes no real difference to the creeping long term changes. Do you really believe women have set the standard for what was and wasn’t acceptable behaviour for men pursuing women across history? Do you think they have only accepted the things they wanted most in this regard? One look at history should answer your question fairly quickly. This isn’t the greatest thing to say and I’m not saying it with pride, but the reality is their are plenty of times where men have literally traded and bought wives like slaves merely for the benefit attachment to those women could bring in the world of men, do you suppose women were shaping that behaviour based on their romantic courtship preferences?

      I believe you (and probably Jeremy) have bought to deeply into internet theories about who chases and why, and both seem to follow a similar thought to what I believe the red pill term briffults law means (ironic, I see you both as following Mgtow/red pil type logic but going along with it somewhat hopelessly) but what you don’t seem to understand is, by the time the next generation or so comes along those theories change and your theories are pretty useless when applied to ever shifting behaviours.

      In the long term it is Men that make outcasts of other men, and they that decide what is and isn’t acceptable or masculine behaviour amongst themselves and what is to be looked up to and emulated, likewise in the long term this has almost complete influence over female preference for behaviours in the moments of dating. They want the men who are successful in the world of men to whatever degree they can get and is comfortable for them (I am not trying to say they always aim as high as possible), the majority of their preferences rarely come from outside of that.

      This is why you see the trend of not paying slowly creeping in, its the men who don’t do it who are slowly (not through a focused effort or cause lol) changing it. Those who still pay are an ever decreasing number by generation, showing that though women’s presences may have an influence on one man paying in the moment, their long term influence is a non factor in the overall courtship behaviours of men.

      No offence to either of you, but I believe you should both try to expand your thinking beyond simplistic and dogmatic internet red pill or Mgtow theories. Now I’m not saying that either of you are either of those things, only that so much of both of your thinking seems to come from their philoshiphies and ethos, although at least in Jeremy’s case, he seems to apply it in a happy kind of way to a liveable life without the usual bitterness that they have.
      Internet thought when it comes to gender and dating is a lemming hole, don’t make the drop!

      Jeremy and Jo

  18. 18

    @Adrian ~ Hi! It’s been a long time, good to “see” you! To your comment, “Most women know if they find a guy attractive or not before they even accept his date request.”

    This is my own personal experience, so not gonna say any other woman on the planet feels this way. If I waited until I felt physically attracted to a guy to go on a date, then I would be single for the remainder of my days. As one of those 50-something women who’s probably in the 90-somethingth percentile for fitness compared to peers, few men my age, in my area, are physically appealing to me. But if, over the course of a few dates, I find the guy to be clever and witty and a great conversationalist, I can become attracted. But it *never* happens straight out of the gate.

    That’s why I do exactly what @Emily, to mentioned earlier. I pay my own way — sometimes pay for both of us — so that I don’t feel obligated to be affectionate, and the guy doesn’t feel used.

    1. 18.1
      Emily, to

      “This is my own personal experience, so not gonna say any other woman on the planet feels this way. If I waited until I felt physically attracted to a guy to go on a date, then I would be single for the remainder of my days … I can become attracted. But it *never* happens straight out of the gate.”
      I’m going to agree with you on this and I’ve been rethinking this issue. In the last few years, I’ve turned down several dates because I wasn’t feeling it right away and I probably shouldn’t have done that, as feeling it right away is so rare. Maybe, if I’d gotten to know some of them better, I could have enjoyed talking with them and grown to like them over time.

      1. 18.1.1

        Give it a shot! Candidly, with my previous boyfriend, it is difficult for me to think of one physical attribute that I objectively admired. His irises were a nice shade of blue and he did not let himself get too overweight. That’s all I can think of. But he was crazy smart, a lifelong learner, witty, and the most perceptive person I have yet to meet. Appearance was not a factor in the breakup (and the sex was amazing). My logic has been this: if we’re lucky to live long enough, looks disintegrate for all of us. That’s just how it works. So you’d better enjoy one another’s company a *lot*!

        1. Emily, to

          “Appearance was not a factor in the breakup (and the sex was amazing). My logic has been this: if we’re lucky to live long enough, looks disintegrate for all of us.”
          I’m not so much hung up on appearance as chemistry. If I don’t feel some kind of spark right away, I have trouble being interested. But feeling an immediate spark with someone who is available, age appropriate and interested in me … seems like the sun, the moon and the stars would have to align perfectly. But I like the idea of paying my own way on the date. As you wrote, neither side is obligated.

        2. Lynx

          Emily, to,
          “If I don’t feel some kind of spark right away, I have trouble being interested.”
          This stone-cold sober Covid-friendly dating is especially interesting. I’ve been on a few meets that, frankly, if it had been in the right kind of bar setting with the right kind of alcohol, I’d have mistaken inhibition for a spark. So, I actually think this slowed-down dating approach is great for sussing out a true connection.

        3. Emily, to

          “I’ve been on a few meets that, frankly, if it had been in the right kind of bar setting with the right kind of alcohol, I’d have mistaken inhibition for a spark.”
          Blame it on the alcohol! 🙂
          “So, I actually think this slowed-down dating approach is great for sussing out a true connection.”
          Do you accept dates if you feel neutral for the guy? (And then say no to guys you know right away you could never grow interested in?)

  19. 19
    Mrs Happy

    Basically, effort in dating is about increasing your options and eventually being happier, more satisfied, with your final partner, whether that be for a short- or long- term relationship or fling.

