How Can I Turn Drinks into Dinner Without Scaring Guys Off?

How Can I Turn Drinks into Dinner Without Scaring Guys Off

I’ve been reading your blog for about two years now and your book ‘Why He Disappeared‘ really helped me get over a failed relationship. Thank you! I have been dating in London for over a year now and I don’t understand something…

When you talk about dates, you usually talk about meeting a man for dinner, him planning the date, etc. I’d like to go on that kind of date, but what I usually get is invitations for drinks, a popular phrase is ‘something casual’. I said yes to several of those and they were mostly disappointing. They either invite me to go to a pub, or have no idea where to go at all and leave it to me to decide on the place. After a drink or two, if it’s going alright, I suggest having dinner – they never do – but it’s usually about 8pm and I’m hungry, and again, they have no idea where to go.

I thought it was the fault of dating apps – that’s what I’ve been using to meet men, so I signed up for e-Harmony, still the same result. So my question to you is, what should I do in this situation? I realize I hate drinks dates. I don’t think it gives anyone a chance to impress anyone; I’m not going to wear heels to go to a pub.

A couple of people suggested meeting for a coffee. If they don’t know me well enough to risk spending two hours having dinner with me, we could chat a bit more, or talk on the phone. I personally don’t mind spending a couple of hours getting to know a new person over dinner; I do not see anything threatening in a dinner date situation.

Am I missing something? I tried telling one guy I was talking to online that I don’t know what to make of drinks dates… he never wrote back. How do I explain to people that I don’t think drinks are a good idea without putting them off? Or do I meet them, have one drink and then say ‘sorry, I have to go’? I would really appreciate your help with this!


I feel for you, Katerina.

But the greatest gift I can give you right now is not sympathy; it’s actually teaching you to understand the male point of view regarding your common situation.

Have you ever talked with a man about his dating experience? Have you ever read the male commenters on this blog? It’s not that you’re “wrong” to hope to have dinner on a first date; it’s that you seem to have no empathy for the male dating experience. It’s not even that you’re callous about it; it’s that you’re clueless — the same way men are clueless when they ask you out on a date without a plan. So…

If you’re a quality man with an average profile, you write 100 generic emails to the 100 most attractive women on the website.

If you’re lucky, 20 will write back.
If you’re unlucky, 10 will write back.
If you’re delusional about the kind of women you can get online, 0 will write back.

Now, when this man finally does get responses, they’re not unlike the responses you get from men: short, awkward, stilted, poorly spelled, incurious.

Out of those 20 emails, only 10 may be worth a second response.

Of those 10 emails, only 5 might get to the point of exchanging phone numbers.

Yes, you were missing something: an understanding of the male dating experience.

Of those 5, only 3 might end up on a first date.

Of those 3 first dates, one might be in a bad place in life, one might not find him attractive, and one might have lied about her weight and age. So…

How do you feel if you’re this man?
How do you feel about dating?
How do you feel about yourself?
How do you feel about women?

Probably pretty shitty.

Make no mistake: most men expend a LOT of energy for very little reward.

But it doesn’t end there.

It seems to men that no matter what they do, they’re doing it wrong.

    – Push too fast to meet? You’re a stalker.
    – Take too long to meet? You’re a player with too many options.
    – Spend a lot of money on a first date? Too intimate. Too much pressure to put out.
    – Spend too little money on a first date? He’s cheap. Selfish. A serial dater.

What do most guys do in light of all of this? Exactly what you described

    a. Choose a casual, low-stakes place for coffee or drinks, so he doesn’t have to spend too much time or money on a woman who, 75% of the time, will not become a second date. (Presuming there’s a 50% chance you don’t like him and a 50% chance he doesn’t like you.)

    b. Ask “What do YOU want to do?” He figures if he asks you, he can’t get it wrong. (Which is, of course, the wrong answer. You don’t want him to ask you where to go. You want him to make the decision YOU would, picking anything – except a coffee shop, bar, pub, chain restaurant, or fancy restaurant, as long as it’s well-reviewed, local, and you haven’t eaten there recently. How could he go wrong?)

None of those is to suggest that your desire to have a better first date connection is a foolish one. If anything, I completely agree with you and have written extensively about the value of building up trust, rapport and anticipation BEFORE the first date to ensure that you go on better first dates.

Most guys don’t like the odds of splurging on dinner with a stranger, so the trick is in making him invest in you PRIOR to your first date.

To answer your question more pointedly, Katerina, yes, you were missing something: an understanding of the male dating experience.

Now that you know that:

    A) Men face more rejection in a month than you’ve likely faced in your lifetime.
    B) Men get stuck paying for a new woman each week who doesn’t come as advertised or doesn’t like him in return, and…
    C) Men don’t know (or care) what you want out of a date — they’re just trying to see if there’s chemistry before investing a lot of money…

Perhaps that will help you have more empathy for these poor clueless schmucks.

Now that you do, your best bet to get a guy to WANT to take you out to dinner?

Follow my 2/2/2 rule as outlined in my TED talk and Finding the One Online — and watch as men step up to the plate like never before.

In summation, most guys don’t like the odds of splurging on dinner with a stranger, so the trick is in making him invest in you PRIOR to your first date. Not by demanding dinner after your first eHarmony email, but by flirting and leading him from email to the phone to a date over the course of a week.

My Love U clients SWEAR that this is the most life-changing thing they’ve ever learned about online dating, so please, don’t knock it until you’ve taken my course and tried it yourself.

Join our conversation (516 Comments).
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  1. 1

    London has the most amazing selection of upmarket cafes and cocktail/wine bars. Their prices aren’t that much higher (if at all) than the pub, as going out in London comes at a price wherever you go. Added bonus: you are not  competing for attention with a huge TV screen showing the latest rugby match.  There is such a huge amount of choice, you are really not doomed to the grimy pub that still smells of cigarette and pee of patrons long past. How about going to one of the chiquer places as a compromise? He doesn’t have to spend a fortune ( A couple of beers/glasses of wine is a fraction of the price he would pay at a restaurant) and you get to dress up without having to look out of place.

    I nixed coffee by day as a date plan, as it is way too casual. The stakes are really too low, and i notice that people put less effort in the date itself as it’s rushed and feels like nothing out of the ordinary. But drinks at a nighttime venue still feels date-like enough, and people seem to open up more and relax during the date.

  2. 2

    Addition: And eat beforehand or order a few small snacks  when you are  at the bar. Then you don’t have to worry about a grumbling stomach.

