30 September 2008

The date definition

By: Jessica B.
Dating, or trying to do so, sucks. I likely feel this way because I’m a traditionalist when it comes to relationships. I have the 1950s mentality of the guy asking the girl out, him picking her up, paying for dinner and escorting her home with a kiss at the end of the evening (should it go well). Maybe there isn’t a sock hop or a “pin” involved but I guess I’m old-school at heart. Yes, I realize this is misguided.
I’m bringing this up today because the two things on my list that several people have been asking me about are the dating and making out line items that I included on there. And sadly, over a month into my year-long adventure, I’m sucking (no pun intended) on achieving them.
Making friends in the big city is tough, but for me, dating is even more difficult. Things are not as clean cut as they were back at home or even as they are in my misguided head. Some guys, like my friend Ryan, like to be asked out by girls, when girls pick up the dinner tabs and when the girls “chase” them. I should not be surprised by this but yet I was because very few women I know are aggressive enough to chase guys, but I know a few who will pick up the check…after they have been dating someone for a while (a long while).
I’ve shared many times before on here how my approach with guys is not the best, so I hate to say this, but I’m dating impotent and have zero idea what to do on them.
For example, if a guy asks you to dinner is it assumed that he will pay? And if he does pay, does it automatically qualify as a date? Even identifying an evening out as a “date” is a lot looser now than before. Some of my friends even feel that a date = kissing or more. I’ll provide an example of this below.
Awhile back, a friend of mine met up with a girl he had a semi-crush on. He asked if she wanted to get together “for some food” and she agreed. He had no intention of paying because it was a “friendly” night out. He met her at the restaurant and they enjoyed some nice conversation but at the end of the night, he paid for dinner and got no kiss before she left.
Guy: So after I paid, I kind of felt like it was a date
Me: Well yeah it kind of was a date
Guy: But I didn’t even get a kiss goodbye
Me: Do you feel you should have?
Guy: Well yeah, it was a date
Me: So you feel that because you paid you should get something?
Guy: Well I got a hug…
Me: Funny, because you you originally didn’t tell her it was a date, but then you decided to pay and now you’re upset because you only got a hug goodnight? If you wanted her to “give” you something, you should have told her that she would have to “put out” when you were paying the check or give her the option to pay her half and leave the tongue-action to “optional.”
Guy: You make it sound so dirty
Oh the guys in my life. 
My ex-boyfriend Peter never paid when we would go out. We always went Dutch, which I thought was rather odd because all of my friend’s boyfriends paid for dinner or movies. When I approached Peter about this, being tactful about it, he said, “You’re a strong, independent woman, I don’t want to disrespect you by paying.” When I was 19, I totally thought this made sense, even though I said, “it’s okay to disrespect me sometimes.”
Now, thanks to Peter, I have zero idea what to expect when I’m asked out by someone. The last few times I went out on a date, I brought extra money with me in case I had to pay my share and when guys did pay for me, I was more nervous after dinner because I wasn’t sure what would be expected. Most of them ended in hugs, but to be fair, if I paid for a city dinner, I’d hope for a little lip action. Seriously though, I’m not a prude, just old-fashioned. 
I’m not sure if I’m the kind of girl who can “chase” guys because I’m already pretty clear about telling people what I want (hello I once replied “a job,” when a very hot man asked me what I wanted). I don’t play relationship games and I’m fine with picking up the tab sometimes…after we’ve been dating for a while. Is that wrong?
So I guess I need to “man up” and be more direct in asking guys out, or just go up to a nice looking guy at the bar and say, “hey you’re going to buy me a drink and then go make out with me, so put some Chapstick on.”
I think that’ll go over well.
Reader note: I’m sorry the Colbert video was being such a b*tch last night. It’s a really great segment and I have zero idea why it would not embed or let you play it on the Comedy Central site. I’m not a Colbert-tease. Promise.


