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Why engagement rules are pointless

It’s a topic of conversation that’s ever popular and we all seem to have different and strong opinions.

Last week, we asked four women to give us their opinion on who pays for a first engagement. The answers provide an interesting insight into how complex modern dating etiquette can be.

It’s a topic of conversation that’s ever popular and we all seem to have different and strong opinions.

Last week, we asked four women to give us their opinion on who pays for a first engagement. The answers provide an interesting insight into how complex modern engagement etiquette can be.

Woman 1 -“The man always pays. If he didn’t, I wouldn’t see him again.”

Woman 2 – “I always split the bill. I don’t want to feel like I owe him anything in return.”

Woman 3 – “I prefer a man to pay, it just feels better.”

Woman 4 – “I’ll offer to pay and secretly hope he pays. Men pay for women they like, don’t they?”

Four women, four different answers and an impossible situation for the male half of the equation.

Justifications for some of these attitudes are equally confusing. One woman claimed “Women often spend a lot on looking good for a date, so it’s only fair that the man pays.”

Is this true? Or is this just an excuse to ensure that men are constantly placed in a situation where they feel they have to pay for dates to avoid leaving a negative impression? If so, what’s the answer? There doesn’t appear to be an easy one.

All this confusion highlights that enagaement rules are fundamentally pointless and remember; our cousins in the US who have a wonderful gift for the strange and complicated drive most of them. Everyone has a different approach, ideas and expectations = there are no rules.

Interestingly, men are becoming increasingly cynical about the dating process and its myriad of unwritten rules all of which seem custom made to them look bad.

One 32-year-old member described his approach as “I expect a grown woman with a job to pay her way and if she doesn’t like it, well tough. There’s no way I’m paying for someone I don’t know, male or female.”

How exactly did things get quite so confrontational? Nobody is quite sure, but our opinion is that enagement now means something slightly different than it used to. An enagement used to have a certain formality to it. An engagement was a big deal; we didn’t enagage that often so when it happened, men and women knew their role.

Now it’s generally accepted that a humble coffee catch-up up can be branded as a date and it’s far from unusual for someone to have more than one enagagement in a week, which means depending on the style of enagagement, things can get expensive rather quickly.

At RSVP, we suggest that good-natured humour can overcome most potentially awkward situations or failing that – common sense. Hold back the dinners, trips and all that good stuff until you are more certain that you date is genuinely interested in you. Very simple. Who wants to share an intimate dinner with a complete stranger?

The beauty of is that the back-to-front nature of the way you meet people online (you get to find out as much as you want to about them before you meet) means it’s easy to establish whether you have a rapport with somebody before you that first ‘engagement’. The more you know, the less confusion you are likely to face.

It’s an easy and thought provoking question to ask a potential engagement, which can tell you a little something about their personality, “What’s your opinion on who pays for a first engagement?”

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