Is it wrong to resent going Dutch on a date?

First Dates

I’ve made my thoughts about who pays on the first date pretty clear. But I have been party to conversations with women who say they would like it if the man did pay. Without judgment, I listen and there is something of a tear between the mind and heart.

They class themselves as modern and subscribe to a lot of the feminist ideas (mind) but deep down in their (heart) they would like the man to pay. I can see they are conflicted about the whole thing.

No better to see some of this than in the guardian piece Is it wrong to resent going Dutch on a Tinder date?

It started successfully enough. The conversation was flowing in the semi-swanky restaurant my date had invited me to. We talked jobs, family and travelling. He wanted nibbles, I picked at them and, when the bill came, I offered to split as I always do. But later, when he got uncomfortably touchy-feely on the dance-floor (there was live music) and asked me back to his (I politely declined), I was weirded out – but not all that surprised.

Although I have to say @GeorginaLawton does point to some of the power struggle I have heard my friends talk about. (although I have to say, going to a semi-swanky restaurant on the first date and getting touchy-feely is certainly a problem regardless)

Would I have been less offended at his suggestive behaviour if he had whacked out a wad of £50 notes? Admitting “yes” suggests that I’m prepared to let dating turn into a “buy and sell service” placing myself as the “commodity”

And this is the issue!

Taken in isolation, going Dutch and being asked for sex are two semi-expected outcomes of a mad, mad, Tinder-tinted world. But combined with all of the above, they create a cringeworthy hybrid of poor dating etiquette that is worthy of ghosting, where you simply disappear (don’t ever ghost – it’s brutal).

I blame Tinder for a lot of things but this isn’t a time for blaming Tinder or any other site/service (although I’d love to)

This is a societal legacy and I feel it has some similarity to the Stockholm syndrome. Turning dating into a buy and sell service, as Georgina admits is exactly what it use to be and there are still echos/reflections of this in dating and way beyond in society. Back then things seemed simpler, the man bought the dinner therefore proving he was interested, could pay for the women and his statute in society? (i’m trying ok…). Legacy & nostalgia is hard to get over but it is the enemy of progress.

I certainly wouldn’t blame Georgina for how she feels, I understand but I don’t agree. I guess the fact she can verbalise it is a good thing and maybe in the black and white of guardian she will shake off the shackles of the legacy past?

Its almost perfect Guilty feminist material.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Talk About Anything On A First Date

Jack's Rose Cocktail

Its not usually I agree with these things but Elite daily has a piece title: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid To Talk About Anything On A First Date.

…when it comes to first date conversations, most people stick to the basics: What do you do? Where did you grow up? What shows/music/whatever are you currently obsessed with?

Now technically, there isn’t anything wrong with these safe subjects, but TBH they’re kind of boring and definitely won’t reveal anything meaningful about the person sitting across the table from you.

And while a cute outfit and a friendly demeanor are first date requirements, sticking to this safe, vanilla small talk shouldn’t be.

That’s right: We’re here to tell you that NO subject should be off limits. In fact, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from years (and years and years) of research, it’s that cutting to the chase from the start is the best way to figure out if someone’s a good match for you.

  • Small talk is forgettable.
  • You probably already, um, researched the person anyway.
  • You won’t waste your time.
  • Your date’s reaction will tell you a lot about who s/he is.
  • Scaring someone away might be the best thing that ever happened.

To be fair I adopted this approach a long time ago in speed dating, first dates and life generally. Small talk is forgettable, boring and tells you nothing. Sometimes I get really odd looks and responses; but than also tells you plenty. Of course this is all contextual but if you can quickly get down to a deeper level, then its all good for everyone.

I do generally think if you’re not in a deep meaningful conversations then its highly likely there won’t be another date and most likely not right for me. I once put on my OKCupid dating profile, something about being deep and frankly Its something I’ve removed as it sounds wanky but its very true.

Are we still asking who pays?

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I have expressed my opionion on this for many years and it seems more and people are catching on.

