Meet Before You Date

To date or not to date, that is the question. The answer is, “to-date,” if you’re wanting a relationship. Meet and greet as it’s commonly referred, is just a way of saving face, just-in-case.  Just in case, the person isn’t a good match or they don’t look like their photos. When you meet before your first date, you can (for the most part) avoid so many of the first date pitfalls we all have come up against.

The Cost of Dating

Photo Credit: Fabian Blank

In an article on MadamNoire, Ann Brown states that the cost of dating for women is more than we’ve customarily known over the years.

Dating costs for women amount to more than chump change. In fact, the money we spend on dating could be seen as a small investment portfolio. States Brown.

However, no matter how much women might spend, the cost of dating for a man will always be paramount.  For example, I live in Atlanta, Georgia. Suppose I decide to Uber to my date.

  • Average trip: 12.95 – Unless you plan on never going home, you can double that fare to about $25.80

All of this before I’ve ever eaten. Oh, and do not forget, I’m expected to pay for her meal and any later drinks she may indulge in. Now, this isn’t an issue if it’s the right woman who you’re splurging on. However, the average American looking for a relationship goes on about 2 dates per month or more. Most of which amount to nothing. So double everything I’ve stated above and that’s just beginning.

Did you factor-in, dating sites?

  • – $42.00 per month
  • Eharmony – $60.00 per month

The value is in signing up for multiple months. That being said, since we are talking about a first date, we’ll keep it to a month.

A recent study by showed that American singles spend about $60 a month on dating. Of course the amount spent on dating depends on the city in which you live. In the Big Apple, dinner for two and a movie costs about $135. Dinner for two, a bottle of red wine, and a movie cost $230 in San Francisco, $211 in Atlanta, and $193 in Kansas City, MO. Says Brown.

Needless to say, the cost of dating for men and women is, expensive. And, the cost of dating still mainly falls on the man. So why would you take someone you barely know, on an all-expense-paid first date? The meet and greet is the way to go. So why are so many women against a man vetting in this way? Why would a man continue being duped into taking women out for free meals? And no, it’s not always who he’s choosing. Some women have the free meal game on smash.

Free Meals did an article on New York fashion blogger Brittany Pierre, who admitted she entertained dozens of men to receive free meals. Brittny Pierre-Blogger-Free-Meal-Dates-Fashion-Blogger

“I decided that I couldn’t afford to limit myself to guys I actually wanted to date, I just had to go full throttle and just see who was willing to take me out,” wrote Pierre. “A meal is a meal.”

“I decided I would use OKCupid and Craigslist (yes, even scary ol’ Craiglist) so I could have dinner three times a week without opening my wallet because let’s face it, there wasn’t anything in my wallet to begin with,” she admitted.

“To find my [victims], I would chitchat with each possible suitor and then hope they’d offer to take me out, which 9 out of 10 times they would,” Pierre details. “I would pick a restaurant I wanted to try out in the city and then it was on.”

Did this chick just call men her, “victims?” Like a sniper in wait, she had her eye through the scope and her target was unsuspecting men.

Unfortunately, this story is one among thousands of others out there that you do not know exist. Men are internal and proud and typically won’t admit they got, “got.” As a result, men are pulling back on the first date budget and doing the meet and greet. Even more extreme, some men are even asking women to go dutch on the first date. But I’ll talk about that in another blog.

Women Benefit from the Meet and Greet Too!

Photo Credit: Joshua Trujillo


Of course, women benefit from the meet and greet. Deception is the biggest complaint I hear from women (and men).

  • He doesn’t look like his photos
  • Those are his high school photos
  • He’s lied about his height on this profile
  • He’s 70 lbs. lighter in his photos
  • He had hair in his online profile

The major benefit to a meet and greet is, you can avoid the 2-hour trap of the first date. Nothing is worse than sitting in a restaurant for 2 hours with someone who you have zero chemistry with. Nothing is worse than finding out the person lied about their height. It’s like a meeting of oil and water, they don’t mix.  No matter how you twist, turn, and shake the bottle, you won’t blend. The meetup, or meet and greet helps you to avoid that first date.

No matter what, the benefit of the meet up is twofold.

  1. If things work out, you will be able to decide if you two have chemistry.
  2. If things don’t work out, you will have spent nothing but a minimal amount of time and the price of a Pumpkin Spice Latté.

Why Some Are Against The Meet and Greet

Based on the conversation with some women, they are against the meet and greet because they feel they are worth more than the price of a coffee or an Iced Lemon Pound Cake from Starbucks (I don’t know what you’re talking about that cake tastes like heaven). However, put yourself in the place of the man.  The cost to date has changed, but the person who pays for the first date has not. Women’s roles in American society have changed. Especially in their bank accounts. And oftentimes, the woman is making more money than the man she is out on a date with. But guess what? The man is still expected to pay.

I’ve also heard the statement, “real men (or gentlemen) don’t let a woman pay for a first date.” Personally, I’d never let a woman pay for a first date. But for those that insist on going dutch, being a man or a gentleman has nothing to do with how much, or if they pay on a first date. The experience and the way he treats you is what determines what type of man he is. Always remember that.

Fellas, gauge the woman you’re with via multiple conversations to see what kind of woman you’re dealing with. Ask the tough questions before you even meet her. This will also save you time and money.

So Where Can We Go?

A few places I’d recommend:

  • A café like Starbucks
  • Public Park
  • Museum
  • Library
  • Ice Cream Shop

Keep it simple and keep it short. I’d say, 1 hour tops. However, if the conversation is going great, feel free to extend that time at your own leisure.

Don’t forget, this is a meet and greet. Not an official date. You’re only there to show and confirm.