Category Archives: paying

Never Talk About Money

Bringing up the cost of dinner, the tip, how much you make at work, your lack of funds, or how draining dates are on your wallet is, as Dave sometimes says, No Bueno. It’s minus one million points.

You may not be able to recover from dropping a money related comment.

A story:

One time this totally awesome guy from my ward asked me out. He was cute, he was smart, he had a life plan, and I was really excited to go out with him. We were going to a football game on a double date with some other people he knew. The plan was to go to Carl’s Jr. and then walk to the stadium. Since it was such a casual date, Carl’s Jr. seemed totally appropriate.

I ordered something probably called, “The southwest guacamole burger.”  Including fries, the meal couldn’t have cost more than $5.

While we were eating with his friends, sitting in the booth, we were talking about our delicious burgers. And then, he said, “Yeah, I’ve been saving up for this date for a couple of weeks.”  Then he said something about the expense of my burger.

I suddenly realized he’d ordered something from the dollar menu…

I felt awful. I mean, we were at Carl’s Jr.—I didn’t even think something might be too expensive. I honestly felt really bad.

What you learn:

  1. Make a picnic lunch if you can’t afford eating out.
  2. Most normal girls (the kind who won’t go crazy after you marry them) gauge what they order off the price range of what you order. But, if you take a girl to the Olive Garden and she orders the most expensive entree on the menu—don’t say one single word. If it ticks you off—just don’t take her out again.

Another story:

One time I went out with this guy. I wasn’t really sure if we were a match, but I was super intrigued by him. He was brilliant—and I always sort of love a guy who can discuss quantum physics. On our way to the date activity, we were going to stop and get something to eat. As we were driving down 5th south in Salt Lake City, he said, “Is it okay if we go to Cafe Rio?” And then as a side comment, “I don’t have very much money.”

He was just nervous. The side comment was probably word vomit. But, it doesn’t change the result—I became a financial burden. All flirtatious energy was deleted forever.

What you learn:

  1. Never make the girl feel like a financial burden because she’ll want to make your life easier and not go out with you again. We’re not offended. We just feel really really bad.
  2. Money-stress is not conducive to feeling flirtatious.

Another story:

One time I went out with this guy, and as we were walking off the front porch, he took a paycheck out of his pocket and handed it to me. He said, “I have to cash this before my trip.” And then he took it back.

What you learn:

  1. Just like its impolite to ask how much money someone makes, it’s impolite to tell someone how much money you make. If a girl asks you how much you make before she’s your exclusive girlfriend—it’s an absolute RED FLAG. Do not take her out again.
  2. Most normal girls do not care how much money you make or don’t make. They do care if you have goals and motivation. These sorts of things reveal themselves naturally in conversations.
  3. If you talk about how much you make (or don’t make), she will think you’re insecure.
  4. Insecurity about money is the kiss of death.

The key is confidence. You don’t have to brag. You don’t need the self-conscious side comments. Just let it be. The best thing about a date is that its designed to be persuasive. It’s really not about how much money is spent or not spent. And it’s definitely not about how much money you make at work.

If you can take a girl to dinner or the symphony or tubing down the river—if you can organize it, if you can have polite conversation, if you can open her doors—you win. YOU WIN! Even if she is not into you—she will be impressed that you were able to conduct yourself with confidence and kindness. And she will tell her friends.

And if she’s into you—you’ll get a second date.

See also: Blatant Budgeting & Tip Karma

A Dating Story: First to Fifth

So, we all know going on that first date can be tough…but what about the second and third? How do you smoothly go from first date to fifth?

Well, while everyone has a different style, I figured it would be good to give a positive personal experience of some little things that impressed me on each date—first to fifth. I know that it is different for everyone, and that there has to be chemistry for any of these moves to work, but the basic principles found behind each move are good rules to play by.

First date: Dinner, short and sweet. No marathon date or meeting all the friends. He was great at sharing the conversation and was confident in himself. At the end of the date, he asked me on another one. No guesswork on if he’d ever call me again, and an upfront “yes” or “no” for him. He also told me the event, giving me the heads up on where we were going and what we would be doing–great for a girl because she then knows what to wear.

Second date: We went to a play and dinner. It was longer than the first date, but still not a marathon. Guys, always have a solid plan for the outing at least until the third date.

