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A Compromise On Taking Women Out to Eat

Those who have been reading my blog for a while now, know I’m kind of opposed to the whole dinner-as-a-first-date thing. Some say it’s traditional, I say it’s unoriginal. There’s no thought in taking a woman out to eat, it’s something our parents parents did, and thus we do it too.

But I am the kind of guy who really enjoys a great meal, who is insulted by the vastness that is the Cheesecake Factory dinner menu, and prefers to find holes in the wall and places where the demand for a table is so high, they only accept walk ins. My motto: If there’s a line outside, I probably want to eat there. Hell, ask my mom, my first words ever were “I Eat.” So, for me, eating is an intimate act akin to sex, because anyone who has ever gone out to eat with me knows the whole experience gets me to open up about my own childhood growing up in my grandmother’s restaurant. 

Of course, the other reason I don’t like to take a woman out to eat on a first date is the same reason a lot of men have a problem with it. What has any woman done to deserve to eat on my dime? As I just said, going out to eat with a woman is something like sex, and if we’re not going to have sex on the first date, we’re damn sure not going out to eat on the first date.

This has been my attitude for about four or five years now, and though there have been occasional exceptions (she was fine, what can I say), and accidental first-date-dinners (I was hungry, she was just around), I have been steadfast in maintaining this line in the sand. Especially after I lost my previous job at VIBE. Those who were reading way back then remember one of the first posts I ever wrote was a declaration that I would not go out on a date of any kind until I found a job. Those who started reading later, remember the post where I said I lied, I was still going out on the occasional date or two.

Which brings me back to this whole dinner-as-a-first date thing. To be honest, one has to be 1,000-thread count smooth to always avoid taking a woman out to eat on a first date. Or, they have to be a recluse. Either way, most times, taking a woman out to eat on a first date is just easier. Still unoriginal, but  then again, some first dates are not worth the effort to be original in the first place. But I have developed what I believe is the best compromise for a first-date meal. It still involves food, but not expensive food, and not just any kind of food either. This compromise is very specific. You all ready? Here it is:

For the remainder of the winter season, I’m only taking women out for soup.

Yep, that’s right, I said it and I mean it. Me and her, whoever she is, are only going out for soup. I’m not talking Hale & Hearty either, unless of course, they carry a specific soup she likes. We can go to other restaurants, nice ones even, so long as they carry a good soup. Even if she is particular about her soup, she only likes chicken noodle or split pea, then we’re going to go and find the best split pea and chicken noodle soups in New York City or wherever my dating life finds me.

The way I see it, not only is this compromise apropos for the season, but it is also economical. A really good, quality Pho-Binh noodle soup doesn’t cost anything more than $5.00 in most places that sell them. Throw in a couple of fried won-tons and we’ll be full for the entire night. And for those women who are into breaking a man’s pockets on the first date, some soups, like a quality lobster bisque or bouillabaisse can cost upwards of $14.

On a more personal note, as a self-entitled foodie, I tend to get into these fits of culinary compulsions. When I really am digging a specific type of food, I want to try as many variations of it as I can. For instance, at one point, I was into finding the best burgers possible in New York City and so, three or four times a week I would go to a new burger spot. This whole soup thing is sort of like that, except now I am allowing women to accompany me on this journey, but let me be clear: I am not, under any circumstances, going to wave on this soup-for-a-first-date-thing until further notice. So for all those women who try to weasel their way out of it, talking about how they want some solid food on the first date, proceed to the next guy. For right now, I’m all about soups, and soups only. There will be no exceptions made.

Well, wait, there is one.

You all know how I feel about my tacos. 

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  • Naturi Beauty/Shelley Chapman

    Soup! Hillarious! “eating is an intimate act akin to sex”–>I completely dig it, food is another way to explore our world and being sensual beings, it is only natural that such a tantalizing experience such as allowing flavors to meld on our tastebuds and transcend time and space in the brief moment that you say “mmmmm” SHOULD be shared with appropriate company. Every one isn’t worthy. As a woman and foodie, I have had plenty of first dates that did not get return calls because their idea of fine dining and intimacy was having a meal at the likes of Friday’s, Olive Garden and “fill in any overrated chain restaurant here”. So Jozen, until you change your rule, and not that my “second” counts, I think Soup is an excellent idea! Love the blog!

