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Should You Pay for Dinner? (And Your Other Old-School Dating Questions, Answered!)

SexShould You Pay for Dinner? (And Your Other Old-School Dating Questions, Answered!)

A guide for the modern gentledude.

Dating officially died in 2012 when casual sex delivery service Tinder was launched, changing the game forever. While the app certainly has benefits, mainly getting your D wet with a rando, it has definitely taken some of the romance out of courtship. An online date has to be casual, nonchalant, and most importantly, chill—you can’t commit to a four-hour dinner and a movie hang with someone when all you know about them is that they went to Machu Picchu once and “don’t want drama.”

The go-to modern date now is a quick beer at a low-key bar. That way, if your Tinder match is a home-schooled-mouth-breather, you can make an excuse and bounce. The whole thing can be over in twenty minutes. And because we’re all so used to the low-stakes hang, the idea of a proper date suddenly seems like a big ask. “You want to take me to a restaurant with a tablecloth that brings free bread before you order? What are you, trying to marry me?”

But say you meet someone, and you actually like her. You want to make a date special and exciting. Embrace the courtship period as a chance to reveal something about your character! Put some time and effort into your appearance and go out and do an actual activity; a picnic in the park, live music, a comedy show. Because once you’re a couple you never leave the house again. Protect the beginning, you only get it once.

Here, your most pressing old-school dating questions, answered. Because it's 2016. And I want you to be happy.

Should you dress up? You’re reading GQ right now, so I’m assuming you’re wearing Rick Owens drop-crotch pants and some cool, humongous watch that counts calories, tracks steps, and predicts how you die. The point is, you understand the importance of style. Nothing dries up a woman’s birth canal like a dude who shows up looking like a six-foot-tall fourth grader. I went on a Tinder date once with a guy who walked into the bar in Crocs, cargos, and a silver necklace with an octopus charm and I still have nightmares about it. Dressing up is a sign of respect for your date and for yourself. Here are some ideas.

Should you open doors for her? Unless you lost your hands in a freak Vitamix accident, always the open door for a woman. (And, well, anyone it makes sense for?) It makes us feel feminine and special. Plus it’s just basic manners. If a dude let me open doors all night, I’d be closed for business. Of course, I’m just one woman and I can’t speak for my entire gender. I’m sure there are some ladies in the world who are offended by men opening doors, but I’ve never met one… but they don’t seem fun. Live on the edge! Take a risk! Open the door.

Should you bring flowers to a first date? Only if it’s senior prom and I’m wearing a flammable chiffon ball-gown. Bringing flowers to a first date reeks of desperation. It’s like you want me to sprinkle the petals all over a bed while Ginuwine’s “So Anxious” plays in the background. Not gonna happen, bud!

Should you walk her home? Whether you are walking or driving to a date, the question remains: Should you take your date home? While generally, it’s the polite thing to do, I think it depends on how you met. If you already know each other through work, or friends, or some hipster kickball league, definitely offer to taker her home. It’s gentlemanly and romantic and a great opportunity for a sexy stoop kiss.

However, if you met online and it’s a first time hang, don’t offer. I would never let a stranger drop me off at home because I wouldn’t want him to know where I live. What if he ends up being creep, and after I ghost him he breaks into my house to watch me sleep?

Should you end a first date with a kiss? Back in the day, being physically intimate with someone was a slow process, not an instant expectation. This may not be a popular opinion, but I think our grandparent’s generation were onto something not hopping into bed with each other. I don’t believe in absolute rules; do what feels right to you! But in my experience, rushing into sex makes things really intense, really fast. Many women can’t help but feel bonded after intimacy and start having boyfriend-y expectations, which is not ideal for a budding relationship.

If you’re on a date with a babe and you don’t see a future, have fun and get nasty. You have nothing to lose. But if you meet someone you really like, slow your roll. The more you trust and know each other the better it will be, anyway.

Should you pay for dinner? This is a tough one. The reason that men used to pick up the bill as a rule, is that most women didn’t work. Paying for a lady wasn’t polite or chivalrous. Things are obviously different now. We’re living in a post-Lemonade world and Hillary is poised to be our next president. You could easily argue that now since women can afford it, the bill should be split. It’s a sound point, the logic checks out… and yet.

Not paying for the dinner is the biggest turn-off. If a guy doesn’t offer to pay on a first date, it’s usually the last date. A friend of mine once said, “A man who is financially cheap, is emotionally cheap. He doesn’t like to give.” I couldn’t agree more.

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