The next day he texted and asked if he could see me again. That move is super sweet, and smart for any guy because girls thrive off momentum—let us sit for too long and we lose heart… and interest.

Him asking if he “could see me again?” was a great hint that he actually wanted to go on a DATE again, leaving no room for the confusion “are we just hanging out now?”

Third date: Dinner and a movie. Being the third date, I was unsure if I should pay for dinner, but right before the check came he set his wallet on the table. Guys, you may not know this, but a lot of girls stress over not knowing if the guy is expecting them to pay, especially a few dates in. So that is a great non-verbal way to say, “relax. I got it.”

Fourth date: I took him to ice cream. Girls, show the guy that you are not just using him for his wallet. It sends a good signal if you do something with him that doesn’t involve him footing the bill.

Fifth date: He got me flowers. Not a giant $50 bouquet, but a simple and beautiful arrangement that told me “I was thinking about this date for more than 30 seconds before you showed up.” We went to a chalk festival, dinner, and then a movie at his place.

NOTE: After you have been on several dates planning is not as important, but preparation still is. Deciding the activity together can be fun—but have a plan for if the girl has no ideas. Guys, don’t push a girl into a corner to make a decision when she says she doesn’t know what to do. Most girls just want to be with you, so understand that they like a man who takes control.


Well, there are some highlights from a run of five successful dates.

One of the things to remember and focus on from that dating story is the gradual build of the dates. It was simple at first, but grew into longer and more involved events. You need to walk the fine line between not freaking a girl out with too much attention, but at the same time not letting her excitement die with a lot of dead space. The longer you date/know her, the more attention you can give without driving her away.

Also, make it clear that it’s not a hangout though the wording you use. Things like “I would like to see you again/I would like to take you out again/Would you like to go to ______with me?” give the girl a loud and clear signal that they are dates. Things like “Hey want to come watch a movie?/I’m going to ___________, want to come?/ We should do something tonight.” leaves a girl questioning where she stands in the situation.


So, remember these points:

  •  Make the first date short, but be sure to lengthen them as you continue on.
  •  Let the girl know soon after the date that you would like to see her again.
  •  Make clear the fact that it IS another date.
  •  Be confident and strong in the role of a man on the date. Don’t leave her to guess.
  •  As things progress, show your interest in other ways besides asking her out.
  •  And finally, don’t let her lose the excitement and “twitterpation” she has with you by having long dry spells between contact. You’ll lose her interest—and your chance—if you do.

If you have a good/bad date story you want to share, please email it in or comment below!


Tip Karma: the Art of Tipping

You might be one of those guys that hates the tip.

Maybe you hate figuring it out. Maybe you hate paying extra. Maybe you have no idea how much you are supposed to leave (and if you’re expected to tip the people at Cafe Rio). Maybe you think your date won’t notice anyway.

She may not notice how much you leave, but she will probably notice the way in which you manage the situation. It’s extremely attractive (a.k.a. free points) if you can manage the tip like a man who knows what he’s doing (and someone who knows how to be a productive member of society). It’s also easy—so don’t you worry.

Why is the tip important?

When you’re on a date with a woman, you’re looking for certain things. These things are different depending on your interests. But, there are some commonalities. For example, if you were on a date at a restaurant, and as the food came, your date took out her gum and stuck it to the bottom of the table—you might find that really really unattractive.

If she’s not capable of properly disposing her gum, you may make some judgements about other things in her life.

The tip is a minor part of the date. It should be invisible. Except not really, because if you can execute it without a huge show or any awkwardness, you will be making a statement about yourself and your ability to show gratitude, generosity and kindness—all qualities your date (if she’s normal) is interested in seeing.

Some guidelines:

1. The tip is part of the cost of dinner:

In Utah, servers* are not paid minimum wage. They are paid $2.13 per hour. The state says this is legal because servers are tipped by the patrons. This means the server is mostly working for you (and not the restaurant). They are your advocate with the kitchen, the drink machine, and the bar. They are not your personal slave.

If you want to take a girl to lunch or dinner, you must factor in the cost of the service when you choose the restaurant. If you know you can’t afford a tip or if you know paying a tip will put you in a bad mood, no biggie—just go to a place that doesn’t require one: Zupas, Cafe Rio, Taco Bell, Betos, etc.