  • Dash

    Haha! Seriously, I think that “first date” pressure is overrated. As long as I’m having fun, there is little that I find unacceptable. Soup? sure! Salad? Sure? Tacos? Will you marry me? I think I share the same crackhead addiction to tacos as well. However, I do disagree with setting hard and fast “rules” it’s kind of silly. #justsaying

  • BoomShots

    One of the best decisions I made on a first date was not taking a woman out to dinner. She turned out to be an insufferable harpie who would have made me so much more upset if I had made the mistake of spending my hard earned money on her. The original plan was to get together and have dinner but doing the course of our conversations she extolled her love of sports, it just so happened that I was afforded 2 VIP tickets to a NBA game. I must admit it was late season, 2 teams going now here but I viewed it as an activity date that even if we did not hit it off both of us would have gotten something enjoyable out of it.

    She spent the whole time complaining about how she did not feel special because I was not spending any money on her, hell she was upset that parking was free and the seats came with free snacks and drink.

    Good looking woman though, everything look good on paper but boy did I dodge a bullet, made me understand better why her previous boyfriend of many years had made an abrupt break from the relationship.

    So I can definitely understand where you are coming from even though I do not agree with your philospohy.

  • P.A

    Crazy thought but it does make sense. 🙂

  • Perdita

    …. soup…. No woman gets all dressed up, pushes her girls up to the starting position, makes sure the hair and face are looking nice for yo ass to go out for soup! I was cool with the whole original date thing and dinner is pretty un-original. But really if she wanted to eat soup why wouldn’t she just stay in her pajamas and keep her ass home in front of the tv?

  • Cheekie

    Brilliant and hilarious! Plus, it gives you the opportunity to say “No soup for you!” should a girl you’re not into asks you out. 😉

  • Kady

    This has to be the craziest thing I’ve ever read and funny. I hate soup, like hhhhaaaaaaattttte. If I was really digging a guy who was going through hard times, I will pay. But if some guy ask me out and then tell me we can only have soup, or burger, or appetizers, we would never see a 2nd date, in those cases I totally agree with not going to the restaurant on a first date. On another note, I would have an excellent story to bring back to the homies about Soup-er-star (I would really call you that too :-).

  • Kady

    This sounded like such a good date, this girl was trippin. But a promoter invited my friend out, I asked her if he brough her any drinks and she said with an attitude “no he was behind the bar”. I mean I appreciate a perk regardless of whether the guy pays, or its free to him. You should have told her you already paid with sweat, tears, long hours, ect…

  • Teach It

    LOL…I can just imagine ole girl sittin in the stands, lips poked out, and arms folded. You could have gone, bought a soda and hot dog and been like , “DAMN! You satisfied now?”

  • Jamila J

    Hmmm, unless it’s baked potato soup from O’Charley’s we might as well sit at home.

  • LumbarPuncture

    LMAO….Jozen you’re a fool for this one!

    I’m flexible when it comes to dates so if a guy stepped to me with this I wouldn’t even flinch. I’d crack a smile and think “Yeah…we read the same blogs!”

    mmmmm….now I’m thinking about pho…

  • Mel

    OMG! Hilarioussss and I hate soups too! Like I cant stand and if a guy told me that I can only have soup, I’ll just dish out my own money and buy something I want but I definietly don’t like to go out for dinner on first dates. First, I have to watch out what I eat because I dont want to seem like I’m a gold digger if I pick filet mignon or seem like I’m a picky eater and pick chicken. I prefer to skip the whole dinner on a first date thing.

  • Christine

    I like your blogs but so disagree with this one. To me there is nothing better than breaking bread with someone I like, love, or am getting to know. I do agree with the hole in wall restaurants-always the best food at a great price.

  • me-me

    she wasn’t complaining.. she was just hungry

    next time IX-NAY ON THE FREE-AYE. there is nothing worse than knowing you’re on a date where the man didn’t put any effort into making sure this was something you’d really like.

    i bet you told her that the tickets, parking and snack items were free. you should have told her that you wanted to take her to a game and SURPRISED her with VIP seats.

  • me-me


    somehow, i feel like with this post… you are a brother from another mother…

    imma ask my daddy.

    i don’t like to do anything on the first date that creates expectation. i insist on going dutch and meeting you there (just in case i have to make an exit). if it doesn’t work.. no love lost… i ate.. i paid, and i was out of the house being social.

