5 Ideas to Keep on Dating During Economically Challenging Times

Dating during a downturn isn't as hard as it seems kids.

Dating isn't cheap. A couple years back, before I'd met my ex-girlfriend, I was going on a dating tirade, I'd call it. At one point I was dating four women at the same time. One of which was my former partner-in-blog. And I was taking these women out, for dinner, drinks and other things that, you know, cost a few bucks. I wasn't the guy that would ask a girl to meet him at a Starbucks for coffee and roll up with my own teabags and ask the Barista for only a cup of hot water. That wasn't me.

It still isn't.

So after about a month of actively going out with four women I realized something. Dating ain't cheap. It drains an account quickly if you're offering to pay, and I always do. At that point, the support structure began to wane, I'd be dumped twice by Taylor Cast at that point, and I'd sent out my infamous mass-text breakup message. Things were okay and I had managed to find yet one other person to date in the meantime and kept things “simple.” Simple is good and simple is cheap.

That said, as I'm out in the wild again, I've “gotten out there” a few times and have had fun, but dating isn't any cheaper now than it was a couple years back.

So I've had some insights since and I've thought about how we can keep our dates under $40. Now, to some of  you, forty bucks is still a lot of money. And it is for me as well, however, a typical date I go on is about $60 to @120ish… It's not that I'm splurging, but I make it a point to go to interesting spots with good food and drink and entertainment.

I went out with this one gal named Seiger Neinhalt (not her real name, of course) who is pretty awesome in every way. There just wasn't a romantic spark. I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm a tool and she'd be right to think as much. Anyway, I went on some fun dates with her that were, I feel, inexpensive.

  • Go to a local brewery and bring a board/card game or two with you. Because I'm a big ol' boozer, it was my idea to go get drinks at a fave brewery of mine. The thing I forgot was that the place is actually stocked with board games! We each had a couple beers and some pretzels. We played the Worst-Case Scenario board game. Hilarious! I was out less than 30 smacks to the face, kids. Good times!
  • Go to a freaking weird-ass museum! As many of you know, I have less culture than cottage cheese. What the fuck would I do at a museum? I would go crazy. That's what I would do. Unless you go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City!! This place has exhibits that are strange. Ranging from dead mice on toast to a rooftop garden. This place will suck time from thin air and before you know it, you've left the place three days in the future, five weeks ago at 4pm Mountain Standard Time!!! Whooooaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! What the fuck? Indeed. What the fuck! Go to here! Seiger was a peach of a date and she was having a blast, as was I. The oddities throughout were amazing as heck! Combined with dinner, just shy of $40 smacks to the pee pee hole.

Another gal I'd met was very avid and active and was intrigued with my goal to run a half marathon. She offered up a suggestion of going out for a jog. Good idea! Great idea actually. We were having some really warm weather at the time, my date would be in less clothing and I could better see what I was working with.

  • Do something active other than having sex – Her name was Herzog Greindsmaalter. Herzog suggested we go for a run at the Rose Bowl. Twice around the Rose Bowl is a 10k or 6.2-ish miles. By this point, I'd nearly ran 13 miles, so this wasn't a big deal… Of course Herzog was apparently a world-beater when it comes to running and ran 6 miles in, like, 6 minutes I'm pretty sure. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling completely adequate after our run. She took in stride though, so that was nice and she also bought me a beer afterward… Also nice and also a way to let a guy down with a pat on the back while saying “good luck, fella.” Yeah. Price of run and getting ass handed to you? $none dollars. Can I pay in tears and self-pity?
  • Invite friends over __or__ invite yourselves over to a friends play, to watch movies and drink booze – I like this idea. It costs between $10 to $20 bucks which covers the cost of pizza or some random food and booze. Nice. Assuming you're at a point with your date that you can introduce each other to your respective social circles this makes a great cheap option and also provides some additional insight as to what your friends think about your beau or needed intel on your date's friends. Are they freaks? Are they genuinely shitty axe-murdering types of people? Oh and watch some shitty movies while you're at it.

During the holidays it can be rough to find time to do things. But there are a couple things you can do. I'm a part of a running group and we recently did a run through a neighborhood full of residents that probably partake of too much Speed and/or Cocaine. I believe it's the East Lake Village in the land of Gracious Living, aka Yorba Linda. The lights were impressive, as was Santa, who was on a muther effin' boat!

  • Go do something seasonally relevant – Birds of a feather flock together. This applies to many things and includes crazy people living in close proximity that turn on X-mas light shows, regardless of how bad it may be for the planet. During Christmas, it can be seeing lights, during Fall, it could be pumpkin shopping, whatever. You end up spending few bucks, but having a great time.

In any case, you're bound to save a few bucks using these tips as you plan out your dates in this downturn economy.

Join me next week when we talk about “the Art of Small Talk.”

Author Profile

Alex is the founder and managing editor at the Urban Dater. Alex also runs: DigiSavvy, for which he is the co-founder and Principal. Alex has a lot on his mind. Will he ever get it right? If he does, he'll be sure to write.

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