The first date

Recently had a girl tell me that all the first dates she goes on are dinner dates. Made me think, what percentage of you are buying girls dinner on the first date?? I'm strictly a drinks only guy, but curious as to what the norm/expectation is nowadays..


Dinner at a respectable place: each entree ~$20, probably gonna order a drink for each person another ~$12 each, comes out to ~$64 + tip and taxes, its gonna be around $85-90 minimum.

Drinks for two: ~$12 each, with tip comes out around $29

85 - 29 = $56 difference

Get a grip.


$40? I think people are confused by what qualifies as a dinner date.

We should be looking at the +$400 range minimum. Pair that with drinks / multi-course, speciality items like wagyu steak, and you easily run $1000. THAT’S a dinner date — the full experience.

And this is also the problem with guys who take girls out on “dinners” for first dates. Inherently you won’t be blowing a non-trivial amount on someone you just met (as seen by your idea that $40 is enough). Until you’re balling like that, stick to activities as your first date. Make her earn the proper dinner.

Guys that are scared of doing non-first date dinners know, deep down, that she isn’t attracted to them. So you try to compensate with trying to swindle her into sleeping with you out of “deep conversations”. And she lies to herself by saying “oh he’s not THAT ugly, at least I get dinner”. He’s not THAT short, he’s not balding THAT bad, he’s not THAT skinny/fat, etc.

And girls that never “settle for less than first date dinners” show how much they’re actually worth by settling for $40 dinners. This doesn’t apply to girls who have a decent standard, but if she was fine with you taking her on a $40 dinner, that already gives you you’re answer.

Sure there are exceptions, but I just can’t stand guys who only know “dinner” as a first date idea. This is the psychological truth behind all the bs.


A plate of food at an affordable place with water? Maybe $20 as well, so $40 total

You’ve obviously not dated much - I feel sorry for your future dates.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Trying to practice traditional values is apparently cuck behavior now? If you're appalled that this woman is saying "all my first dates have to be dinners", you need to either a) reassess the women you attract/attracted to, or b) reassess your own ideas of what you're dating for.

Without any other evidence, this woman is either really stuck-up or has a lot of self-respect. If it's the latter, not paying for dinner isn't the badass redpill sigma move that a lot of you guys think it is. There's more to life than nominal, yet arbitrary 'wins' or 'losses'


Again, if you're looking for a partner instead of some bimbo to bed for the night, a setting where it is confrontational like that and you can't politely end it early should be exactly what you're looking for. Not only do you get to see who she is as a person (ESPECIALLY if you pick their brain with tact questions), but you get to experience being with JUST them in a potentially awkward situation. There's more to dating someone than going clubbing/on walks/museums/etc. where you're both entertained by something else.

Also if you're OP, you didn't keep anon for your replies here, dumbass


lol at this getting monkey shit. It's the absolute truth. No guy who is good with women routinely does dinner dates.

Sitting down for an hour having conversation that you've replayed a hundred times before, doing something that she has experienced a hundred times before as well, with no chance to increase physical intimacy or truly challenge each other a bit? Oh and you get a $80 bill at the end of the night?

It's a move for losers 


That's exactly why you shouldn't do it.  If it's a girl that you don't know beforehand, you have no idea if she just wants a free meal from you, is currently getting fucked by several other guys, and has no intention of actually dating you.  Coffee/drinks first to try and suss that out, and if a girl flat out says no to that, she's clearly more interested in the free food than she is in you.  This is especially the move if you're in a major city.  You may find plenty of traditional women in the suburbs of Cheyenne, Wyoming or Salt Lake City, but they're a needle in a haystack in NYC/LA/Chi.  

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done
Corporate Monke

if your in high finance and can't afford a nice date once in a while, evaluate your life choices

If you've graduated college and still can't differentiate your vs you're, evaluate your life choices.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

If it’s online dating just tell ‘em to slide to the crib as long as you have good banter going. If she’s not going to be that easy, then meet out at a bar for a drink or two to feel the vibe out and then go to your place. I personally wouldn’t take a girl out to dinner until the second or third date and that’s only if I see her as high potential. No free dinner dates outta me. Granted I’m still in college but don’t plan on changing the mentality anytime soon. Too many Gates/Bezos types only focus on women once they have money and that’s a one way ticket to getting taken advantage of and losing half your estate. 


As a woman, I don’t think a first date needs to be dinner, but when I was single, I would say no to first dates that were drinks only. I’m not that into drinking to start with, and I take drinks as a first date to mean this is only about sex, which isn’t what I have ever really been looking for. I’ve been to a ton of fun first dates that aren’t dinner though (coffee, a nice walk, the zoo, events etc.)


