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Know when to say 'no thanks'

January 18, 2007

Wow! A group of ladies I network with read this story ... and were floored at this man's passive-aggressive behavior ["Sounds Fishy: She Eats (and Eats), Yet He Pays," Jan. 11]. We wondered why he was so spineless that he couldn't just say no to sushi, or why he didn't say, "Honestly, we just met. I don't mind getting something to eat, but would you mind splitting the bill? If I spent $120 on every first date I had, I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage!"

But to be so nasty and put this woman down and call her a "cold fish" really blew all of us away.

My girlfriends and I went out this Tuesday to the Hollywood Roosevelt. Two young men sat down with us at the bar, chatted us up big time and tried to get us to leave with them. But when it came time to pay the bill, they had no interest in buying even a single drink, let alone a sushi dinner! They were insulted we asked (we had already paid our tab; we just teased to see their reaction).

My one girlfriend, who was a little more open, made a comment to them. She said, "Oh I get it, you don't want to buy our drinks, but you want us to be a booty call?"

They didn't know what to say. We left and they left -- and that was the end of the evening.


North Hollywood


You sound like a nice guy who needs to rethink your dating strategies a wee bit. You are interested in finding an interesting girl who really likes you for yourself, not what you can buy. Unless you're more interested in collecting tales that prove women are -- what? Out for the food?

Assuming the former is true, limit the first date to just coffee. Have something else to do afterward already planned. Decide based on that date if you want to pursue date No. 2.

Have you learned the word "no"? Try "No, I don't like sushi" or "I only have sushi on Mother's Day."

But playing the wimp and then getting sarcastic is not a good dating strategy. Note to yourself: If you do want to progress on the first date, be upfront and say, "Oh, we should go dutch at this stage of getting to know each other."

I'd rather pay for my own dinner than have somebody pull the stunt you described.


San Diego

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