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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Thoughts

Today I have two dating questions for you, and I would love your feedback! (Married readers, feel free to participate too!)

1. At the end of a first date, when the bill comes at the end of dinner, do men like it when the woman reaches for her wallet and offers to either pay or split the bill (whichever)? I have heard that guys appreciate the gesture, even when they have no intention of taking her up on it. But my friend Vaughn insists that I couldn't be more wrong about that, at least for a first date. What do you guys think?

2. How do you feel about holding hands on a first date? My opinion on this is vague because I think every date is different and no one rule applies. I mean, maybe you don't always want your date to hold your hand on a first date, right? But say things are going well, both people seem to be enjoying each others company, sparks are flying, etc... How common is hand holding on a first date in your experience?

The reason I bring this up is because at some point in the history of my life (vagueness is always my goal in the blog!), I went out with a guy who held my hand on the first date, and it was nice. And I realized how uncommon it is for a first date, in my experience. And how often it's skipped right over entirely for it's more passionate cousin: the kiss.

I know a few of you have pretty strong opinions about dating (remember that post I had to take down about how serious the questioning should be on a first date?) but I'm sure we can handle these two questions. And I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

Happy Wednesday!

20 comments:

Savd said...

Holding hands is one of those things that when it happens naturally on a first date, or because the guy is smooth and it is totally appropriate, then YAY!! But, sometimes it can be too early and a bit creepy. However, holding hands BEFORE any kissing...definitely a big plus...why skip over all the fun parts? :)

Katherine said...

I agree with Savd! :) When it's natural and wanted, it's awesome! I've definitely had awkward experiences with it, too, but all in all I think it's a nice first step! :)

movingluggage said...

1. Definitely not on the first date. I think it's a nice gesture if you're dating a guy pretty seriously. But if you're still in the get to know stage, I may take it as a sign of attempting a transition to the friend zone, and be turned off by it. But then, with all dating questions, it depends.

2. It depends. I think it's okay, but it's very uncommon at the same time, for me at least.

movingluggage said...

Follow-up Question to girls: Has a guy even tried to hold hands with you, but you didn't want to? How did you let him know that you didn't? Did it get uber awkward? (Did the date end very abruptly?)

I think Q.2 is uncommon because people are risk averse, and trying to hold hands on the first date is just quite risky.

Caitlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caitlin said...

It's been forever since I was single but I'd guess the "who's got the bill?" conundrum in a date scenario is similar to lunch with friends: If SHE asks HIM out, she should (at least attempt to) pay. If HE asks HER out, she doesn't need to offer to pay.

Also- if hand-holding isn't awkward in the least, it's AOK!

I didn't date long so I'm probably not qualified to give advice on the subject. It's like asking a garbage collector to check out a suspicious mole.

Savd said...

I just burst out laughing at that line!!! :) Elizabeth, you should put back up the "Favorite Comments" column on your page and put "It's like asking a garbage collector to check out a suspicious mole" quote on it!!! :)

Also, I hadn't thought about how the woman paying could be a means to keep the outing in the friend zone...interesting...

Not sure I've ever ended a date because of unwanted hand-holding, but if it was unwanted, I certainly made a gesture to get my hand freed as soon as possible...probably by creating a two-handed-dig situation into my purse for something. :)

Brady said...

Re: Offering to pay on the first date - To a guy, that reads "Let's be friends." He wants to show that he can provide, and if you don't let him provide, it's a clue that it won't work out. If he asked you on a date, he is expecting to pay for it. Unless there is some upfront discussion about going dutch, don't offer.

Unless you spilled a full plate of spagetti on his best suit, then maybe pick up the dessert. :)

Katherine said...

Hmmm, interesting about the offer to split being an indication of wanting to just be friends. I'll keep that in mind! As to MovingLuggage's question, I've only been in one situation where the guy held my hand and I didn't want him to. But then, I had a feeling he might, and could have prevented it, but was really curious to see if he'd go for it. I learned my lesson!!

lizzie mc.- said...

Everyone is different. Find someone that likes things just the way you do. And admit to yourself it he doesn't, that doesn't mean that your not a good fit. Enjoy that everyone is different. Of course...