I was about to say, why are people doing dinner for first dates?? My first date with a woman is always coffee and walk in the park. It's an activity we both probably do by ourselves all the time and the first date should be for hanging out like you're friends and getting to actually know each other. It's cheap, it's fun, and you both get fresh air, sun, and exercise (better to move than just sit). One of my buddies takes girls out on bouldering dates for the first date which runs him about $20 for two people using a groupon and it's fun. Also serves as a good filter for him because he crosses off women who aren't interested in being physically fit and healthy (more so not into bouldering though, he's from Colorado so he grew up doing that stuff).

For reference to others, I'm not dating in NYC or SF, I'm dating in Houston, so I've got the luxury of year round summer weather. Used to date in NYC before I moved and if you live in Manhattan the vibe definitely is to grab drinks on the first date but that's not smart. Much better to go for a walk in Central Park or even get a coffee and desert at a nice cafe.


Just have a list of places you want to visit that are fairly affordable. Wine bars aren't too expensive and I have been to places all over the city. I make it visiting a restaurant I want to try rather than just dumping money into a mediocre outing - and then I control the cost too, and most women are thrilled if you pick the place

There are def women who consider themselves to be princesses and you should pay for everything on every date forever and also surprise them with $$$ gifts - avoid those types - but buying a girl dinner on the first date is a pretty reasonable expectation.


I usually just lurk on here but as a woman this made me lol because for me a nice dinner is like 2nd/3rd base. Do something casual that breaks the ice first and shows her that she can be comfortable around you. Men like to think endless text convo is the said "ice breaker" but no it is not. Assuming dating apps are involved, I would genuinely hate dinner on the first date. Especially if it were an expensive and very fancy one with dim lighting or something because that would feel way too romantic with someone that I literally just met. It just goes to show how different all of us women are. 

My first ever date with my now fiance was the Chelsea Piers driving range. I played in college so he asked if I could help him with his swing. At the time I didn't even realize that he was trying to proposition it as a date, but I was just trying to be FWB so I didn't care. Maybe it was the fact that I got to tell him what to do for an hour straight in a Lululemon mini skirt but yeah it was really hot and it helped us break the ice with each other before actually sitting down and being like okay now I really want to get to know you. Obv a very unique situation but my point is that activity dates >>> :)))


Ideal first date is drinks with small plates. Sugarfish, any tapas places, Wally’s, etc are all good options. We’re seriously talking about $40 extra for food. 

I also pretty much always eat when I drink, even if it’s just something small like hamachi crudo, pizza, mozz sticks (depending on the venue obviously). I love eating… I guess that makes me a cuck?


I don’t see a problem with something somewhat cheap/casual as a first date. Ideally we’ve been talking for a good period of time before pulling the trigger so you know they’re cool.

Something like pizza or just getting apps/shared plates I think would be ideal. Something super fancy as a first date like first time meeting the person is a little much in my opinion.


Dinner for a 1st date is ridiculous, wouldn't consider it until at least the 3rd date 

Drinks / coffee / tea / ice cream are the move for 1st dates. I guess you could do a tapas place with cocktails and some apps on a 1st date, but I don't think I'd want to drop that much on a 1st date. It also locks you in time-wise since food takes time to prep 

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I think it depends on the situation. My gf and I met through friends and they set up a "group date" so we could meet. We met as a group and went to a restaurant, then to a movie. The total bill for each individual was way beyond $80 and I also had gas, parking and a pretty long drive. So more than 100 bucks. Was it worth it? yes, of course.

Before I knew her I did a variety of coffee dates, dinner dates, lunch dates and sometimes just a video call date (with other girls). It depends on what makes sense in each situation.

Dinner date was for a girl who worked near a mall and dinner in malls isn't that expensive.
Coffee date was with a girl who was very busy due to her job, so time was the constraint and not money.
Facetime dates were a thing even before a pandemic, to see whether there is chemistry or not. It's useful for both the guy/girl.

Also, please don't forget that a girl has to spend money to prepare for a date as well, even if she doesn't end up paying for the meal. For the right guy, she'd have to invest in mani/pedi, the right clothes or maybe a new dress, put on the higher end makeup, and maybe a blow dry? All of that is easily 50-80 even with the cheapest deals. If she likes the guy, she wouldn't want to show up with chipped nails, an old dress and an overdue hair appointment (and this is not even addressing looking good beyond the initial dates, i.e. brazilian wax, lingerie, eye lash refill, tanning, birth control/out of pocket pay, Uber rides, ..).