    One guy a couple of months ago  met up with me for what i thought was a couple of drinks. He then said he hadn’t eaten yet, so ordered his dinner. I ate with him to alleviate the weirdness, even though i was full from my recent meal. He then turned out to have maxed his credit card and i ended up paying for it! Never heard from him again, but it was a lesson in how men must feel on the date. I actually didn’t even mind paying 70 euro’s for the evening, seeing the amount of times men have paid my way. It was more a complete lack of thought from the other person, a ‘oh, random lady will pick up my tab’.   From now on i state clearly that i am in for drinks as i have eaten before and make a sincere offer to split the bill.

    1. 2.1

      Ugh. I bet he felt terrible. I empathize for him.

  3. 3

    Empathy is good but it won’t solve the OP’s dilemma. That said, there isn’t really anything abnormal in her situation. I don’t think it’s wise to plan a dinner in advance for the 1st date when OLD. You don’t want to be stuck with a stranger over a 2 hour dinner with no quick exit opportunities – what if they turn out to be awful in one way or another? My absolute favorite for 1st dates are wine bars. They usually serve beer (for those less ) and offer light snacks, and they’re cheap – $9 for a glass of wine is not gonna break anybody’s wallet – and have nice, quiet and romantic atmosphere. So…

    1. If a guy suggest a pub, I’d say “this place sounds fun but [it’s not really my scene]/[how about a more intimate place] or [whatever], there’s this cute wine bar on X and Y”.

    2. If a guy asks you where you’d like to go – it’s strike one but cut him some slack.. suggest the same wine bar

    3. Never suggest a dinner or be prepared to pay as the party that asks pays! Seriously you can’t expect to ask a guy buy you dinner. If by 8pm you’re getting hungry and he’s not suggesting taking it to the next level – it is NOT going as well as you think. Simply wrap it up, be nice and go home make yourself a sandwich.

    4. This guy may ask you out for dinner for the 2nd date, or may not. In my limited experience, every single serious relationship i had progressed to dinner from drinks on date one. But i never had to suggest it and went on countless 1st dates that did not progress to dinner, obviously.

    1. 3.1

      In addition: one way around this awkwardness is to schedule a date for later in the evening and eat beforehand. Be on the same page that this is drinks only..

      And, don’t out too much stock into how smoothly a guy plans a date. This is a double edge sword. You know who is great with planing romantic dates and charming you? Players. Men who do that a lot and have a lot of practice. A guy who is suggesting a pub may not be a ladies’ man but that is not necessarily a bad thing, if he turns out to be decent in other aspects

  4. 4
    Tron Swanson

    Great post, Evan! I wish that more women would look at things from the male POV.

  5. 5

    Thanks Evan for explaining it so well actually perfectly. As a man that’s been doing this since the dawn of the internet there’s a few things that go into my decision whether to make the initial meet & greet just “drinks” or now I occasionally say “let’s meet for a pizza” which still keeps things in the reasonable range. There have been a few times a long time ago I got stuck with doing dinner and spending a lot on someone I knew I’d never see again…..etc. Now I pretty much keep it by the book. Going “out to dinner” is a second/third date thing not a meet & greet thing. Sometimes a woman will return an email and say “sure we can meet for dinner” even if I’ve never asked them to dinner and when that does happen I play it by ear but it’s very rare.

  6. 6

    You can’t go wrong with after work drinks. When I was dating I *always* suggested the place because I work on the street in our city that has the best bars which were buzzy and lively, so if the conversation wasn’t flowing there was always good people watching! *I* didn’t mind choosing places because I’m more comfortable on dates in spots that I’m familiar with, and some of the guys I dated were new in town or worked in another area of the city. Evan’s spot on that there’s no guarantee the first date will turn into a second date, so this way it is a win-win. You still get to enjoy going to a place you’ll know you like.

    The bars I choose always served “small plates”/tapas so if we decided to linger we could get something to nibble on without the formality of dinner. If you’re dying of starvation you could say you’ve got dinner plans with friends at 8 or whatever. If the guy’s interested he’ll arrange a second date so again, win-win.


  7. 7

    I might suggest directly and flirtatiously suggesting he pick the place, (“I’ll let you pick ;)” ), and either suggest your own or specify your parameters if the conversation allows it. Stacy2’s wording is good.

    I’m surprised though that people prefer drinks to a reasonably cheap but not the cheapest dining. Maybe London is different, but in US cities, a nice Chinese restaurant (with table cloths) or a trendy sandwich place is a better value and atmosphere than drinks and snacks at a bar, unless you just get a Budweiser a piece. :p

  8. 8

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I’d just interpret that as ‘those guys just aren’t that into her’. Men go after what they want. If they don’t take the initiative, that’s a clear sign of disinterest. I’d listen to what they are not saying, and move on.


    1. 8.1

      I sort of agree with this. If I am having drinks with a man and he’s sticking around, 9 times out of 10 he asks, “Would you like to get something to eat?” and we make our way to a restaurant.

      I have a friend and she’s been on a succession of “grab a drink” dates that do not turn into dinner. She has never been asked to dinner in the nine or so months she has been dating. I generally have men move from drinks to dinner and/or ask me to a very romantic/expensive dinner for a first date. My friend asked what is it I’ve been doing to get this and, honestly, I have no idea why or how this is happening or what I am doing to make it happen. It’s a first for me, but it’s been consistent over the past two months. I figure it’s perhaps something I’m giving off in the conversational stage or during the first meet over drinks.

      If a man wants to take you to dinner, he’ll take you to dinner. There’s probably the “date upsell” (I can’t think of a better term for it) she’s not good at initiating. Maybe not enough flirting throughout the date or showing that she is, indeed, into the guys?

  9. 9

    ok guys, listen here… I have this figured out,,, if you’ve done your vetting and think you have a lock on a very solid target,,,, Theeee best is going to Ruth’s Chris Happy Hour, or equivalent.   Classy place, great food, very reasonable prices.   She can’t not be impressed.

  10. 10

    The other thing to bear in mind is that while all of the general principles and much of the specific advice Evan gives apply cross-culturally, there are some cultural differences which mean that there are expectations and concepts you need to modify slightly.

    England, much like Australia (where I live) has a strong drinking / pub culture. It’s where much of our socializing occurs. So it’s often the first date suggestion. You can wear heels to a pub with a pretty top and nice jeans and look lovely. Often if that goes well, dinner will come next.

