Most people know by now that first date conversations should not include politics and religion.Even if you are a minister or an elected official, there are so many other fun and playful topics that can be discussed. Another dangerous topic that should be avoided is money. While religion and politics are easy to avoid on a first date, money can’t really be completely ignored as there is going to be an upfront cost for coffee. Let’s face it, money can make everyone feel a little awkward. In this ever-changing world of women wanting pay equity in the workforce, it can be a bit confusing for both sexes when it comes to paying for dates. IExperts suggest that in today’s modern dating world,  the person initiating the date should be the one to pay for it. That just won’t fly in my business because, even though I meet women who are confident, independent and successful, most still feel a man needs to make the first move. Studies also show that 78 per cent of people still expect men to at least pay for the first date.I have written a previous column on this topic and I have many opinions on it, but rather than focusing on statistics and experts, here are some reminders for those who have been out of the dating game for some time:

1. If you arrive first for your coffee date, find a seat and wait patiently. It’s a common courtesy to show respect. Getting your coffee first does not leave a good impression.   2. Knowing most women like the idea of a man treating on the first date, guys should just do it. Maybe the woman will suggest she prefers to go Dutch, or maybe she will say thank you and offer to pay for the next coffee date. Yes ladies, you can also treat sometimes. 3 While on a date, never complain about how much something costs. You won’t get a second date if you do. Men and women who come to me for matchmaking should be financially independent and not need someone to look after them. If you don’t think you have money to date, you should log onto  Plenty of Fish because, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.  4. Don’t talk about money on your first date. Don’t even talk about it if you have lots of it. You may be seen as being pretentious and narcissistic. Women care more about health than wealth, so in the early stages, you need not flaunt it.  5. Don’t ever assume a man has to buy or pay for all of the dates. No matter how old-fashioned or traditional you are, it is absolutely archaic to expect this. 6. Try some dates that aren’t expensive. A previous column of mine contained many great suggestions from readers on fun free date ideas that don’t cost a thing and are actually more meaningful than the usual dinner and a movie  If you would like to see that list, let me know and I will send it to you. 7. After a few dates and activities, you will know each other better — and that’s when you can dig a little deeper and find out what kind of relationship your potential match has with money.

Some people save and invest and are very frugal. In some cases, they are so obsessed with having plenty of money at the end of their lives that they forget to enjoy it during their life. Then there’s the other side of the coin, those who live paycheque to paycheque, never worry about having enough to retire and feel like everything will work out for them. Hopefully, finding a place in the middle of these two would be ideal. 8. In the early days of dating, men should never complain about having to pay child support and women should never complain about ex-husbands who don’t pay child support. If you are in either of those two scenarios, you should not be dating. 9. If you happen to be wealthy and want to treat your partner to your first vacation together, go for it. I feel that for most people, when it’s time for that step, pick a vacation you can both afford and save up and split the costs. 10. If you have an unhealthy relationship with dough (and I am not suggesting you go on a Keto diet), seek counselling. I know people who are rich and unhappy and always wanting more. I see others who live modest lives and are at peace.

 Lastly, remember that time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money, but you can’t get more time.If you are happy, single and have a healthy relationship with money, contact me by email at holmes@wheretheheartis.ca and I will take you for coffee. I will wait for you to arrive before ordering —  and it’s my treat.