  1. Meghan Haddad-Null says:

    Hi Jessica,

    This is Meghan (Erin-State I am In’s-friend from dairy breakfast/dinner). Just read this entry, and I have to say, I’ve been experiencing the same crises lately. I recently started seeing a guy, and although you would think this would be a blissful time, it’s really more stressful than anything. I have no idea what the rules are, and am blindly groping trying not to do something wrong or try to hard. It’s a very fine line, and let me just say, it was much easier when I was totally single and didn’t have to worry about what anyone else wanted :) However, one thing is for sure: if a guy asks you out, he should pay. If he doesn’t, lose him. And definitely no lip action :)

  2. Sunflowers says:

    I haven’t been single in 4 years, and my bf and I (we live together) are very content with splitting everything 50/50… but in my previous relationship, I remember feeling unhappy when (especially in the beginning) he didn’t offer to pay for dates. I realized after a while that I was doing MOST of the paying, we weren’t even going dutch. Man, did that piss me off!

  3. Miss Grace says:

    My problem is the utter lack of guys at bars to make out WITH.

    Being single sucks.

  4. Kayleigh says:

    Hmmm I don’t know…I’m not sure if I could ever ask a guy out. It would be too much for me. Don’t the majority of guys want to do the chasing? Trying to play to both circumstances is just too damn exhausting.

    And this is why I don’t have a boyfriend. So many you shouldn’t listen to me…

  5. Maki says:

    I somehow always felt weird asking the guys to pay everything on the date. Maybe the first date, I would expect the guy to pay, but then I always felt like I also should pay and go dutch..

    It would be ideal and wonderful if guys pick up the check and pay without letting the girl think twice about asking “awww, how much do I owe you??”

    My hubby was great at that, he always picked it up before I even had the time to say “how much…..?”

  6. Princess Pointful says:

    I feel like people totally change the definition based on their own motivations… e.g., pretend it was never a date if they decide they aren’t attracted to a person. I think it is a lot easier when it is someone you have just met, as opposed to a friend who may be trying to cross the line a little.

  7. K says:

    I usually dont think about dating until it evolves into a realtionship. This is when I say wow we must have been dating.

    As far as paying. I always offer.

  8. Coconut says:

    Well, I was going to put in my two cents and but RebeccaC said it all! I agree with your old-fashioned ways, but unfortunately I feel like I have to compromise in the modern world of dating.

  9. A Girl says:

    But hey, what do I know…Facebook show me ads like “why men withdraw” and “22 and still single?” :)

  10. A Girl says:

    I don’t necessarily expect a guy to pay even if it’s an actual date, but if he does, than it’s definitely a date and not a “friendly dinner”.

  11. Mega says:

    A date can be anything and it doesn’t have to involve money.

  12. Katelin says:

    man i definitely would agree with you when i was in the dating pool, haha. i tried to pretend i could approach guys but i always got some baffled and confused and they never made sense to me. luckily matt manned up and told me how he felt and that made things function a lot easier, haha.

  13. Angela says:

    I am pissed because I just wrote a long comment and it got deleted because my wireless went out for a minute. BOO.

    Anywho, I actually think that if you were to say that to a guy in a bar, that it WOULD work.

    I’m fine with paying for things, even on a first date. My ex Jamisen would pay for most of the things we did (he said he didn’t feel like “the man” if I paid for everything), but I’d leave the tip. He always got awkward when I paid the whole thing.

  14. cm. says:

    i am 26 years old (almost! lol) and i have no dating experience…at all. like seriously, non whatsoever. i have never been asked out. i have never gone out. i have never once entered the dating world. so i can’t give any advice. but i can say this: i feel like a chick right out of the 1950s as well – i have very old school ideas of how dating should go. he asks. he comes to my door (no honking or calling to let me know he’s outside!). he opens doors. he pays. he walks me to the door. alllll of that fancy schmancy traditional stuff. i do suppose there comes a time when you've dated someone for a while (we're talking months and months!) that i believe things should loosen up a bit (you could split the bill, or treat him completely) but the general rules should still apply. but that's just me…

    your reaction to your guy friend's "problem" was spot on, exactly what i would have said. we are not prostitutes. there will be no "tongue-action" just because he throws down some bills. i'm sorry but no. no, no, no. nope. no.


    & "hey you're going to buy me a drink and then go make out with me, so put some Chapstick on.": if only being that ballsy were that easy.

  15. Jenn says:

    Just because it’s a date doesn’t mean I’m obligated to kiss a guy, whether or not he paid. I use the first date as a way to get to know someone better. If he offers to pay, I usually ask if I can pitch in at all. If he declines, I thank him and that’s it.

    At the end of the night, if I like him, I’ll kiss him. If I don’t, oh well. I don’t think there’s a rule anywhere that obligates the datee to kiss the dater.

