Thanks to today's dating apps, the sheer number of dates a person can go on is staggering. If you wanted to go on a date tonight, that's not a problem. If you wanted to do 30 in 30 days, it's probably feasible. Which frankly begs the question, how the hell are you going to pay for all these dates?
Instead of scrounging through couch cushions trying to finance these sexy outings, you're better off cutting costs from the beginning. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can support your hot dates without having to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy or seeming like an Uncle Frank-level cheapskate.
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Traditional dating might be dead, but traditional dates are still very much alive. Men, women, and everyone in-between will always love glorious alcohol—especially when it flows cheaply. Why scour the menu of a pricey bar for the cheapest bottle of beer when you can just go to the land of cheap booze: your local dive bar.
Whether the dive is filled with hip Millennials or a slightly more diverse crew of motley characters, there will always be activities to go along with your cheap drinks: pool, darts, arcade games, *shudder* shuffleboard. It’s all there. Pro-tip: plan your date during happy hour.
The average price for movie tickets hasn’t gone anywhere but up since the invention of cinema and, frankly, whoever had the idea of a “dinner and movie” for a date should get 50 lashes. It’s summer (unless you live in Australia) and the weather outside is begging for romance, so adhere to the sun god’s plans and actually visit the great outdoors with someone you want to exchange bodily fluids with.
Camp, hike, go to the beach, leave the indoors. With tons of trails, parks, and rivers at your disposal, there’s no wrong place to go. Except maybe Chernobyl.
The concept of the coffee date has been thrown to the wayside by those who firmly believe in the ice-breaking effects of hard alcohol. But caffeine is still a glorious drug that very quickly and easily changes your mood for the better and doesn’t prompt you to make bad decisions or sext your girlfriend’s dad.
Coffee is also cheaper than drinks at a bar, and people don't generally order more than two. Your date will also remember you the next day, unless you guys had seven Irish coffees each.
Take pictures around the city
This idea works best if you have a disposable camera at your...disposal. Explore the neighborhood, revel in the delayed gratification of film, and creepily stare at your date behind the lens of a camera without the social implications of unbroken eye contact!
Maybe I’m being old-fashioned, but it’s hard not to be a sucker for a person taking your photo, especially when they know what they’re doing. That being said, brush up on some photography tips—start with Instagram and work your way up.
If you have a soft spot that gets super hard when face-to-face with a beautiful bike, it’s fair to say you’ll have a great time with another like-minded bike-loving individual. That being said, what better way to save money on a date than by bypassing public transportation and driving altogether with a sexy dual bike ride. Ride uptown, ride downtown, go mountain biking, go to Makeout Cove—totally up to you guys.
Just remember to wear protection—like a helmet, for example.
Make dinner and watch Netflix
As my friends and family point out basically any time I mention going out for food, it’s way cheaper to cook at home. True? Sure. Less delicious? It depends on how well you think you can replicate Red Lobster’s extensive menu. Still, when you do the math, it makes sense. When you pair the monetary advantages with the clear sexiness of showing off your cooking skills, you unwittingly serve up a heaping slice of romance alongside your quiche.
Oh, plus, if anyone agrees to a Netflix date, it means they’re down to at least make out...just consult Urban Dictionary.
Hitting a flea market
Unless you live in an area that gets off on overcharging the general population for twee antique items *cough* all of Brooklyn *cough* you can rest easy knowing a flea market date isn’t going to cost you that much money—even when you factor in buying your date a present. Just be sure to stray from old Grandfather Clocks, old moose busts, and Rolexes...the cheapest ones tend to go for $2,000.
Attend an art gallery—preferably during an opening
Not only are these free, but you'll get a dose of food and drink with your culture if you go during an opening, which often doesn't have a guest list. Plus, you can pretend you like art to show your date you're not a barbarian. Hey, look at that! A whole paragraph about openings without one human orifice pun. I’ve truly grown up.
Look, guys, this isn’t the 1990s anymore. You don’t have the overbearing eyes of D.A.R.E. trying to convince you that marijuana will make you go crazy and lead to bath salts. Hell, the stuff’s even legal in a few states, which has been fully taken advantage of by dating apps. So screw those people who say you can’t make getting high an activity and smoke up with someone you care about in a comfortable setting.
With a nice selection of vaporizers (known colloquially as "mouth fedoras") available for the general public, you can guarantee you’ll have a grand old time exploring the hidden meaning behind fingernails and laughing at birds. Oh man, birds are actually pretty hilarious. Pro-tip: make sure neither one of you has mono...or herpes.
Go Free Sampling™
The art of Free Sampling™ goes far beyond the simple act of going to a gourmet food store or mall food court and eating all the free samples. It’s beyond food. It’s the act of taking advantage of anything and everything free your city has to offer regardless of the socially acceptable nature of the activity.
Dating in New York? Take the Staten Island Ferry! Courting in Boston? Take a brewery tour. Getting frisky in Boise? Sorry, I don’t think anyone lives in Idaho. Every city has something free to do that only gets better with company. If nothing else, your date will admire your ingenuity and you can tell your future kids about the time daddy got mommy pregnant in front of the Statue of Liberty.
Jeremy Glass is a staff writer for Supercompressor and likes to spend quality time with his girlfriend inside the Taco Bell on Flushing ave.