*server = a person who is taking your order, and delivering food, drinks, desserts, napkins, silverware, etc.

2. How much to tip:

In the U.S., it’s tacky & impolite to tip anything less than 15% of the total bill. But, if you’re on a date, and you order dinner, you should never leave less than $3. (Even if you go to Olive garden, and your total bill was $11 because you ordered a bowl of all-you-can-eat pasta and shared it.)

On a date, you should really consider tipping 20% for two reasons: A) it’s easy—you just figure out ten percent and double it. B) it’s generous—and being generous with a tip shows kindness, flexibility, and responsibility.

3. Don’t pull out the tip calculator app on your phone. (And don’t start a math problem on the back of the receipt).

Okay, I know, the tip is a tiny part of the date. Depending on how you do it, the girl probably won’t even know how much you write down. But, she can tell a lot by how much time you spend sitting there punching numbers into your phone, or scribbling numbers. This screams: rigidity & tightwad & cluelessness. Just figure out 10% of the bill, then double it. You’ll pay 20%, but what your date sees is a man who knows what he’s doing. So easy!

4. Don’t ever ask your date how much you should tip.

Because now you know: 15%-20% of the total bill.

5. Never complain about paying a tip.

Negativity is rarely attractive. But, complaining about the tip says a lot to your date about how you view service, compensation, and generosity. If your date is normal, she’s looking for a man who knows how to treat people fairly. Complaining about the tip is not funny, not cute, and will not make your date want to go out with you again.

6. Never tell your date about how much you want to tip/will tip/will not tip.

This will never be impressive to her. Only awkward.

Some other notes:

Sometimes it’s not super clear if you need to tip. Sometimes casual dining restaurants put a tip line on their receipt even though there aren’t individual servers. The general guideline: If you are getting your own food (i.e. standing in line), drink, & silverware, and if you’re finding your own table—then the tip is optional. Don’t be guilted into paying a tip just because there is a line on the receipt. But if you love the restaurant, if you go there a lot—leaving a tip shows appreciation & kindness.

Ask the Proxies: Does a man always have to pay?

Every so often we’ll feature a question that we receive. Today’s comes from “J”:

“Does a man always have to pay?”

There’s really no way to answer this that won’t generate arguments. A quick google search will reveal thousands of answers from both ends of the spectrum:

“A real man always pays!”

“Accepting a meal from a man is prostitution!”

 “An independent woman will pay for her own meal.”

…and so on.

Instead of subscribing to any one of these theories, we’ve decided there are two major things that need to be considered: What will bring you the most success? and What do you want?

What will bring you the most success?

We live in a society largely informed by patriarchal traditions. I’m not arguing for the inherent value of such a society, just asking that we consider the implications of it. A lot of the perceived rules that make up the traditional view of dating follow the norms instituted by a society where men provide for women. Women used to be financially dependent on men and men proved their ability to provide through funding the courtship. Even today, men are generally the ones that instigate dates and take on the role of host/entertainer. The prevailing expectation is that a man will cover the cost of the beginning stages of courtship (usually the month preceding an exclusive relationship, less depending on the frequency of dates). This could even continue during the entire length of the relationship, depending on what the couple decides.

Put into practice, this means that a man will come off more favorably to a larger number of women if he pays for the first few dates. This is not to say that all women prefer to be paid for, but when looking at dating as a numbers game this method is most likely to be expected by the woman you’re with.

For those of you mentally screaming, “That’s bullcrap!” right now, bear with me. That’s where the second consideration comes in.

What do you want?

If that doesn’t sound like the kind of relationship you want: don’t get into that kind of relationship. Part of dating is deciding if you have compatible expectations for love, money, and the future. There should be give and take, but just how much give and how much take and in what areas is entirely dependent on the preferences of the people involved.

Are you the kind of guy that is more comfortable showing chivalry and paying for dates? Great! Be that guy. There are a lot of girls out there who feel loved and appreciated when a man “takes care of her” on dates.

Would you rather a woman take care of her share of the bill? Great! Be that guy. There are women out there who show their independence and affection through 50/50 division of cost. If, after a few dates where you footed the bill, your date hasn’t offered to contribute, she probably isn’t the type of girl you are looking for. There is nothing wrong with her or you—you just don’t have compatible views.

