Hi Lucia,

I was on a second date with someone who only talked about himself. We only had appetizers, but when the bill came, he said, “You got this one?” I was like, “Nooooo.”

I don’t mind paying, but this is the stage where the guy should still be trying to impress me, and it was just a total turnoff when he said that. He later texted me, “When are you going to take me out?” I would like to contribute but that just screams ... I am cheap... I don’t like you.

I am an independent woman. I don’t want to settle.

It’s hard enough to find a decent man, but if someone is asking me to pay for the whole thing after the second date I might as well just go out with the girls. I don’t mind helping out but not on the second date.

—Jess

Hi Jess,

I totally agree with you. This isn’t about being an independent woman. It’s about being a smart woman and letting someone show you who they are.

In all the animal kingdom, the male has to impress the female before she will have sex with him. For some reason, many human females are willing to be with anyone who will pay them a bit of attention.

As you said, he’s cheap and/or isn’t that into you. He’s just out for himself.

You did the right thing. Lose him!

Hi Lucia,

I met this very attractive man on the Latina Romance Network. I noticed his picture first and sent him a very short but sweet message, which he responded to three days later asking to meet me. He also asked if he could call me, but I responded with: I’d like to e-mail first to see if we connect.

We e-mailed for two days and then he was out of town for his brother’s surgery. His last e-mail to me was to call him anytime and even e-mailed his phone number.

He’s supposed to be back in town today. I have yet to call him and not sure if I should. What do you say?

—Roz

Hi Roz,

As usual, let the man be the man. If he’s interested, he’ll contact you.

My only concern is that it sounds as if he’s just looking for something casual, otherwise, he wouldn’t have tried to meet you in his first e-mail. Tread carefully.

Hi Lucia,

I am 37 and African-American. I typically date Caucasian women five-15 years older than me.

My conventional wisdom creeps into my head that many older, white women have no experience with interracial dating and this could be a major roadblock to both dating and a strong relationship. I live in the Twin Cities, and this is the most diverse city and accepting of interracial relationships that I have seen.

What advice can you give me on how to attract those quality cougars that are open to dating interracially? There are a lot of wannabe cougars, but clearly they are not in the league of those true cougars.

Many women think because they are older and look decent and date younger that makes them cougars, which it doesn’t. I consider myself a charming, witty, beguiling, confident man but need a few pointers to get me to the next level.

—Tony

Hi Tony,

Thank you for pointing out that just because a woman is older and dating a younger man, that she is not automatically a cougar. I believe a cougar is the Rolls Royce of older women. She is at the top of her game and has it together mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually.

Since you are in the Twin Cities, it should be easier to find a woman who is open to interracial dating. If you want a quality cougar, you need to be a quality cub. This means you look good, have class and manners and, of course, are great in bed.

After that, it’s a matter of going to places where an older woman might go and approaching anyone who catches your eye. If you’re as charming as you say you are, you shouldn’t have any problem getting a phone number!

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net.

Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net.

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Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.