Monday, January 28, 2008


I was having a discussion with a very good female friend yesterday concerning dating in New York City. she’s a beautiful, highly successful, editor for a prestigious, major publication – well accomplished, cultured, very social, attractive, worldly, well manicured and coiffed at all times, confident, always dressed to the nines, well traveled, on every A list for all the major events, in all the major cities - a true type A women, and tends to attract carbon copies of herself in the men she choices to allow to court her.

Our discussion led into what the average amount spent on a first date in New York City or any other major metropolitan city with a woman that a man is truly into and trying to make the best first impression for would cost. The date could, but would not have to, include a pre or post-dinner event, dinner (Including, but not limited to cocktails, appetizers, wine, entrees, and desert – all dependent upon the persons involved), dancing, after dinner drinks, and/or whatever else you would do on average with a women you were courting. Our estimates for the date were so far apart from each other’s with neither of us willing to give an inch to go closer to the others estimate that it just became clear to both of us that one of us was being unrealistic on the matter and we left it there. This is where you - my wonderful readers come in – I pose the question to you.

For the men: What do you spend on average for the above-described first date or whatever adaptation of an average first date with a woman you are sincerely courting?

For the women: How much do you believe a man spends on average in a major metropolitan city such as New York to court you in true and proper first date form?

This is both for the men and women – please feel free to expound on not only the amount you believe is spent, both on the high and low end, but also what the date might consist of to justify the amount.

~reservations required~


Sallomazing! said...

This is interesting, since I just had a date last night and I KNOW how much was spent... but this is the thing - on the FIRST date we went to where I wanted to go - a beautiful and FREE event. I suggested the post dinner. And since I did, I paid the bill.

Last night, he suggested we go hear live music, eat, and then go dancing. It included drinks. (but I'm a light drinker so... it may have been more for another lovely lady!) Total = $60.

I think that these types of dates are going to depend on the people involved.

See, I spent a beautiful day with another gentleman. He wouldn't hear of me pulling out my wallet. We took cabs all day. It started with breakfast at a cute little diner in Harlem. On the way to the house he bought (I picked out) food and drinks and brought it home, like an at home midday picnic. We watched comedy into the early evening. Then we went to have dinner (drinks, appetizers, dessert) with friends (he split the bill with the other brotha). Then out to a comedy show (more drinks). I know he spent a little over $200.

The date with the larger dent in the wallet was with someone who I've known for years and was never romantically interested in (okay, maybe in high school!). But the date last night came out of physical interest on both of our parts. What I believe is that the man who spends less is probably a.) banking on the fact that he's going to see you many more times and doesn't want to break the bank or set a precedent that he's going to have to stick with OR b.) isn't balling to have a $200 night. And the man who spends more either a.) wants to impress you so badly he doesn't care how much it costs OR b.) is balling and money's no object.

In the end, to court me, all a man needs to do is grab a bottle of good wine (could be inexpensive, I can't tell the difference; I like pretty wine labels), any good stand-up comedy DVD, popcorn, a blanket somebody's momma crocheted, and a comfy couch. If we laugh through the night, and have hella inside jokes to share post-date, I'll remember that date far more than the plethora of dinner/dancing/drink dates.

Issue = men in nyc are no longer creative... GET EM!

Anonymous said...

I could care less how much he spends. We could sit on a park bench for free. I'm more interested to see if he can hold my attention and if he'll open my door--literally and figuratively. Disclaimer: I don't live in NYC.


Anonymous said...

LOL! what a description! shorty sounds like "a 10, a 10!"

I just posted my own blog about this conversation. should lead to some good talk.

I AM GVG said...

LOL. For real Belle? She sounds like a 10? Yea, I think you might be right about that. She aight. She loves that Haitian rum.

Lola Gets said...

Um, where are you guys finding htese "perfect gentlemen?" The only perfect gentleman IVE come into contact was a gay guy who had no sexual interest in me at all! And hed spend well over $100 on an evening out for the both of us (he never let me pay for anything)! I havent met any straight men who are will to do that in a long, looong while. Maybe thats because I live in DC. Iont know.


I AM GVG said...

Sallo, I agree with your assertions, however, you made a great point when you said - "these types of dates are going to depend on the people involved". When I’m in full on Brooklyn herbal mode, and meeting women of that ilk, my dates tend to cost less, because those women tend to be into things overall that cost less. so they would look forward to a SummerStage concert, with a picnic in the park, followed by a long walk, filled with great conversation and laughs as a first date, and think the man to be the sweetest, most sincere man ever.