    When it comes to dating I just go with the flow. That’s not very good advice is it? Damn.

  16. Paula says:

    I just don’t really understand the concept of “dating” at all – the few relationships I have had I’ve just kinda FELL into. The idea of a date sort of TERRIFIES me!

  17. Sarah says:

    I think the person asking for the date should pay, but after two or three dates I usually grab the check. My ex used to hate when I paid, but I’m a feminist…can’t let him pay for everything.

    If I’m going out with someone I’ve known for a while I usually assume it’s just friends, but if it’s someone new then it’s probably a date.

    And I’m always happy to hand out kisses to dates that are cute and charming.

    This comment sounds like I’m an awesome dater, but alas, dudes rarely ask me out. I think my friends and I are a little to loud and they get scared.

  18. Athena Valentine says:

    Dating is weird peorid. I’m like you in the fact that I prefer guys who ASK me out to pay. I am willing to pay if the guy doesn’t have any money and I will just do it sometimes to be nice but I feel that some of it is the guys responsiblity to court me.

  19. Endless Randomness says:

    Well I wouldn’t mind paying while on a date but I just think the dutch thing is so crass.. I think it works way better if the guy pays once and I pay the next time or vice-versa. Ofcourse in the case that there is no second date it becomes very confusing.

  20. Megkathleen says:

    I don’t think you’re asking too much by wanting the guy to pay at all especially if the guy asks you out – he should pay. I was really bad at asking guys out too. I was a horrible dater though so I really have no good advice for you. My strategy was always to get good and drunk so I would at least have the courage to talk to cute boys.

  21. Fabulously Broke says:

    Peter was a cheap son of a bitch.

    Anyway, moving on…

    BF and I split the household bills and food, but for dinners and lunches out, it’s whoever wants to treat the other. For e.g. I’m treating him tonight to celebrate my new job + 1st cheque, and he treats me every other weekend to lunch. We also do the buy coffee for each other thing, and ice cream runs… where one of us pays the entire bill. *shrug*

  22. HBee says:

    This seriously stresses me out.

  23. RebeccaC says:

    If you’re asked out: bring money and half/offer to pay but really, he should. And there should be no expectation/guarantee unless things are going well. In which case, wouln’t you WANT to at least give him a peck? And if things are going badly, I would assume they are feeling the same way so peace out with a handshake.

    If you ask them out: you pay unless they offer to or offer to split. Same kissing rules as above apply.

    If the word “date” was never even implied (aka — Dude, lets grab some food)….go dutch. Making out is totally separate as this would clearly fall into the “Friends with Benefits” territory.

    Bottom line: be yourself, say what’s on your mind (within limits) and do what feels right at the moment. IF you can’t do those things….this person clearly doesn’t make you feel comfortable in your own skin and therefore probably isn’t a good person to date. Also,you NEVER need to do anything you don’t want to in terms of physical acts. And always bring your wallet. ; )

    Short example: I knew JiT and I were meant to be when, on our first official date (which was actually breakfast) he said…”So, Rebecca, how are you getting home?”
    And I said: “Great question. You’ll be driving me, right after you pay for my breakfast. That way, you’ll know where I live when you pick me up for dinner tomorrow night.”

    Now THATS comfort in dating. ;-)

  24. Nilsa S. says:

    So, I’m late to this conversation. But, as a 30-something who didn’t start dating her fiance until she was 32, I like to think I was in that dating cesspool for long enough to offer insights.

    If a guy asked me out, I ALWAYS brought money and ALWAYS expected to pay half. From my experience, I paid maybe 5% of the time, but I never wanted to assume anything.

    On the flip side, if it moved to a second or third date where I actually did the asking, I ALWAYS insisted on paying. And about 95% of the time, my dates were dismayed I wouldn’t let them pay. I’d just remind them, it makes me feel good to be able to treat them to something nice/fun/etc.

    And finally, I NEVER connected who paid with who was expected to put out. That’s immature and quite frankly, paid sex, so to speak.

  25. laura marie says:

    1. i don’t understand how paying for everything = respecting you any more than NOT paying = respecting. I thought paying for someone’s meal/entertainment is just something nice you do for those you’re interested in. Shouldn’t that kind of thing be an equal opportunity investment?

