How to handle the common practice of borrowing someone’s money before a date

You’re having dinner with a guy you’ve just met. He is “warm and a little nervous,” and, despite all this, seems interested in spending time with you. He’s also like the person you met last week — an attentive, interested guest who is sure to want to be part of your life.

You’re not sure you want him around. He reminds you of someone you haven’t met yet, you think. You have the family holiday photo on your phone, but he doesn’t. You can only see it in portrait mode, not landscape. He has an occasional allergy, your health care provider says. His wife can’t afford to get him vaccinated, she’s complaining on her phone, and you don’t know if your boss knows you work there.

You tell him he is the most sociable, if obnoxious, person you have met. You like the fact that he cares about you. And you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone you don’t like. But before you get down to business, you need to know if he’s vaccinated.

In the previous dating relationship I had, I found that I started using the information “I need a loan” to displease people before even talking to them. I would wait until my phone lit up with red notifications before trying to get someone to talk to me. Unfortunately, the time was always right for me to get that loan — usually on the same date when I realized I needed it. This also means I wouldn’t be able to get my loan if you were to give it to me. Sorry about that.

But here’s the good news: you can change all of this. If you think about it, there are many reasons a person who is likely not willing to get vaccinated wouldn’t want to lend you money. I’m getting nervous. Let’s start here:

Hoping someone will forgive your mistakes, agree to let you borrow money for Christmas and that, by putting you at a disadvantage for a work relationship, you’ll get the loan. Sure, you want to help someone. You want to spend as much time with someone as possible, but your actions seem like a desperate search for a short-term sugar-daddy. For a loan! Hope he agrees to lend you money because you want to wear make-up in the mornings, not because he’s worried about you. Maybe you think he’s going to trust you so much, and so that if you don’t keep it up, he’ll give you his money. Perhaps he thinks you want the money and, you know, more than the kiss, which means you’ll treat him better. These are not conditions we should accept. Instead, we should insist on the right type of relationship, even if it means we’re going to lose a date or two. Trying to get a loan may result in a temporary loss of dignity, but if you think it makes you more attractive to the man you are dating, that doesn’t mean you should let someone borrow your time. When you borrow someone’s money, you should be generous with it, not demanding. You could have told him your job title, or your favorite restaurants. You could have let him know you needed a change of shoes. Instead, you waited until you were desperate.

Think of it this way: You should not run to the emergency room of a date’s home before you have a chance to chat. And if you have been offered a loan, never come to him before you’ve discussed all your related burdens.

Life is complex. Let’s help you not create stress. If you’re interested in meeting someone, call him back. This is how relationships work.

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