Maybe Ngunan will catch on too… till then, here’s some sensible rules for those who are a little more liberated. The thing you should always do on a first date if you want a successful love life

  1. Leave gender stereotypes to Donald Trump
  2. Whilst it’s kind for someone to offer to pay the whole hog, for the sake of ease it’s always better to split or take turns buying rounds, regardless of who asked who or who has a nicer handbag
  3. Save champagne and caviar for another time, or at least until you know their last name.

2nd May 2016, the day when I undressed on TV

are you a good kisser - undressed

It feels so weird that a year ago (Monday 2nd May) I took part in TLC’s Undressed programme. Family and friends said I was crazy; heck even I started to think I might be a little crazy stepping too far out my comfort zone.

Most people haven’t seen the show but its episode 9 of series 1 if you subscribe to TLC UK. I did try and do some showings at my house but also did a showing at BarCampManchester7 which went alot better than I’d thought it would.

The whole experience was certainly unique and I did end up writing most of it on the train home to Manchester right before the next day catching a 6am flight to Berlin for Mozretreat (this year it was earlier and in Tallinn). Me and Jess also recorded a podcast which is worth listening to. I still think my undressed misunderstanding is undertandable?

Now my contract with TLC is up (well it was up the moment it was on TV really), I am seriously thinking about revisiting the idea of First Dates as a background dater. Originally I was going ahead with it then Undressed got in touch and the contract (see I read those contracts) didn’t allow you to be on another dating show (although I did declare the Horizon dating experiment too but they didn’t seem to care).

Its not about being on TV as I keep saying… Its those experiences which take you out of your comfort zone. Its seems consistenly every year there is at least something. 2015: Japan, Listening Project & Horizon, 2016: Undressed, 2017: Ireland in a Camper Van, 2018: who know?

Watch this space!

12th Aug, the date we’ve been waiting for…

I asked the question if anyone would want to see me date? But it was related to First Dates, now you get to see more than you expected… The undressed date some of you have been waiting for is… Friday 12th August. I got the email telling me it will be shown, and I will receive a DVD in the post after TX (transmission), which I was surprised about.

I still have not seen a whole episode from the start to the finish uninterrupted. The press coverage has been interestingly negative but it still seems to hold a reasonable user rating in places. Had hoped to have a few friends around for a live showing, but it’s not going to happen at least till the DVD gets sent out or my friends work out how to copy from their Sky+ boxes. Undressed is also now on TVDB and themoviedb.

Unreal TV show

I may have a surprise in store along with the blog I wrote on the train back up to Manchester. It’s all very fitting as I watch season 2 of unreal (undressed/unreal, similar right?) and been thinking more about the manipulation in reality TV. Most people are very surprised when I tell them, it was all shot in one go with no interruptions except the screen asking questions and prompting what to do next.

I applied to be on First dates…

First Dates s4ep12

I’m with Mr30NotSoFlirty... I’m down with confessions number 1 and 2 (except the man crush, I think the female wait staff is pretty lovely).

  • Confession no.1 – I do love a blind date

  • Confession no. 2 – over the last few years I’ve become addicted to First Dates on Channel 4 and I have a man crush on Maitre d’ Fred

  • Confession no.3 – I recently took the addiction a step further by being a background dater at the First Dates restaurant…. if you love reality TV, what could be better than stepping into the show you love

I’m not done step 3 but after reading the blog about Mr30NotSoFlirty’s experience. I registered my interest and signed up pretty much straight away on my phone in a Glastonbury cafe today.

This fits with my 2016 new years resolution… Make some bold moves with my love life.

Bold or silly?

Fred and that lovely waitress

Who knows? But I look forward to seeing Fred and that lovely waitress.

How does it genuinely feel with that person?

First Dates s4ep12

Did you see that couple on first dates? Season 4 episode 12

They started out like it was going to end in disaster.

First Dates s4ep12

She was a yoga instructor he had never really been to yoga. She was vegetarian he ordered the steak. Discussion was thorny to say the least. She spent ages (5mins) bad mouthing him in the toilet to another woman as he sat there wondering what was going on. She even considered leaving out the bathroom window (pretty sure that was more talk that anything).

First Dates s4ep12

Then in a moment of honestly it all turned around…

When they discuss how bad the date has been so far, she starts to write off the date. He says roughly…

I think you are trying to protect yourself by being horrible to me. You’re obviously nice but something may have happened in the past?

