Ask DU: Are Expensive First Dates a Bad Idea? You Decide!

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Are Expensive First Dates a Bad Idea?

For this round of Ask DU, we’re crowdsourcing advice! Check out this reader’s dilemma (are expensive first dates a bad idea), and post your opinion in the comments section!

Dear DU,

A guy I met on Tinder just asked me out on a first date. The problem? He suggested a very nice restaurant – like, the kind I would reserve for very special occasions. While this was very sweet of him, I feel like there’s a lot of pressure going to such a nice place when we’ve never met before. We definitely have things in common and he has been sweet, but I can’t tell if there’s going to be any chemistry in person – and if we don’t hit it off, I’d feel guilty.

Is there a non-rude way to suggest an alternate choice, or should I just take him up on his offer?


What do you think she should do? Do you think expensive first dates are a bad idea? Share your opinion in the comments section! 

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  • I’m on the same page as you – I’d feel guilty if he spent a lot of money on our date and I just wasn’t feeling it. If I were in your shoes, I’d ask if he’d mind doing something more laid-back for your first meeting – coffee, etc. It sounds like he’s a nice guy who wants to make a good impression – therefore I’m sure he’d be down with whatever you’re most comfortable doing.

  • Laura

    My opinion – there’s a 50/50 split on this. He could be offering because he wants to, because he can, because that is what he is used to, because that is what he thinks all girls want. At that rate – you could certainly take him up on the offer…if you want to get to know the guy. The setting shouldn’t make a difference.
    Which brings up the other 50 split – if that type of scenario makes YOU uncomfortable then suggest something else that is more of a comfortable setting (both physically and mentally).

  • Gina

    So… Funny story, I’ve actually been in this situation. I met a guy on OKC and after talking to one another for ages the topic of dinner came up. He said he wanted to try out this place he’d heard really good things about and we ended up at Cafe La Cave in Des Plaines. This wasn’t even the original plan, he actually wanted to take me to the Lyric Opera (which in itself would have been amazing because I’ve always wanted to go AND it was Madame Butterfly).
    I think you both need to be comfortable with the location that you choose, it’s a really nice gesture on his part but if you’re not OK with it speak up. You don’t ever want to put yourself in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable. Hell, I wish more guys would suggest nice places – don’t get me wrong, I like a cup of coffee like any normal person but I remember dating as something different then it is now. I remember dating revolving around dinner. Uughh I sound old, don’t I?

  • Brandy

    This is a tough one because I come from the world of “let a man be a man” and this might be his way of doing that — taking you to a nice dinner. If he can afford it and this is his style, you lucked out. On the other hand, it’s not your problem to be concerned or “feel bad” about anything. He’s a big boy, he can make his own decisions, and he made one with his suggestion. Have fun!

  • Anonymous Reader

    Question-asker followup: Thanks for all the helpful advice! I ended up telling him that I liked the restaurant choice, but that we didn’t have to go to such a nice place and that I’d be equally happy with a lower-key venue. He insisted that he wanted to take me to a nice place, so I went with it. It is with much relief that I report we had good chemistry and a great first date and have already scheduled a second… with takeout and a movie next time 🙂

  • Totally get where you’re coming from– there’s definitely that element of a female guilt complex, like you can’t let him spend too much money if you’re not sure if you like him. On the other hand, he was the one who suggested it and presumably he’s familiar with the menu. Go forth and enjoy your dinner!

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