Dating Advice from a Bachelor

Well, one of my friends, who has asked to remain anonymous, suggested I start a 'Dear SVB' column, like once a week - sort of like Dr. Phil, but funny..... and probably less useful.... most likely irrelevant ..... but hopefully coming from a slightly better looking guy. With all that said, here's her question:

Anonymous (but I know who you are!):

"Dear SVB, I love you. You are the best, greatest looking, funniest guy in the world. You should impregnate the world with your offsprings so that the world is a better place. (OK, she didn't really say that. I was reading between the lines). She goes on to say: 'What constitutes a date?' there is this guy who i went out for lunch with the other day, and we've made plans to go out for dinner next week. i guess it's too early to tell, but really, are there some obvious telltale signs that i should be aware of that these sort of appointments are just friendly, or if they are full blown dates?for example, The Check (which is a whole other post of its own, but...). i mean, for men, is it only considered a date if they pay? or is it not Not a date if they don't pay? i totally don't have a problem with going dutch, and always assume that we will be doing so, so this isn't a big issue for me, but i'm wondering if it's still a big factor in whether it constitutes a "date" or not.for example, i split the check with this guy i went to lunch with the other day. does that mean it's not a date? last year i went to dinner with a good friend on Xmas eve and he paid for our very expensive meal. was that a date???"

SVB Answer:

First of all, your lack of capitalization after periods is infuriating. I'm a big fan of capital letters - I mastered it in 10th grade. It was the only thing I mastered that year, so I'd like for us all to honor the capital letter.

Well, where should I begin 'anonymous?' I treat every date like I'm trying to get in their pants. I just figure, if I'm paying for a meal with a woman - I need some return on investment, even if I am unnattracted to them. The trouble here, is that many guys feel like they should pay when having dinner with a woman, even if they are just a friend. I have many girl-friends, therefore, I have learned to be more reserved when it comes to paying, lest I feel that I should now try and get into their pants because I have paid or having them have mixed emotions about why I didn't try and get into their pants after paying.

Here's a rule of thumb for me. If a girl offers to pay for half on the first date - she's not interested (not that I know what that's like). If she accepts payment, but insists on buying after-dinner drinks - she's still contemplating, but intrigued. If she accepts payment without a word, there's a chance you could take her directly home.

For a girl? If there is no clear-cut way to tell (i.e. the word 'date' is actually used, he literally asks you out for dinner, he is leaning into your every word, or his hand prefers to rest on your knee), then I would say he is either shy, or not sure if you're interested, or has decided he's not interested. Regardless of that, you should always pull out your card without a word and put it next to the check. If he allows you to do this without a word and puts his card in with yours, do you really want to date this cheapskate?!?! Anyhow, he's probably not interested.

But really, you just have to read body language. If he pays, and he's looking none-too-happy, and shows no further effort at productive conversation, then let it go. He's the one who should be sweating bullets - not you. Just go out, have a good-time, offer to pay, don't overthink it. And if he pays, sleep with him! So, about our dinner next week...... I'M PAYING!

If you have a serious question that you would like answered by a serious bachelor, email:

Kevin L.
The Silicon Valley Bachelor

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  1. Baloney! I *only* offer to pay half if I am interested. I figure if I enjoyed the dinner it was worth paying for, if not, shoot, it's his treat.

  2. YOU WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE MARGIE! Your comments are normally well-appreciated, but you are coming dangerously close to being banned!!! Questioning my facts.... 60% of the time, I'm right all the time.

    I did go back and read what I wrote though, and should have said, 'if they INSIST on paying half,' then they're not interested. If it were you and I at dinner though, it would just be a stalemate. The check would come and we would both refuse to acknowledge it's existence - sitting there in silence, staring at anything but each other.

  3. Really? You think that just because a girl insists on paying half then she's not into you??? That is entirely untrue, and you shouldn't give up so easily!

    Gosh this really does confirm that women and men are so on different pages when it comes to dating. All of these nuances that we are all supposed to decode... it gives me a headache!!!

  4. I am really confused. After my next dinner with a girl friend i am going to propose flipping a coin to see who will pay. This will probably reveal more about where the relationship is headed right?

  5. OK, OK! Just scratch everything I said and take her to meet your mom on the very first date. Have your mom make sandwiches with the crust cut-off. And then when the apple comes, throw a tantrum when you see that it hasn't been peeled.


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