Etiquette Tuesday: The Invitation

[ 7 ] April 3, 2012 |


During my freshmen year of college this guy asked me to go on a date.  Excited I accepted, not only anticipating a free meal in transit, but I had grown to kind of crush on this guy.  We head out for a night on the town after I begged my roomie to get her guy friend to come out and he could drive us to the various destinations on our date.  First stop is dinner at Applebee’s (*boy, have my first date restaurants evolved…).  After good conversation and a few laughs, the bill comes out and my date proceeds to pay for only his food sliding the remainder of the tab due over to my side of the table.  I should have got up and left at this exact moment, but I decided to wait out the rest of the date to see if he would cover the movie tickets, our planned post-dinner activity.  No go.

This week’s etiquette tip touches on this very issue I faced so many years ago: the invitation.  Now there are those invitations that are clearly meant for Dutch paying status: a girlfriend/guy friend invites you out to have drinks, etc.  There are also the situations that I speak of above which are invitations that imply the other party will cover the tab.  When you ask someone to go on a date with you, you are the paying party.  If you’re on the receiving end of the invitation, it is a nice gesture to offer to pay the bill.  I, however, assure you if you end up paying that bill after being invited out, this should stand strong as a red flag for either 1. Bad manners or 2. A cheap skate.  Unlike yours truly, it’s at this point that you should figure out the best exit.

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (7)

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  1. Lauren says:

    I’d say same goes for invitations in the “food” world as well.

  2. Mary says:

    Lauren, LOL!!!!

  3. Johnna says:

    Agreed!! LoL @ Lauren;-)

  4. Great article Johanna! This is something that lots of ladies (and gents) struggle with. I’m old-fashioned and feel that the guy should pay for the first few dates to at least establish that they are not cheap or emotionally stunted. Thereafter you guys can decide what works for your relationship.

    I will say this re: leaving. If a guy lets me pay for my dinner, I will be polite for the remainder of the date but thereafter they are immediately placed in the friend zone (if they are fun) or never spoken to again (politely, of course). Just my $0.02 🙂

  5. Johnna says:

    LOL @DC Cupcake Critic after dinner instructions, the friend zone is a nice way to do it;-)

  6. Renee Abdullah says:

    Hilarious. You would be surprised how many men need to read this post and take notes!

  7. Johnna says:

    Ha! @Renee…do share and tell them to comment!!

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