Ask Nicci: Guys should shell out for second date

By I recently went on a second date with a guy. He didn’t pay for the dinner, which he had invited me to. He even went as far as to bypass going Dutch, allowing me to pay for the entire meal! This was a huge turnoff to me. I am not interested in seeing him again as I feel this was poor manners on his part. My guy friends disagree and see nothing wrong with this. Can you settle this debate for us: Is it appropriate for a guy to pay on the first and second date? —Chelsea
From the August 9, 2012 edition

In the spirit of National Romance Awareness Month (bet you didn’t know that!) and because I’m asked this question often, I think it’s a good time for a quick refresher course on dating do’s and don’ts.

While dating guidelines are somewhat of an unwritten rule, creating the best first (or second) impression is critical.

Guys:

· Do pay for the first and second dates. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do.

· Don’t give her your phone number and then leave the ball in her court to call you. Be proactive and ask for hers — confidence is sexy.

· Do call her if you’re interested. Texting minimally is fine, but a phone call is best.

Girls:

· Do be appreciative. Offer to buy dessert or an after-dinner drink somewhere. A trip to Jeni’s is a great option!

Good manners and a little extra effort and wooing from both parties won’t go unnoticed. Yes, it can feel like a game at times, but it’s one worth playing for that ever-elusive feeling of chemistry.

My boyfriend and I were recently at a restaurant and ran into his ex. They didn’t speak, but the moment was definitely awkward for all of us. Since then he has been withdrawn and not himself toward me. We have been together for more than a year. I love him and don’t want to lose him. But it bothers me that he is thinking about her. What should I do? —Anonymous

The first thing you need to do is check your insecurities at the door. Rushing to judgment or overanalyzing the situation will only lead to greater problems. You have more than a year’s time invested in this relationship, and you love him. Stop speculating and think through your approach before you line yourself up to be the next ex.

Wondering what could have been with an ex is normal. Whether he needs a little walk down memory lane or has realized he may need some closure, this is a good thing for the growth of your relationship.

I suggest approaching him calmly and sharing your concern. Remember this is nothing personal and that guys tend to process things differently. His awareness of your concern should open the line of communication. If he doesn’t feel like talking yet, remind him tonight why he chose you!

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com. Or get in touch through her website, asknicci.com.