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This week a reader asks my thoughts on First date etiquette and a persons expectations in the beginning of dating. Of course I try to give my opinion on it and urge you to jump in on another Open Friday!
I had a conversation the other day with a guy I know. He was ranting to me about how when he goes on first dates a women shouldn’t order an appetizer or multiple drinks. And if she does, she should pay for it. My response was if that is something I normally do, why should I “budget” for a date with you. I should be able to be myself so there are no surprises later.
He went on to explain how he looked at first dates as an interview. He said it was “business”. He also compared it to poker, saying you never go all in on the first hand. I said we would never work…
What are your thoughts?
Your question honestly really has no concrete answer but more aligned with a person’s philosophy on life. I don’t see a problem with him wanting to have the first date be care free and just conversational. I even took some flak for saying that 1st dates should be under 40 bucks. But, let’s keep it real over blown expectations are the probably the biggest flaw us humans have. There has to be a fair balance between those expectations and reality. One has to constantly have both of those sides of the game in check. This is because we can entrap ourselves in a fantasy laden prison or a solitary confinement of reality that we can’t see anything better in people. Just like in poker or in a dice game you have to understand the cards given(reality) and understand what you want or need(expectations).
Now I will say this though I am not the kind of brotha who knows if I take a woman to a certain place I have to expect how much the tab will be. I am not going to put myself in a situation of where I am going somewhere I don’t want to be paying for. I am not one to relegate like “Ay you can only order from that side of the menu.” Then on the other hand a woman shouldn’t just be going hard on a brotha just because he is taking her out either. There should be decorum and respect on both sides. I suggest a brother be upfront about what he thinks or wants to do. A brotha can’t be taking a lady to Wolfgang Pucks and hoping she will get full on the bread. If you are comfortable with taking the woman to that place go ahead and do it but don’t expect her to act to your blueprint.
The idea of life being a Poker game does have validity to it but, not to the extent that your friend was saying. A person should be as authentically who they are so someone should know who they are. But, at the same time there has to be a respect level shown as well. For instance, if you only order the appetizers off the menu when YOU are paying for it, why should the game change-up just because YOU aren’t paying for it? What if that said man had the fanatical expectations towards you about when he was going to HIT?
The idea of balance those expectations of what you as a woman or man wants and what the reality of the situation I believe will make our choices in relationships somewhat clearer. Many times we make choices on mates and or in dating because of one of those ideals being too thrown off kilter. Someone can also look at the situations such as this as them not being on the page (which very well maybe true) because they didn’t meet our expectations or didn’t share our reality. But, how long will you let your expectations destroy your reality? How long will you let your reality destroy your expectations?