  • BoomShots

    @Teach it, you must have been sitting in the seat next to us, because you captured her look to a tee.

    I am king of the hook-up, half off coupon and the friend’s employee discount. The women in my life I have had the greatest connection with have all shared that philosophical approach. I never understood people who spend money they don’t have to because the key to wealth is not how much you make but how much you keep. I understand that there are many who tie their ego to how much something is worth but I do know they are not for me. Since that way of thinking tells me that there will always be a price tag on any prospective relationship.

  • Twanda

    Hysterical!! I think I like the soup idea… Honestly, I think I would be down for that date. However, the date would be over quickly, it doesnt take that much time to eat soup. So…what if you are really feeling this girl, I mean really feeling her? A couple of sips…date over. Tacos may be a better choice LOL

  • jackie

    I love me some soup!

  • me-me

    boom, i understand what you’re saying and quite honestly that’s my philosphy. but i’m a woman– everyone woman on here may choose front to win virtual brownie points with men online, but at the end of the day if a man came home and said “Happy Anniversay Honey.. on the way home some man handed me some flowers and said i didn’t have to pay so i’m giving them to you.. also i forgot i bought some bulk anniversary cards last year from SAM’s Club so here you go… and oh yeah, this coupon i have from sizzler is about to expire so we might as well use it”– the woman would feel unappreciated and cheated. my thing is keep that on the low, aint nobody got to know. bragging or alerting someone that everything was free is the same as bragging about how expensive something is in my opinion.

    i’m ALL for saving, i love coupons, i love deals.. i love a hook-up (shout out to everyone who graduated from an HBCU–lol). But this is about presentation.. she might have been a gold-diggin, fake saddity broad or she might be like me and may have felt slighted over the presentation. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know… but i’m just coming from a different direction.

    when it comes to women, there is always a price on relationships.. or atleast sex.

  • Conscience

    Hmmmm. What’s that number again? Around 45%+ black women are unmarried. He may be an a-hole that dropped $200 dollars on dinner on the first date and you dropped the draws. He may be a great guy that dropped $30 dollars on the first date and you drop him. I think I can see where that number may come from.

  • *inquiring mind*

    Amen @ Conscience! Men have become so stingy and self-obsorbed- What happened to treating a woman you’re interested in because you just want to see her smile and comfortable around you? Where did this “me me me” mentality come from? Stop dating everything in a skirt and maybe you wouldn’t have to worry about dropping bank on dinners… whatever- Keep your soup, I’ll keep my schedule open… for someone else.

  • Conscience

    Ok that may have come off a little harsh, but what I’m trying to say here is that just because the first date is soup is not grounds for dismissal. That may be a man’s way of weeding out the gold diggers or he may just have a tight budget at the time due to him making moves that will benefit his future. Whatever the case may be, he may still be the man you have been waiting your whole life for. Put the value on the person and not the material things he or she may provide for you. This may help lessen the chance of you overlooking the “good man” or “good woman” and falling for the “boy” or “girl”. Now if the second date is soup again you are then eligible to begin asking some serious questions.

  • *inquiring mind*

    Moral of the story Boom… perception is EVERYTHING- don’t tell a mofo how much you are or are not spending.

  • *inquiring mind*

    We’re saying the same thing… I’m not mad about the soup- I’m pissed at his reasoning for getting soup… I’m still working on that communication thing- lol.

  • Teach It

    Jozen…soup? I agree with previous comments-it’s not the soup, but the reason behind it.

    Why is it that the guys soooo worried about a chick gettin’ in their pockets ain’t really got ish to begin with? (Of course this doesn’t say anything about Jozen. Nothing at all)

  • Tea

    I actually like this. As long as a guy doesn’t ask to go see a movie on a first date, you can’t really go wrong. (Who wants to sit in a dark place close to someone they barely know?) Plus, it’s cold as I don’t know what in the Chi, so an offer for soup sounds heavenly. Actually, I think dating in the winter is weird all together. The winter is for caking and the summer is for dating. (It’s in the bible.) I’m joking… about the bible part, soup is still what’s up.

