I found this when I dated - only on 4 occasions - a much younger man, who seemed to assume an older woman would pick up the tab, maybe as young women have been expecting older men to pay since the dawn of time. I may well have been slightly older (9 years), but I do have certain standards, and if someone doesn't even offer to pay it puts my back up. He went one stage further and that's why it only lasted 4 dates.
On the first date we were meeting for a very quick coffee to see if there was any chemistry. He sent a text to let me know he was running a few minutes late and would I get him a coffee when I got my own? I didn't object, its only a coffee, so I bought two, sat down and waited. We had a lovely hour getting to know each other, the time flew, and then we both had places to be so we went our separate ways. We arranged to meet the following night.
I told him what time I would be there, and his timing or planning was impeccable. Naturally I couldn't sit there alone without a glass of wine, so I got myself a large one - I needed it!! I settled down with my drink and a good book and he finally turned up - late again - went straight to the bar to order himself a drink. We chatted and had a lovely time again, but as my glass had been empty for a considerable time, and he hadn't offered to refill it, I decided to head back to the bar, and politely offered him one, which he rapidly accepted. The drink slipped down smoothly, but we were both driving so we decided to call it a night.
The following night we met for a coffee. As we walked into the coffee shop he said he loved this particular brand, especially their Mocha. As we stood in the queue waiting to be served, and he had made sure I knew what he wanted, he then announced he needed the toilet and disappeared, leaving me to order and pay! Now I know its only coffee, and a few drinks, but by this point I was starting to wonder if this was his regular behaviour.
The final time he called to make plans I invited him over to my house, knowing it would cost us both nothing, so the issue wouldn't rear its ugly head. While we chatted I discovered that in his 32 years he had never once been to a restaurant with a woman. I was practically speechless. I live in restaurants, they are a passion of mine, I love good restaurants, I admire chefs who create artwork with food, I love good food and exquisite wine, and so many of my friends love eating out that it is now classed as a hobby. We all discuss our experiences, good and bad establishments, and tick them off our recommendation lists when we have tried them. Eating out is so important to me, and to everyone I know, so this was new territory for me, someone who has NEVER eaten out.
At that point I knew we were never going to be right for each other. A man who avoids paying for drinks and NEVER goes to a restaurant is not what I'm used to, and he would not be comfortable around my friends, my family or me. It was an incredible shame because he truly was delicious to look at. I could have had him as a main course served up in a restaurant. But it got me thinking about my expectations of a man in a relationship. I think, because of the nature of my dating married men, I have found men who are true gentlemen, who insist on paying for things, insist on taking care of me and wouldn't dream of me paying for a drink, never mind dinner, even if I offer. Because I have got used to that situation it's difficult to go back to someone who doesn't pay for anything at all. I do hope a man would be happy parting with more than a crumpled note pulled from his back pocket, mixed in with his old tissues and an optimistic condom.