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Woman Blocks Date Who Paid For $500 Dinner Due To Creepy Way He Learned Her Last Name

Server presenting a dinner bill
Chadchai Krisadapong/Getty Images

Content Warning: Potential Stalking, Creepy Men, Dating Horror Stories

As much fun as we might like to imagine the dating scene being, there are unfortunately going to be some hiccups along the way, some much bigger than others.

But people will always argue about who is more to blame when something goes wrong, confided the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Going on a first date, Redditor GivemethatIwantitnow was reluctant to reveal her full name to her date until she knew him better.

When he disregarded her boundaries and attempted to joke about it, the Original Poster (OP) knew he wasn’t the guy for her, no matter how much he spent on their dinner.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for blocking a man after he bought me a $500+ dinner?”

The OP recently went on a first date at an expensive restaurant.

“I was invited on a date and he asked me, ‘What’s your favorite restaurant?'”

“My honest answer was, ‘My favorite place is a bit much for a first date,’ but I did still tell him about it because, well, I thought he was cool and I truly love the place so I tell everyone about so they’ll go.”

“I want them to stay booked and busy so they’ll stay open so I can keep going.”

“I said that for a first date, we could go somewhere more casual like this cool Mexican spot between us that has over 300 tequilas in their tequila library but is still pretty cheap when it comes to food. They also have amazing tacos with handmade tortillas.”

“But ultimately, he wanted to pick. I was trying to be helpful and make suggestions. Also, we live in different parts of a big city with terrible traffic that’s extremely car-dependent.”

“My favorite restaurant, on the other hand, is about $500 for two. I take myself there sometimes after personal accomplishments or just for a treat. Sometimes I go just to have one of their James Beard award-winning cocktails and some appetizers.”

The OP’s date decided to take her to the expensive option.

“Well, this gentleman, upon researching the menu, decided this is where he wanted to take me for dinner. He really wanted to try it out.”

“Of course I agreed! Despite the price point, it’s actually a pretty chill spot (and you don’t have to dress up) and is a great date spot (even a first date spot, if you’re in a different tax bracket than me but, as much as I knew, he could be).”

“For me, first dates are usually inexpensive, considering you don’t know the person and the conversation is much more important than the meal.”

“We had appetizers. We had drinks. We had dinner. We had good conversation. We had dessert. We had a good time (from my perspective). This meant we ran up a serious bill.”

The two agreed to split the bill.

“Pay time came. We did the check dance, sort of. Of course, since it’s a first date I said, ‘Oh separate checks’ (not that I don’t pay on subsequent dates, I just mean that first time when you don’t know if a guy thinks if a woman pays that means she’s uninterested).”

“He also said separate checks (so cool, we’re on the same page). Basically at the same time. As in our words overlapped.”

“I won’t lie, I hesitated and said it after he was saying it, because he asked me out and also insisted we went there after he read the menu and really wanted to try the food.”

Then the OP’s date did something unusual.

“So our separate checks came, no problem by me. I put my card down, and he put his down.”

“When our server came back to grab them, he took my card, gave her both the checks, and said he’d be covering it all, and LOOKED AT MY CARD INTENSELY.”

“It’s not that I thought he was some numbers savant where he was stealing my info by looking at my card (though I have bartended for years and a dumba**/genius who worked with me could memorize card numbers at a glance and then use them for online purchases til he finally got a felony). And it wasn’t even his little comment of, ‘Oh now, I finally know your last name’ (which I of course wouldn’t tell him before).”

“It was the game he played! He invited me on a date so I assumed he was paying. He then said separate checks, making sure I knew I was paying for myself. Then he grabbed the checks and paid it all (annoying the server and me).”

The OP was left feeling uncomfortable.

“I’m feeling like this was a sh*t test to see if I would pony up to a $250+ each restaurant bill. I felt like he was checking to see if I was a golddigger or something, even though I’d literally told him we shouldn’t go there the first date. The place I suggested we could’ve had tacos and tequila flights for less than $50.”

