Who owes what to whom when you go out on a date?

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR READ­ERS: The re­cent let­ters about di­vorced moms ex­pect­ing guys to pay for ev­ery­thing hit a nerve with both men and women, and opened up the larger topic of dat­ing eti­quette. So who owes what to whom, if any­thing?

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Should you ever say thank you af­ter sex? My new girl­friend re­cently pleased me very much in bed, and I said thank you af­ter­wards. She got all awkward and em­bar­rassed. She fi­nally said, “You only say that to some­one if they ren­der a ser­vice, like a call girl, which I’m not!” Do you agree with this? — Don’t Get it, Wolse­ley

Dear Don’t Get It: It is lover-ly to ex­press de­light and praise with a pas­sion­ate sex ses­sion but thank you crosses the line into com­merce. Thank yous can also sound like grat­i­tude, which hints of re­cent drought or des­per­a­tion. “Oh thank you, thank you” would best be re­placed with “That was won­der­ful, amaz­ing, out of this world” when speak­ing to a loved one or, “blew my mind” for a less for­mal union.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m a di­vorced mother of three and have been on the dat­ing scene 16 years. I have a good ca­reer, no prob­lem pay­ing my way on a date or tak­ing a man on a date. If I’m pay­ing, he bet­ter be as good com­pany as my­self alone or my friends. Most di­vorced men talk about them­selves or bash their exes, in which case I feel they owe me for my time and ther­apy skills. They usu­ally aren’t that much fun to be around, or have any­thing to of­fer in a re­la­tion­ship other than a roll in bed, which usu­ally isn’t that good ei­ther. — Just Say­ing, Win­nipeg

Dear Say­ing: Talk about re­verse sex­ism! How has ask­ing a man for a date and pay­ing for his din­ner got any­thing to do with what he does or says dur­ing that time? You act like pay­ing should buy you a piece of him, that’s worth the amount you paid for his steak. Then you turn around and bash the en­tire group of di­vorced men, but let it drop you’re still will­ing to take some ca­sual sex from them “which usu­ally isn’t that good ei­ther.” With the cold and crit­i­cal at­ti­tude you put out, it’s not sur­pris­ing you have been on the di­vorced sin­gle scene for 16 years.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I asked a guy out for din­ner at my favourite up­scale spot on Welling­ton Cres­cent, and au­to­mat­i­cally went to pay for the two of us. He put his hand over mine, which was al­ready on the cheque, and said. “If you both asked me out AND paid for the din­ner, I’d feel di­min­ished as a man. I will pay.” I let him pay; what could I do? And it was a lot. I hadn’t been think­ing about his bank bal­ance through the whole meal with co­pi­ous wine and desserts. Hey, I al­ways thought the per­son who is­sued the in­vi­ta­tion to a fancy place and ini­ti­ated the big ex­pense would pay for the din­ner. We’re not talk­ing about a mere ham­burger; why should it cost the in­vi­tee all that money? I went home early with a headache. — Felt Di­min­ished My­self, Gar­den City

Dear Di­min­ished: What he should have said was: “I have re­ally en­joyed din­ner with you, and talk­ing to you and want to thank you for invit­ing me here to this lovely place. It would give me great plea­sure if you would al­low me to do this part” at which point he spir­its away the bill with his credit card, for the waiter.

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