Not sure if you saw the new study about dating expenses! "Who pays?!?" is a question I get all the time as a dating and relationship expert. The guys I work with don't want to come off as cheap, and the women are unsure what to expect.
So what does the study say? According to a survey of 17,000 men and women:
84% of men and 58% of women stated that the guy is paying for most dating expenses, even after dating a while
57% of women offer to pay, but 39% hoped the men would reject the offer
44% of women are bothered when men expect them to pay
2/3 of the men believe that women should help out with dating expenses
After working with hundreds of singles, and conducting several "man panels" throughout the nation - here are my tips on the great debate:
- The guy should pay for the first 3 dates without question. Chivalry is not dead, and in fact it is still expected. Avoid starting off on the wrong foot, and pay up guys. Worried about expenses? Don't pick a five star restaurant. All that matters is seeing if there is a connection. I receive complaints from men where the woman insisted on splitting. Let them court you for the first couple dates. Its in their nature.
- The woman should ALWAYS offer to pay. Even if it is just a half hearted attempt on a first date, reach for your wallet ladies. Show him you aren't a prima donna looking for a free meal.
- Dating expense after the 3rd date should be split based on income. If he is a multi-millionaire, and you are a student, he pays (still do a wallet reach ladies). If you are both professionals with similar incomes, there is no reason to not split expenses. You don't need to bring a calculator - he can buy one night, you buy the next, but try to make an effort to contribute.
- Always be gracious. No one is required to woo you! Be thankful, and gracious if someone picks up your tab. The biggest complaint I receive from men isn't that they minded paying, it's that she didn't appreciate it.
It may be 2013, and women may be making good money and great strides, however, the fundamentals of courtship still exist. Let the guy court in the beginning, be grateful for his generosity, and then offer to split.
We are living in a digital world, and it can make dating, flirting and any communicating pretty treacherous at times! While technology has opened up endless opportunities to meet, connect, and stay in touch with others, it has also created entirely new possibilities of overstepping boundaries and embarrassing moments. I recently had a matchmaking client accidentally send an off-color meme to a woman I had matched him with. They had been having great banter after their first date, but that oops turned her off.
How do you date and flirt while making sure you aren’t jeopardizing your budding relationship? Let’s break it down.
Texting is an amazing tool! It allows you to connect with people all the time in a way that is not intrusive. When I started dating in the dark ages, you had to suck it up and call them (well, call them back). The endless ringing phone call was nerve wracking. What if they didn’t answer? Were they avoiding you? Do you leave a message, or call back at a later time? Texting eliminates that stress because you can send your message off without worrying about interrupting anything. The problem with texts? They are one sided and have no tone or inflection. How many times have you had a conversation via text where it was completely misinterpreted (although you know what you meant)? Sarcasm and humor can take disastrous turns when you are just getting to know someone. Here are three quick tips to texting while flirting and dating:
1. Keep it short and sweet. Nothing heavy should go in a text. Ever. Texting in the beginning stages of a relationship should be limited to fun banter, or confirmation of plans. That’s it. Everything else should be said in person.
2. No naked pictures. Ever. Sure you can send off a shot of you smiling, or your bedroom eyes, but keep all body parts to yourself. I don’t even suggest sending x-rated shots between married couples. You never know where they could end up, and unless you are a reality star, it will not benefit you. Want more tips on sexting, check out my recent Access Hollywood appearance here. Don't pull a Weiner.
3. Don’t expect an immediate reply. Just because they didn’t write you back within five seconds doesn’t mean they aren't interested. Not everyone is tethered to their phones, and a little time between texts is completely normal.
4. Keep and open mind. If you are just getting to know someone, don't read too much into their texts. This is especially important if they are remotely sarcastic. Confused about something they said? Write back with a question mark, or ask them. Many times a budding relationship can be detoured by an miscommunication over a text.
Email is another fabulous way to stay connected. However, the same issue arises as with texting, as you can not insert tone and inflection with the written word, no matter how many emoticons and exclamation points you use (I am completely guilty of overuse). At some point, you have to get offline. Just keep in mind the following:
1. Know when to stop the chain for the day. It should never go on indefinitely. At some point you need to say “Talk to you later” or “See you soon”. Preferably before the conversation jumped the shark.
2. Check your “To:” field carefully. How many emails have you gotten that weren’t meant for you? It happens all the time, especially with most mail programs “guessing” who you want to email after you type the first letter. Just double check.
3. Do not expecting an immediate reply. Similar to text messages, it is tempting to expect someone to reply immediately. Keep in mind that they have a life, and might be at work. Give them 24 hours.
