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Real Live College Girl Cassidy: Decoding Girls’ Flirting & Whether You Should Pay for Girls

Ever wanted to get inside a girl’s mind? Want to know whether all girls are crazy, or if you just don’t quite understand them (hint: it’s the 2nd one…)?
Luckily, Real Live College Girl Cassidy is here to answer all your questions about women and relationships, with poise, charisma and a little bit of humor. And don’t worry, she won’t judge you on your questions … unless you seem cute.  Girls – pass this on to your guy friends and boyfriends, stat!
How do girls really feel about guys paying for them on dates? Some girls would rather I pay while others would not. Does a girl really mean it when she says I don’t have to pay or wants to split it? How can I be a gentleman without offendingher? How can I conform to each girl’s expectations?
    -Polite at Pomona College

Dear Polite,
This is a toughie because it really depends on the girl you’re dating. There are girls, like me, out there who are nice to boys, try to be fair and think equality in a relationship is good (sometimes I flatter myself…). Then, there are girls who think guys should be the “man” in the relationship and like – or demand – to be treated like a princess. But for the sake of giving you a helpful answer, and giving you the benefit of the doubt that you like to date nice girls, we’ll just pretend you’re dating me… Just kidding. But, really, here’s what I – and the first category of girls mentioned above – think about the subject:
The guy should pay on the first date unless the girl is the one who asks you out – then she should pay. But, in general, the boy should pay (at least this is what us girls think) because it’s the gentlemanly thing to do on a first date. This doesn’t mean you need to take her out to a fancy, expensive restaurant or anything like that (let’s be honest, we’re in college…). Go on a date that you can afford, and if she’s a nice girl (which, hopefully, she is), she’ll appreciate it!
After the first date, the girl should offer to at least split the bill. And it’s ok if you let her split it – she won’t hate you for it. Or you can say, “No, I’ve got it,” and see if she offers to split it again or says, “Are you sure?” If she does either of those things, you should feel fine about letting her pay for some of the bill.

Another good thing to do is offer to pay this time and say she can get the bill the next time. If you’re going to dinner and a movie, say, “I’ll get dinner if you can buy my movie ticket later.” Or say that the next time you hang out, she can buy you lunch, ice cream or whatever else you want to suggest. This a.) Helps you not go broke, b.) Makes you not have to be a math wiz at splitting bills, and c.) Guarantees that you two will hang out again!

I, personally, have never complained about or been offended by a guy paying for me. I know I’m independent, and a guy paying for my meal doesn’t mean I can’t fend for myself. But I also know that I’m not dating Donald Trump, so I do feel guilty if I continue dating a guy and he’s always paying for everything. So, whether you split the bill sometimes or trade off treating each other to meals/movies/ice cream/whatever, a girl should be happy contributing money to your relationship!

Of course, like I said at the beginning of my answer, there is a second category of girls who think it is the gentlemanly thing to do for the guy to always pay because it’s somewhat of a tradition. If you like to date this kind of girl, you’ll probably have to pay for everything, and she probably won’t even try to offer to split the bill most of the time. But, if she’s worth it to you, then it’s worth your money!
I think you can probably determine which category your girl fits into if you know her well or even if you’re meeting her for the first time on your first date. If you need to know how to tell the difference between the girl categories, then just ask me about it in the question box, below, and I’ll answer it in my next column!
How can I tell if a girl is harmlessly flirting with me or just being nice versus when she actually likes me?
    -Confused at Cornell
Dear Confused,
A lot of it comes down to body language. If a girl likes you, she will probably do one, some or all of the following:

  • Turn toward you when she’s talking to you (cross her legs in your direction, turn her upper body toward you, etc.)
  • Sit close to you
  • Smile a lot while she’s talking to you
  • Touch you while she’s talking to you (playfully touch your arm, etc.)
  • Look at you for a reaction if you are both in a group of people (look at you after she tells a joke or a story, etc.)
  • Look at you from across the room (when you’re not talking to each other)
  • Talk more loudly to her friends so that you can hear her if you are nearby

It also has a lot to do with communication. A girl who likes you won’t talk to you (or around you) about other guys or her love life unless it’s to tell you how she’s newly single or how her ex-boyfriend is a jerk, etc. She also might ask you questions about your life, such as if you have siblings, pets or other things, to find out more about you. A girl who likes you will also initiate communication with you instead of always waiting for you to call/text her. She might try to make sure you have each other’s number, if she’s bold (“We should hang out. I’ll call you. Oh wait, I don’t think I have your number …”), and when making group plans, she’ll use you as the contact person instead of any of your friends.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that if she doesn’t do any of these things then she doesn’t like you … She might just not want to be obvious in her flirting!
Since you’re in college, one possible way to find out if a girl likes you is to ask a mutual friend to do some investigative work. Once you’re out of college, it will be harder to use this tactic because you will be meeting people outside of school with whom you don’t have any mutual friends. So take advantage of this now – ask her friend if the girl likes you and take it from there! Of course, some girls won’t want to reveal that their friend likes you, but if the girl who likes you wants to speed up the flirting process, she might let her friend tell you…!
In the end, if you think there’s some chemistry between you and a girl, just be ballsy and test it out. Ask her out on a date – what’s the worst that could happen? She could say no. But you can quickly recover, find another girl to out with, and make the first girl wish she’d said yes to you. So, in the scale of things, one rejection probably won’t hurt you too much. So go for it!
Have a question for our Real Live College Girl? Ask away, below!

Cassidy Quinn Brettler graduated from Emerson College in May. She's from Seattle, WA. As a major in Broadcast Journalism and Acting, Cassidy has done all kinds of things, including interning at NBC News in Los Angeles, anchoring and producing campus news shows, and even covering the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games! She was also the Merchandising Chair and PR/Social Media Chair of Alpha Epsilon Phi Beta Alpha Chapter, and is a huge fan of all sports. She's also a social media nerd, so if you can't find her outside jumping in puddles (like a true Seattle girl!), you can find her Tweeting from all over Boston. Since graduation, Cassidy's been searching for jobs, involving reporting, video blogging, and Tweeting - maybe even all at the same time...!
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