  • SassyNoLA

    i actually think the soup idea is cute if presented as “i’m on a mission to find the best soup. be my partner-in-soup.” if the presentation was, “we’re eating soup because it’s economical. if you don’t like it, bounce.” well.. fuck you. lol

    i don’t get the whole “dinner is boring for a first date” thing. if you need to be jumping out of an airplane to get a rush on the FIRST date, something is wrong. that rush should come from butterflies of attraction and excitement getting to know somebody whose clothes you eventually hope to rip off- that’s excitement enough. you shouldn’t need to mix things up on a first damn date. ugh.

    sidenote: whenever i get a damn brazilian bikini wax, i think “fuck all these cheap bastards complaining about paying for a damn dinner!” do you have any idea how much a bikini wax hurts? worse than childbirth… i think. i haven’t experienced childbirth yet, but i can’t imagine ANY pain would be worse than waxing. now, you might say, my paying for dinner doesn’t guarantee that i’ll enjoy the brazilian. well, it works like this: you and your brothers pay into the brazilian wax fund in case you experience it- it’s like car insurance, except it’s dating/sex insurance. pay your damn premiums, sir!

  • Conscience

    Nice lmao. “Pay your damn premium” good one. Well we’ll start paying our premium as soon as you all start paying yours. Maybe you two should go dutch because if you and your date goes back to the bedroom and he blows your mind you owe him half of the date in cash money maam.

  • NyceBryce

    Yeah I’ve been saying that for a while. I don’t suggest dinner until we’re “dating” so if you hit me with- “we should hang out more, let’s do dinner.” that’s cool just bring your wallett. You wanted to see me, you wanted to eat while you do it, and you were gonna eat that night anyways. You get yours- I’ll get mine, and if it goes well and we get a drink after then I got those. I think that’s more than fair.

  • P Hugo

    Hey how about hot beverages at a gallery or museum. Its still economical.

  • Lola Reese

    Hi Jozen, I’m Reese, newbie to your blog site. Today’s post made me wet my pants. I believe you should add stand-up comedian to your resume. To comment on your first date philosophy on eating, I’m all for “standing ones ground”, heck I decided to do that two Sunday’s ago in church. You see, while church is a place of worship and praising our creator, it is also a place filled with undocumented funk. You see, most people follow the rule “less is more” and “the breath test” before leaving our residence while others are in gross violation. Sunday mornings at church can be challenging for “us” with noise sensitivity, so after one Sunday of sitting in between “Sistah Odell” and “Percy “the pimp” Jenkins, I said to myself, “why should I be the sacrificial lamb of pew #3”? Here we have Sistah Odell with chronic halitosis singing, “The Jesus in me loves the Jesus in You” funking up all areas to my left and Percy, still smelling of that bathroom cologne he got from the club the night before, funking up all areas to my right. So, to spare myself passing out and misleading folk to believe I “caught the Holy Spirit”, I decided to pop a few Altoids to help mask the odor surrounding me. Unbeknown to me, who knew 4 altoids would have the same effect as bleach and pine sol when cleaning…toxic. Now my tongue is burning and the strong mint aroma coming off the altoids is making my nostrils ache causing me to become slightly exfoliated. But hey it works and now when sandwiched in between funk, I pop 4 altoids and pray. You see, I’d rather smother myself than to be violated what a compromise!

  • sugarae215

    Ya’ll are some CHEAP muf@#$as!!! LOL, no…just kidding. Very cute idea…I wouldn’t mind it. I’m really not going to guage the success of the date by how much money you sepnt on me (that’s just dumb)…it’ll be based on the connection/ fun/ conversation etc that we had. HOWEVER….gentlemen PLEASE don’t take a lady out on a date during DINNER HOURS and not offer her any damn dinner (or food of some kind)…that’s just RUDE…and a tease (damn, we get hungry too) lol. That actually happened to a friend of mine (I felt her pain).

  • Niki

    Can’t agree with this one – I love cuisine, homemade or one that’s paid for at a restaurant. For me, if I see someone’s unafraid to share a meal with me, it encourages me to do the same. Soup is for starters (all puns intended).

