THIS scenario may not be an unfamiliar one. You’re seated at a table in one of the finest restaurants in town on a first date with sweaty palms and fidgeting toes. She’s taking her time in the powder room as you’re waiting for the entrees to be served. After a glass of Chardonnay, your nerves relax, and the conversation flows as smooth as the warm butter that accompanied the freshly-baked sourdough.
Your evening is going better than expected, and you two hit it off fast. There’s definitely chemistry here. The hours slip away and before you know it, maitre d’ is asking for the last order. Being the gentleman you are, you offer to foot the bill for this one, thinking there will be a next date sometime in the near future.
Except there isn’t. That moment you bid adieu to her just happens to be the last time you ever see her – or even hear from her.
My friend, you have just been sneated.
What is sneating?
Sneating is the new dating trend that nobody asked for, yet everyone is talking about. A sneater is someone who goes on a date specifically for the potentially free meal. It’s a portmanteau of “sneak” and “eating”, and you might have been an unsuspecting victim of this phenomenon.
Granted, it’s not a new trend, but finally, someone has coined a term for this utterly manipulative enterprise. In an account published on Whimn, Sarah (not her real name) recounted how she became a sneater and didn’t even feel bad about taking advantage of her date’s generosity.
“I didn’t even feel the tiniest bit of guilt about letting Dan pay when I had no intention of seeing him again. He had a good job, he could afford it, and we had had a great chat and a few laughs.”
To say we were appalled would be a gross understatement. No person, man or woman, should be exploited so disingenuously.
How to spot a sneater
Sneaters aren’t as brazen as the other chastised class of daters – gold diggers. They’re a little more subtle when it comes to the hunt, but there are still tell-tale ways to unmask their deviant side.
The biggest red flag would be their complete disinterest in you and all forms of conversation you’re trying to make. Some sneaters will make an effort to seem engaged with you, but if something is off, you’re better off suggesting to go dutch.
Another way sneaters will try to weasel your salary into their bellies is by suggesting a really fancy restaurant as a first date venue. Honestly, no one goes to Les Amis to get acquainted with a stranger from Tinder.
Fair warning though, not all sneaters are ladies. Men – or more appropriately, boys – can also be guilty of this dating taboo.
How to avoid being sneated on?
While we’re all for chivalry, it might make your chances of being a victim of sneating much higher. For first dates, you could either: A) Suggest to split the bill or B) Go to a more casual eatery for the first meet.
Option A is probably the easiest, but be sure to establish that precedence early less you get a dine-and-dasher on your hands. The second option is also a way to filter sneaters out more subtly, although there is still a chance for you get sneated on. But it does leave room for you to move up the luxury ladder if the dating gods were shining on you.
In the Whimn article, Sarah also said how she would match with guys who said that “they were old fashioned or knew how to treat a lady.” Even if you didn’t mind being sneated on, those “qualities” or “traits” are so 2010. Leave them out of your bio, please.
As Valentine’s Day draws nearer, this is the prime time for sneaters as they cast their nets far and wide.Now that you’re well-acquainted with the concept of sneating, you can thank us later when you’re not one of the gullible men caught in their web of lies and deceit.