Yet, when I’m in full on “Man of Leisure” mode and with the women of that ilk (some might refer to them as my bourgeoisie folk) the date described above wouldn’t make the cut. We drink, eat, and party at venues with a high price tag when alone and expect date location choices that fall on the same level, if not better. So the cost of those dates can easily quadruple and one to me isn’t better than the other, just different in terms of what you believe the outcome to be with each. Money for me isn’t an issue because while I’m in ANY way a BBAAALLLEEERRR, the experience is honestly, what stands as the determining factor and I have no problems paying to enjoy myself. My top 5 all time dates fall into both the Über-expensive and the under $40 categories, the staple of all five were the chemistry and flow of the dates. I was sharing the pleasure of an amazing individual with similar interest and an ability to be intriguing, challenging, humorous, and sensually stimulating all in the course of a few hours together.

P.S. "I suggested the post dinner. And since I did, I paid the bill." You seldom find people who live by that rule. Well done. I don’t believe it applies to a first date or second, or for that matter the third. However, when in a relationship, that is a rule I agree with.

I AM GVG said...


LOL. That seems strange to me. I know many great gentlemen in the Maryland/DC area. In fact, a lot of them are readers of this blog. Insane amounts of my friends are from the uuurrrreeeeaaaa and/or attended Howard, Hampton, and Georgetown. Maybe it's a matter of the circles that you are in; that you're not finding the type of man that would treat you to a proper evening out. Just my two cents.

I always say and believe - you don't go to the amateur booty-clapping contest at the strip club with expectations of meeting a good Christian girl.

Daveeed said...

Very interesting question. At first I thought is it REALLY that serious, but then again, it is. Funny enough this query would affect men, more than women( that's a blog for another time, lol ).

First you must gage season. People spend( my opinion ) a bit more to court/date during the winter/fall months. Why is that? Well because it's simply a LOT colder, and trying to convince yourself, let a alone a black woman to walk, chill, lay in the park when its 30 degrees ain't happenin. Most things during the colder months would involve indoor activity, which could be a play, dinner, comedy show, lounge, live music showcase, or simply relaxing at home watching a DVD snuggling. All in all winter dates tend to be a bit pricier.

Now how far you go with your wallet may depend on how much you enjoy this lady, and what it is your trying to do. Rule of thumb( I feel ) is that the first date is NEVER the time to "ball" out. I say this only because you're JUST getting to know someone. It is the beginning phase. Do something that allows you to have one on one conversation. Many people do dinner and a movie out the gate, which is cool, but you can't really "get to know" someone during a flick. That's already 2-3 hrs gone. I think we all, myself included, can over extend ourselves or make so much of a first date, when I think it's truly about you and the other person.

Bottom line: I'd spend what I saw fit for the occasion. I don't have a set guideline, but it wouldn't be my most expensive date with the young lady, nor my most extravagant. That would come when she is a woman I have come to love and cherish, therefore she is all the more deserving. Keep is simple and light. And please be yourself. People in '08 see past the B.S. I hope......

I AM GVG said...

Great points, sir Daveeed. You still didn’t give a $$$ amount though. For what you just described how much on average would you spend on it?

Anonymous said...

So a dollar amount is what you want in regards to the aforementioned “Man of Leisure” aka the “bourgie date.” Here’s my estimated breakdown (including tip, of course):

Aperatifs/cocktails: $35-$50
Dinner (3 courses) and wine at a fine dining est.: $360 - $500
Pre/post dinner "event": $50 - $200
Cab fare between locations and home: $20-$40
Total : $465 - $790

Disclaimer: I am a woman, accomplished though not always dressed to the nines nor perfectly coiffed, though I know when to turn on the gas and can compete with this type of woman anyday of the week. I just don't need to or, for that matter, want to.

I would love to know how "off" you and friend's totals were. Plus I agree with commentor Daveed that this type of date be reserved for a special someone, not first impressions.

Daveeed said...

You actually want an actual number? That's so relative. Lets just say I'd try to keep it under $100.

I AM GVG said...

It seems Belle and I are having the same conversation on both our blogs. Hers can be found here:

My answer to her query was this:

First off, before I go into amounts – never, ever, EVERRRR - go to the movies on a first date. The experience of a first date is about the conversation and the chemistry and you can't get a real handle on either with surround sound and an over sized TV in front of a man.

Now onto the cost of "love" for the night in this here city of ours. I think you undervalued that date Patent detailed you.$40- $60 would only cover entrees in post places, you’re averaging between $17 - $25 in a decent mid-range spot of the moment, and that’s if she’s not a big seafood type, we’re not going into what a well prepared lobster tail or shrimp entrée would run. You left out apps, which run an average of $10 - $15, and if the date is going well you might want to stay for desert, but if it’s going real well and the mood is right you might want to share a desert, so let us range it between another $10 - $15.

