What’s the etiquette with paying for dinner on a first date? I don’t mind, on principle, but I date quite a lot and it’s getting damn expensive. Isn’t it also a bit old-fashioned, given that most of these women often earn as much (or more) than me. Does it look like I’m paying in return for sex? What do you do?
Matt Baker, via e-mail
Angel Eleanor: Offering to pay on a first date is not like paying for sex. It says to us, “I am a man. I will build you things and get rid of spiders while you decorate cakes.” Not offering to pay or suggesting bill-splitting on a first date is unforgivable. If I was on a date with you and you got your wallet out I’d probably offer to go halves, unless you’ve spent all night talking about yourself. Perhaps that’s where you’re going wrong?
Angel Anna: Yup, it’s completely old-fashioned… but girls love it. Take it as a compliment. If I don’t like a guy, I will insist on paying half (I don’t want to feel indebted to him). If I do, I’ll let him pay. Technically, if you’ve asked a girl on a date, that’s an invitation and you’re then the host, which would apply whether your guest was male or female. Why not save time and money by taking dates for a cocktail after work? Sure, it’s a bit Cowell-esque, but that way you can be more selective about who you take out to dinner.
When you’re left alone in a man’s house for the day, do you rummage through his stuff? Basically, can I trust my girlfriend there, or do I need to get rid of everything private, personal and pornographic before I leave her to ‘just hang out’ while I’m at work…
Simon Gooch, Norwich
Angel Eleanor: Yes, we do rummage. All of us. Leave us alone for a day and we will have gone through every pocket/drawer/diary. The same goes for your Facebook page and text messages. We don’t mind stumbling across a copy of Razzle nestling amongst skiddy boxers – it’s evidence of other women we are looking for. If you come home from work and she’s sulking and dropping random female names into conversation, you know what she’s been up to.
Angel Jen: Good question. Personally, I would never do this. I think it’s completely out of order and I’d hate it if someone did it to me. It’s pretty sad to be nosey enough to raid your partner’s house and go checking up on them. I can think of far better things to do with my time. Porn-wise, why would you need to hide stuff in the first place? It’s a fact that most guys own porn. It’s not like you’re cheating on her – if she can’t handle that, she’s probably a bit weird.
I’ve been on two dates recently where I’ve been asked straight out how much I earn. This strikes me as pretty rude and intrusive, but they both reckoned it was normal and I was being oversensitive. Am I just old-fashioned, or is this what passes for normal dating conversation?
Ian McCrawley, Ealing
Angel Steph: The salary question seems rather shallow and invasive. And if these girls think it’s normal maybe it’s time you found your dates somewhere other than Chinawhite. I would never ask a guy how much he earns. Plus, how would I know he was telling the truth, anyway? You should have asked the women when they last had their lips waxed. In my opinion, there are some things you just don’t ask.
Angel Anna: Pull the troops out of both territories, commander. While I admire the balls of these brazen gold-diggers, this is in no way ‘normal’ conversation, dating or otherwise. Behind that innocent, quizzical expression, your pay cheque has already been converted into shoes – she just wants to know if they’re going to be Dolcis or Dolce & Gabbana. Next time a date asks you this, tell her you’ll bring a year’s worth of bank statements to dinner next time. And then leave without paying. Oh, and I suggest a new hunting ground. Where are you looking for dates? Down the DSS?
I’m 30, but a girl who’s 21 seems to be infatuated with me. Very flattering – and I do like her a lot. But one problem: she’s a virgin, and would like me to be her ‘first’. I definitely don’t want a long-term relationship, and to me it would just be something enjoyable but not too heavy. However, I’m worried it’s going to be more to her. Am I being over-sensitive and preventing her having a bit of fun, or will I mess her up if I go for it?
G Harding, via e-mail
Angel Jen: Put the violins away! Just because she’s never had sex before and wants to with you doesn’t mean she wants to marry you. She might find you attractive, or just like you as a person and trust you enough to have intimate contact with. I’d talk to her and explain you feel under pressure, but I wouldn’t get too stressed about it.
Angel Anna: She’s held on to her virginity until the age of 21, so she obviously attaches some importance to losing it. Not the world’s best fuck-buddy is she? You need to explain your feelings – or lack of them – first. But even if it seems like she’s understood, her inexperience in this area means she’s probably still holding out for happily ever after. Ask yourself: is it worth it?
I’ve noticed my girlfriend’s hair’s getting thin. She hasn’t mentioned it, and it’s not a ‘bald patch’, but it’s definitely a bit finer. What’s causing it and can she take anything for it (she’s 25, and otherwise healthy)? K Murphy, Huddersfield
Angel Eleanor: If you’ve noticed, she damn well has. The causes are multiple, so she should go to her GP. She can try a shorter haircut with volumising products and if no treatable cause is found she can opt for a weave.
Angel Steph: Stress and fatigue can cause hair loss. Help her to relax as much as possible when you are at home; try meditation or reflexology. Regular head massages can stimulate the hair growth and score points for you all round.