Paying = providing (masculine). Cooking/gifting = nurturing (feminine).
I used to pay for everything when I went on dates without question. No matter where we were or what we did, my credit card was out and it was my duty as a man to pay for the date. As the years went by, slowly but surely I found myself heartbroken, time and time again. Eventually I became so angry with women that I refused to pay for another first date. Not only was I sick of being heartbroken, but I was sick of paying for it. I put up a wall and if a girl was interested in me I offered a compromise. She would pay for the first date and if things went well I would cover the next one. It may seem offensive to some, but at least I knew she wasn't going to go out with me for a free meal and a side of rejection, she was going out simply to enjoy my company.
Truth be told, I never felt one hundred percent ok with it. But it was fun and I felt original because that wasn't something many guys were bold enough to attempt. Although my outlandish tactics worked and I went on lots of dates, they were never with the same person. It was a great philosophy in theory, just not the best recipe for finding the love of your life. After that sad realization I began picking up the check again and soon learned of the many things women could do for us as an alternative to paying the tab.
1. Only The Best… Delivered.
Peter Luger Steak
My girlfriend knows I love steak and lobster, I mean honestly who doesn't, but like many New England Natives I can be a bit picky, especially about seafood. I was shocked when she found a way to surprise me with some of my favorites in the comfort of my own home, thanks to a pretty awesome website called Goldbely.com. Peter Luger 36oz porterhouse steaks sent direct from NYC and Hancock Gourmet lobster rolls from Maine with the most amazing whoopie pies I've ever had for dessert. And then there were the Black and White cookies handmade to order from William Greenberg Desserts in New York that were so perfectly moist and cakey and black and white chocolately! It made for multiple meals during the next couple weeks and each time I was reminded of her thoughtfulness.
2. Couples Massage
Four Seasons Biltmore
As if that weren't enough while we were on a day trip to Santa Barbara she surprised me with a couples massage at the Four Seasons Biltmore with the prefect ocean view. I felt like a king as I was relaxed to near sleep by not only the massage but the cool ocean breeze that flowed through the balcony of our private room. The pampering continued as She had special Martinis delivered complete with a white chocolate hearts on the rim that made for the ultimate treat. The entire day there was exactly what I needed to relax and rejuvenate. Whether I want to admit it or not my dinner dates were far superseded by her attention to detail and ability to surprise me.
A few other ways that you can make an impact without putting down her credit card?
3. Pre-Date Cocktails…
When it's finally time for him to pick you up at your place for a date- 3 rd date works, have him first come inside and surprise him with a special martini or mixed drink. If it's pretty outside and you have a patio or yard, make a pitcher of sangria. It's easy, not overly alcoholic, and show that you are putting just a little extra effort into it- plus you can make it ahead of time so that you can sit and enjoy each other's company immediately. Of course, make sure to stock your bar with the best vodka instead of just some "eh" well variety. A favorite? CÎROC Red Berry Sangria
(Pitcher Recipe) 10 oz CÎROC Red Berry, 10 oz Rose Wine, 5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, 5 oz Simple Syrup, 20 oz Berry Tea, Stir over ice in 64 oz pitcher
4. Rise And Shine!
If you're at the point where he is staying over and you know he's a coffee drinker but you're not, make him feel at home by preparing him a cup of coffee. You can go for a small french press, a traditional coffee maker, or you can treat him to a seriously good cup with a Nespresso. It's super easy with the new Nespresso VertuoLine, which makes a cup of some of the best coffee he has ever had, with the touch of a button- no mess, no clean up. Extra bonus if you pay attention to his preference when it comes to taking it black or with cream and sugar.
5. Nurture Him With A Facial
Dr. Howard MuradYes, men like to indulge in a little TLC sometimes too. This isn't a 3 rd or even 5 th date activity, but once you're really close, offer to give him a facial- then do it yourself! It's a super nurturing act that will make him feel pampered and show him that you are a good caretaker- which he will take note of. Of course you want to use skin care products that don't seem too feminine or have aggressive floral scents. Try Murad. It's a brand that is higher effective and both men and women love. Then dedicate an evening to it, create a spa environment, and have him lay on his back with you situated at his head as you gently apply several products just like you might experience at a spa.
6. Take Him To A Concert!
Tell him that you are taking him out, then surprise him with tickets to see his favorite band! You don't have to go crazy with expensive tickets to a huge concert venue. Even local spots with minimal cover charges will show him that you pay attention to his musical preferences. Plus a smaller venue where you are up close to the band can be more intimate and fun. But don't just bounce your head to the music. Dance together! Pressing your body up against each other at a concert is amazing foreplay for what comes later… when you go home.
7. Go Camping!
Are you at that point where you are ready to go away together? Is he a super outdoorsy person and you're… not so much? Buck up and take him on a road trip to an awesome campsite for a night or two. It's a great way to show him that you can be down to earth and easy going, plus making smores over a campfire, then sleeping in a tent together is seriously sexy.
Ladies: it's all about putting some extra effort into it, being thoughtful, and oing the extra distance to make him feel like you're contributing, without footing the bill at dinner.
Guys: next time you think about going Dutch or letting her pick up the tab remember, when you invest in your lady she's likely to return the favor, it just may be in a more unique way than you could have ever imagined.
xx Laurel and Steve
Laurel House and Steve Hansen- Dating Coaches
Laurel House is an international Dating Coach and Flirting Expert, MTV's MADE "It Girl" Mentor, 4x published Lifestyle Author, and a go-to Expert on E! News. She recently completed her 5th book "Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love," which will be released in December 2014 with Running Press.
With over 12 million views on YouTube, Laurel has created a platform to deliver dating and healthy lifestyle tips to the masses. Her dating tips appear on CupidsPulse.com, YourTango.com, SheKnows, DigitalRomance.com, FabFitFun.com, and a lot more. Because of her edgy, honest, and wide-ranging advice, she is often referred to as the modern-day Ann Landers (and sometimes the writer version of Taylor Swift).