How to take your man or lady on a date with little money- dating advice with Michael Scott
You always told your mom it would never happen. She always told you that it would.
And here we are. You've been smitten. You're in med school which means you have all the future of the world ahead of you and nothing to show for it. Maybe an embroidered jacket. But that's it.
Here's a gif from me to you to cheer you up cause you're poor->
Now its time to get creative. Lets deconstruct the possible elements of a classy date to find ways to save on costs and/or build a FREE date. And if he or she is really THE ONE, the cheap, free dates are always the most memorable, at least in my experience. There's something to be said of the "all we had was love" motto!
1. Pre-dining activities
If this is a first date, you're going to want to engage in something that allows you to not have to stare deeply into your date's eyes. Walking in a direction can be helpful here. Specifically, going to a park or free art museum where there is a lot of things to look at can make a huge difference. My personal opinion is that the less you have to look directly into your gorgeous date's eyes at first, the more you can carry on a normal conversation and provide a good first impression of what your personality is truly like. Check out the following links to see if one of these delightful places is in your backyard.
If you love museums and may be willing to pay a little, these weird museums might give you and your date a lot to talk about!
And here is an exhaustive list of museums across America if you are really struggling.
If the weather is nice outside on the day of your scheduled date, call an audible! By recognizing a good opportunity and demonstrating to your date that you are flexible is a win-win. Just make sure that your date has an opportunity to modify their outfit to the appropriate setting, or they may not appreciate your last minute spontaneity.
If you want to show your hipster prowess, plan a little hiking trip! This would NOT be appropriate for a first date unless you have known the person for a long time and they would feel comfortable being alone with you. Click here for a list of the "best state parks" in every state. Similarly, click here for a list of the best national parks organized by state.
Due to the massive amount of variability when it comes to dining, I won't provide too much information other than some common sense and some free tips.
- Eat real food, not just sugar- that makes you look like you haven't learned anything in med school.
- Pay for your date without asking. Make sure this is done out of kindness not out of tradition. This is about being classy, not traditional. But try to limit cost!
- Don't pick something that you can't easily eat with one hand, and avoid ribs! You're trying to make a first impression. Getting food all over your date shirt is a bad idea.
- AVOID restaurants with a wait list unless you have a reservation set up beforehand. Waiting 30 minutes on a bench might just kill the mood.
- AVOID hibachi (Benihana's type) cooking where you are seated close to other groups of people- they will just stare at you, exacerbating the awkwardness.
- If you order the cheapest thing on the menu after offering to pay, your date will know you're poor and will also order the cheapest thing on the menu. FYI
- AVOID excessive spontaneity where you have no plan of where to eat- this backfired on me when I took my wife out on our first date. We ended up getting premade sandwiches from Dunn Bros. I had to make up for it on date #2.
- Maintain eye contact and have a lively discussion before your food comes. This is truly the portion of the date where connections are made, IMHO. Save your best questions for now.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, see this article on eating out cheaply on a date by Cash Cow Couple. Just be cautious about dropping too many coupons on your first date. You want to send the message that you're savvy, not insane.
3. Post-dining Activities
You just ate a meal. If you're like me, you eat much less than normal when you're nervous. Some people have the opposite response and may put a lot of food in their mouths to avoid talking. I know this is a conversation with Michael Scott, but Ron Swanson has some wisdom to share here.
THAT BEING SAID, you might not want to do something very active. Rather, we need a FREE activity that requires little energy. One of my all-time favorite activities that my wife and I did after a date was going to an outdoor sculpture park. The weather was perfect. We sat on a bench and just people watched, a FREE activity.
The inhabitants of a sculpture park on a warm summer's eve provide invaluable entertainment. My wife and I just sat there and laughed at the shirtless hula hoop dancers. It was a special moment. Sitting somewhere and people watching tells you a lot about your special someone and can lead to wonderful conversations.
The last 20% of your date is your chance to leave a lasting impression and ask any burning questions that you cannot keep in any longer. Obviously use judgement and don't get too personal right away... questions about life growing up and what their family is like would be appropriate.
4. Ending the date
Congratulations. You've made it through your cheap/free date. It is very hard to eat out free, but review the Cash Cow Couple's post for ideas. I have 2 parting thoughts on parting.
- Don't drag on the date beyond 3 hours unless you can tell things are going extremely well. 2 hours for a blind date.
- How the date ends will be a measure of how successful you wooed your date. If it is an awkward goodbye, it was probably an awkward date. Keep this feedback in mind for your next date!
Have you had an amazing date? What made it special?
What is your favorite date on a budget? For casual dating and for married couples!
Have you had a horrible date? Share your story! Let someone learn from your experience.