Hold The Tip

By Nick Campbell:

The usual suspect in the dating process, dinner is a common form of courtship in dating. Restaurants and the dining industry itself thrives on it from a business perspective. One of the first things that come up in the process is “Hey let’s do dinner!” But let’s examine this a bit.. I’m not suggesting we examine the dinner dates for the sake of being cheap. But fellas seriously ask yourself: Do you need to keep taking dates out to dinner? There are many alternatives that not only save you money, but minimize your risk of having your time and funds wasted.

Let’s take a simple scenario that I know we all recognize.  We meet someone who sparks our interest. You set the stage and ask them to dinner. Drinks, food. conversation and blah blah. Then you get the check which on average is going to be about $50-75 depending on the spot. You drop her off and she gives you a pec on the cheek and thanks you for the great time. Sound familiar?

You can debate what can make a woman choose or not choose to accept another date.. But for the sake of argument let’s assume that the date went well and you were the perfect gentleman. Then it hits you: $100 and a night of your time just blew by, only to get a kiss on the cheek and a thank you. I’m NOT saying that a woman should be expected to give us sex after a date. But let’s keep it real here, many women out there accept dates if anything for the free dinner and drinks. But not necessarily because she’s feeling you. Here’s how you can walk the fine line of courting and not being played for a fool literally and financially:


1. Learn how to gauge a woman’s interest: Do you ever notice that when you text her, you normally don’t get a response for like 3 hours and then it’s a mere “Hi” or “Hello” or “Hey?” Those aren’t the women you should be taking to Cheesecake Factory. Sure, they’ll likely accept your invite if given. Who wouldn’t turn down free drinks and food? Would you? Basically, don’t fish in the wrong pond.

2.  Never underestimate the power of a cafe: There are so many perks to doing a coffee date it’s ridiculous. For one you’re saving a ton of money. $10 at best and the perks of this include the intimate conversation and knowledge you get about a person. At dinner you’re busy being polite and it’s loud in the background and too formal. A nice sit down at a cafe with a serene environment can be very stimulating. Then at that point the both of you would have a better idea about whether you’d want to go further and into a formal setting like dinner.

3. Avoid movies: They are too dark, you have to be quiet and there is no real interaction. It is feasible financially, average prices for tickets can range from $15-20. But you lose the opportunity for real in-depth conversation. It can be intimate to a certain degree because you’re close to each other and sometimes she might lean in on you. So unless you’re planning on doing something afterwards I’d steer clear of the movie theaters. Now live theatre is a different story!

4. Tone down expectations: This applies to the ladies especially! Remember it’s just a first date! People aren’t necessarily auditioning for the husband/wife role right away. A man shouldn’t have to feel like he is at the NFL combine in order to make it to the next round for a second date. Relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Unless they’re being a complete jerk/bitch don’t sweat the little things.

5. Always practice good etiquette: Even on the most casual date, coffee or dinner, put your phone on vibrate and avoid the urge to check it. Is it imperative that you tweet how the date is going? Unless you’re an on call doctor or highly connected businessman the phone shouldn’t be a distraction. If you must take a call, excuse yourself and take the call briefly away from your date, return and apologize. It not only shows consideration but it won’t  take your focus off what it should be on. Your date!

Happy Dating TRP! 

~Nick C

About Nick Campbell

Nick Campbell has written 163 post in this blog.

A modern day gentleman who loves to explore all aspects of relationships and discuss problems this new generation faces in love. Born and raised in the Bay Area, well traveled and cultured. Single Dad, tech connoisseur and news junkie. Drop a line if there is something you'd like discussed!

  • A couple of years ago I read an article that stated the average man spends around $50,000 on dating before he gets married. Forget the saying, “it’s cheaper to keep her.” What we need to say is, “It’s cheaper to marry her.” LOL!

    But seriously, I never understood the argument that a man needs to spend a lot of money to take someone out to dinner while he’s courting her. If the point is getting to know someone then who cares how much money is spent.