Five Signs of a Cheap Date on Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a holiday that's worth ignoring. Restaurants price-gouge. Servers are harried with demanding crowds. It's infantilizing intimacy with all those hearts and flowers, the same genre as rainbows, unicorns, and My Little Pony. I'd rather go to a death metal show.

If you must muscle through the evening with dinner and other festivities, particularly with someone you're not sure is The One, we've put together this ridiculous list for ladies as a bellwether for cheapness. Cheap differs from thrifty of course, as cheap implies having means yet choosing stinginess, which never bodes well for a guy's character. After the jump, five signs your date is cheap: a real life list culled from experience.

5) He makes you share a plate.
An amusingly frugal friend is notorious for insisting he and his lady

split plates, despite a fat wallet and his 6 foot plus stature. Needless

to say, she'd leave hungry.

Taking a woman to a fancy fine dining place is thoughtful, I suppose. Splitting a plate with her is another story. She may not be a Clean Plate Charlie in her appetites, but at least give her the option. A caveat: if it's tapas, at least she knows she's in for shares.

4) He buys you a Starbucks gift certificate.
As charming as the Valentines campaign may be, this sexless gift is for teachers and moms, not girlfriends.

3) He takes you to dinner at a restaurant's early bird hour.
Unless you are of retirement age, booking dinner before 7 is already dubious. Eating early for a deal on a holiday is emasculating, conjuring disturbing imagery of black socks during sex, or a closet filled with bow ties and Tommy Bahama shirts.

2) He buys you jewelry with someone else's name engraving.
A friend has a legendary story in which he bought two women he was seeing each the same ring, engraved, and then mixed them up in the gifting, a story that's earned serious mileage. I told him he should just start calling them all Lucky or some other loathsome pet name in the event he forgets. Forgo engraving at all costs.

1) He's a lousy tipper.
It's 20% or more. Period. Not 15%, not a pre-tax tip. Even when service sucks, a guy who's a bad tipper spotlights his lack of empathy and a stinginess beyond money.

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