Apps have made the art of real-world romancing close to obsolete. Texting has turned even the most social of us into efficient and cold communicators. There are countless resources out there that offer advice on what a guy should wear on a first date. Yet with all of this technology and information available to us, there’s still a question that alludes so many: How much am I expected to spend on a first date? Let’s see what we can do to help.
“aqua lighting on a first date : aqua, ho” (CC BY 2.0) by torbakhopper
Where you met is important
There’s a great deal of difference between meeting someone at your local pub or at your friend’s father’s yacht party. Expectations were largely set right there and then. You also need to bear in mind how the date came about in the first place. Were you wooing her for months, in which case you really don’t want to blow it, or is this just a casual date where you don’t want to put all your cash in one basket? If you met online through a website such as Badoo, you may not be able to tell through her voice and gesture, but then you have the added benefit of being able to get to know her through messaging. This at least gives you more time to think about those all-important questions you may wish to ask. You can also get an idea from her profile, such as the clothes she wears or what kind of interests she has.
Don’t raise expectations
First dates are all about finding out whether the other person is someone who has potential for a long-term relationship. Flashing the cash at the fanciest restaurant in town and arranging a barbershop quartet to perform Unchained Melody may not only be too much for your date, but too much for your bank balance. It also raises the bar far too high for future dates. Second dates must be better than first dates, because you’ve already gone through all the small talk that you can handle. So pace both your funds and your date’s expectations.
“Boom! Shakalaka-7255” (CC BY 2.0) by Barbershop Harmony Society
Budget your week in advance
You don’t want to have to eat from the McDonald’s pound saver menu for a week simply to spend the rest of your hard-earned money on a first date. So have a good look at your bank statements and draw up a rough estimate of what you can comfortably spend in one night. Then cut back on what you can, without starving yourself, to allow for some flexibility on date night. That way, if the date’s going well and you go over budget, you’ll still be able to afford your rent.
Always keep one eye on the date itself, because the more you plan, the more you can predict how much it’s going to cost you. This may lend itself to such dates as a comedy show, where you know exactly how much it’s going to cost. Of course, you could always grab a drink or dinner afterwards if you want too; but at least that decision will be, at least party, in your hands.