The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Excellent Questions From A Reader

Private Man,

Lately I have been seeing many women on POF write in the  First Date section something along the lines of “Lets meet for a coffee or drink and then decide if we want a first date”.

Is it the new trend for women to state this upfront? More importantly, what are the social expectations as far as paying for that first drink? I always pay for a first date, but if this isn’t really a first date and then am I still expected to pay for drinks? I find it off-putting to go through all the motions of a date, including paying for a round of drinks and a tip only to have it classified as an audition instead of a date. Is this “not a date but rather a meeting” code for “You are paying for this but don’t expect any kissing or affection since it really isn’t a date”

What are your thoughts on the women that state this upfront in their profile?


A Reader

This is indeed a new trend. You can thank (or blame) the small army of dating coaches advising women to consider the first “date” as simply a “meeting”. The purpose of this meeting is to determine mutual attraction and that elusive chemistry. Frankly, it’s a matter of semantics because if there is sufficient mutual attraction, that meeting instantly becomes a date and there will likely be kissing and affection. Don’t sweat the semantics too much.

This is also a way for women to manage expectations. There are a lot of thirsty guys out there who lack charisma and escalate too fast, too soon, and too ineptly. Worse, the guys might insist on a high-end dinner for a first date and this really messes up expectations for the man and the woman alike if there is no mutual attraction. I think women who state this upfront in an online dating profile are being reasonably prudent and you shouldn’t judge them too harshly.

Yes, you still have to pay for that meeting. You’ll just have to deal with that and not let it get under your skin. However, if you plan a venue that is interesting and inexpensive, your fiscal liability is much reduced and you still have a chance to demonstrate your charisma and confidence. There may be some serious mutual attraction, regardless. Again, it should be an inexpensive place where you meet. Don’t plan a dinner. That’s advice for all first dates or “meetings”.

Your observations questions send a message of caution to all guys re-entering the wacky world of dating and tackling online dating. Online dating can certainly work but the return on investment for guys makes it too time-intensive. This is why I now recommend live singles events. and Plenty of Fish have organized singles events. also has singles groups with the accompanying live events. Consider speed dating as well if it’s your area. Interacting face to face in a social context is the cure for social isolation and a chance to work on a man’s charisma and confidence and a woman’s feminine charm.

If any of my readers want to ask questions, feel free. My email address is emailtheprivateman at gmail.


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19 thoughts on “Excellent Questions From A Reader

  1. Pingback: Excellent Questions From A Reader |

  2. A woman’s perspective on your question-

    In non-online dating:
    I meet a guy, there’s an attraction, we chat, he asks me out, I agree, it’s a date. There are no doctored photos, “little white lies” about weight, age, height (I’m tall, so yes, it matters), lies about being employed, being married, etc.

    Both of us know what what we are getting physically and have a general idea of who the other is.

    In online dating, people fib, lie, omit, exaggerate… both women and men do it. I have spoken to guys who have told me horror stories about the women who show up for that first date who are NOTHING like their online profile/photos.

    I became a believer in the pre-date-meet after;

    1) I agreed to go out with a guy I met online, after texting and phone conversations, etc. He ended up being 8in shorter than he had claimed (7in shorter than me), stoned off his ass, and spent the entire time trying to convince me that pot was awesome. I kept trying the “let’s agree to disagree,” and tried to change the subject to no avail. When I asked why he had not been honest about his height, his response was “What does it matter, we’re all the same height in bed, baby.” Check please!! And,

    2) a male friend of mine met a woman online, liked her photos, chatted with her a bit and asked her out to dinner. When she showed up at the restaurant, she was several years older than stated, at least 30lbs heavier, had another mans name tattooed on her chest, and spoke like a sailor with Tourette’s syndrome raised in a whorehouse. My friend didn’t immediately run for the door, fake an illness or an emergency because he didn’t want to be “rude”.

    This charming lady proceeded to order the most expensive thing on the menu, drink like a fish, behave incredibly rudely to the waitstaff, and generally embarrass the hell out of my friend. The dinner check came close to $150.00.

    Online dating is a crap shoot. Photos never tell the whole story and people, consciously or unconsciously, are on their best behavior in pre-date communications in order to Get The Date. By having the pre-date-drinks, neither party has committed themselves to a long, and at times expensive, evening to someone they have no chemistry with.

    • Hamster Tamer on said:

      … “little white lies” about… height (I’m tall, so yes, it matters)

      LOL… nice to see Duh Hypergamy® out in the open, but that doesn’t mean Duh Hamster® is asleep, quite the contrary.

