In 2016, it’s unfair to demand that men pay for all our dates. Unfortunately, the price that women pay to date hasn’t been reduced or shifted to men. We already have to buy make-up, cute dresses, and expensive shoes but now we’re also expected to chip in 50-50 on dates? Finding Mr. Right has never been so expensive! With so many eligible bachelors, we can spend a lot of money on first dates unless we’re careful and frugal.
- Picnic: Picnicking costs nothing more than the ingredients for cold sandwiches, snacks and a few drinks. Although eating outside isn’t for everyone, picnicking lends itself well to cuddling with your date if the date is going well. Most cities have dozens of picnicking locations so you won’t have to repeat your picnic spot frequently.
- The mall: Mall traffic has gone down significantly over the past decade, mostly due to the rise of online shopping. However, the older women in our lives would have spent many an afternoon hanging out at the local mall. The mall atmosphere is interesting enough that you’ll never run out of things to talk about and, if your date’s a dud, you can pick up a nice bath bomb on the way out.
- Afternoon coffee: MorniNg coffee is a recipe for two grumpy non-caffeinated people to have a terrible date. In the afternoon though, we’re awake and relaxed and eager to meet new people. Plus, certain coffee houses have happy hours in the afternoon, giving you the perfect opportunity to try something indulgent.
- Run! Exercise is a great way to hang out with someone without having to worry too much about filling awkward gaps in the conversation. You can start out running and chit-chat on a break. If the conversation flows well and you’re comfortable, your run has turned into a great first date. Otherwise, you can pick up the pace and be “too winded” to talk to your date.
- Go somewhere famous. Every city and town has somewhere famous, even if you have to seek it out. Find a local tour guide or look on the internet for famous places to visit and take your date. Although the destination might be cheesy (World’s Largest Nickel anyone?), not taking the activity too seriously can be a lot of inexpensive fun.
- The beach. Suggest a group activity to the beach. While the beach provides all the distractions and fun of both a picnic and exercising together, being in a group helps take the pressure off both you and your date. Imagine visiting a beach on a first date with someone you barely know. Now imagine visiting a beach with a bunch of your friends and a bunch of his friends. One of those situations is much more appealing.
- Karaoke/Trivia Night. Bars and pubs love hosting activity nights. Activities get people in the bar spending money and give the bar a reputation as a good place to hang out. Instead of taking your date to a bar and drinking continuously, find a bar activity to attend instead. The excited atmosphere will help you to relax and have more fun, while the distraction will stop you from ordering drink after drink.
- Ride the rails. Subway aficionados will love this one. Together, ride the subway and people watch. You don’t have to be mean – just talk about that man’s nice hat or commiserate over getting stopped in a tunnel. Friendly conversation with strangers can introduce new topics into your conversation if the conversation lags and, if the date isn’t going too well, you’re in the perfect place to say good-bye and head home.
Dating has gotten so complicated and expensive. Instead of spending a lot of money on a few dates that may or may not go well, we should all be less picky! By suggesting frugal dates, you can get to know lots of men and not break your pocketbook.