  • Whitney

    If a guy presented a “soup date” to me on the first date I would find it kind of strange but I would go just because I have not been on a “real” date in a long time. Soup/dinner whatever, if we are feeling each other there will be other dates. I went out w/a guy once, we ended up being the only people in the place besides his boy, the DJ, bartender and club owner and we had the best time ever, so if the company is good it doesn’t really matter where you all go or how much is spent on each other. If i am not feeling the “soup date”, i will bounce and call my girl or stop and get me something on the way home and talk about his cheap/crazy ass later that night. LMAO…… if i like him the date would be cute, but he better step it up the next time!!!!!!!!!! But being that I am in chicago and it is cold ass hell outside, soup and a hot tea would be perfect right about now!!!!!!! 😉

  • SassyNoLA

    so in this scenario, we’re assuming the girl lays there and the guys doesn’t really get much from her? if this is what we’re considering the norm/expected, then going dutch still has me paying more into the premium. brazilian bikini wax + half a mean > half a meal + back-blowing sex since my bikini wax contributes to the sex. and again, this all assumes the guy got nothing from it. if he enjoyed it, we’re talking about all types inequality in payments. NAH! lol

  • Tara

    Love your blog but I can’t get with this one AT ALL. I’m with *inquiring minds* 10% on this one!

  • Tara

    Somehow that other zero didn’t make it before I pressed “Submit Comment”, lol. 100% ya’ll. 😉

  • Flying

    this is a cool post. nice touch with the soup lol. i was never big on following tradition for the sake of following, so i don’t know why so much hullabaloo surrounds feeding a stranger at your expense lol. i have no problem spending on women i love, but on someone i hardly know? C’MON SON!

  • Leah J

    This is SOO funny. I, personally, hate dinner as an option for any time I’m trying to learn about people, be it a date with someone I don’t know very well, or a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Why? Because talking and eating are competing priorities! You cannot eat and talk at the same damn time. If I’m talking then I can’t eat, and what the hell is the point of that? We’re supposed to be getting to know one another which requires talking. Dinner for a first date has got to be the worst “tradition” ever created and adhered to.

  • lilisheree

    I would have to agree. I think the dinner-date thing is unoriginal and outdated as well. I don’t want the man feeling like I owe him anything afterward. I prefer meeting at Starbucks or even a hookah bar for uninhibited conversation minus the facade of a formal dinner.

  • Sunkissed404

    Jozen, Jozen, Jozen… You sound like 99.9% of the men here in Atlanta. Your state of mind is why I say that. I actually think it would be kind of cute if a guy just happened to ask me if I knew of a place who served a good soup bowl or chili, and I suggested Panera Bread or Atlanta Bread Company. If he then asked me to meet him there for lunch, etc., I would probably smile and say sure…Because I love spontaneity….

    But, if I get the haunch that we are going out to eat soup because you have already mentioned to me that you don’t like going out, or you are very frugal and cheap or “you’re a home body” (love that one) and would rather rent a movie instead–>and we all know where this leads to, etc., then I’m going to full unappreciated and you’re probably going to get the WTF face.

    It’s all relative

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  • http://untiligetmarried ms haha

    “”So for all those women who try to weasel their way out of it, talking about how they want some solid food on the first date, proceed to the next guy.””

    That was great…I absolutely love to eat and I would deceive any guy that is on a soup only allowance, I would pay my portion and keep it moving. I catch mad attitudes over my food so don’t give me any restrictions on my plate LOL. I thought this was a cute blog and have never heard of this before. But usually when I go on a date I try to stay on the same price range as him…I always have him order first. I just started reading you blog (I don’t read them at all) yesterday and I really enjoy it. Thanks

  • udee

    Thing is, though, soup holds a very particular place in my heart. I love soup! There’s something oddly inspiring about miso soup and sipping on a slightly drizzly evening or veggie soup with a fish-flavoured broth. Hm. Although not a date in the traditional sense and scenario, it could potentially be so much more! Only, I guess, if you’re sharing the evening of sipping with someone who regards soup highly. Clearly.

  • sistah1

    If a guy doesn’t like a girl enough to pay for her food, then I don’t think he should ask her out on a date. Get to know her better via telephone or what have you. If you feelin’ her, then take her out. If not, no one has lost out.

  • Ms. E

    Why do you bother to even ask women out?? You are cheap and any women who is desperate enough to put up with this is nuts and needs her head examined. You must have had a bad childhood complete with mommy issues. Somebody somewhere didn’t treat you right or raise you right. Who do you think wan’t to be with your cheap behind? This is nothing but a cheap brother with issues against women.

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  • Janekchun

    there’s a good oxtail soup joint in Korea town (not the K-town in Flushing). just remember to add tons of salt and scallions, otherwise the broth tastes bland. my mom makes that every winter/chilly weather and it’s so good! if you come to VA, i can take you to this tofu-stew place that is off the chain. no lie, I promise you it’s that good.