    I personally will go along with any suggestion the man makes for a location and make the best of it. That encourages them to be proactive (which I love), and I understand that Australian men aren’t always as confident at dating and approaching women as I think American men are (in general). I will find something amazing about the venue and comment on it to make them feel good about their choice (which can be a nerve wracking decision). Is it possible you’re making your distaste for pubs obvious and that’s making the man feel insecure?

    Dinner is great once you get to know someone, but as a first date it’s not always ideal, for the reason other commenters have stated.

  11. 11

    Evan hit on the head — as a recently single man, I’ve had some women try and rope me into dinner on the first date and I’ll say, “Historically, dinner feels like a second date — I like to keep the first more casual, less formal — drinks / coffee” — if they balk / bail, whatever — not for me… Although I’ve had a string of ten $32 drink dates (I order a Coke, they one or two drinks or an appetizer) — which turned into no 2nd dates and I’m in hole for $320 (yeah, yeah, cost of dating, but still, the ROI is not good…)… To someone’s point here, I’ve found people go into a coffee date not giving a shit (no effort whatsoever) — I’ve yet to find that perfect balance / place, but ideally the right person won’t think of me for cheap if I suggest frozen yogurt or coffee or whatever….

    1. 11.1

      Agree 100%.   My first dates were always for coffee, and I’d say that my date wanted a 2nd date almost 90% of the time.   Seriously, what guy would even want to be with a woman who was so fussy/entitled/delusional to be irritated by a coffee date (that he’s paying for)?   The more I think about it, it serves as a good test for a serious potential character flaw in the woman.

      1. 11.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Coffee dates are the worst. The only reason anyone goes on them is because they’re expecting he worst. Make more of an investment in screening by email and phone over a week and you won’t be so afraid of doing drinks on Saturday night. Says the guy who went 300 dates, stopped doing coffee and lunch dates entirely, and did a TEDx talk called No More Bad Dates.

        1. Shaukat

            Seriously, what guy would even want to be with a woman who was so fussy/entitled/delusional to be irritated by a coffee date (that he’s paying for)?

          True, but I personally discovered over the years that coffee dates don’t at all get me excited about the date, and so I don’t put my best foot forward in that type of setting. Moreover, first dates can sometimes escalate fast physically, but that becomes very difficult if you’re just having coffee.

          So I’ve found that drinks are the best bet, but definitely not dinner. Also, if it’s clear there’s no interest on my part, or even if I’m interested but I can tell that she’s not feeling it, then I make sure to split the bill. Even if that upsets her, it doesn’t matter since we’ll never meet again.

        2. milosporos

          Hello! I ve been reading your blog religiously even though I have not subscribed. Your advice is always spot on, especially cause it helps understand the other gender’s perspective. But, as someone commented above, keep in mind your international readers; coffee dates are for instance very popular in Mediterranean countries, cause that’s where young people socialise. They don’t cost much and you can spend hours discussing- nobody thinks that’s a bad date, since it’s the norm!

        3. SparklingEmerald

          I went on a coffee date a little over 2 years ago.   (I am into letting the male lead, and that’s what he suggested, so I went with it.   And I am not anti-coffee dates anyway).

          I got there early, so I bought my own coffee.   When he showed up, we greeted each other on the patio with a hug, then he got a twinkle in his eye, leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the lips, and   I leaned in halfway and kissed him right back.    He spotted my coffee on the table, and the twinkle in his eye faded just a tad, and a slight frown flickered across his face.   Then he said he was going to buy himself a coffee, and asked me if he could could get me a blueberry muffin.   I said yes.   So he put his arm around me, I put my arm around him and we walked inside to get his coffee and our blueberry muffins.

          We have been walking arm in arm ever since that day (and enjoying   each others muffins 🙂 ) and today that handsome man who met me for coffee is now my husband !

          That’s just my experience, obviously, YMMV.

      2. 11.1.2

        I don’t like coffee dates for the first meeting, but I don’t believe it’s bc I’m fussy/ entitled/ delusional.   Rather, in the evenings most coffee shops – at least, where I live – are brightly lit, peppered with people chatting loudly on their cell phones and study groups discussing case histories or reviewing notes…   all of which are fine, but don’t lend themselves to a cozy, intimate atmosphere which support budding romance.

        1. Chance

          Sure, but you being a decent human and all, I’m guessing you wouldn’t get mad at a guy for having the gall and temerity to buy you a cup of coffee on a first date meet-and-greet.   That’s the difference.   You don’t have to like something (kind of like how guys don’t like how they have to pay for dates solely because of what’s between their legs), but you don’t verbalize your displeasure or hold it against him.   You just pretend to like it in the same manner that the guy pretends to like having to pay.

        2. stacy2


          i wouldn’t get mad I just wouldn’t accept the date at all. I have gone on coffee dates a couple of times in the past and concluded they were simply a waste of time. Coffee shops are loud and disgusting with hipsters on their laptops and spilled coffee everywhere (where I live) and you can’t seriously expect a woman to dress up for a 30 min in that dump. If neither is brinning their A-game, Why bother at all?

        3. Tom10

          I’m with the ladies on this one — I’ve done a few coffee dates for the first time lately and concluded that they’re a waste of time.
          I don’t care about the cost of a date really, whether high or low, rather as Henriette pointed out, they don’t lend themselves to creating an atmosphere of possible romance; it feels like I’m meeting a college buddy for a catch-up.
          A date always needs to create the feeling of possibility, which coffee dates don’t. You know beforehand that there’s no chance of the date continuing into one of those wonderful, long, unplanned meandering occurrences that just happen now and again.
          Without that tension the date just feels flat. That’s why it’s hard to beat a good old-fashioned drinks date; whether in a pub, bar or wine-bar.

        4. Chance

          Evan, Shaukat, Tom10, and Henriette:   thanks for your responses.   However, I may not have been clear because it wasn’t my intent to debate the merits of coffee dates.   I was just trying to point out that guys shouldn’t be concerned about whether or not their date will like it.   I always preferred them because I like going to coffee places, and I don’t like drinking at bars/restaurants in general.   Also, contrary to Henriette’s experience, I generally find coffee places to be more quiet.   It has nothing to do with expecting the worst as I was always quite hopeful, and hey, things seemed to work out for me.   If you prefer drinks over coffee, nothing wrong with that, of course.   However, I never really cared to ask for my date’s preference, and I don’t think most women would want a man who isn’t decisive.   Finally, the fact that someone like Stacy2 wouldn’t accept a date like this just serves as the ultimate validation that I had been doing the right thing (and, besides, I’ve never really been into women who spend a lot of money and energy to ensure that they are perfectly coiffed).