“So, after I said thank you for dinner, I got in my Uber, left, and blocked him. I told one of my friends this story today laughing and they told me I was actually the villain in the story.”

“I’m just not into s**ttiness or games.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some sided with the OP and reassured her they understood how she felt.

“NTA. His vibe made you feel uncomfortable. His actions showed that he plays games and oversteps boundaries. It doesn’t sound like the right fit for you.”

“There is nothing wrong with telling him your favorite restaurant. There is nothing wrong with how much it costs. You showed you were in no way a gold digger trying to get him to pay for an expensive meal when you said you shouldn’t go to that restaurant and again when you offered to pay.”

“Please don’t let comments here or on your date make you doubt yourself.” – Bekindalot

“The fact he knew WHY you were withholding your last name, and seemed to manipulate the situation to ‘win’ somehow, is deeply concerning.”

“He may not be a stalker, but he shows a flagrant disrespect for your boundary (glaring red flag number one) and a total lack of understanding about why a woman needs to have safety concerns that men simply don’t need.”

“I would have blocked, too. And probably more than just blocked.”

“NTA.” – LemonDeathRay

“I went on a first date once where I told the guy I had a very distinctive name, and I usually don’t share my full name with internet people before I know he’s real and a good guy. I knew his first name but not his last name.”

“Anyway, we met and the date went super well. At the end, I wasn’t so concerned about it, so I put my card down for the server and went to the bathroom.”

“When I came back, he was like, ‘By the way, I want you to know I saw your name on the card, and here’s my ID for you to look at so fair is fair.’ He could have been all sneaky sneak or creepy about it but wasn’t.” – Nightrabbit

“I have an unusual first name, where if you googled my name and city or state I’m the only one who comes up.”

“I had ONE very basic phone call with a guy. It was normal, vague chit-chat, like, ‘What do you do for work?’ and ‘What part of the city?’ yadda yadda.”

“This dude SHOWS up at my work, my apartment, and my ex-husbands house in a completely different town while leaving threatening voicemails about how he was going to assault me since I wasn’t picking up his calls.”

“ONE phone call. Only my first name. No company name, not what kind of car I drove (but in the voicemails, he knew), and not even the fact that I was married before.”

“The cops were like, ‘Meh, nothing we can do!’ And he would ring my apartment buzzer that didn’t have my name on the mailbox in the middle of the night for months.”

“So yeah, it’s a good boundary to have.” – Jetsam1

“Any decent person totally understands the reluctance to share personally-identifying info with a complete stranger.”

“The only people who would take offense to that are people who either (a) would use it for nefarious purposes or (b) naively and arrogantly feel offended that another person would think that of them.” – Vektor0

“Yeah, scrutinizing her card is strange and off-putting under any circumstances.”

“Doing so after they’ve specifically discussed her boundary on personal details and concerns for safety is a red flag. Whatever the flag means, even if it just means he has a really s**tty and inappropriate sense of humor, doesn’t matter.”

“An ambiguous red flag is as valid as any other.”

“OP’s description of events shows that she interacted with this guy in a clear and straightforward manner. No prevaricating or being vague.”

“The dude did not behave straightforwardly. He did not respect her right to privacy and he may or may not have tried to ‘test’ her to see how she’d react to splitting the check on a date.”

“As someone who hates people who play head games, I, too, would ditch someone who behaved this way immediately. It’s an automatic dealbreaker.”

“Regardless of what the guy meant by it, OP didn’t like his behavior and how it made her feel. They were a total mismatch from that point on.”

“It shouldn’t need to be said but the fact that he insisted on paying for her dinner does not obligate her to anything. The cost of the meal is irrelevant, whether it’s $2 or $250. She is not indebted to him and he doesn’t have to be ‘nicer’ to him because of how he choose to spend his own money.”

“It was a casual first date. Lots of those don’t turn into a second date, for all kinds of reasons. It’s really weird how a lot of commenters seem to think that even this low level of acquaintance gives this woman a duty to the man.”

“They met for the first time and he weirded her out so she ghosted him. His monetary choices are irrelevant.” – AQualityKoalaTeacher

Others said the OP was the AH based on a misunderstanding.

