I am tired of paying for dates that don't lead to a second. Is it wrong to suggest "going dutch" on a first date? -John

I am tired of paying for dates that don’t lead to a second. Is it wrong to suggest “going dutch” on a first date? —John

Hey, guys. Pay close attention, because I’m letting you in on a dating secret: Women want to be pursued and wooed! To successfully woo a woman you must at least try to impress her. Do you really think splitting the bill will get you very far with her? Not a chance!

Splitting the bill (“going dutch”) not only sets the tone that you could care less about impressing her, but it also suggests a friendship vibe, not the exploration of chemistry, which is the entire point of a first date. Yes, women can be confusing; we are certainly guilty of not always saying what we mean or want, but when it comes to paying the bill at the end of the date, I assure you, we want you to pay. If you don’t, we will think you are rude or, even worse, cheap.

Believe it or not, most women are old-fashioned when it comes to dating; therefore when a guy has good manners and opens the door for us, pays the bill and walks us to our car we are pleasantly surprised. We appreciate these gentlemanly gestures, whether there is chemistry or not.

On flip side, ladies, once you’ve gotten to the second and third date, offer to buy your guy a drink, coffee or dessert. It’s a nice gesture, and your guy will feel appreciated by your offer. And remember, gestures are a two-way street. Be gracious and always thank your date for dinner at the end of the night.

The perfect date doesn’t always require a fancy dinner or spending a lot of money. A little goes a long way! Think outside the box — an inexpensive date such as ice cream and a stroll through the park are great alternatives.

Bottom line: Guys, step up and pay the bill on a first date. Whether you feel a spark or not, there are some tried and true dating rules that should not be altered. My belief is, when in doubt, go the old-fashioned route!

One last thing: Columbus is a small town, and the singles circuit is even smaller. Keep that in mind next time you tell the waitress to split the bill.

Nicci Sprouse runs a dating service and is developing a television show for Jane.TV. Follow her on Twitter at @AskNicci. And send your questions about love and relationships to ">infoasknicci@gmail.com.