        5. Malika

          I mostly don’t like coffee dates because they are rushed and take place in venues that are mostly one step up from the McDonalds. I don’t think it’s a costs thing. A couple of coffees is only a couple of Euro’s cheaper than a few beers/glasses of wine at a bar later at night. It really isn’t a hit to your wallet to go to a nighttime venue that i associate more with a date. If a guy suggests a coffee, i just suggest we meet in the evening instead. I have never had a guy call me a high maintenance diva because of it, so that shouldn’t stop people from tweaking the suggestion slightly. On the flipside, i have also had dates that wanted something slightly different than what i proposed. My reaction was always ‘that’s a cool idea’ rather than ‘Omg, difficult!’

        6. Henriette

          Thanks for assuming I’m a decent person, @Chance; no doubt there’re some here who’d beg to differ 🙂   No, I’ve never griped or complained about a guy suggesting a coffee place.   That would be horribly ungracious.   To be quite frank, I far prefer guys who pay for the first few dates but it’s not about the expense as much as the gesture; a man who takes me to a free play in the park and buys me an ice cream afterwards is showing the same thoughtful, gentlemanly behaviour as a guy who pays for an $80 meal.

          I have never been a coffee drinker but most cafes serve other drinks like tea or cocoa (just as bars serve non-alcoholic drinks for those who wish to teetotal) and that’s all fine with me.   None of my coffee dates have turned into anything beyond a first date, but perhaps with the right cafe (somewhere quiet, dark, cozy) and the right-enough guy, a relationship could develop, I just suspect it’s less likely.   Truly glad that your coffee dates have led you to a happy romance!

        7. JB

          First off I drink coffee in the morning and rarely past 10am. In all my years I’ve only ever met 1 woman for “coffee” in the evening at her suggestion and insistence because come to find out she had to return an item at the Macy’s near by. After she showed up almost 40 minutes late to the Starbucks   SHE chose. We waited in line to order and I could tell I lost huge points for not knowing the difference between a double mocha latte and an Iced  Cinnamon  macchiatos or whatever the fuck it is…lol. I’m sorry I’m not an expert. I have coffee at home and when I get to work. When I go out at night whether with friends or on a meet & greet I have a drinks at a bar of some sort and that’s it. Not to mention I look much better after a couple of drinks and any woman does too! 🙂

      3. 11.1.3

        Coffee dates are fine for first meets. Evan’s advice only works because most men are wanting to get sex. A lot of these men will disappear if they don’t get sex by the 3rd date and will not spend more than $40 total on a date.
        Men are tired of the wage gap nonsense which has been debunked. Its time for women to pay their own way, only then will most men take women more seriously. Women claim wanting to be equal to men but not bear the responsibility. No amount of tricks is going to fix that. Women up!

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Didn’t you go your own way?That’s what you told everyone in the manosphere.

  12. 12

    Does any woman really like pubs? The smell of stale beer that reeks there makes me want to vomit, the bar surface is always sticky from the layers of uncleaned dirt and the food is all fried stuff with like 1000 calories per bite. Not to mention screens that play sports! (personally i would rather watch the grass grow..). It’s really hard to conjure less romantic atmosphere. No, you gotta guide these poor cluless guys away from those places. This is where they should go with thier “bros”. LOL

    1. 12.1


      Are you American? That doesn’t describe all pubs in all parts of the world. I quite like pubs and completely understand why men in my culture plan dates (particularly first dates) in pubs. In countries with a pub culture, often the pubs are reasonably nice with a range of food options. The person who asked the question is  dating in London, not America.

      If you nitpick the guy’s choice of dating venues, particularly early on, you can’t expect him to keep wanting to take initiative (like the question asker does). Turning your nose up at pubs may make you come across as high maintenance, which is unlikely to lead to a second date. You need to allow for cultural differences.

      1. 12.1.1

        I have visited pubs in 3 different countries (including NYC where I live) and yes, these are the common denominators. Come’on now. A pub is a pub.

        Turning your nose up at pubs may make you come across as high maintenance, which is unlikely to lead to a second date

        You know – may be, and i don’t care, and neither should you. Do you enjoy spending time at pubs? If yes, by all means go have fun. I personally find them disgusting and I do not enjoy being there, on a date or not. This is not my scene. And i am not going to pretend to be some “cool girl” who’s gonna gobble up beers and burgers with “the guys”, that’s just not me and if a guy decides to not date me based on that I am ok with it.

        1. Marika

          London has some lovely pubs, as does Sydney. As I’ve said a few times, your experience isn’t everyone’s experience.

          I absolutely don’t want to come across as high maintenance or selfish and I care as much about the guy’s feelings and preferences as my own.

          I certainly don’t have your extreme aversions to pubs, but even if the guy took me a less than amazing pub  (or restaurant), which has happened, I make the best of it. That’s called being polite and a good date.

          You can tell the man what to do and what you want from the outset, and be clearly displeased if he dares to suggest somewhere you don’t like, but then you can’t also say that you want him to be proactive (and give him a strike 1).

        2. Stacy2


          I absolutely don’t want to come across as high maintenance or selfish  

          That is your prerogative, and I don’t know how old you are but you actually seem quite young. Me, personally, in my thirties, I am at a point in life when I want to come off authentic above everything else, even if my   authentic self is too “high-maintenance” to some guy’s taste. It simply meas we’re not compatible and there’s no point in trying to pretend somebody I am not. And, I am most definitely at a point where I am done pretending to be a “cool girl”. I don’t like X, Y, Z things (pubs among them) and I don’t enjoy them and I don’t do them. Period, the world and the entire male population of it just going to have to live with it. I have earned the right to do as I please and not pretend for anyone. You will get there at some point… probably when you realize that a 2nd date with just any guy isn’t that much of a prize to torture yourself for…

          …and also – how did you move from suggesting a different type of venue to being “selfish”? Makes no sense.

          You can tell the man what to do and what you want from the outset, and be clearly displeased if he dares to suggest somewhere you don’t like, but then you can’t also say that you want him to be proactive

          There’s nothing wrong with steering a man in a gentle and respecting manner and educating him about your taste. A normal guy will use this as an opportunity to learn your modus operandi, if you never voice any opinions how’s he supposed to know what you like and what you don’t? Makes zero sense.