I love hand holding, but that's only if it's gone well and you're planning (mentally) on a number 2. Kisses 2 or later... (That having been said my husband and I were friends for years and he kissed me BEFORE the date. Granted we had a 1st date, but it had been so long it felt like another 1st, however I said I would go on a 5 day date to visit friends in No. VA. so there's no figuring.)

As far as the bill goes, if I asked him out I paid, if he asked me he'd pay and if he said he was going somewhere already, did I want to join, we went dutch. Some men feel emasculated if we pay. I also prefer to drive, so if he can't handle it, he won't want me. But if the date didn't go well and you want a non-verbal, I don't want to do this again... pay and run. If your the ultra feminine sort (which you seem to be) make the man pay and open doors, because after all that's what you want to happen after marriage.

Mark said...

I agree with Caitlin and Brady. The person who invited is expected to pay. If you are the invitee and offer to pay, it's like saying "I don't want this to be a date." Wait until the relationship is on solid ground to say "Next time we go out, I'd like to pick up the bill."

I don't know anything about holding hands. Touching people is creepy.

Dave said...

An interesting discussion, but I am perplexed by the fascination with situational ambiguity - who pays and what does it mean? To hold hands or not, and what does it mean?

It seems the ambiguity is both the source of frustration AND excitement. You can't have one without the other. When you clarify what these things mean, they become clear forms of communication and, therefore, no longer exciting.

I don't think we really WANT to solve this puzzle (if it were actually solvable). I think we want to hold on to the excitement of not knowing, and never being quite sure until some magical moment when something is clear to both of us.

Ben said...

Don't offer to pay if he asked you out on the date. (Note* Make sure he actually asked you out on a DATE.) Offering to pay makes him think you're trying to make it less than a date, don't do it.

Hand holding: Only if you're both into the idea. If you don't know each other very well beforehand it could be weird. If you already have a flirty relationship before the first date it could be totally awesome \m/ Kissing on the first date? I don't know why people do that. Like Savd said, why skip over all the fun parts?

movingluggage said...

At the same time, if I like the girl, it really doesn't matter what she says or does on the first date.

Elizabeth Downie said...

I have had guys hold my hand when I wasn't really feeling it, but it wasn't awful. I just took the first opportunity available to need to use both hands. But it wasn't a huge deal or anything.

Thanks for the advice, guys! Very good to know.

Caitlin - that comment made me LOL for real, as usual.

Dave, I guess it's fun to have some mystery. But at the same time, I am not getting any younger and I should probably figure out what I'm doing wrong! haha

The Boob Nazi said...

Holding hands on a first date would make me so awkward and uncomfortable. If a guy touched me, I'd be like, SAY WHAT?!

So I'm never getting married.

Vaughn said...

Ladies, unless you want NO number 2, (date #2 that is) please do not offer to pay. This is assuming you did not ask him out on the date....
I am weirded out and turned off by this...and there is no number 2, which is bad for you.

Sui Sin Far said...

Yeah, but what guy says "I think you are interesting and would like to get to know you better. Will you go on a date with me?" So, in my experience, it's always been a little unclear. I just order my food, make sure I have enough to cover myself just in case, and wait to see what he does.

Um hand holding. I think hand holding is more couple-ish than a hug or a kiss. It's not really a first date thing at all. Although a guy once put his arm around me (we were looking at constellations) and at some point I "laughed" and turned into him so that he was pretty much holding me. That was a first date, but it was a special first date. One of those one of a kind first dates. Anyway, hand holding = commitment, kisses = possibility.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Isn't it funny, Melanie, that hand holding feels more intimate than kissing most of the time? I agree with that, but I think it's interesting because I feel like it should be the other way around. What is it about hand holding that feels so intimate?

TheSinglesWard said...

Girls should never offer to pay on a "date". The only exception of this is if you have already been dating and the girl offers beforehand to cover the entire date. Like mentioned previously, offering to pay her portion is an indicator of a "let's be friends" attitude. You use language like "buddy" or "you're such a good friend" and you're saying the same things. If it's a date you need to treat it like a date. It's not "let's get married next week" if you allow a man to be a gentleman.

Society today has portrayed dating in such a negative light that anything beyond hanging out has all of the sudden become "i love you".

Hold hands, don't hold hands, whatever. If you're treating it as a date and not an eternal commitment, then it is nothing more than an expression of a shared positive experience on a date and an indicator that you may wish for a second date.