“I really wasn’t into him but I felt I had to, it was a really nice dinner.” This is what one of my adorable, amazing girl-friends emailed me the other day. I almost reached my hands through the computer screen to grab a hold of her shoulders and shake some sense into her.
“What?!?!? No…you don’t owe him anything!” I followed this by a short version of what I am going to offer you here. Just because someone takes you out on a date does not mean you have to sleep with him or her to say thank you. I’m sure every guy and a few girls are reading this thinking, “but it sure be would nice if you did.” Dating is about courtship, not sex. Sure people mix it in there and mix up what the true purpose of dating is. The reason for going on a date; getting to know someone and for that person to get to know you. Let me take you away from the romantic relationship scenario and give a business example, which for some is an easier concept to wrap their head around.
Since graduating from grad school I have met with every type of businesses almost everyday. Over the years, I have taken someone or been taken out for breakfast, tea/coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks, etc etc. The point of this social exchange; Do we want to do business together? When I buy someone a drink or a meal, I’m not expecting or assuming they’ll want to go into business with me. The reason why I buy them the drink or meal is for the following reason; I respect their time – They could be anywhere, doing anything, which is an honor because they have taken the time to meet with me. That means the world to a small town girl like myself. Time and love are the only things on this planet that you cannot buy; it has to be given. If a business shares their time with me, I would love to voice some ideas over a cup of their choosing. Maybe the relationship will go further, maybe it won’t. I’m not looking to be pressured or pressure someone into a situation that they’re not comfortable with or ready for. This should be the same with dating.
If someone takes you on a date, your sheer presence should be enough. Much like a business meeting, you could be anywhere and going out to dinner with anyone else but you choose to be with them. You’re sharing your precious time that cannot be bought back. I learned this valuable lesson after a few bad dates…I can never get those hours back. I could have been home washing my hair or snuggling with my cat, instead of wishing the dinner date came with a mute button.
I hope it goes without saying that you still should voice your appreciation for the date and for them taking the time to be with you. Releasing from your lips an excited “Thank you” should be enough, especially on the first date. If you go out with someone that expects more, well then in my opinion he’s not a man. Sure he may have the working parts; Male anatomy, male strength and male brain. Also, selfish, egotistical and self-serving come to mind. Is that someone you want to be with? Hopefully, not. Do not do anything you’re not comfortable or ready to do.