  13. 13

    When I was online dating I absolutely expected a first date to be drinks, and if a guy had suggested dinner I wouldn’t have been keen- that’s trying too hard, plus I don’t want to commit to all that in case I didn’t like him. I also used to aim to meet latish e.g. 8.30pm and on a weeknight, so that if it was awful I could legitimately leave by about 9.45 claiming an early start. I seemed to get plenty offers of second dates, and the midweek drinks first date seemed very much the convention in my neck of the woods. I would let them pick the venue, but if they were from out of town or asked for a suggestion I had one particular classy wine bar with low lightning that I would suggest-   I used it so often for first dates the staff must have thought I was an escort! In my view, the first date is really a reconnaisence operation and the real dates start after that.

  14. 14

    The discussion here so far is interesting.   Not too long ago there was another post very similar to this where the prevailing opinion was that the guy should treat the woman to dinner on the first date.   I disagreed and took a bit of flack for it.   Some agreed with me but there was a strong contingent who didn’t.   Now it seems that most people are in agreement that dinner is not appropriate for the first date.   I even got called cheap for saying that I didn’t want to spend $30 on a first date although I’ve done it many times.   What gives?

    1. 14.1

      I had a look at your comments on the above post, ScottH and the main issue seemed to be this kind of attitude:  but in any case, yes, i can be cheap and don’t like wasting a dime or a minute on someone who misrepresents herself.  Which  related to a point about not wanting to spend  $30 on a date. If you go out to a bar and have a couple of drinks and some finger food, you’re likely to spend more than $30.

      Your point seemed to indicate that you wanted to find the cheapest, quickest date you could, and were overly concerned about cost and having ‘an easy out’. That was the main issue, I think.

      1. 14.1.1
        Emily, the original


          Your point seemed to indicate that you wanted to find the cheapest, quickest date you could, and were overly concerned about cost and having ‘an easy out’.

        I don’t have a problem with that type of thinking. If you are OLD, you haven’t met your date face to face. There is no need to have more than a quick meet ‘n’ greet. One or both of you could want to bail. You need an out, and I don’t want to feel beholden to a man who’s spent a bunch of money. Going on a “proper” date is for date #2, after you’ve vetted each other. And if the man is thinking the meet ‘n’ greet is going well but wants to hold off on suggesting dinner to see if, in a few days, the woman says yes to a second date (so that he can determine her interest level before shelling out a bunch of cash), that’s also fine.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Still haven’t invested in Finding the One Online, Em?

        2. Marika

          If you want to approach dating like this: I want the  easiest, low-ist risk date I can to ‘vet’ them just in case the person is a jerk, crazy, stalker etc…,go for your life.

          I’d like to approach dating like this: I’m looking forward to meeting this new person  and getting to know them so that we can see if we can form a connection. If not, I will at least get a chance to practice my dating skills and we’ll both walk away feeling good about  the meal/drinks & the other person.

          People aren’t commodities or job interviews. When a guy approaches dating the way you recommend, I can tell. I don’t feel like I want to be vulnerable or open with him and it’s almost impossible to tell if I  want a second date when it’s clear I was scheduled in for a 1 hour meet & greet in some coffee shop where he has an easy ‘out’.

          The only thing you risk if you go on a reasonable date (not necessarily dinner) is your time and some money. I understand the money thing is a concern, particularly for men, if they keep paying for dates they never see again, but the alternative is pretty sad to me. I would venture to suggest the less you spend on a date, the more you spend in the long run, as you’re going on rushed/boring/low risk date after rushed/boring/low risk date trying to achieve chemistry over coffee.

          Yep, buy Finding the One Online.

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Hey Marika,

          I won’t do coffee meet and greets  anymore.   I was typically scheduling them  between work or errands and it just  always felt rushed and tense.   Not surprising because most Starbucks and other coffee places are furnished so that you don’t get too comfortable.   They want the huge majority of their customers to get their coffee and scone and leave.   They don’t make make a lot of additional sales to customers who linger.

          One thing I did this past summer was start going out with some girlfriends to some nicer bars and casual restaurants just to get out and have fun. Little did I know I was engaged in venue research.   Especially if a man is meeting me on my side of town–and my side of town is the party zone–they will almost always run a place “I heard about” by me and I’m able to give an informed answer.

          On OLD I’m running about 50:50 on being asked for meet-for-drinks vs. dinner/evening long events for first dates.   In the right place a “drinks” meet up can be close to a typical dinner date.   One thing I do and that I suggest men do is to make whatever the date is the only thing you schedule that night.   If you’re checking your watch and saying, “Sorry, i have to be somewhere at 9” you are no longer on a date, you are on someone’s time clock.

      2. 14.1.2

        My position was that I was not going to invite someone to dinner who I’ve never seen in person before.   There is a lot of false advertising and misrepresentation on the dating sites.   We’ve all seen it firsthand.   Considering the large number of people we have to meet in order to find someone we might have a chance with, it does not make sense to have dinner together on the first date.   YAG said that he typically did take women to dinner and was called classy and Evan largely agreed with his position.   I was called cheap.   Now in this thread, YAG has adjusted his position for financial reasons and Evan’s response the LW is more sympathetic to the guys.

        I had one very formative experience that I mentioned in the last thread.   I met a woman, after proper vetting, at a very nice place for happy hour.   We talked past HH hours and she kept ordering and it got kind of expensive.   She made no gesture to split.   Then we went for ice cream and I was expecting her to offer to pay the token amount but she didn’t.   The whole thing left a horrible taste in my mouth that I won’t forget.   Most classy women (IMO)   recognize that guys pay and make at least a token gesture to split, or don’t keep ordering like he’s an ATM.   Yes, I should have ended the date early with her but I was “practicing” my dating skills and didn’t want to be rude to her.   I just shouldn’t have been rude to myself and ended it early.

        To say that I “wanted to find the cheapest, quickest date you could, and were overly concerned about cost and having ‘an easy out’ ” is simply not the case.   Per the theme of this thread, consider dating from the guys standpoint.   I do have a good job making a decent six figure salary but I have child support, college, and private high school on top of all the regular expenses and retirement is in the not too distant future.   I have to watch my money and buying dinner for every/most women I meet the first time is not going to happen.   The right woman for me will be very cool with that.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          We talked past HH hours and she kept ordering and it got kind of expensive.  

          That is how meeting a woman for a drink turned into a $188.00 check.   🙂

        2. ScottH

          $188 would have infuriated me.   A nice person would not have had such a sense of entitlement on a first date.

        3. Emily, the original

          Scott H,

          I have to watch my money and buying dinner for every/most women I meet the first time is not going to happen.   The right woman for me will be very cool with that.

          Yes, she will.


          People aren’t commodities or job interviews.