    If he pays (or offers to) for the first few dates, and holds the door open, and helps her on with her coat, and works up the confidence to initiate things, he is more likely to appear more attractive to more women (not every woman, but statistically, more). Right or wrong, ethical or not, that is the reality. Whine about the unfairness of having to do all this, including the moral outrage, but whatever.

    If she shaves her legs, wears some make up, does her hair prettily, wears a flattering dress and heels, is friendly and flirts and smiles, she is more likely to appear more attractive to more men (not every man, but statistically, more). Right or wrong, ethical or not, that is the reality. Whine about the need for body hair removal or impractical shoes or lipstick, including railing against feminist principles, have some moral outrage if you want, but whatever.

    It really isn’t rocket science. It’s just simple statistics.

    1. 19.1

      Mrs happy

      I don’t disagree. Tho it is changing significantly each generation (for instance it would be unthinkable to hold the door for men my age without looking like a total weirdo or p***y, you’d be statistically safer not to) But if you do pay expect that it will always be seen as your duty to pay more than your share in the relationship and she will instinctively believe this is a mans role, regardless of whether it makes much sense in the current world. Also expect that she won’t give a second thought to it being your duty to pay and provide if she should leave you midst marriage or Ltr with children (if it should ever come to that), despite these rules not applying and this situation not happening at the time the dating custom of men paying came about. This won’t be just an empty show, if it were she might as well hand you her card and pretend it’s you paying. Start as you mean to continue.

      I think a more accurate comparison to women here would be a woman who consistently presents herself as a wannabe homemaker who does all the cooking and cleaning and picks up after the man and he expects it. Don’t expect he will ever change his expectations.

      After all, don’t women dress and do their make up for themselves and other women only?

      1. 19.1.1
        Mrs Happy

        Dear Bbq,

        if I am going out on a date, I’m not wearing heels, dress, lingerie, makeup, and doing personal grooming, for other women, no. But that’s just me. I’m pretty much all about the man I’m with, and will barely notice the other women in the room. I will notice other men, especially if they are my physical type.

        I appreciate everyone is at a different life stage, but to a married person with a family, worrying about paying for a handful of dinners during the first few months is such a weird debate to hear. Once you’re married, the amount anyone spent on the initial dates is not even a molecule in the drop of the financial Niagara cascading sinkhole that is financially supporting a family, with mortgages, investments, pension plans, paying for kids’: school fees, health costs, clothes, shoes, accommodation, toys, books, food, sports fees; a bigger house for all the people and stuff, family holidays, bigger cars, etc. etc.

        Unless you’re going to sequester your money as personal “me only” money away from your spouse and kids, and need to find a spouse who will be okay with this, how you divided costs on initial dates will probably matter very little. If you have very rigid ways you plan to handle money, then finding a partner who will accept those is important, and then all this debating and watching what women expect, and trying to extrapolate that to how they might manage money if you got together, is fair enough. (Alternatively, you could just ask them.) I do think partners having a similar attitude to money helps a relationship run smoothly just from a practical everyday point. I definitely looked for partners with similar attitudes to money. I didn’t want to argue about money at all, or justify how I spend or save it for the rest of my life (I spend a lot), so it was one of my criteria. My criteria list was fairly long at times though, so I’m no poster child for reasonable dating practices.

        I suppose if you don’t date with the purpose of finding a long term partner, or are hoping to find someone but aren’t successful, being male and repeatedly continually paying for dates with new women, time after time, for decades, would be annoying, especially if the women were entitled. I’ve never dated anyone I thought was entitled. Men complain about entitled women more than vice versa, so maybe there are more entitled females than males, or maybe females accept male entitlement more silently and with less complaining.

        BTW, Bbq, I interact with a lot of men your age, in fact across many ages. Many would naturally let me though doors first, and not sit down until I have. It’s sometimes a generational thing, but sometimes what you see around you and model, or are taught.

        When I was in my teens and early 20’s I would explain I could hold my own door, thanks. Now I just say thank you and smile, realising his gesture doesn’t indicate I can’t. Wisdom with age.

        1. Bbq

          Mrs Happy

          I would guess men and women are both entitled as hell with each other, in both different and similar ways and probably in ways were not even aware of. I completely agree about choosing partners with similar attitudes to money.

          For me it’s not about cumulative cost. I haven’t been on a first date for a fair while and I was never going on dates every other day of the week. Thinking I’m going to lose a lot of money wasn’t even part of my reason for being against it, the money is nothing and it’s not the idea of absolute equality in all things I care about either. Its the idea behind this specific act of paying which I feel speaks to something deeper I don’t like, an attitude I find distasteful in today’s world and tbh nasty (unintentional or not). For me holding a door or so on wouldn’t be a big problem for me if most women liked it, but this is.

          Having said that I’m genuinely surprised that younger and middle aged men wait for you to sit first and get the door, I believe you but I’ve honestly never seen that once in my life.

  20. 20

    I have close friend who has been married for nearly twenty years. She likes to talk about how her husband courted her. He did all the calling and asking and the sweet gestures. But I knew her when she was dating her future husband. She seems to forget that she cleaned his apartment every week, that she cooked his favorite meal regularly, that she lent her car to him while she took the bus and that she asked her grandfather to loan him money so he could afford a ring. Who is courting who? Who pays and who asks is spitting hairs. If you want something and you don’t want to ask or pay, you still make your wishes brutally obvious.

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