    2. I’m in the ‘whoever asked for the date, pays” camp and I don’t hesitate to ask either. :)

  26. Katie says:

    hilarious! and don’t feel bad about wanting an old fashioned guy – there is nothing wrong with that. and you shouldn’t feel like he gets action cause he paid…there’s a word for that – prostitution.

    Like Seinfield and George said “She doesn’t even reach for the check. That’s all I’m asking for is a reach – is that so much to ask for?” “It’s nice to get the reach.”

  27. Lisa says:

    I’m really confused on this recent trend I’m hearing from my friends about the cheap guys. My friend Lori on a recent date was asked to share an entrée. In all my dating experiences I have never heard such a thing. If a guy asks you out on a date he should pay. I’ve even been out with friends of my fiancée and the wont even take money from a girl. It’s all about being a gentleman and respecting women.
    On past dates, I have always offered to leave the tip as a gesture and if they took me up on it I didn’t mind. It does show them that you are not just about the meal. Also, I do think that in the beginning of dating they should pay for meals. Not to say that us girls shouldn’t pay for stuff. I’ve paid for movies, dessert, brought meals over. I think the main this a guy shouldn’t feel like he’s getting taken advantage of. Just think … if you are thinking of a long term relationship and a guy won’t pay for your meal how will he provide for you or if things get tough will he support you?

  28. The Maiden Metallurgist says:

    I make more money than my fella so I try to pay more often, but then that kind of bugs both of us for reasons that neither of us can articulate. Money and dating are both weird subjects.

  29. LBluca77 says:

    I hate dating too. It is just annoying. Usually I offer to pay if it is the first date, but don’t put up much of a fight if a guy says he will pay.

    I do think though when the relationship hits a certain level then both people should take turns paying. Same with friends, you each take you turn buying a friend a drink.

  30. ...love Maegan says:

    ugh, I hated dating! it’s all just so awkward…makes me want to run!

  31. Cheryl says:

    Ug…it’s so complicated isn’t it? Cause everyone has different ideas/wants/needs. I once told a guy he didn’t have to feel like he had to pay for me and he seemed to get offended! I’ve had other guys make me pay. Who knows. If I go on a date (huge if at this point), I let him make the first move on the check and if he is studying it or hemming and hawing over it, I offer to pay, but only once.

  32. Ray says:

    Dating is brutal…before I met my husband this guy I went out with literally asked if I could “dress casual…I don’t want this to feel too much like a date…”

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot mister…then why the hell did you ask me out?? Needless to say I paid half that night.

    And good luck to you when you unleash the line about the chapstick on a guy at the bar…who knows, it may just turn out to be mister right. :)

  33. laurwilk says:

    Oh dating, how I miss you! I love being attached, but the craziness of dating is a feeling that is hard to beat.

    I guess my rule of thumb was that I’ll always pay the tip on the first date but rarely pay the bill (only if the date seems very ‘friend-y’). Once you’re about three dates in, I think you can usually discuss these things.

    Or, if we go out for beers first, I’ll have him pay for that and then split the meal. I just like to make sure that I’m putting in a bit of effort. I don’t want a guy to go broke just taking me out on a date!

    And I’m a big fat kissing slut so I rarely leave boys disappointed in that department!

  34. Dabby says:

    You know what? As much fun as dating was sometimes, I totally don’t miss it. Is there anything worse than that moment at the end of a first date when the bill comes? Umm you pay? We both pay? WHAT?

  35. Blaez says:

    you have a great attitude about dating – and how unexpecting it can be in our generation.

    eventually you’ll get it figured out. i didn’t even get it figured out and somehow i ended up with a marvelous guy!!!

    — we met through an online game that we both like to play and we took a chance and met in the middle one day. altho we didn’t have food or drinks the chemistry we felt online blew away the chemistry we felt in person – 30 mins into us trying to keep our hands off eachother we were making out in Starbuck’s parking lot!!! 3 months after that he’s moving in with me. and 3 months after that we got our condo together. now we’ve been together for over a year and couldn’t be happier!

    maybe i’ve told you that already?? all that matters is that you need patience – take extra money – take condoms! (you never know)

    small peice of advice: offer to pay for the tip – if you know it’s going to be him paying for it all, you pick up the tip. it’ll make him feel better that your wanting to share.