          I don’t think people are commodities, but scheduling an hours-long date with someone you haven’t yet met face-to-face puts a lot of pressure on both people. Then it feels like an EVENING. I suggested lunch for a recent first date with a man I had already met face-to-face, and I ‘m really glad I did. I was much more relaxed because the whole thing seemed more casual.

    2. 14.2
      Yet Another Guy

      It had nothing do with taking a woman to dinner on a first date.   You caught flak for being cheap.   I spend more than $30.00 on a drink date.   A glass of wine cost $9.00 – $12.00 where I live.   A couple of glasses of wine each and a couple of hors d’oeuvres, and the bill is magically $70.00+ with gratuity.

      With that said, I have had to re-think how I date.   Throwing away $600.00 a month on women who do not pan out is not a good use of money.   That is $7.2K per year on dates that never pan out.     There was a reason why I kept my sexies-on-standby.     If I had the money back from every date were a woman posted non-representative photos, I would be able to take a very, very nice vacation.

      1. 14.2.1
        Tron Swanson

        Holy crap, I had no idea that dating was that expensive. I knew that I was saving money by not doing it, but, wow. Do you think those numbers are about average?

        No wonder my savings account is in such good shape…

        1. Yet Another Guy

          It depends on where one lives.   I live in an expensive part of the country.     A drink date usually runs on average $75.00 with gratuity (sometimes more, sometimes less).   I   was meeting a woman on Friday evening and another one on Saturday evening.   There were weeks where I was meeting a woman on Friday evening, one on Saturday evening, and another on Sunday afternoon.   It did take long to realize that afternoon dates were a waste of time.

        2. Tron Swanson

          Good to know, thanks. I probably live in a more affordable area…but I can’t even fathom spending half that much. It just seems insane, to me. Evan has said that if a man really likes a woman, he’ll pursue her…well, I thought that I was interested in lots of women, but I must not be, because I don’t pursue all that much. Too much time and trouble.

          Good luck with your situation. Paying for dates and paying for child-support…I can’t even imagine.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Tron Swanson

          Paying for dates and paying for child-support…I can’t even imagine.

          It is a big check every month, but my kids are worth it. 🙂

      2. 14.2.2


        A couple of glasses of wine each and a couple of  hors d’oeuvres,  and the bill is magically $70.00+ with gratuity.

        But you consume half of that, no? So she’s only “costing” you $35? If you weren’t meeting this woman for a date, what would you be doing instead? Likely you’d not be sitting at your apartment watching paint dry on your walls. You’d be entertaining yourself in some other way, may be going to a bar or s steak house with friends, going to the movies, or going to a game, going to a house party and bringing a bottle of wine, etc. All of these things are expensive and would cost you something.   Hell, I begin to shed money the moment I step outside of my apartment and it doesn’t stop until i fall asleep at night… It’s just what life is in expensive cities.

        My point being, that the actual cost of dating is only the incremental spend you would not have otherwise spent, which is likely much less than the headline # you’re quoting.

        1. ScottH

          If I wasn’t going on a date, I’d be going to the gym and that wouldn’t cost me anything extra.   And I would take a shower there so that would save me the cost of water and soap and dirtying a towel at home.   And I might even squirt some soap into a ziploc bag for use at home later so now I’m making money.   I’ve thought about stealing towels and selling them on ebay to pay for my dates but I haven’t gotten to that point.

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy 2

          You assumption is incorrect. I am not a thirty-something. I am a mid-fifty-something who wants to be able to retire comfortably in six to seven years. I do not go out when I am not on a date. While I earn a six-figure income, I am not killing it. I write a large child support check every month; therefore, I have to live on a budget. I do not go to bars. I usually play guitar, visit friends or family, go to the gym, or ride my bike when it is warm. I eat a non-conventional diet that contains very little saturated fat or salt (I am a flexitarian), so I prepare 99% of what I eat from mostly raw ingredients. I drink very little; therefore, my personal alcohol expense is very low. I do not attend sporting events because they bore me to tears. Other than the money I spend on my kids, my date-free weekends are expense-free weekends.

        3. Stacy2

          Ok gents, fair enough. So my question then is this: why invite a woman out at all? If that’s not what you enjoy on your own? I would do something I don’t myself   enjoy for a date (let along first date). As those ladies out to join you for a bike ride, bring a bottle of rose ($11) or a box of strawberries have a mini picnic. Go for a bird watching walk in a park, bring your guitar. Be creative. Be authentic. Geez. A date should be about doing something you both enjoy!

        4. ScottH

          It’s all about finding someone you have a connection with.   I love going out and doing things with a partner, even if it costs me money.   It’s an investment in the relationship which I want to do.   But to spend money on the FIRST date with someone who’s likely misrepresented herself or isn’t who I think she is, that SUCKS.   The first date is to see if a connection is possible and the second date is to step it up.   That’s my philosophy.   I’m not going to go all out on a stranger.   And your suggestions are very good.   I always prefer an activity date to sitting somewhere and drinking something.   I think moving around and getting blood flowing (endorphins too?) helps a lot.   A good date doesn’t have to be expensive.

    3. 14.3

      Hey Scott!

      I think the threads are diverging in opinion because of the nature of the LW’s question. She is getting asked out on OLD for drinks for a first date and wants to know how to  get that  to a dinner date.   If a man says, “So how about we meet for  drinks at XBar around 6?”   there’s just no considerate way to up the ante and say “Or how about dinner at YRestaurant around 6?”

      One thing she can do with her OLD prospects is put a little more time and effort into mutual vetting.   If the man feels more sure about her and is therefore more enthused to meet her, the chances of it being asked for evening long date that involves dinner goes way up.

      In the meantime if she’s being asked out for drinks, there are ways both the man and the woman can work with it to make it something more than a quick hit and run meet up.   This tends to get presented in a binary manner:   It’s either the grimy sports bar with upholstered booths patched with duct tape and peanut shells on the floor or a 4 star restaurant that serves five courses.   In truth there are many options between the two that would be a nice venue for a date.   A place where the atmosphere is relaxed and you can easily stretch out the date to 2 or 3 hours if the rapport is good.   Just make sure   it’s easy to get a table and there are decent appetizers available.   And if your 6 pm date starts sliding into 7 or 8, do ask if she’s hungry.   I will typically offer to pay for round two of drinks or appetizers if we are this far in.

      Then it’s more of a hybrid drinks/light dinner date than a formal dinner date.   If things are disastrous you can both leave after the first round.   If they’re going good, you’re both relaxed and comfortable and can have fun talking and watching any entertainment and activity that’s going on.