In the end, you should be comfortable with the person you’re dating. “Who should pay” is not necessarily a deal-breaker. That’s why we suggest sticking to traditional methods during the first few dates, essentially making money a non-issue so you can get to know each other and see how compatible you are in other ways. If you feel taken advantage of financially, communicate with her. If something about the relationship makes you uncomfortable, you need to reassess.

Please remember: dating is not a business deal. Your focus should be on doing things for the other person because you care about them, regardless of how you decide to split the bill.

What do you guys think? Is it the man’s job to foot the bill or is that outdated and unfair?


Blatant Budgeting

Earlier today, Danielle posted a text conversation on her blog illustrating one of the ways asking a girl out can go wrong. For those of you who missed it, this real-life conversation went as follows:

Boy: (in regards to food) Do you have a preference for Chinese, Italian…I’m not too familiar with (location), you might need to help me out. You game for that?

Girl: Sure, do you like Olive Garden?

Boy: That’s a good place. I’ve set aside $20 for this date. If our dinner would fit within that, that would work.

Girl: Hey, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we should go out.

Boy: I don’t want to be rude but is there a reason why?

Girl: Just based on our little interaction, I think there is someone better for you to spend your $20 on.

Boy: That might be, but I want to take you out. If you’re worried about me spending money on you, we could just grab an ice cream.

Girl: That’s not going to work either. Sorry.

We’ve been getting some pretty interesting responses. Some are on the right track…

“I can tell where he went wrong. He sounds like a total tool. Way too down to business. I’m glad she didn’t go out with him”
And some just don’t get it.

“Can you see where he went wrong? Yeah, he picked a greedy b**** to go out with. You’re not taking a girl out to fill her stomach, your taking her out to get to know her. She obviously isn’t going out for the same reason.”

Let’s explain where he went wrong.

First: Price has nothing to do with it. One of the best dates I ever went on was a picnic, and that is about as cheap as you can get. I’ve also gone on super expensive ones, and they were fantastic as well.

So, what happened?

The “wrong move” this boy made was the fact that he told the girl the budget. Budget is not an issue to a girl, but planning is. If a guy asks her where she wants to go, and she suggests something, the WRONG move to make is to treat her like an excel sheet and bring up budget. Guys, if your budget is tight, plan accordingly.We have the internet, so there is no excuse for not knowing how to find places to eat within your budget.

A girl does not want to feel like a burden, or have to calculate out her meal and tip…it takes away all of the romance. If all you can afford is ice cream, then plan that and a walk in the park.To the person who says “You’re not taking a girl out to fill her stomach, your taking her out to get to know her,” you are absolutely right. But feeling the pressure that the guy is going to be judging you on what you buy when he himself is not together enough to plan a place within his budget is not going to make a girl feel comfortable and open up. What’s especially telling was that this was a request for a first date: the date that you use to impress the person you want to get to know.

Let’s face it: this guy probably meant well and he might have had real concerns about his budget but wanted to go out with her anyway. We’re in our twenties; money is a real concern for a lot of us and it can make dating tough. Regardless, if you make the date, it is your job to find a place that fits your budget (and interest level, as the case may be).

Here’s a few ways he could have handled it:

1. Boy: (Picks an activity within his budget) I’m not too familiar with (location). Is there somewhere we can go to get ice cream?

2. Boy: (Researched online) How does (Zupas/Cafe Rio/Noodles and Co.) sound?

3. Boy: (Finds a free activity) How do you feel about art galleries? I’d like to check out the new exhibit at the (local free art gallery).

Any of these would have been met with a “Sure!”

Moral of the story?
Plan plan plan plan plan plan so your date feels special, not like a financial burden.
What do you think? Would you ever turn a guy down because of blatant budgeting? Or should he still be given a chance?

`Danielle + Jayme

Definition of a Date

Welcome to the Proxee Blog! We’ve got some great content lined up for you and our guest bloggers are anxiously waiting their turn as we finish setting things up. In the meantime, here’s our very first how-to-date topic: what exactly is a date?

Between the two of us, Danielle and I cover a wide spectrum of the dating world when it comes to the guys who approach us. More and more often we’ve been confronted with the unsettling fact that some otherwise well-meaning and charming guys are getting confused about what constitutes a date.

