Have you ever been on a date when the person you’re out with orders all of the most expensive items on the menu then goes ahead and chows down while making next to no effort to chat to you?
Think grunts in response to questions, wearing sweatpants instead of a date outfit, and making more eye contact with their lobster ravioli than with you.
Well, you were being sneated.
Being sneated – or sneating (sneakily cheating your way into eating a free meal) – is a new dating term we here at Metro.co.uk have come up with for those who’ve had their wallet totally taken advantage of by dates looking for nothing more than a free meal.
Of course, this doesn’t refer to all dates wanting the most expensive items – some have dietary needs, or are simply actually interested in you and therefore think it doesn’t matter.
What we are talking about is those people who clearly have no interest in getting to know you. They’ve arranged the date just to get free food, and never wanted anything with you beyond the chance to eat some excellent chocolate torte.
Imgur user minilogo37 was recently sneated. In a recent post, he explained that he’d signed up to Tinder ‘just to see what would happen’. Hours later, he’d been superliked by a woman. The pair talked for a few days before he suggested a date – and the woman insisted on it being dinner.
The user wrote: ‘We met up tonight at a restaurant I’d picked out. She didn’t look at me, wore sweatpants, and immediately ordered an $13 appetizer. Okay, not a dealbreaker. I tried starting a conversation a few times, but she only gave one word answers.
‘Then, she orders a $25 steak and $22 crab legs. She drank 4 $9 glasses of wine. I got the steak, and a few drinks myself. Right about the time our main course(s) arrived, I’d pretty much given up. She talked more to the waiter.’
He continued: ‘As we were finishing, I excused myself and went to the restroom. While I was in there, a light bulb went off. I left the bathroom, headed out the door, got in my car, and drove home. Now, here I am. She messaged me a few times, called me a “f*cker” about twelve times. Eh.’
And this, ladies and gentleman, is the perfect example of a sneater. Someone who’s totally happy to be wined and dined for the sake of being wined and dined.
We get it, this woman was not obliged to offer anything in return. The pair had agreed on a date, there were no rules as to what she could or couldn’t order.
You’d just think that, unless you were planning on splitting the bill, out of common decency, you wouldn’t go for something extortionately priced, just in case your date doesn’t have the money for it.
But in the world of sneating, this doesn’t matter. All that matters is seeing how much you can get away with ordering before the date is over.
You may also have seen sneating in season one of Master of None, when Dev’s date orders piles of food and takes home the leftovers before saying she’d rather not see him again.
There are people going on Tinder purely to seek out people they can sneat, with no intention of dating at all. It’s just a clever way of cheating your way into delicious free food at fancy date places. Those wily sneaters.
How to spot a sneater before you’re left penniless
There are a few ways to spot a sneater before being sneated.
First, suggest a date besides a restaurant. Something cheap and cheerful, like a picnic in the park. For anyone simply wanting to get to know you, it won’t matter where you go. If your date insists you go to a restaurant – there may be something up.
Before going on your date, explain that you don’t have too much money – so maybe you could go somewhere a little cheaper. If they point blank refuse, don’t waste your time on them any longer.
If they suggest the priciest restaurant around, that’s a warning sign too.
When out on your date, order something relatively – but noticeably – cheap. Anyone not expecting to pay for their dinner will order something around the same price bracket. If they order something way more expensive – without at least asking whether it’s okay – something’s up.
Then pay attention to the conversation. Does this person seem genuinely interested? Are they asking you questions? Are they making an effort to keep the chat going? If not, you might not be the dish they’re after.
If you suspect a sneater, ask to split the bill at the end. If they refuse, don’t bother meeting up with them again. You’re a person, not a wallet, and can offer a potential partner so much more than paying for a posh steak.