Not willing to show any vulnerability or be authentic and genuine is a common thing with dating in the 21 century.

You can see instantly how her face and body language changes. She suddenly realises there could be something here. Its like night and day the change around.

First Dates s4ep12

Its a good example of how he/she makes you feel which matters (or as I call it chemistry)… as datingsitereviews says.

Focus on how someone makes you feel. It’s impossible to date without judging. In a way, that’s what dating is about – evaluating people to determine if they’re a potential partner. Just make sure you’re judging the right thing. Picking apart someone’s clothes or hairline is superficial. Instead, focus on how they make you feel. Are you comfortable? Are you happy? Do you feel like the best version of yourself when you’re around them? Those are the things that really matter.


Here’s my clipped version, see how long it lasts on youtube for (I have previous on this)…

Fascinating to see it all happen (even if its slightly staged). Heck its for a better reasons than those I last time wrote about.

Dating couple awkwardly argues over who should pay bill

First dates argument

Remember First dates? and remember when I thought about going on Channel4 first dates?

Well I’ve always wondered when there was going to be bust up about who pays since I learned the whole dates are not paid for by Channel4.

Yes Crisitano this once again… after the ignite talk, radio debates, presentations, polls, etc, etc

Blame Tony who sent me the link to Mashable, where they cover the difficult exchange about payment for the meal and drinks.

Things seemed to be going okay until right at the very end of the date when the subject of paying for the meal came up — and everything suddenly got very awkward, very fast.

“Oh, we need to pay the bill,” said Elle, before moving the paper over to Mark’s side of the table.

Mark then asked if she was giving the bill to him, and Elle replied by saying: “Of course I’m giving it to you. I never pay on dates, why would I?

Finally I watched the whole episode myself and frankly I’m firmly shocked at her behaviour.  In my mind he did little wrong and frankly he went in with the right idea of splitting the bill or going dutch.

Now I’m fully aware TV has a massive habit of slicing and dicing  footage to make/add drama  or make somebody look a certain way. But in this case, it could be the drink talking but I would have cut the date short. Aka no shots of tequila and certainly no after party.

But I still reject the notion that money shows interest. Aka the idea that I would pay the bill if I wanted to see the person again.

But I will say there is no doubt this was a painful date and highlights the different way people think about how this should work. This is why I prefer to just take it off the table by both paying half.

Would you watch me date?

Dates in the past, have said I’m a very good dater, maybe because I like to ask a lot of questions and tend to spin from one thing to another quite naturally. Something to do with my dyslexia I think, or I’m just good at cocktail parties?

But would you want to ever see me date? I thought about this with channel4’s first dates programme, but didn’t get picked…

However recently Simon Lumb pointed me at the guardian’s watch me date

Each week, we’ve chosen two different people, given them two pairs of Google Glass and packed them off on a date (there is usually a lot of alcohol involved too). Filming begins the minute they meet, and that off-button is only pressed once they’ve said goodbye. The results? You’re right there with them, on these awkward, often funny and sometimes even romantic first dates.

I heard about it via my collection of dating feeds but hadn’t checked it out till now.

The results are not too bad, I think there reasonable and quite interesting for 5mins of web video.

Would I sign up for it? Unlikely, although part of me is wondering if I should just give it ago. However this type of thing is what got me on the year of making love and how to have more sex… Harsh lessons to remember.

Think who pays is meaningless?

So many people say, who cares who pays on the first date. Is it really a issue at all?

Well I’d direct them to the story of IT worker – Kishore Nimmala. Found via Tim Dobson

Mr Nimmala, from Leyton east London met Ms Sultana on dating website Zoosk. They arranged to meet-up for drinks in the West End on February 15. The IT worker said the evening was proceeding well and they had enjoyed two rounds of drinks by 11.30pm. Mr Nimmala paid for all the drinks spending £54 in total.

He said that when he asked Ms Sultana to pay for the next set of drinks she said she had not come out with any money as she had assumed he would be paying for the evening.

As a result, she cut the evening short and left.

Now if the date ended there, it would have been a crappy date agreed, and at least he could learn something from that experience. But of course it didn’t end there…

But he followed her to Charing Cross Tube station before snatching her phone in a bid to get her to stump up cash towards the drinks. He told the Standard: “I’m just very happy to be cleared.

