Let's be honest, dating culture and expectations have changed a lot with the rise of apps, swipes and even an Instagram like counting as a ''sign''. I personally had a complete reality check when I moved to the city and found out it is not all as glamorous as I expected it to be, far from actually which I wrote about here. It's inevitable that these things change, it is good in a way - we should get with the time and adapt to the way we live now, although I can't help but think it wouldn't hurt us to bring back some old fashioned dating romance...
Let's talk first dates
Since we are long past the stage of calling each other to arrange something and you can't expect more than a ''let's grab a drink'' text - let's talk about the expectations of these Friday night drinks dates. (P.S. I say we bring back the ''Can I call you tomorrow?'' )
I know I keep saying expectations and I just want to say that I should translate that to ''bare minimum requirements'', especially when it comes to the London dating culture. Now, I don't know a lot about what the dating scene looks like in other countries but I did read an interesting article in a paper at my internship the other day.
It was written by a woman who moved here from France, and how shocking she found dating in the UK. She then went on about how French guys would put a lot of thought and effort into a date, and how a guy over here saw meeting her in Sainsbury's for a food shop as a great first ''date''.
Now I have not had that happen to me yet, luckily, though it wouldn't surprise me either. I don't think there is anything wrong with more easy and casual dates at all, but in that case I think there is also nothing wrong with having a few basic expectations or desires that distinguishes a first date from a catch up with colleagues.
Splitting the bill on the first date, yes or no?
I asked about this subject on my Instagram stories and whilst 60% said they would expect the guy to pay on the first date, there was still a large group, the other 40%, that would split the bill on the first date.
Personally, I would always offer to pay, it's just fair and shows good manners from my side, but I do definitely prefer a guy who will reject my offer and pay for my drinks on the first date. Even if it is just the first round - still bonus points. Call me old fashioned but in my eyes, the whole ''yours was £8.50 and then £2 service charge'' is a vibe killer. It's not about the money, and as someone pointed out, I don't see why this has to be part of the equality discussion - it's first date drinks, not paying the monthly bills.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for making sure it's fair and I will usually pay for the second date if there is one and then just take it in turns from there - but it's JUST something about first impressions, romantic gestures and good manners that I look for on the very first date, I think you can tell a lot from it. I found this article very interesting as well, to see different opinions from people around this subject.
What is so wrong with the old school etiquettes?
Continuing from the previous paragraph, it's also definitely not just about splitting the bill that I make a mental note of on the first date, there are a few other ''expectations'' that are arguably small, but tell you a lot.
Some might say it's not important and that it's about the connection and the time shared on the date. Well OBVIOUSLY it should be about that, that's why you are going on a date in the first place!
However, all the small things you notice such as their timing, if they keep you waiting, the way they talk to and about others, if they ONLY talk about themselves (you know the ones, where it doesn't actually matter if you are there or not?) if they are on their phone, don't walk you back to the station etc - are in my eyes all indicators of how things could turn out in the future and are very much part of their personality, no matter how great their jokes were after a couple of beers.
But how about us being independent women?
Can we be modern day women and still want the old fashioned gestures? I am going to say; hell yes.
Can I open my own car door? Of course. Would I find it more romantic of the guy opens it for me? Duh.
Can I walk back home by myself? Yes, I prove this to myself every night already lol. So therefore, is it a nice gesture if someone else offers to walk you home? Always.
To all the men; just because a woman is independent, doesn't mean you should throw your manners out the window. I know we don't need all these small gestures, we as women don't need anyone or anything for that matter, but maybe we do want them, and it's just nice to be nice. (and to be one of few gentlemen left in the city)
to conclude: Final thoughts on the first date rules
I just want to stress the following:
not splitting the bill - only first date. having all other good manners - every date.
I also just want to conclude these first date thoughts by saying this is all based on the general experiences, I once went on a first date with a guy who had just lost his job and I paid for everything as that only seemed fair and I absolutely did not want him to spend that money - it all depends on the situation too!
One of you told me that if you are the one who asked the guy out and suggested one or more places to go, that you would pay - which is totally fair too.
I have often found that guys who didn't offer to get me a drink, didn't even walk be back to the tube station a few minutes away or text of I got home okay; turned out to be pricks anyway.
So maybe I have based all this on my own experiences, maybe I am just ''old fashioned'' for thinking this way.
But in my eyes, it's not old fashioned, it will always be classy.
Love, M x