You know, an idea might be to ask your questions on a women's forum that those you date potentially frequent.
sorry, that is already a little too creepy. I think you can summarize what F is saying in a way that fits common sense - if the woman is into you, she will like the gift (or lack of it), she will want to pay for her share (or be happy to have you pay), in short, if she is into you, things should go well what ever happens. if she doens't like you, if you give her a gift you are too hasty, if you don't you are cheap, if you offer to buy her dinner you are presumptious, if you don't you are cheap. if she is undecided, well, it is difficult to say how each will influence her, each woman is different. good luck with that
seriously, the best bet to me seemed to work out a system that I was comfortable and kept me true to myself, while allowing me to show off the (actual, not fake) positive aspects of myself. then mix with a lot of people of the sex you are interested in until you find one that you really like, and who likes you. if you look at this coldly, the variables here are how easy you can make it for a person to identify your attractiveness, how many people you date, and how high your standards are.