“But it’s not just the money (£1,200), I have been struggling mentally for the last seven months. I could have lost everything had I been convicted. I feel like I never want to go on a date again.

“I don’t think you can get the right person online. You don’t know who you are talking to, I mean, I ended up in court.”

He added: “She said we would drink and dance all night, but she wanted me to pay for everything and I didn’t have enough cash to buy more drinks so she got upset.

“We had a heated argument. She took my money, I took her phone, but I never wanted to steal her phone and keep it.

“I just did it to get her attention and to get some money back. Then she started screaming very loudly, so I panicked and I ran (with the phone) for a few metres. When I turned back, the police were there and they arrested me.”

Yes he should never have followed her and took her phone! He should have cut his loses and walked away. Who pays is bigger than most people imagine and the politics wrapped up in the emotional issue is like a land mine. One day you will stand on it, and you will remember it forever more.

Mr Nimmala, who works on IT systems for major firms including banks, said the legal proceedings have cost him £1,200 in lawyers’ fees. He also said has not been on a date since February after being left emotionally scarred by his experience.

My general thoughts is if shes not going to buy some drinks on a date, then seriously its not going anywhere. You may be taken for a ride, get out quickly. A good relationship should be equal and both sides should contribute. This reminds very much of Nguna’s comments that she expects the man to pay for everything and she wouldn’t take her purse with her.

Before entering the dragons den… Radio debate

entering

I sent a email to my friends about my debate on the radio tonight
Just in-case you didn’t know, I’m due today to debate the topic of “who pays on the first date” with my good internet friend Northern Lass 32 (http://www.theguardian.com/profile/northern-lass). I assume most of you know my feelings about this but I guess debating it live will be tricky, specially against the woman (Ngunan – https://twitter.com/NgunanAdamuBBC) who triggered my whole research into the area. So blame her!
As its her programme, I may take it easy on her but I’m expecting she will cut me off with clever use of the faders if I make a good point 🙂 No idea if theres live calls or if Ngunan has another guest to help her.
Feel like i’m walking into the Dragons Den here…
So I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight but its from about 9pm on BBC Radio Merseyside which I believe goes out live on the internet too (UK only I think) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiomerseyside/on-air
Don’t think they make a podcast of the show, so it might be a one time deal sorry…
I will see if I can record it somehow too.
Should be fun 🙂 Please feel free to share it around and listen…

Is she a player or serial dater?

Phil and Tamsin‘s date on Channel4’s First dates got me going recently, specially following my blog post and discussion with Chris and others…

In Phil’s own words….

“She’s a lovely girl, she ticks a lot of boxes. But I think there’s a little bit of a player side”

Of course I have clipped the part for your own viewing pleasureWatch it before its blocked! Too Late, so I uploaded it to Soundcloud

 

Dating the people on screen, but should I?

First Dates

Channel4 have launched into the dating world with a number of interesting mating programmes. One of the best is Dates which I’ve blogged about before but the other biggie is there first dates show.

As part of the broadcaster’s Mating Season, Date Night will give viewers the chance to hook up with the singletons they see on screen.

Channel 4 is to enter the competitive market of online dating. Anyone who visits the broadcaster’s website will be able to apply to date pre-selected members of the public. The inevitable twist? Their first date will be filmed for an interactive documentary series, entitled Date Night.

“We’re looking for 50 or 60 people who want to come on the show,” revealed executive producer Meredith Chambers at the launch last night. “They will be known to us in advance. [Then] viewers from two weeks before the series goes out, and while the series goes out, can make a connection with those people. We want it to be as much like the real thing as possible.”

Just like any dating site, the pre-selected singletons will choose their own dates from those who get in touch online. Applicants who are overlooked first time round need not despair: they may get a second chance. “Twice or three times in each show, people whose dates didn’t work out that night will look down the barrel of the lens and say: ‘people of Britain, can you do better?’”

The first episode was last week and now the audience have the chance to join the dating pool by applying online.

I personally would consider breaking my rule about getting involved in with dating shows following the total screw up of the year of making love. But to be honest looking at the people involved I’m not so sure.