4. Always remembering that your email can be shared with the click of a button. The power of the forward is immense. Never send anything that you wouldn’t mind shared.
One additional rule about email is to never ever use your work email for your personal use. You don’t own it, and your employer can very easily access your very private messages. Use your personal phone to send messages – even free email accounts can be recorded real time.
As a flirting and dating coach, I often am asked, “What do I do if I am super shy? It takes me a while to open up.” My answer? Grab a wingman (or wingwoman)! These super heros masked as your friend can make all the difference when it comes to meeting people and starting the ever important first conversation. However, there are a couple rules that come into play when picking a wingman, and not all friends are created equal. Here are my five rules to make sure the person you bring along will help you to get your flirt on to the max:
1. They must be trustworthy. No, you aren’t marrying them, but you need to be able to trust them to stay with you during the night, and stay on track. A friend that is going to wander off and ditch you when they find someone they are interested in, isn’t a good wingman. They need to be committed to you – just for the night. Knowing when to sweep in, and knowing when to back off.
2. They must be single. I know, I know. Your married best friend insists that he/she is the best choice for your winged companion, and I am sure they are awesome. However, if you have an option, you must pick a single, fun and flirty friend. Your attached friends love you and want to see you happy, but they may not have the patience to let you work your magic. The last thing you want is pointed, probing looks from your wingman indicating that you should wrap it up so he can continue complaining to you about his wife… or so he can get home to her early.
3. They must be fun. Fun is hot! It is so attractive to see happy people having fun. Pick a friend who is fun and goes with the flow. Have a funny friend? Even better. Laughter is contagious and can draw people in to talk to you like flies to honey. Who doesn’t like to laugh?
4. They must be selfless. They needs to be completely focused and committed to the cause - you! At least for the night. Your wingman needs to recognize that their role is to help you. You get first choice, and she needs to play a supporting role. Her job is to keep an eye out for you, keep an eye on you, and keep herself in check. Impaired or wasted wingwomen tend not to be effective. That doesn’t mean she can’t have fun and meet people too—she just needs to put you first (it’s only a few hours, they can make it).
5. They must know you. That seems a little vauge, huh? What I mean by “know you”, is that you need to make sure your wingman knows you well enough to know your type and read your cues. That way they know who to be on the lookout for, when to back off, or when to come in and save you! A good wingman won’t leave you hanging when you are looking distressed by the conversation.
Still at a loss for someone to have your back? Hire a pro. No, really. One of my friends, Thomas Edwards, is literally a Professional Wingman. Give him a shout. Tell him I sent you, and be sure to let me know how it goes!
Confidence is hot, but when does it cross the line and become a turn off?
1. It’s all about you – Fall in love yourself on Valentine’s Day! Realize that you are phenomenal on your own, and reward yourself for it. Book a spa day, plan a vacation with friends - pamper yourself!
2. Get out of the house – The worst way to spend Valentine’s Day single is home on your couch watching The Notebook. Head out with your single friends and do something fun and active like night skiing, ping pong, or yoga class.
3. Stay positive – you may find yourself muttering snarky quips about your attached friends under your breath, but lets try and stay positive. Maybe stay off Facebook today...
4. Be proactive – it’s never too soon to work on finding a date for next year! Make a resolution to open yourself up to meeting people, whether it be online or offline. Become a participator, join a club or a group that interests you.
5. Play FlipMe - anti–Valentine's Day thoughts are thrown of out of the window when you gather with your single gal pals and hit the town equipped with a savvy way to flirt! Simply stock up on sexy, sweet and sassy-statement cards, find a prospective mate and FLIP them as an invitation to meet online.
With Valentine's Day less than a week away we have been fielding tons of questions on what to expect from the guy in your life on the "big day". Frankly, while we all love a good holiday that guilts the loved ones in our lives to shower us with gifts and sweet nothings, we'd like to provide a little perspective.
99% of guys don't really care about Valentine's Day. Actually, that number might actually be a little light. It's more likely that 99.99% of guys don't care about Valentine's Day. The only reason they might pretend to care is to
not make you mad make you happy. The key to this holiday is to keep your expectations low. If you are expecting to be swept off your feet, and get a card, its probably going to piss you off. If you are expecting a card, and get a dinner its a win. Expect Nothing + Get Something = Be Satisfied.
We'd prefer to spend Valentine's Day focusing on what the people we are dating do the rest of the 364 days. Do they call? Do they make plans? Do they make you feel good? These are the things that will last a lot longer than those flowers dying in the vase on your counter. So give your guy a break if he doesn't rent a private jet to take you to dinner in Paris on V-Day.
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