Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Dear J & J: I asked a girl out for coffee and she joked that I obviously didn’t want to spend the money on a dinner. What’s up with these money-grubbing girls? Am I expected to feed every woman I want to get to know? What’s wrong with asking a girl out for coffee to see if I want to ask her out for a meal?

JACK: There’s nothing wrong with a little dating due diligence. But remember, it goes both ways. If after a cup of Joe it’s she who’s falling asleep, you’ll still get the check, but probably little else. Invest wisely my friend.

JILL: Aah, the "Date Interview Coffee." There's nothing wrong with it, just don't delude yourself into believing girls don't know they're on a "coffee date" and not a "date date". All things being equal, there's nothing wrong with asking someone to coffee, but the invitation must be paired with the appropriate context. For example, if you meet a woman at a party, on the street or at an event, asking her to coffee or drinks reads as a generous invitation. On the other hand, if you've never met the woman and you call her to ask her to "coffee," it sounds like half an invitation, like you're on the fence about extending the invitation — never a flattering message. After all, eating and food are important players in the ritual of courting. Taking a woman out to dinner underscores your role in the whole man-woman thing ("hunter," "Father-Knows-Best-Provider" - extremely attractive to Brady-Bunch-lovin'-women everywhere). So bite the bullet and buy the girl a meal, Cheesedog.

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