November 28, 2009

Dating in a Recession: How to Plan Cheap Dates

(Reprinted from http://www.truelovedirect.com/dating-in-a-recession-how-to-plan-cheap-dates)

Congratulations! You have finally secured the phone number of the man or woman of your dreams. All you have to do is come up with a fantastic first date to blow him or her away. But if you are like millions of other Americans right now, you don’t exactly have dating worked into your tight budget.

Good news, though: Mr. or Ms. Right is probably struggling too, and will likely prefer a low-key date, as well. However, if you feel strange about “cooking” a meal of peanut butter sandwiches or fishing for pennies in a fountain together, create such an elaborate date that he or she will never realize how little you spent.

Cook for Your Date

This is easily the best way to avoid spending money without seeming cheap. Ask friends for suggestions on their favorite recipes or search through your own. While you will have to buy ingredients, the overall cost will be much less than if you were to dine out. A spin-off of this idea is to prepare all the fixings for a picnic and dine in a park.

Look Around Your City

Large metropolitans often have public gardens, art museums, outdoor movie viewings, or other events at a discounted rate for residents. Start with your city website, check on its calendar for possible ideas. If you can’t find any scheduled events, just walk around the city and take the sights in.

Take a Hike

This is a good way to not only save money, but to also get a lot of one-on-one time with your date. While walking along a quiet trail, you can have a great conversation without feeling like you are at an interview. A word to the wise, though: your date will need to know of your plan beforehand, lest she shows up wearing high heels and a mini-skirt.

Bring Your Own Date

Is a friend having a party that night? Take your date with you. However, this option can be tricky, if you are not careful. Don’t abandon your date to talk with your friends. Wherever you go, he goes. Also, while a dinner party or barbeque would be a splendid place to bring a date, a kegger or frat party is not. Be mindful that you are, in fact, on a date at all times.

Coffee Time

Coffee dates have increased in popularity over the years, tying with “grabbing a drink” for the best informal type of date. Either you are meeting in the afternoon when hard liquor is just not as appealing, or you have already eaten and are meeting for a nightcap. Whatever the time, sitting at a coffeehouse is ideal for getting to know someone. There is no pressure to hurry, it is usually quiet, and it won’t strike your date as an odd place to meet. Finally, you will both be so hyped up on caffeine (and a good dose of nervous energy), that the date will never experience the usual awkward pauses.

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