Yesterday, a friend told me a story about a date she almost went on that would surely be one of her worst dates this year. It would have been a blind date with an older man who had invited her to see a movie in Manhattan.
They never made it out because of the things that he wanted to do before and after that movie. Things that immediately and completely turned her off......
The man wanted to stop at a grocery store to pick up popcorn and beverages that they could sneak into the theater. Yes, he wanted to save a few bucks at the concession stand. Afterward, he wanted to go somewhere downtown---by subway.
Knowing my friend- a classy and sophisticated woman who subscribes to the cultural norms of the NYC dating scene-I was not surprised that she declined the date. Seeing no need for her to apologize for who she is-a woman who is not down with smuggling popcorn in her Louie Vuitton bag on a first date-I agreed that they weren't a match.
Put yourself in my friend's shoes. What would you do?
When I think about it, I realize that even though I dislike paying $5 for tap water in a bottle and would indeed be okay with grabbing a few Poland Springs and hiding them in my purse for a night out with a friend or boyfriend, I would not want to date a man who couldn't spring for snacks on Date #1.
He could be an amazing man, but, I like my friend, would conclude that such frugality would be a red flag for me. Not only because I (admittedly) have champagne tastes and would do best with a man who wasn't on a beer budget, but also because I would feel that it said something more important about this man. To me, it said: He doesn't know better and/or doesn't care enough about making a good first impression. This means I would either have to teach him everything from how to make a woman feel special to how to act "normal" in a romantic relationship or accept a life full of coupons and two for twenty dinners at Applebee's.
Based on my learning (and recently re-learning) of the lesson that men are not "teachable" unless they recognize they need to change and are truly open to it, I would suggest any woman in the position of my friend decide if she could accept the man for who he is. If she thinks men over the age of 18 should pay for snacks at the movies, she should not try to convince this man of the reasons why. If he doesn't get that, there is going to be a lot else about her that he doesn't get. She should consider it the tip of he iceberg and move on to the next.
As for the man? I would tell him while I totally agree food at the movies is a rip-off and cabs are expensive, it is generally considered inappropriate first date behavior in NYC to make a woman take the subway and stop at a grocery store to pick up food for the movies. And that goes for liquor stores too while we are at it.....I'd tell him that if he doesn't make a few tweaks to his dating game, his chances of finding a relationship in NYC are slim to none---unless he finds a woman who has embraced her inner cheapskate just as much as he has. I would suggest he change, but if he knew it wouldn't be sustainable, I would tell him to keep showing his true colors from the beginning to weed out the women who'd be incompatible.
Because if he pretends to be a big shot in the beginning of the relationship and exchanges car services and five star restaurants for MetroCards & Costco after she commits, the relationship will soon come to an end. And it ain't gonna be pretty!
As we are about to ring in a new year, I wanted to give you the gift of this story to inspire you to reflect on how you come across on your dates and in your relationships. Is the person you are presenting in the early stages representing the real you? If not, I give you permission to be exactly who you are---cheapskate and all! Unless, of course, exactly who you are will never get you want for your love life. Think about that. Is the latter true for you? What can you do to get what you want, once and for all, this year?
Cheers to a killer 2016!
PS: Ready to make over your love life and finally make this year YOUR year to find or keep the love you desire? Email me with the subject "POPCORN" by January 7, 2016 for a complimentary strategy session on creating your love blueprint for the year ahead!