  36. bobbie says:

    i’m not a fan of dating, either. i’m glad i have my guy, but i’ll tell you, it took me a long time to find him!

    i’ve always gone out with guys and taken it pretty lightly — i try not to consider anything a ‘date’ unless we actually begin to develop a good amount of interest in one another. i just consider it ‘going out’ or ‘hanging out’, and i always try not to have expectations and just try to have fun and enjoy the other person’s company. this way, if it doesn’t work out romantically, at least you leave potential for a new friend!

    and i always expect that it’s going to be Dutch. i don’t like the notion that a man feels he should ‘get something’ if he pays, so i always offer to pay for my half. especially if i’m not sure how i feel about the person yet. i don’t EVER want a guy to think i ‘owe him something’ when we’re not even serious yet! if i give him my respect, a little of my time, and my undivided attention on the outing/date/hanging-out/whatever, that’s enough!

  37. A Super Girl says:

    In my recent dating life, which isn’t extensive, but still there, I don’t think I ever kissed a guy on the first date. Mainly because I’m awkward like that. Also, they usually pay for the first date, though I always make the obligatory offer. Then I try to reciprocate and pay on the next date. I have no idea how it works when you ask the guy out because I never do that. Not that I’m necessarily old fashioned, more because I’m insanely shy when it comes to stuff like that!

  38. The Modern Gal says:

    Ugh. I’ve been out on several of those grey area dates where you don’t know if it’s a date or not and you don’t know who’s paying. The Modern Beau is mostly old-fashioned, and insisted on paying for everything early on until we were serious enough and I realized that he didn’t have a lot of money (ah the woes of being a student) that I demanded to pay for a few things here and there.

    I have absolutely no idea what the answer is other than every guy I know handles it differently, if old-fashioned style is what you like, maybe that’s what you should hold out for if you can stand it.

  39. jenniferalaine says:

    When I get back to the States (and Chicago) in December, we´re going out, since I´m now a real person and can legally drink in a bar. And I expect you to not only propose that line, but offer him some Chapstick with it in case he doesn´t have any. I will be ready with a camera to put it on YouTube, and you will be a sensation.

  40. ToughGirl101 says:

    The thing with old-school “dating’ is that it’s such a tapdance where neither party talk about what htey really want. In modern dating, a woman can be up front about what she wants (whether or not they pay, go dutch, or whatever) and that is totally liberating.

  41. Ben says:

    Try gay dating. The lack of gender roles leaves everybody for a loss.

  42. PomJob says:

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been drumming up a post in my mind for the past few weeks about dating. My problem is getting a guy to ask me out. And I’m done chasing men – I always feel like a loser in the end. I want chivalry to be alive and kicking: ask me out, open doors, tell me I look pretty, pay the tab. I’ll wear pearls and a cardigan and giggle and offer to chip in but secretly hope I don’t have to. It’ll be just like old times.

  43. L.C.T. says:

    Hmm… let’s add another conundrum to this: In the past 2 months I’ve managed to go on 2 dates with a guy without realising it because I thought we were friends and he thought we were on a date. Whoops!

  44. widget says:

    I so relate to this post……there are so many factors that come into play when dating and it doesnt get easier the older you get.

    I go out now with friends so when a ‘date’ comes up I amuse myself with the tap dance of conflicting emotions that I go through.

    Thanks for the post.

  45. ifmusicbe says:

    having just started dating someone a few months ago i know exactly what you mean. when we go out i usually pay, but that’s because i earn more money than he does. I don’t have a problem with it and i don’t think he does either. If it’s his idea to go out and do something though he will pay for it…and he’ll always pay if we go out at lunch/brunch time.

    If you get asked out on a date always take enough money to split the bill and i think it’s only polite to offer to pay your half, it makes a man feel chivalrous to tell you no and he’s got it.

    Never give a man that’s paid for anything more than you would give him if he hadn’t…if he thinks he’s paid for you then he needs to look up hooker in the dictionary.

  46. jenn says:

    My last date was more than 4 years ago, so I’m pretty rusty.
    I also sucked completely at dating…

    But I kinda agree that if he asks, he should pay. It’s just how it goes. If you ask, you should probably pay.
    I like to be wooed, and him paying at the beginning is part of that.