Nadia E sounds, quite nice… 31 years old, Entrepreneur wants someone whos a gentleman and someone whos a partner rather than a bit on the side. But shes from London and I don’t think that would work even with me going back and forth to London all the time.

Sophie T is maybe too young at 27 but is also from London.

There are a couple others but none really make me rush to sign up…

So the real question is should I also sign up for this one or not? I could just watch the site out of interest just in-case but it does seem better to be in the pool ahead of time? Heck who knows what might happen, might be interesting to be in the background having another first date?

I can almost feel my hand filling out the online form, although I got to say the terms and conditions are questionable…

Your profile may be removed from the First Dates website at any time for any reason at the discretion of Twenty Twenty and/or Channel 4 without notice. Twenty Twenty and Channel 4 shall also be entitled to edit your profile.

If selected…

If you appear in First Dates we may agree with you that you will become a dater on the show, in which case, members of the public will be able to apply to date you on the First Dates programme by way of the First Dates website.

If you are selected as a potential contributor and/or contributor then you consent to your personal information as it forms part of your profile being made available on the First Dates website and in connection with the rights granted by you under these terms and conditions. You understand and agree that your profile may be available publicly for an indefinite period of time.

Not a fan of some of the terms and conditions but heck what you say, its TV and its the reason why I don’t really like to be involved. But alas something is making me consider it…

Shall I or should I not?

Ok I decided to do it in the end…

My description isn’t the best but alas if you seen my OKCupid profile you will know what kind of madness I typed in (maybe I should have grammar checked it first?). If this goes badly of course I’ll be writing the whole lot on my blog, like always.

Top dating tips from myself

cup face

During Future Everything I took part on Chattr. My instant thought was to share some gems I’d learned from dating.

But after reading Trueview’s blog I started thinking heck I could easily share some pearls without upsetting anyone.

Now I have to point out that I am still single and therefore this means all my tips obviously have not worked. There also more for fun that anything and shouldn’t be taken seriously… I’m also sorry to say a lot of the recommendations Katerina made on the trueview blog.

  1. Email and Chat first
    There is a stereotype that most people chat too much online and actually getting to meet face to face is a novelty. I know where it come from a little but there is no harm in finding out what kind of person your interested in. Email is good and chat is even more interesting as you can get a sense of quick wit and canned answers.
  2. For the first date go for a coffee shop or quiet bar
    Tea, coffee, wine or even cocktails. But don’t get drunk! The first date is about getting to know the other person and to find out if your interested enough to go on another date. Try to go somewhere quiet and not busy. Ideally if you can find somewhere which also does food then that’s useful for natural progression (more on this soon)
  3. Don’t go on a dinner date!
    Dinner dates can be super painful… Everything from who pays on the first date, to being bored senseless or hangout with a homophobic nutter is up for grabs. For goodness sake if its the first date keep it real, however if the date progresses that way, then fine go for it. Some of my best dates have been following a coffee/tea date which has transformed into a dinner date.
  4. Don’t over do it but don’t under play it
    “be yourself” yes but do at least try… Be honest and functional, first impressions do make a difference I can’t lie (anyone who says it doesn’t is telling fibs and can not be trusted 🙂
  5. Bring money or credit
    Don’t you dare turn up with no money expecting the other person to pay even if you will pay them back next time. Who says there will be another date. If you did that to me, there wouldn’t be another chance.
  6. Use public transport and meet somewhere near public transport
    Nothing worst that going somewhere well off track and then missing the last train home to find yourself stuck in Leeds train station at 02:30. Public transport gets around the whole, “shall I drop you off?” Drinking while driving and puts a natural end to date.
  7. Always have a backup plan
    Yes thought the place was open, you didn’t know shes allergic to caffiene or is vegan. Go somewhere with a couple of credible choices. The biggest screw-ups have been when I’ve gone somewhere I don’t know and didn’t have a backup.
  8. Don’t lie and try not to be rude
    If something you don’t like comes up, let it slide and remember you don’t have to see this person again, ever. Likewise don’t lie, you want the person to make a good estimate about you and your personality. Hard to do that if your covering up your true personality.

Next time I’ll have to do my good places for dates…