      1. 14.3.1

        I think asking to meet at dinner time (6) almost implies that dinner will be involved.   I don’t like to imply or leave people to infer so I make it clear that we are meeting AFTER dinner.   I guess I do invite women to meet at happy hours without specifying dinner or no dinner but we usually do order HH food and that’s fine.

        I guess in this situation, I do like being in the position of arranging things and being somewhat in control.   Sometimes I’ll suggest something and she’ll counter-offer with something less nice  and I’ve always accepted.

        And another thing to consider about us  guys who make “regular” salaries:   every dollar we spend on a woman we’ll never see again is a dollar we could have spent on our kids.   I do sometimes feel guilty about my dating budget when I try to cut back on some of my expenses with my kids.   I hate that feeling.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          I had an incident where I invited a woman to meet me for drinks at 7:30   at a neat local establishment.   To my horror, she was waiting for table in the dining room when I arrived.   I should have turned around and left because her photos were easily ten years old.   However, the worse was yet to come because she was pure Melba toast from a conversation point of view.   It was two of the most painful hours of my life.   I did not order a second drink, coffee, or dessert.     I had my credit card out when the waiter brought the check.   I signed the credit card receipt and left without as much as shaking her hand.   That was the last time that I allowed a woman to talk me into dinner.

          I can empathize with you.   I pay a healthy portion of my compensation in child support, and I like to do things with my children.   Most of the women I meet who are within five years of my age have grown children, many of whom are married with their own children.   They no longer have child-related expenses; therefore, they expect a man to spend as if he no longer has child-related expenses.   That is why I started to pursue women who are closer to ten years my junior last fall.   Their lifestyles are more aligned to mine.

        2. Chance

          Hi YAG, just split the check the next time that happens.   Who cares if it pisses her off?   If she does get pissed, good riddance.

  15. 15

    I think Stacy2 had some great advice.

    Instead of trying to steer a man you haven’t met in person yet towards a formal dinner date via phone call, accept the drinks date and see what he suggests.   If he asks for input, suggest a wine bar or a place you know with a good atmosphere,  tables, some finger foods available, and where you know the noise volume will be such that you can easily talk.   It won’t do you any good if the place is so happening that you have to yell to be heard.

    There is so much out there venue wise between pub/sports bar and a formal restaurant where the waiter drapes the napkin on your lap, that finding a place that has a great atmosphere shouldn’t be a problem.   I have easily spent two to three hours on a “meet for drinks” date that gave ample time to get to know someone.   Eat a snack an hour or two before if you think you may get hungry.   It will also help keep you from getting too buzzed from drinking on an empty stomach.

  16. 16

    Ahhhh @Marika, my antipodean sister! I’m glad we are both here to support this London lady – I haven’t dated in London for about 15 years (yikes!) but I think she’d be spoilt for choice for a stylish pub or wine bar 🙂 I’m glad like me you understand that men in our part of the world lack confidence and if I had waited for a man to suggest a place I’d have been waiting for the rest of my life! Luckily I’m a foodie with friends in hospitality and there are plenty of bars and pubs here in Auckland that make good date spots. It turns out that ironically I found a man who is basically teetotal and extremely health conscious (going out for him is coffee, full stop!) so if I’m going for drinks and tapas it’s with friends, but he’s so amazing in other ways that it’s a compromise I’m happy to make 🙂

    1. 16.1

      Haha, Michelle, Kia ora 🙂

      Yes! So true!! That’s why I will go pretty much wherever (other than their place)  a man suggests for a first date. You made a plan? Wooohoooo. Bring it on. Hard to understand if you’re used to smooth daters.

      The pub culture is pretty ingrained in the Commonwealth. It’s not going away any time soon!

      Bring on Mr health conscious, I say. Small price to pay, I agree 🙂

  17. 17
    Yet Another Guy


    Evan,  I appreciate your explaining in gory detail what it is like to be a man on the dating sites.   I spent just under $1,300.00 during my first month of online dating after separating from my ex.   I had a drink date turn into a $188.00 date that did not produce a second date.   I learned to put limits on dates fairly quickly. If women had to pay and face the amount of rejection that men face, online dating would collapse.


    Guys do not start out being serial daters.   It is the process that turns well-meaning guys into serial daters.   A guy starts out targeting specific women.   He writes a woman and waits for a reply that is never sent.   After going through that process couple of times, he starts to write two or three women at time.   When that approach does not work, he starts to write ten or more women at time, which results in one or two responses.   After a while, his messaging skills improve, and he magically gets five to ten replies for ten messages.   It is about that time that women he messaged weeks ago decide that they are going to respond, and women are start to write him out of the blue.    All of sudden, a guy is juggling conversations with 15+ women at any given time.   The only way to handle that many women simultaneously is via messaging on the site or text messaging.   Voice conversations are out of the question.   I met thirty-nine women in the first three months that I was separated.   I met five women in one weekend.   I only turned three of those thirty-nine dates into second dates.   The total cost for those three months was just shy of $2,800.00. That was total insanity.


    1. 17.1
      Yet Another Guy

      *women start to

  18. 18

    I’m curious @Marika – do men in Australia shout drinks/food on first dates? My personal bias is that I’m uncomfortable for a man paying for everything so if the date’s going well and he insists on paying I pay on the second date. On   a drinks date I though I usually do rounds, (with him generally offering the first round). NZ is much more egalitarian than the US (much smaller pay gap and two female prime ministers as you may know) where I used to live so I take Evan’s advice about that with a cultural grain of salt – it would be odd here if the man was expected to pay for a woman every time. Same in Oz or no?

    1. 18.1

      Great question, Michelle,

      It varies depending on their age and income. I’ve had men pay for the whole first date, at least part of it, or none of it. The majority pay for at least part of the first date (e.g. they will buy my first drink). Definitely beyond the second date it would be unusual for a man to keep paying for everything, unless they were rich or from the older generation. Like you, I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable letting them pay for everything beyond one or two dates and I at least offer money, even on the first date. I do like at least a small gesture of buying me say a drink on the first date, I respond to that chivalry.

      Some of my friends don’t, however and would rather go dutch the whole time.

      So men, understandably, are probably a bit confused! Sorry guys! I think offering to pay on the first date is always a nice gesture, even if the woman refuses.

      On the flip side, my  brother, for instance, is very old fashioned and always paid for everything for every woman he dated. He would’ve been offended if they didn’t let him. In those cases I would let the guy continue to pay, but in honesty would feel a bit awkward about it.

