I was out on a date not long ago. My date and I were going over our dating “battle-files” to see who had the worst experiences, so to speak. We traded stories back and forth and a common theme that I noticed was that my date had been out on a lot of first dates with guys that were really kind of cheap. At least in my opinion. So that brought me to this topic: How cheap is too cheap for the first date?
My experience has generally been that no one likes a cheapskate. Period. Exceptions are abound, I'm sure. The thing is that I just don't care. Being a blatant cheapskate hurts ones chances on a date.
What are some reasons that people might want to be super cheap on their dates?
- One reason to be a cheapskate dater is that a person may just go on a lot of dates. If that's the case, the costs can add up quickly. My solution for that is scale back the amount of dating and have fewer, but, better quality dates.
- Another reason is that a person may not want to go out on a big extravagant first date with someone they don't even know. That's cool and I get that. So try something less ambitious and something more quaint, like coffee per se.
- The other reason I hear a lot of is this: “Well, why should I spend anything on someone that might not even be worth it?” Okay, fair enough. But I disagree with this idea. Dating, regardless of the purpose, is a gamble; an investment. The investment is the money you spend on creating the time to get to know someone better.
My date told me one story that stuck with me. She had met up with a guy for coffee. Let me change direction really quick here, for moment. The guy invited my date out for coffee, during the day, in the summer with temperatures that were around the century mark for the week, including the day of their date. Common sense should tell a person that hot coffee on a hot day… Maybe not such a good idea. Now back to my not so regularly scheduled article. Anyway, her date had sat down and went up to the counter to get a cup of hot water. Out of his pocket he pulls out a tea bag and promptly and proudly plops the tea bag into the cup of hot water. The kicker here is that her date didn't offer to get her a coffee, let alone offer her a tea bag. I was pretty stunned by the story.
I'm all for starting small and working up to grander dates, but seriously. What kind of date is a person expecting to have while exhibiting that sort of behavior? I'd say probably not a favorable one, to be sure. The economy is crap and it's also a compelling reason to reign back on the spending. But being a cheapskate is a surefire way to not get laid, let alone maintain any sort of meaningful relationship with a member of the opposite, or not so opposite, sex.
- What is a cheapskate? My favorite site, Wikipedia, states that: A cheapskate is a miser who is reluctant to spend money, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts. The term derives from the Latin miser, meaning “poor” or “wretched,” comparable to the modern word “miserable”. Ouch! That is brutal.
Going out on the cheap has been discussed on The Urban Dater before, see Dating on a Budget. In that article Taylor suggests some really good places to go in the L.A. area. If you're not from around those parts then try some of the following ideas:
- Wine Tasting
- Hike and a Picnic
- Tour a Brewery
- Go to a Festival of some sort
- Play Pool, Darts or Naked Twister (not recommended for the first date, you perv)
My late grandmother always told me: “Son, if you're out having a nice time, dinner, or what ever it is, focus on having a good time, not so much on the money it will cost. It's solid advice, I think, that I carry with me to this day. You don't have to spend an exorbitant amount of money on your date; just be creative and have fun. It's an investment, after all; what a person puts in will equal what you get out.