A Penny Earned: Casual Dating, Part 1 [FEATURE]

by • February 1, 2013 • Featured, The LifeComments (0)669



I’ve had a secret assemblage with all the single men across the world, and they’ve lamented to me their displeasure with spending too much money on the first date. They’ve further expressed that somewhere along the dating timeline it has become socially acceptable, and more importantly expected, for a man to flash the ducats on the first date. Although these men boldly object to this notion, they spinelessly play along in the scheme because they don’t want to be seen as cheap; and ultimately are trying to get the draws. Understanding that I don’t give a damn, they have designated me as their leader, tasked with speaking out on their behalf.

So let us get right into it. There is no one singular catchphrase more bastardized then the term “casual dating”. Popular misrepresentations like: “that’s racist”, “that’s crazy” “she’s bad”, and “it’s a classic” are simply no match for the complete and utter misuse of the phrase “casual dating”. Any man who has ever been on a “casual date” knows there is nothing “casual” about it.

To put this casual dating thing to the test I looked up both casual, and dating in the dictionary and here’s what I found: (Source: Dictionary.com—limited to the first three pertinent definitions)


1. Happening by chance; fortuitous: a casual meeting
2. Without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand; passing: a casual remark
3. Seeming or tending to be indifferent to what is happening; apathetic; unconcerned: a casual, nonchalant air

1. To go out socially on dates.

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing casual about breaking c-notes. Politically, I may identify myself as leftist liberal, but when it comes to dating, I am a far right conservative. Me and ole Mitt Romney speak the same language (Cue that famous smear ad:“ $80 dinners we’ll get rid of that”).

So let’s add that up. By the looks of it, casual dating can be defined as something arbitrary and light; that occurs socially. If your definition of casual dating does not match up to this one… That’s cool…. Just don’t call it casual dating. Make up new terms for it like “money meetings”, “pricey pow -wows” or my personal favorite “green-back gatherings”. At least that way the man is under no false pretense when it comes to what he’s getting into.

I think one of my favorite movie characters; Big Perm, from the film Friday, said it best when he told Smokey “Playing wit my money, is like playing wit my emotions” –touché, tou f-n ché. In fact, depending on who you ask, the relationship that exists between you and your money might be the most personal, and emotional relationship you have—married people included.

Recently, I haplessly walked in on a healthy debate that a male and female colleague of mine were having regarding spending money on the first date. My male colleague was making the point that he was tired of spending money to essentially , get to know women. He stated that he would be flipping the bill for these $50-60 dates, but ultimately did not find a lot of compatibility with these women. He decided that he would implement “a-little-to-no money” strategy in the “getting to know” stage; to which I agreed and applauded. In response, my female colleague called us both cheap, and countered with the fact that these women are spending their time, and getting all dolled up for the date—which in her mind made it an even trade. To her, and all the other people out there of like-mind, I couldn’t agree any less.

Stupid clichés like “time is money” is the exact reason why I don’t believe in them. Firstly, while on a date, it is safe to say that both parties are sacrificing time. Additionally, if he’s any type of Smug man, he’s going to come to the date looking/smelling good—again, even sacrifice. The sacrificial tides begin to turn when cash registers start ringing. I can already hear the women now, so let me promptly address this: No, everything is NOT all about money, and that’s the exact reason why I’m not mad at people who decide NOT to spend any. Now let me also make this clear. I am in no way, shape, or form, knocking the guys who chose otherwise, I respect them. All I’m saying is I equally respect and understand the guys who don’t.

It really pisses me off when ladies scoff at moneyless dates in the early stages. Since when did spending money become a prerequisite for getting to know somebody? You know what though, I get it. This is payback for all the dates that included a man inviting you over to “chill” and watch Martin, then attempting to sweet-talk you into trading massages ( c’mon fellas we’re all guilty of that… Some of us are still doing it). So ladies I fully understand your caution, and elevated expectation level. All I’m saying is, there is a lot of fruitful soil between massages and Morton’s that need to be explored.

Brothas, don’t feel cheap when taking your date to The Smithsonian upon the first meeting–hell, that’s what it’s there for. It’s a refuge; not only for history-seekers, and scholars, but also daters. It’s there as a resource, a safe haven, a release. Ostensibly taking the pressure not only off your wallet, but similarly off your words– museum dates spark up all types of intellectual conversation you NEVER knew you had.

It’s true that the world of casual dating can be a confusing, bizarre abyss, full of backward theories and even more backward people. Because there’s so much meat on this “casual dating bone” I have a sneaky suspicion that this will become a series within a series. Look out for Part 2 on casual dating next week.

Until next time, I’m just dropping pennies.

A Penny Earnedwill be a continuous autobiographical series taking you through what the writer, Austin Weatherington believes to be major aspects that contribute to a young man’s brokeness. The series will be featured every Friday here at The Smugger .

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