  47. emmaelizabeth says:

    I feel kinda 1950’s about dating too. I like when I get asked out, he pays etc. But then again- I’m not totally against making the first move either (pending I feel like it’ll go my way). Dating is just confusing in general though.

    And the guy paying…my last bf and i discussed it before even really going out. I like when the guy pays IF he genuinely wants to, but I dont expect it. I even told him that I’m cool with paying every other time or something. Turns out he was a real loser after we started dating and our first wknd together he bought the first drink then expected me to pay the rest of the night. So, there’s winners out there and there’s some losers out there when it comes to guys.

  48. thegoodnamesaretaken says:

    I’m really glad you wrote this entry because I seem to be the only one out of my friends who constantly runs into the “He paid. Was it a date?” dilemma. This has happened to me in three separate relationships where a guy and I go out several times, he always pays, nothing happens and eventually we become really good friends and he ends up dating someone else and I never find out if those really were dates or not.

  49. SA says:

    I’m not good at dating either (mostly because I don’t do it) but I must ask what is so wrong with being “old fashioned?” We can be old fashioned together. Is it now assumed that women pay for the dinner/movie/event if they asked the guy out to it? When did that happen? I mean, I guess I would expect to pay (or maybe more share in the cost) but still. I think what you do with caring extra money with you is a GOOD idea. Never know what could happen with the guy.

    As for kisses…if paying means an automatic kiss then I guess I won’t be dating for a while. I mean, what if it was a bad date?

  50. Maxie says:

    I pay on the 3rd date… as long as we’re not somewhere really expensive. Or at least I “try” to pay.

    I think if a guy asks me out he should definitely pay and not expect anything. If I like him enough to kiss him then most likely I’ll just want to go on another date.

  51. Alexa says:

    im a big dutch payer. i have issues with people in general buying things for me, i’m like if i can buy it i’ll buy it. except for my mom, she can buy me whatever she wants ; )

    i think the dutch paying can turn guys off. so i’m going to stop fighting and let boys buy me things.

    here that boys!?!? buy me something, i’m waiting!

  52. Heidi Renée says:

    The man has paid for every date I’ve ever been on since high school, except for once when I took my now-husband to a comedy club to see my coworker perform on our third-ish date. I planned that one, so I paid.

    I never dated anyone casually though, so I don’t know how that works. I somehow was always either single or in a relationship. I guess I jump into commitment, but I’m happy with my Jason so I can’t say that I regret not dating around.

  53. pbandrazz says:

    i haven’t been on a date in awhile and thus totally relate to your insecurities.

    it totally sucks

  54. Lovesfool says:

    I always go dutch. When my boyfriend does offer to pay I’m floored.

  55. Arielle says:

    I concur with whoever said they bring money and offer to pay, but expect the guy to pick up the tab (though I don’t get upset if they take me up on it because hey, I’m poor too and I understand where they’re coming from). At least for me, this is really only true in the beginning, because it’s sort of selfish to assume your boyfriend or other guy you’re seriously dating is going to pay for you all the time. So once it gets more serious, I always pay my half unless I’m being treated for a specific reason.

    P.S. I also suck at dating. I just don’t really do it because I’m 24 and still don’t really know how to talk to boys in a way that makes them want to date me. Ha.

  56. Little Miss Obsessive says:

    If a guy asks me out, I hate to say it but I do expect him to pay (and I do like them to pick me up and drive heh). I mean, I still bring money and OFFER to pay for my share but I get disappointed if they take it. It’s not about SPENDING the money, I don’t mind buying my dinner but I guess when they insist on paying it shows me that they WANT to treat me well. Now, with people that I have been on a few dates with then I’d gladly pay for some movie tickets, maybe some meals. It’s just in the beginning I like to feel like the guy is going out of his way to show that he likes me and that includes wanting to spoil me a little!

  57. Rachel says:

    Reason #96936793857329769 that I am glad that I am married, because I would SUCK at dating…

  58. Mandy says:

    It is very confusing. I dont play relationship games, head games either. Dating is confusing. I suck at being in relationships.

  59. Joy @ Big Time Fancy says:

    Can I please please be there when you unveil that line on some unsuspecting guy? Because I think that would make my life.

  60. Ashley D says:

    I feel like you wrote this post for me. Being back in the dating world is soo confusing. I have no idea what constitutes a date and whether or not I should pay. There should be a rule book on this!