Now mind you – your throat is still dry as shit –because your ass hasn’t even had a drink yet. Let’s say you have a reservation, but with most hot places you usually tend to have to wait a few moments before being seated, and where prêt ell would you be doing this waiting? AT THE BAR! Which means what? Cocktails! Let’s go with your $12 chocolate martini estimate and a nice top shelf scotch or vodka and soda for the gentlemen at $14. At this point, you are led to your table and you need a bottle of wine to pair with your dining. On average in a decent restaurant you’re going between $26 - $50 (in the decent spot, if you go for the Über show your ass spot, the price is expediential), I’ve had two bottles on a date more times than I’ve had just one. Wine goes fast when you're having fun. However, I tend to date foodies who love drinking good wine, just as much as they love eating good food, so now you have to double that wine amount range from $52 - $100 on the wine alone.

Now let us tally that up on the high and low end (getting out my calculator) – Low end: $86 (one bottle) $115 (two bottles) High end: $131 (one bottle) $181(two bottles) – OH I’m sorry – Did anyone add tax and tip to this – add another $30 to be safe - AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN LEFT THE RESTAURANT YET! Just throw another $100 for whatever you might find to do pre/post dinner event (Lounge with drinks and dancing, show, off Broadway play, etc.) Now you’re tallying out at about $245on the low end and $311 on the high end. Welcome to New York City!

Someone just made a good point on my blog. You actually have to get back and forth between locations and most people in this city don't drive - so cabs it is. Let's add an additional $20-$40 for running from spot to spot, and a cab for the lady to make it home safely.

Daveeed said...

Dear Anon.

Please provide a point of clarity for me. Are those your total figures for a first date or as you stated below for someone special? Just wondering. Now if these are first date numbers, and in NYC they are very, very feasible, where may I ask are you eating? And would plan of action after dinner would require $50-$200? That's an extremely excessive amount. Once again just curious....

Christopher said...

I have been fortunate to never have a date. Thank the lord. I dont date....I chill. Chilling has all the benefits of dating with non of the financial stresses. I realized from an early age that this world is very inconsistent. women have been fighting for years to be treated as equals and yet want the benefits of a social structure rooted in a time were a woman's main purpose was to be a home maker, and tend to her man and children in exchange for stability given by the male. Along with this we had huge differences in the modest earnings and livings of blue collar workers, such as butchers, black smiths,etc and those of higher status such as aristocrats, politicians and what have you. Was the butcher and black smith courting a woman and taking her on these expensive dates? Or were they courting the woman that patronized their businesses, and the young daughters of a neighboring family. The men with more status and money had to compete with other men with the stats and money and show they were the best choice for stability. In cultures where the girls family literally gave her away they had to convince the family that they were the best choice not only for the young girl but to financially benefit the family of the young girl. It mad perfect sense for a man to court a woman in a such a way that included expensive meals to "win" her heart in these times. Those times for the most part are in the past. Woman have enjoyed a wide array of success and independence since the industrial age.In our time, black woman in particular who are going to college at much higher rates and graduating at even higher rates than black men are finding it harder and harder to find their black counter parts in a position to be able to continue those archaic traditions of the past. Black men are struggling with a society that wants them incarcerated, voting rights taken away and out of the way period. We fighting against a system put in place during 400 years of slavery, reinforced with drug use stemming from Vietnam and the rise of crack in the 80's This is not 17th century Europe and we are not all aristocrats and diplomats. And for the black men who are doing well for them selves, the chances are we are courting a woman that is doing just as well if not better. So I ask you what is the logical reason for paying for expensive meals and partaking in the activities that were meant to win the hearts of the opposite sex over a century ago ? We are dating jobless, penniless, woman with way to support her selves like the woman of old. Times are different and so our dating practices should be as well. It amazes me that It is so widely accepted that a man's job is to provide still, which has an implication of the family structure of the past which included a inferior woman, serving her man and tending to children with the job of the man being the bread winner.

Men and woman though they have different strengths and weakness, are equals. We complement each other. When I go out on a "date" which is just me chilling I have no problem paying as long as its not expected. Im not living in the past. Woman have been fighting for equal rights for 40 years at least and I heard them loud and clear. In my eyes your my equal and better take out that wallet and pay for my meal here and there, or else you can get in a time machine and see how she likes the 17 hundreds.

The Bougie Baller said...

