Cheap dates enhance true love
In any situation, dating can be difficult.
When you only have $5 to your name and limited brain power left for creativity, it can be extremely difficult.
This is the reality of college relationships.
Finding that balance between having fun with your significant other and not going into debt is a struggle.
By no means, have the two of us conquered this feat. But after a year and a half of dating, we’ve found a few things that work.
Take from this article what you will. At the very least, we hope to entertain you with our bickering, which is one thing you will never conquer in a relationship.
Sara: One of the first dates Brian and I went on was a perfectly planned and completely inexpensive idea I came up with. Since it was in the summer, I thought a picnic date would be fun.
I went to Goodwill and bought a picnic basket for $3. I cut up some fruit, made some potato salad and, OK, I got a little lazy and picked up some subs from Subway. But it was on a Sunday and they have that two-for-one foot-long subs deal, so it was still a cheap date. Then we headed to Carson Park and found a cozy little spot, perfect for lunch. OK, so in truth, it ended up down-pouring on us, but hey, at least I get an ‘A’ for effort.
Brian was never good at being a “creative” dater. Thankfully I have the brains in this relationship.
Brian: Let me begin by pointing out one important fact: notice the byline below, where Sara’s name is listed first. Note also that I allowed her to go first and get the first jab. Therein lies my greatest insight into dating: It’s all about fulfilling your date’s needs and desires first. There’s a little more pressure on the guy to make the night enjoyable for the girl, under traditional courtship constructs. While those ideas are becoming archaic, it’s still a good idea to practice a little chivalry. I don’t care how cheap you are, you’re bound to walk through doors at some point in your date, so be ready to open them.
As for finances, Sara’s right. I’ve never been much for creative thrift. Then I checked my bank account and decided to try. The fact is there are all sorts of great deals at a variety of places that you can save money, and that’s if you feel obligated to take your date to a venue that actually costs something.
Sara: Even though I am completely capable of opening doors and pulling out my chair, it is nice to be catered to every now and then. But just a tip guys, it’s also a nice gesture to do our dishes or clean our bathroom. Just a thought. The secret to low-cost dating is finding places that cater to a college student’s budget.
For example, one of my favorite places for a lunch date is Shanghai Bistro, 2930 Craig Road.
A number of their delicious lunch specials start at just $4. Having a date at Shanghai for lunch will rarely mean spending more than $10.
The only thing it will cost you is the embarrassment of watching your date fling food across the restaurant as he insists on using his chop sticks.
Brian Well, excuse me for trying to exude a little cultural appreciation and embrace something new. Anyway, she’s right about Shanghai. It’s cheap, yet with a veneer of class.
Speaking of class, that brings me to my favorite bargain eatery: Court ‘N House, 113 W. Grand Ave. I should say that for those of you who haven’t been there, I’m being sarcastic when I say class, and that it’s probably not ideal for a first date. It’s a pretty traditional bar that has some pretty ridiculous food deals each night of the week, from wings to pizza to fish to my personal favorite, two-for-one burger Thursdays. The best thing about Thursday is that it’s also karaoke night, which is the reason it would make a good second or third date spot. Once you and your dating buddy have moved past that superficial classy stage, there’s nothing like a burger, some music and an opportunity to cut loose a little and show your fun side, or at least embarrass yourself. Dating insight No. 2: Girls love self-deprecating humor. Well, any of them who have ever agreed to go out with me do at least.
Sara: I would have to disagree here. Court ‘N House is probably more of a two to three month date kind of place. Well, that is, if you’re dating someone like Brian.
It seems like a nice thing to be “serenaded” at first, but when he starts singing “I Touch Myself” and people ask you, “Is that your boyfriend?” it’s not such a fun time anymore.
Of course, it is always nice to have a guy who makes fun of himself . but c’mon, within reason.
As for no-cost dating, there’s a lot you and your significant other can do. My personal favorite is planning a couples’ game date. Invite a few friends and their significant others over for a good ol’ battle of the sexes game night. I would suggest including Pictionary, charades and spin the bottle . you know, to mix it up a little. No, of course I’m just kidding.
But seriously, playing games with other couples and having that rivalry of the sexes is always a good time and most importantly, is completely free.
Brian: First off, all my Thursday night fans know I’ve never sung “I Touch Myself.” That’s not to say I’ve never sang embarrassing songs of a similar caliber, but I thought I should clear that up. But I agree that game night is a good idea. It sounds kind of corny, but it always proves to be a good time – it’s impossible for a conversation to turn awkward or boring when games are involved. I suggest Mad Gab. Those of you who have played it know what I’m talking about. The rest of you, get enlightened.
Another good idea that costs nothing is going on a walk. That doesn’t sound like much initially, but keep in mind that we all live pretty close to the mighty Chippewa River. Take a walk alongside it, sit at a bench, hang out. If you can’t just enjoy one another’s company, then no amount of money will do any good.
So, as we stated before, we definitely aren’t the experts in dating on a dime, but I think our point is clear. If you want to find something to do that doesn’t cost a lot of money, you just have to grab your best guy or gal and get out there.
Use whatever creative juices you have left after taking that biology test and have some fun.
If all else fails, at least you and your date will have some funny memories, whether that’s together or at the expense of each other.