      Su-V, I understand well the DNA hardwiring in the femme brain to find a man who’s “taller, broader, hairier, deeper voiced, badder-assed, etc.” than you are… OTOH, if you’re reading this blog, I assume you’re of an age/stage where you’ve had all the children you ever want to…? Ergo, why worry about height, esp. just a couple inches, when Thee Best Guy in Da Whole Wide Woild® might be 2.438″ shorter than you… and that only when you’re wearing 3″ heels and going “big hair”, lol.

      Seriously, when I hear about a wimminz who is over 35/38/40 and rejecting guys over relative trivia, I’m prompted to ask: How’s that working out for you (and the cats)? 😎

      • Height is at issue because I prefer to avoid a potential stressor in a relationship. While you would like to think it’s hypergamy, (Ha! Hypergamy- quietly giggling over that one!!), it’s sad reality.

        As I said, I’m tall. I’ve dated men who are a few inches shorter than I, and inevitably, the snarky comments appear. I don’t wear the now fashionable 5in-high-stacked-sole-stripper-shoes, just regular heels on occasion.

        -I- don’t care that there’s a height difference, but most men do. And then the comments start… It’s annoying and rude.

        As for seeking height in a man for breeding potential (insert eye roll), you couldn’t be more wrong. My average (5’7) mom and tall (6’4) dad produced a shockingly tall (6’10) son and (5’11) daughter, me. I got the height thing covered, genetics wise.

        I read this blog, and others of its kind, because I find them fascinating. I’ve gotten insights on the male perspective that I had no idea existed. I find this blog in particular very well written, unusually funny, often heartbreaking, and occasionally shocking. It’s made me a lot more appreciative of the male perspective. I had NO freakin’ idea how men saw certain things. I’m sure this will inspire mockery, but I don’t care.

        Lastly, to answer your “How’s that working out for you (and the cats)?” question;

        It’s working very very well, thank you.😃

  3. Mark on said:

    My question would be how to end the pre-date. If you have a meal in a restaurant, then when the meal is done it seems like a natural time to leave. If I’m sitting in a coffee shop with a female, I’m never sure when it’s a good point to leave. Just sitting at a table in a brightly lit coffee shop across from each other and not doing anything else makes it also seem more like a job interview. That job interview atmosphere doesn’t seem conducive to starting a relationship because it kills any potential romantic vibe. I would rather do something I normally like doing and just inviting the woman along. I make sure, though, it’s not something like an all day hike. In case we don’t hit it off, I don’t want to be stuck with her too long.

  4. Pingback: Excellent Questions From A Reader May 16th |

  5. someguy302004 on said:

    Welcome to Dating 2.0.
    (PM has a good primer on this, by the way)

    “Tingles über alles” / AKA chemistry trumps all else with women.

    This guy simply has to “learn game” and figure out what gets women tingling. ( Equally important is your time away from dating-spend more time becoming a better man through self-improvement, but that is a different topic)

    Female-driven “meetings” where they run through a checklist certainly will not generate attraction. Deflect and ignore interrogations.

    On first dates, avoid the female inquisition– keep it brief, fun, and lighthearted… Tease, joke, and tease some more… Try a crazy mixture of flirtatiousness, indifference, and cocky confidence. Be bold and get a kiss when you’ve warmed her up.

    All of this can be done within 2 drinks.

    It’s all about the tingles…

  6. Another Woman’s Perspective :

    Congratulations ! Sound’s like you found some down to earth women !

    They want to meet you for a cup of coffee because they simply want to see if there is a mutual attraction.
    They are not looking for a free dinner, They do not want to hurt your feelings,
    They, like you, are putting themselves out there, Hoping to find romance .

    Women can be attracted to a man from the sound of his voice, maybe the way he carries himself
    or a number of things.Who know’s why pheromones do what they do.
    What this ” coffee meeting” will do, Is see if you have anything in common.
    And if you both warm up to each other.

    The majority of people you meet on line, From my experience, will not go anywhere.

    However, when you meet someone and it clicks, you will know it.
    In the mean time,No reason not to be pleasant, wish the other person
    good luck in their search. Hey,,Maybe you have a friend that would be perfect for her!
    Or she has a friend she can introduce you to.

    • Hamster Tamer on said:

      Who knows why pheromones do what they do…

      *I* do… oh yes. 😈

      “Ma” Nature makes it all mysterious and sub-conscious to women for a reason… it has to do with survival of the species. 😉

  7. Oh ! and by the way..on the matter of who pay’s…
    RELAX ! You are over thinking it ! Good chance you won’t both arrive
    to the bar/ coffee shop same time. I’m sure if she get’s there first
    she will pay for her drink or coffee, If you want to offer to buy her
    a coffee/ drink, That’s fine too.