Interesting topic from an interesting person :)

To be honest, I think I'm a bit eccentric in my habits. As long as your not taking me to a fast food jumpoff... I'm all right with you. High-end wining and dining won't win you any points if you're a jerk :P

My first date calculations with #1:
Movies ($14)
Dinner and drinks @ regular restaurant ($45)

My first date calculations with #2:
Airfare ($500)
Movie ($14)
Dinner ($250)

I went with guy #1 :-)

Rx said...

I should preface this by saying that I've been a ball-and-chain for a good, long while now. So I haven't been on a date that doesn't involve a superhero on the big screen ($20), raisinets ($5) and popcorn ($5) at my feet in years. (PRICELESS)

That said, I don't think it's archaic to date. I do, however, take umbrage to this notion of just "chilling." Think about it. If you are trying to win a new business client or maintain a relationship with someone who you'd like to have as a professional mentor, you'll get dressed up, take them on a tour of your business and then take them somewhere decent to eat. Why wouldn't you want to put that same best foot forward with someone you hope to spend significantly more of your time with?

Ultimately, I think a first date should reveal something about the personality of whomever did the asking. If the activities that best represent you or that you absolutely love to do are free, then any girl would love to be introduced to them. But if those things include "talking in your car" or watching you play Legend of Zelda on your wii, you should probably not expect a date #2.

Rx said...

I should preface this by saying that I've been a ball-and-chain for a good, long while now. So I haven't been on a date that doesn't involve a superhero on the big screen ($20), raisinets ($5) and popcorn ($5) at my feet in years. (PRICELESS)

That said, I don't think it's archaic to date. I do, however, take umbrage to this notion of just "chilling." Think about it. If you are trying to win a new business client or maintain a relationship with someone who you'd like to have as a professional mentor, you'll get dressed up, take them on a tour of your business and then take them somewhere decent to eat. Why wouldn't you want to put that same best foot forward with someone you hope to spend significantly more of your time with?

Ultimately, I think a first date should reveal something about the personality of whomever did the asking. If the activities that best represent you or that you absolutely love to do are free, then any girl would love to be introduced to them. But if those things include "talking in your car" or watching you play Legend of Zelda on your wii, you should probably not expect a date #2.

Anonymous said...

I can't lie I'm a cheap date. I'm hungry you can take me to the buffet and I'm good. lol It's the chemistry that matters more than the food and the cost. If you suck ass there's no amount of fancy food that will get those minutes of my life back. One thing tho that I must require is for them to have transportation if we're not in the city. I don't care if you drive a bucket. I don't like picking a dude up. It bothers me. Now if I'm picking up a girl it's something different.

Anonymous said...

Just yesterday I went on a first date, with a hilarious young man. We met in Midtown as I was already in the area he insisted we have Chin Chin's for lunch. The owners came and greeted him he ordered for me and the choices were perfect. I had to purchase a cocktail dress for an event and rather than parting ways he came with me to Bloomingdales. We traveled the city from cab to cab he opened doors and made me laugh the entire day. He had some business to attend and insisted we have dinner and drinks first. We went to another restaurant, in Soho at this point and he ordered for me again still perfect. The co owner and manager came to the table and made me feel like part of the family. Assuming he paid full price for our day I would estimate he spent about $350 for the day. I had a cool day with him the fact that I know like most men he really didn't want to be in a store with me and was showed that he was really trying.

is said...

for ur readers that need some damn inspiration...

ps - it shouldnt matter about the money--
if there's chemistry, dates could be free and it would be all good. if you're not feelin the other person, why waste the time and money... keep a friendship, and keep it moving.

Haute in LA said...

GVG I 3> your high opinion of your friend. I need a male friend that speak so highly of me. LOL! Now, as a woman, until I read both your and Belle's blogs on this topic I honestly never gave a second thought to how much my gentleman callers might spend on a date with me.

Then I went out with this guy the following weekend. He told me we could do whatever I please: "It's your night."

So we started with dinner at Blowfish Sushi in West Hollywood. Reservation was for 8 and we had pre-dinner drinks. His rum and coke: $15, my sauvignon blanc: $18. Tiger prawn appetizer: $16. My dinner which consisted of a seaweed sald, three rolls and two types of sashimi: $85 (I didn't pay attention to prices at the time)He doesn't eat sushi but had a chicken entree: $34 (the tiger prawns were his as well). A pot of sake: $30. After dinner we decided to go to a comedy club: $20 each and then for cappucino afterward: $10.

So I guess a date in LA costs around $275 with tax and tip. I had no idea!!! And I don't even like that dude. Go figure.

I AM GVG said...

Haute, LOL. WOW!