“I know there is no chance you will see this but I would say whether or not YTA depends on how you blocked him. If you blocked him without explaining yourself yes, you are. He needs to know the things that made you uncomfortable so he can either learn to be better or decide you are a petty AH (That is up to him.)”

“If you blocked him without notice after what he thinks is a nice evening and a $500 bill. That is how Men’s Rights Activists and Incels are forged.”

“It really sounds like this guy is just bad with women.” – ghstndvdk

“It’s wasn’t even that bad of behavior. What she didn’t like another woman could have just brushed it off.”

“Why the f**k are we even talking about abuse? The dude treated her really well.”

“You’re a pick-me girl, OP, that’s too funny.” – thepalestgray

“YTA. You sound like hard work.” – Alternative-Soil7254

“OP is pretentious. She ghosted him, it’s a form of mental abuse CLASSIFIED BY THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION. Have an adult conversation with someone and get off your high horse. You have MAJOR cognitive dissonance and are a huge narcissist.”

“Ghosting: Definition:When a friend/dating partner/family member fades off the planet from communication (text, email, phone, social media, in person). Typically refers to dating.”

“Purpose: Designed for a dating partner to send the message to the other party that they are ‘just not that into’ the other person without having to face the discomfort of said person’s reaction to rejection.”

“Analysis of Ghosting: This is just a**hole behavior. You don’t need the DSM for that clarification. When someone falls out of orbit without any rhyme or reason and leaves a dating partner wondering what happened, the ‘ghost’ shows that they are coward and they cannot deal with the consequences (anger, etc.) of the dating partner’s reaction.”

“This behavior is really reminiscent of middle school, a tactic rarely employed by emotionally mature people who possess integrity, empathy, and compassion.”

“Carnes, P. P. (2015).Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships. Health Communications, Incorporated.”

“Carter, S., & Sokol, J. (2005).Help! I’m in love with a narcissist. New York: M Evans & Co, Inc.”

“Zayn, C., & Dibble, K. (2007).Narcissistic lovers: how to cope, recover and move on. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press.” – blarfenugen

After receiving feedback, the OP clarified a few points about what happened.

“To be clear, the core issue I was freaking out about was him looking at my card and exclaiming with victory that he knows my last name.”

“He’d actually asked my last name before and I explained that I’m a former bartender and having such a public-facing job led to me being stalked (police involved, etc) so I wasn’t comfortable sharing that so quickly.”

“I feel like everyone is caught up on the cost of dinner (including my friend who I’ve actually bought dinner for at this spot before) and not the fact that a man read my private information, regardless of whether I’d asked him not to.” 

The OP insisted she covered the tip despite her date taking over the rest of the check.

“To those who asked, yes, I TIPPED. I insisted. But y’all made me feel like I should Venmo him, so I did that, too. I paid my half of the bill PLUS the full tip.”

“And no, I didn’t expect him to pay. I hesitated because it’s the south, and if you’re too eager to pay, often a man will feel you don’t like him at all. It’s a cultural thing.”

“Also, I’m a marketer, and he’s a teacher, so the idea that I’m a golddigger is wild to me. I could care less about a man’s income as long as he’s educated (whether formal or not), driven, and passionate.”

“I didn’t JUST suggest the Mexican place but also why was it solely my burden to decide where we went?”

The OP was pretty fed up with the feedback she’d received.

“Whatever. I have learned from some of y’all.”

“And I can see how I may have just misread someone as being awkward.”

“I’d also still prefer to date someone who isn’t oblivious to the fact that women are cautious with their personal info for a reason.”

Sometimes, especially in 2024, it’s really important to keep some of our most vital details secret until we know the person we’re with is trustworthy. But the subReddit couldn’t help but debate whether that was enough of a reason to turn away a second date, especially after the guy had paid the entire bill.

It was clear, though, that the OP had been willing to go anywhere for dinner and even help pay the bill. After she Venmo’ed the guy the money he probably felt she owed him, it was probably best for both of them to act like this never happened.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.