    • It’s always the man’s job to pay in the beginning so we’re allowed to analyze it in detail. He who has the gold makes the rules. If the fellow is clever and wants to send a healthy message about his attractiveness, he should be late. But it’s still his job to pay.

  8. Mark on said:

    Both men and women want to meet each other and both men and women have to deal with dishonest profiles. The topic of this post, though, is why the desire for the quick pre-date is coming from women more than men. You notice that neither female who has posted a comment has addressed that. There’s a lot to your suggestion that women are responding to what is being told to them by dating coaches but there are also two other factors. By making a romantic advance to a female, a guy is validating her attractiveness and giving her a quick and pleasant ego boost. Once he has given her that, though, she can turn down the advance and repeat the process with the next guy. The quick pre-date makes it easier for her to move on quickly to the next guy. Guys are aware that they are giving women these quick ego boosts with the quick meetings the women are wanting but aren’t getting much out of the process themselves. Hence, they do not have the same desire for this quickie meeting. Second, the hypergamous nature of females causes them to want to go through huge numbers of men trying to find Mr. Perfect. Online sites are perfect for the women who want to engage in this process. Once again, though, the average guy does not perceive that he benefits from all these meetings where he is quickly looked over and rejected. Online sites are not useful for the average guy and many of us are dropping off. The growth in many online sites has leveled off and is probably headed for a future decline as more women demand the quick pre-dates and more men become aware their time is better spent elsewhere.

    • Wow… Your disdain for women is blatant, and sad. I no longer engage in online dating, but when I did, I never would have even thought to do the pre-date-coffee for ego gratification.

      Then, as now, i think it’s an efficient way to see if you and your potential partner click. Simple as that.

      Lastly, to answer the follow up to the original question; there’s an app for that! Bad Date Rescue- check the App Store! 🙂

      • He is not disdainful of women. He is simply describing the honest reality that men face vis a vis online dating. Using such technology is a perfect way for women to find reasons to reject a guy. That’s a feature in women, not a bug. As well, the whole validation of attractiveness is a real phenomenon. If you were to date women, you’d pick up on it instantly and then be frustrated by it a nanosecond later. To better understand the whole mess that is online dating, I have one word:


  9. wingman on said:

    It seems the pre-date is becoming a necessary part of on-line dating, but what about just being out there and meeting people? That’s the pre-date. Just meeting them.

    • Richard Cranium on said:

      I think with the combination of the advent of social media, online dating combined with the new rules of Dating 2.0 women have way more options than they did before so the pre-screen is just a part of the changing world. Even an average woman has way more options than she did even 10 years ago especially if she’s in a decent sized town. You’re just one of 75 guys that want her attention on a given day.

      Also something that Leykis has discussed dating for women is like an auction and the bidding starts at you. What can you offer her? Dinner and a movie? Oh wait a nicer car and tickets to a Broadway play? Hold on a weekend in the Bahamas? Sold! And all she’s out is a half hour at Starbucks. Hell you’re probably the third guy she met up with that day who paid for her caramel macchiato.

  10. Trouble on said:

    Private Man’s suggestion for venues is exactly correct for the older crowd. Mark, be clear to her upfront that you are only available for 1 drink and need to be somewhere else in an hour (and you do not tell her where that somewhere else is). Of course this can turn into 2 drinks but the first meeting should never be more than 1 hour anyway, and you really have to be going, thanks for coming. If you go to Ale House, the bill with tip is less than $10 so you pay it and excuse yourself even if she is staying. (I have done it this way many-many times). One lady in her Wonder Woman costume wanted to order dinner, which I would have had to pay for and drag it out for a couple hours, so I told her she can do what she wants, but I am leaving. It does not matter how good the 1st meeting is going, there are many more nights in the year to meetup later. You can only ruin it by overstaying your first meat.

  11. Mark, I assure you, Pre-Dates..or better known as a cup of coffee
    Is not exclusive or predominant among women.

    Trust me, Most men use it as well. What Private Man suggested is the exact same thing
    as what you call pre-date. An Inexpensive little place.

    How dare those women try to take off the pressure of on line dating
    and suggest if you ask them to meet for a cup of coffee they would be open to that !

    Call me old fashion, I wait for the man to ask me out, and they always suggest
    coffee or a drink from on line dating.

    So you see, Its not just a “female thing”

  12. Pingback: The New American Dating Trend: The Date Before The Date | Maverick Traveler

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