As for the description I gave - I am very aware of how blessed I am for the women whom have been and currently part of my life both romantically, as family and friends. It always amuses me when I hear both men and women talk about how they can't find great people to date and I look at my circle of friends and the EXs who have been part of my life and I realize I’m a blessed man. I know the most amazing women this country has to offer and I appreciate each and every single last one of them.(Most of the time. LOL.)

Now onto what I came on here for.

I believe a lot of you misunderstood the point of this blog queries intent. This conversation was not about the varying degrees of attraction - it was about the economics of courting. Our discussion honestly developed from whether it was cheaper to fly to Brazil and get some “pay to play ass” or date a women three times in this city for HOPES of ass. This then lead into – approximately how much those three dates cost - we were trying to break it down to a per date average amount, then multiple by the three dates standard to a lot of women to take it to “the next level”, then compare to a Brazil run.

I do not think a man should be knocked for spending a large or small sum as long said suitor’s expectations are well intentioned. You women keep knocking these men (by association myself included) for wanting to spend “large sums” of money, dependant on who you ask, on you. Every other comment was - "All I need is you, a baggy lunch, a bench, and that's the greatest, most memorable date as long as I really liked you" - I had another women tell me “Men who spend "large" sums on dates are compensating for a lack of other personable qualities”. I think both those are BS, I’m not saying you ladies are insincere in your appreciation for a good man just as he is, but everyone wants to feel pampered on, and have someone put some thought into a shared experience. Of course, if I didn’t care about you I’d attempt to spend the least amount of money possible, because I would feel you weren’t worth much more than a couple of witty words and a brown paper bag.

Anyone who knows me knows I love nice quality things and am more than willing to pay to have them. You will never hear about GVG going broke on woman, cars, jewelry, and drugs. However, if you hear a rumor that I went bankrupt on fine dining, travel, clothes - then someone please call my momma and tell her where you heard I am stranded. Thanx. So why would I only accept the best for myself, then cut corners when blessed with the honor of your company. My favorite dates of all time have fallen on both sides of the monetary fence, but as with most people, it is about the person sitting across from me. If I ask you on a date it because I want to see you, spend time with you, and make it clear that I want more of you. Trust that I know a lot about you before we even have that first meal, other than if you actually have any table manners (GOD! Is that a story for another day), so this is a formal request for to begin courting you. Appreciate a man who wants, can, and is willing to try to give you the world, even if it is a baggy lunch, and a bench with great conversation. As long as when he looks as you – you feel the warmth permeating from his heart to yours, then you have found someone worthy of a second date.

P.S. If you do not like a gentleman, do not accept his invitation. It is unladylike to accept gifts from someone you do not consider to be a proper candidate for a suitor. Peace and blessings to all you ladies.

Daveeeed said...

"P.S. If you do not like a gentleman, do not accept his invitation. It is unladylike to accept gifts from someone you do not consider to be a proper candidate for a suitor. Peace and blessings to all you ladies."

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh GVG my good man, now this is where is can get a bit weird. How many women do u know who have the "free" dinner dude on speed dial??? The guy who that have absolutely have NO interest in, knows he likes them, and still allows him to take them out. I believe some of the women who commented above have even spoken about such scenarios. I agree with your thoughts on this, and that goes for men too. If you're not interested in someone let them know and keep it moving. Sure you can be "friends", if he/she can handle that, but if they're still pursuing you in that manner, then as they say, "keep it real." It's amazing how many of these stories I hear about men who go all out, only to know that the woman has noooo interest. He should be smart enough to use some discretion and good ol' common sense, and leave her alone. And I'd like to think that she would do the same, although we know this isn't always the case. Why play that game if you're just not into him?? Just my two cents.....

Justin said...

I must agree that peoples ideas of first dates have greatly regressed think back to high school f you are a man of the city now you were problem a man of the city then now add a couple more dollars to that equation but the same creativity and you have the perfect first date . The movies, plays, and opera are neither great nor creative ideas and will not leave a lasting impression it’s common if Shorty is a 10 then you must step your game up because there a more fish in the sea with bigger budgets does not matter how much you think you’re balling. A perfect first date for me and my 10 would be something like mystery theater (think clue the board game but your professor plum) not here’s the thing mystery theater comes with a 4 course meal and wine for about $100 a couple with tax and gratuity then you hit a post event spot a lounge a nice bar have a couple and go for a short drunken walk and call it a night she will call as long as you managed to keep up your man of the city convo. And for the BK hood rats… if you must popeye's and a bootleg movie either way you’re still well under $ 250 and there will be a second date for you to really show that bourgeoisie side if you must.