The other day I was happened on a video win which Dave Ramsey was talking with Anthony ONeal about a recent dating experience he had. First a quick background in case you are not familiar with Ramsey and his people. The short version is that they help people get out of and stay out of debt. Anthony works with younger folks and is a young single man. One of the keys to getting and staying out of debt is having a budget . . . that you actually follow. I’ve talked before about as a single person having a “dating” line item in your budget. Suffice it to say that if you are single and want to date, then why not have a budget for that.
At any rate, here’s the story. Anthony goes out with a young woman on a date. They have a good time. At the end of the date they both want there to be a second date. The woman suggested that she would really like to go to a particular restaurant in town. Anthony says he will look into it.
Well as Anthony checks out the restaurant and compares it to his budget for dating that month, he realizes that he doesn’t have enough to take her to that restaurant. He did say that he could perhaps rearrange his budget for the next month and they could then maybe go. He could take her somewhere different this month. Now before you think that this guy is being “cheap” this restaurant was high, high end. As in $200 or more per person. ON THE SECOND DATE!
He lets her know that he can’t do that and she ghosts him. Doesn’t even respond. Anthony wisely moves on. Then about a month later, she sees him on a show and realizes, “hey this guy probably actually makes some serious money” and texts him, “How about that second date?” This time it’s Anthony who never responds.
Anthony did a so much right here. We can learn several really good things from this. Let’s break it down.
First, he is in command of his feelings and his money. He knows who he is and what he is about and he’s not going to toss that out just because a woman he is attracted to wants him to. He obviously liked her and was attracted to her at some level or he wouldn’t have been looking for the second date. But he doesn’t get led by her, or those feelings, into a bad decision.
He also isn’t worried about impressing her. Gentlemen, this is key. Be yourself, be confident in it and don’t get caught trying too hard to get the woman to like you. She either likes you or not. He was being a gentleman. I know some dating guru’s say not to even pay for dinner etc. But I disagree with that. You invite a woman out, I say pick up the tab. But three key things with that.
First, don’t try to impress her with where you go. Fun places are excellent. Expensive places are like trying to buy her. Go somewhere fun. Go to a place where you really like the food and you hope she does too. Heck, if you know the type of food she likes, go that route. But early on, don’t spend a bunch of your hard earned money to impress her. Save the 5 star restaurants for someone who you are in a relationship with. . . for a while.
Secondly, don’t spend money on dating that you don’t have. Have a budget. This can happen easily by accident. You go out to eat within the budget. But then you head somewhere else, buy drinks etc and all of a sudden you blew your budget.
Third, while women don’t owe you a second date because you paid for the first and so on, they should be thankful. They aren’t entitled to your expenditures. One of the things that this woman showed is a total disrespect for Anthony and who he is. That’s not ok. It’s a major, major red flag. No matter how attracted you are to her.
The next thing that Anthony does really well here is that he does not chase this girl. When she didn’t respond, he didn’t text her again. Men, this is so important to grasp. There is a huge difference between pursuing and chasing. A lot of men would have just paid for the second date at that restaurant. A lot of other men would have changed their mind after she didn’t respond. They would have texted back and said, “well if you really want to go there we can go there.” They would have given in.
What happened here instead is that both Anthony’s and this woman’s character were exposed. And friends, character matters. We have a lot of things we tell women to look for in men, which is ok to a degree. We don’t do much teaching to men about what to look out for with women. A woman’s character matters. Immensely. Don’t get caught up in the attraction and miss the character. This leads to my final point.
There’s a lot of talk in the Christian world about how the man is supposed to “lead” in the relationship. While you are not her spiritual leader and for sure not her spiritual head while dating, there are still a lot of opportunities to lead. You are setting the stage for any relationship that happens. If you sacrifice your character for the woman, you are setting yourself up in a really bad way. Lead with your character and see if she respects and follows it. If she doesn’t, you don’t want to end up with her.