I had a bit of an epiphany a few dates ago.
It was when a guy suggested we go to a local museum. I’m new to the city, hadn’t been to the museum, but I knew it was nationally recognized. I was quite happy to let the date double as tourism.
So when the next guy showed up empty-handed—“Where do you want to go?”—I told him. I named a local tourist attraction that I was interested in seeing.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it indicates a huge departure from my former approach. I used to be hand-wringingly considerate. I didn’t want to spend a guy’s money, especially on a first date. So I’d tentatively recommend some local coffee shop or a cheap eatery. We’d get coffee, go for a walk, decide not to meet again, and I’d spend the rest of the night on the couch mourning my lost day.
There were plenty of places I would have rather gone. But wouldn’t that be… mercenary? Manipulative? Taking advantage? Seeing the city on another man’s dime? Something about it felt wrong.
I did not mourn the guy’s lost day. If he wanted something better, he should have suggested it. That’s his prerogative as the one spending the money.
But once he asks, can he politely override my suggestion? Maybe he really would have loved something more interesting than coffee, but feels self-conscious suggesting it, because maybe I’m just a boring coffee date kind of girl.
Really, then, it’s for our mutual benefit that I suggest something just a little bit more interesting. And if my suggestions happen to follow a tourist’s itinerary, hitting all the big local attractions, well, who’s to care?
I don’t. That’s for sure.