Let’s turn to the ever-reliable, not at all ironic, urban dictionary:

As much as I like this one…

5. An activity between 2 mutually attracted people which very often ends in one or both leaving sexually frustrated (Hi, Provo!)

…I think this one nails it:

1. Two people getting together for an activity when the possibility of romance between them has been broached but not ruled out. Since the exploration of romance is the purpose of a date, merely asking someone out on a date is sufficient to broach the subject. Dates may or not continue once a couple have entered into a romantic relationship.

If it is as simple as that, how come so many girls end up wondering “Is this a date or not?”

If your intention is to be friends with a girl, kudos to you (unless you are one of those “nice guys” who try to backdoor their way into a relationship by becoming a bestest friend forever first and then whining when she only sees you as exactly that). But if you want more than that, cut the crap and ask her out in a way that she will know, without a doubt, that you intend to take her on a date.

Elder Oaks mentioned in a fireside that there were three P’s of dating. I’m going to piggyback off him and then add one more of my own.

1. Planned Ahead

Here’s the thing guys….

Unless I hear the word “date”, I’m probably not going to consider it one. The exception is the implied “date” in the words “I’d like to take you to…”

Know what the two of you will be doing! And let her know at least a day in advance via actual conversation (not a text). In a recent informal poll taken at every girl’s night ever, it was determined that one of the biggest turnoffs during the first few dates are the words “So what do you want to do/ where do you want to go?”

For one, we like to know what we should wear. I’m a high heels girl and I need to know if we are going somewhere that would require a lot of walking so I can hunt down some flats. More importantly, it shows her that you cared enough to put thought into the evening. A date, especially a first date, shouldn’t involve spectacular displays or the pressure for commitment, but it should involve thought.

2. Picked-up

I used to tell myself that I really didn’t care if I guy picked me up, especially if we were going somewhere closer to his place than mine. But I soon noticed that the guys who were willing to just meet me there were the ones who were lazy in other areas as well. Now I have a strict no-drive, no-date policy that helps me weed out the lazy ones. If he doesn’t think I’m worth the drive, I don’t think he’s worth the date. Once things are more established between us, I’m happy to spend time behind the wheel to see him.

Show the girl the courtesy of picking her up.

3. Paid For

Touchy subject and one that varies depending on the person. I’m a firm believer that whoever asks, pays. Show the girl that she’s more than just a convenient piece of estrogen and follow-through with the date you arranged. Down the road, she’ll do the same.

4. Privacy

Can I add a fourth one here? Privacy. I’m not talking about alone-at-the-apartment-in-the-dark privacy. I mean showing the girl the courtesy of being on a date with her and only her. Dating is not a spectator sport and you should not be bringing along a panel of judges friends. She should not feel like a contestant on American Idol when she’s with you. Nothing about your date should bring to mind Ruben Studdard comparisons.

Make me feel like the one on the right and I will turn into the one on the left.

Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more guys I go out with want to immediately introduce me to their friends. Now, I’m not against getting to know a guy’s friends. I’ve stayed friends with almost every guy I have ever been involved with and one of the best parts was that I also got to stay friends with the people I met through them. I even love meeting their new girlfriend or spouse and seeing what type of girl was right for them. But if every date we went on included their friends in some way, you can be sure that I wouldn’t have stuck around long enough to get to know any of them. Let me explain.

Part of beginning to date someone is being vulnerable to someone you really have no reason to trust yet. If most of your dates involve your buddies, you aren’t going to see the parts of her that she would have shown you otherwise. Whatever feelings she might start to have for you are incentive for her to start opening up to you. She doesn’t have any of those feelings for your friends. They might seem like a safety net to you, a group of people to validate your choice or give you a fall-back in case she turns out to be boring. But to her, they are an audience that she doesn’t necessarily want to preform for. Their presence is going to influence what you two talk about, what you don’t talk about, and how she act around you.

Essentially, if you are hanging out with your friends, you are hanging out. You are friend-zoning yourself by not putting the two of you in situations that would promote the kind of intimacy that leads to actual dating.

Does she want to meet your friends? Yes, eventually.

Does she want them to like her? Yes.

But she wants you to like her—to get to know her—to date her—first.


Your Proxee Jayme