While not all women expect you to pay when you take them out for dinner, there are a fair number of them who not only want you to pick up the check but who will only go on a date with you to get a free meal. How do you know you’re in that situation? Here are a few hints.
- She’s extra picky. A woman who likes you won’t care much about where you take her to eat on the first date. To her, your favorite café is as good a place as any. I’m not saying that you should worry if your lady date exhibits a fondness for a certain cuisine; after all, you want her to enjoy herself. However, if she is too concerned about the location and the type of food served, chances are she is only out to please her taste buds. Be very scared if she texts you something like, “We should try out the new Japanese place downtown.” Gentlemen, there are only two reasons why a woman would insist on a particular (high-end) restaurant. One, she wants to set a high precedent for future dates. Two, you’re her means to savoring gourmet meals she can ill afford. Either way, you’re screwed.
- She’s already planned the next date. “Food is the new rock ‘n’ roll,” they say. Today’s foodies are as eager to discover fresh, interesting culinary offerings as the previous generation was to find new bands. Therefore, any hip woman worth her salt is armed with an almost inexhaustible list of the best eat-out joints in her city and, at times, even the world. Run for your life if your date already knows where you guys should eat next. It only means she intends to use you to cross a few items off her bucket list. Don’t get it twisted; although suggesting a second date indicates interest, a genuinely interested woman will want you to explore other activities, not just eating.
- She doesn’t dress up for your first date. First impressions matter and it’s common knowledge that the first date determines the future of any relationship. Why then would a lady who clearly knows this come dressed like she just hopped out of bed? Unless you tell her to come as she is, a woman who likes you will make an effort to look as good as she can. Don’t excuse shabby dressing as a laid-back look. Even if your date is having an I-don’t-give-a-damn kind of day, she knows better than to let it ruin her chances with you — if she cares, that is. You should reschedule (indefinitely) if she hits you with the infamous “I’m feeling too lazy to dress up” statement.
- She’s oblivious to your existence. Sadly, since time immemorial, a disturbingly high number of men seem okay with ‘hot’ ladies walking all over them. The situation is so dire that I plan to dedicate an article on how and why we should man up and stop selling ourselves short. If your date finds the menu more attractive than your face, then you’re her food boyfriend, and maybe not even the main one. If she’s impolite or insensitive, don’t hang around hoping that she’ll warm up to you because most women would never be mean to the people they like. Ask yourself this question: why would she want to indulge someone who she’s got no intention of ever meeting up with again?
- She brushes off your flirting attempts. People go on dates for two reasons: to bond and to flirt! If she has an ulterior motive (in this case food), she’ll be as flat as a glass of yesterday’s soda. Ask for your coat if she doesn’t pretend to like your corny jokes, or she diverts each time you start talking ‘mushy.’ She’s deliberately sending a not-so-hidden signal if she openly checks out other men or compliments one in your presence. Not to sound mean, but you stand a better chance with her as a slice of grilled cheese if she moves her hand away or dodges your greeting or goodbye kiss.
- She goes MIA soon after. Chances are she’s not playing hard-to-get when she disappears soon after you feed her. She already got what she wanted and there’s no other logical reason under the sun to entertain your advances. Delete her number, seriously, if her schedule suddenly fills up a day after your dinner date. To be fair, there may be a chance that you might have misrepresented yourself during the date. Even so, an interested woman will point out your shortcomings as opposed to going underground. Lose her number if she only responds to your “Wanna grab another grub” texts.