And no, I am not reducing a girl to her looks only. You know what I mean. A girl who is seriously interested in a guy will put in the effort to look good. The least I could do is appreciate her time and effort and pay for the meal. That's how I see it.

Another way of looking at the situation is: the women you are going on a first date with could potentially be the one you get married to and who could become the mother of your children. Is dinner really too much for that opportunity?

If you are not willing to shell out dinners for every single girl, then weed out more beforehand and only date the ones that really fit.

There might be a time in every man's life where nobody will go out with you. You will either be too young, too old, too sick or too poor. Appreciate the moments when a girl says yes, enjoys your company and make the best of this opportunity. You never know what could come out of it.


I wish I'd known this when I was in my early 20s. I was so naive, angry, ignorant, and misogynistic. You've given great advice. Too often we are unsympathetic and refuse to see things from other's POV. Dating is absolutely exhausting for women as well as for men. You definitely hit on the head that it's a lot of work for a woman to come presentable to a date for a man she's into.


Thanks for all the SB y'all. To be fair, I only spoke from experience but I also have an unfair advantage:

I have a sister.

Growing up with a sister is maybe not as ideal as having a brother (never had one), but a sister can give you invaluable advice and insight how the female mind works.
You can find a brother in a friend, but I don't think there will ever be a woman out there who will be like your real sister.


Sorry champ but this post just reads as complete naivety, or someone that really doesnt have experience with modern dating culture. Good for you for getting a great relatiosnhip, but otherwise bad advice

1. No woman is buying new dresses or getting a manicure for a first date lmao what is your first date, prom?

2. You are equating money to effort. It isn't. A dinner date is low effort. It's so low effort in fact that she has gone on dozens if not hundreds before you. So low effort that she likely wont remember it in a month when/if you both go your separate ways

3. Filter better before the date? Modern dating is a numbers game, especially dating apps. You should try to convert your conversation to an actual meeting as soon as possible because people are always much more different online than in person. Trying to do the opposite and really push all your chips into the table on an individual meeting will set you up for failure

If your experience is small towns, or meeting a woman through friends and you already jive well, then sure your perspective is a valid one. But for modern urban dating? Terrible advice.


coffee date on 1st date to get a sense of what girl she is

if she is worth getting to know, you can go for a dinner 

if not, you had a stop loss of $2 (her coffee price) and not $20/30

still, if I like her after a coffee date, I won't go to dinner, I'd go to something more energizing like somewhere to dance (Latino party) or something that builds more sexual tension. Dinners are quite dry and are often pulled by guys that have nothing interesting going on and must impress her with restaurants.


if not, you had a stop loss of $2 (her coffee price) and not $20/30

where does coffee cost that little, I'm trying to go there

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Woah I'm appalled. I'm a woman and this informational gap is giant. I'm married and in my late 20s so maybe it's a generational thing?? Taking girls out on drinks is fine, but we just don't really consider those respectable dates. Drinks imply flings and casual intentions. We only start seriously remembering you after the first dinner date.

Oh btw coffee dates are fine. They’re low pressure but don’t give off the casual fling vibes.


I’m a woman in my mid-20s and I completely disagree. Some women get very uncomfortable at the idea of sitting across from a man they barely know - or in many cases, have never even met before - and getting analyzed by them for an hour+. The feeling that they may think you owe them something because they're spending a lot of money on you is also unnerving. I remember a guy offering to take me to a nice dinner that I knew would cost $350 minimum since I'd been to the restaurant before and thinking to myself "Ugh I wish he had just asked me to get a coffee or something" because it just would've been a more relaxing environment. You either have chemistry with someone or you don’t and for many people they can figure that out within the first 10-15 minutes of meeting someone so being held down to a dinner that will at a minimum take an hour to get through is awkward in that case. I’m engaged now but I always highly favored first dates that were just a way for us to casually introduce ourselves to each other. We could then see if the attraction was there and if our personalities meshed well. Then if we liked each others’ vibe, we could plan a dinner for another time.


Whatever girl, I assume you’re talking

about meeting off a dating app. Or a blind date situation. Otherwise why would you go on a first date with someone you barely know? Lol. Why would you call it a date if it’s with someone you don’t even feel comfortable talking to for 60 mins? I don’t have a lot of experience meeting ppl on bumble or tinder or whatever, so my comments were referring to whatever ways ppl meet ppl outside of those