  19. 19


    No, it’s not an age thing at all. I’m a similar age to you, and Evan advocates being the ‘cool girl’ and he’s older than you. Remarks like these make you come across as selfish:

    “The smell of stale beer that reeks there makes me want to vomit, the bar surface is always sticky from the layers of uncleaned dirt and the food is all fried stuff with like 1000 calories per bite. Not to mention screens that play sports! (personally i would rather watch the grass grow..). It’s really hard to conjure less romantic atmosphere. No, you gotta guide these poor cluless guys away from those places. This is where they should go with thier “bros”. LOL

    And this:

    If a guy asks you where you’d like to go — it’s strike one but cut him some slack.. suggest the same wine bar

    You both have very specific views about where you will & won’t go, while simultaneously putting a strike against a man for asking you where you’d like to go (which sounds like the safe option in your case). And you can’t possibly conceive that there could be any nice pubs anywhere in the world. And any man who suggests one is ‘clueless’. Bit silly.

    You seem to be (not so subtly) suggesting that I’m immature for being nice, easygoing & accommodating to a man who’s made a plan to see me (perhaps not the best plan in the world, but a plan nonetheless). That’s not true at all. I think wanting your own way when dealing with a stranger is immature (and focusing more on the venue than the man).

    A first date is no time to ‘voice your opinions’. You’ll have plenty of time to do that down the track. You’d rather be ‘authentic’ than accommodating & easygoing, but what happens if you veto their pub, they veto your wine bar…and on and on it goes. You’ve achieved your aim of being ‘authentic’ and ‘voicing your opinions’, but you’ve made picking a venue unnecessarily hard.

    Remember the story Evan told about how easygoing his wife was when his Korean (from memory) restaurant was closed? And that was one of the things that made him want to see her again? It’s that kind of thing that is nice on first dates. Being receptive, appreciating him for his efforts, being kind & understanding. Not seeing him as clueless & telling him what you want.

    Don’t be the cool girl. Hate pubs. Think men who suggest pubs are clueless. Insist on wine bars. Voice your opinions within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone. Go for your life.  I just don’t think that’s the best idea in the world and I definitely don’t think it’s appropriate when dating in a Commonwealth country, which has customs & practices that  differ greatly from America & affect the dating culture.

    1. 19.1

      You and I must have been taught an alternative version of the   meaning of the word “selfish”. But ok, if having my own tastes and preferences makes me “selfish” in Australia- guilty as charged. (You also seem to miss the point that the OP lives in London and is unhappy with pubs… It’s not just me but ok whatever)

      I don’t think you are immature i think you just haven’t gotten to the point in life where you value yourself over a stranger. I hope you will. This whole argument could be generalized as follows: “should I agree to do something I don’t enjoy in order to placate a man I am meeting for the first time, cause God forbid he may think I am difficult if suggest a change”? You answer yes and I answer no. I had agreed to those things in the past and they lead to bad long term outcomes. So yes, if he vetoes my wine bar and wants to stick to his guns he can… alone… He’s not that valuable. We haven’t even met. I don’t care if a stranger thinks I am bad news for preferring a wine bar over a pub.

      1. 19.1.1
        Karl R

        Stacy2 said:

        “This whole argument could be generalized as follows: ‘should I agree to do something I don’t enjoy in order to placate a man I am meeting for the first time, cause God forbid he may think I am difficult if suggest a change’? You answer yes and I answer no.”

        “So yes, if he vetoes my wine bar and wants to stick to his guns he can… alone… He’s not that valuable.”


        So, if you want to go to a wine bar, and the man doesn’t enjoy that, should he agree to go in order to placate a woman that he’s meeting for the first time? Would you think he’s difficult if he suggests a change?

        If he vetoes your wine bar, and you want to stick to your guns, shouldn’t he make the same assumption that you do (when the situation is reversed) … that you’re not that valuable?

        Seriously, you’re trying to justify your own behavior … even though it’s the same behavior that you won’t tolerate in a man.

        1. Stacy2

          So, if you want to go to a wine bar, and the man doesn’t enjoy that, should he agree to go in order to placate a woman that he’s meeting for the first time?  

          No of course note. I mean if he like really hates wine bars (is this possible?) but lets say he does. Allergic to good things. I will accommodate some middle ground. If middle ground can’t be found wouldn’t that be a sign we’re badly not compatible and wasting each other’s time?

          Also: we are all some degree of “difficult”. May be I am more difficult than an average person. That means that a guy who’d equally difficult is NOT a good match for me. Too much fighting will ensue. Better find a guy who’s more easy going (or is on the same page as I am 98% of the time, or both). Makes logical sense.

        2. Marika

          I think she needs to type up her list of rules, both so she can hand it out to prospective dates, and so we can all keep track…

        3. KK


          You crack me up.

          I went out with someone who fits your criteria, financially. He absolutely hated wine. Only drank scotch. I’ve tried scotch on two occasions; the second time with him. Hated it both times. I love wine; although I’m very particular about which wines I like. Crazy, I know, but our alcohol preferences were never an issue. Lol.


        4. Karl R

          Stacy2 said:

          “May be I am more difficult than an average person. That means that a guy who’d equally difficult is NOT a good match for me. Too much fighting will ensue. Better find a guy who’s more easy going (or is on the same page as I am 98% of the time, or both). Makes logical sense.”

          I agree with all of this. For someone who is difficult, an easy-going partner will lead to a more harmonious relationship.

          Looking at it   from the other side:

          For someone who is easy-going, an easy-going partner will also lead to a more harmonious match. So regardless  whether you’re difficult or easy-going, your best bet is to avoid dating a difficult partner.

          The problem some people face:

          If someone is a difficult person (for example, if they display two or three of John Gottman’s Four Horsemen during a discussion of pubs), then most people will find them difficult as a partner. Even the easy-going people will realize that it’s easier to find a less difficult partner, rather than enduring a marriage with a more difficult one.

  20. 20

    Too right @Marika! 🙂 The take home message from my story for the benefit of the OP is that the ability to choose a chic restaurant isn’t the most important quality of a partner.   I dated two guys who both suggested a really twee dessert place which was the kind of place you took your mum on her birthday IMHO 🙂 Yes it was cringe worthy but they were both sweet guys doing their best and I appreciated that and focused on their other attributes.   As I said my bf doesn’t like to go to restaurants at all so fortunately we met randomly when we were staying in the same hotel, as I wouldn’t have been impressed with his coffee suggestion!

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