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Dating on a College Budget

Aug 15, 2007

Dating and the college budget--two things that generally don't go together in the same sentence. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a little finesse, you can pull off a great date on a tight budget.

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Who Should Pay?

  • When surveyed, men said they feel they are expected to pay for the date.
  • Women who were polled said they expect men to pay for the date-the exception: most women felt responsibility to pay if they asked the man out.

Nick Raborn of Humboldt University recently surveyed a number of college-age men and women for a report on Gender and Dating Expectations. What he found was that there is a not-so-subtle double standard in regards to the issue of who should pay for a date.

Dating on a Budget

Being a 'cheap date' isn't a bad thing in college, but being 'cheap on a date' is often the kiss of death. Of course, dating isn't cheap-particularly on a college budget. Fortunately, a great night out doesn't require a lot of money. All that's really needed is good company and a fun activity.

Super-Saver Dating Tips

When you're trying to save some money on your date, the key is not to make it too obvious. Here are a few ideas that will allow you to watch your pocketbook, without looking like a tightwad:

Explore Nature

Submerging your toes in warm sand on a beautiful day can be both romantic and uplifting--not to mention free. If you enjoy more intensive excursions, you can always skip the beach and go on a hike. Just don't forget the sun block. Blotches of toasted skin can ruin a date real fast.

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Have a Themed Dinner and a Movie

Renting movies is almost always cheaper than going to a theatre. Watching a movie at home also eliminates the possibility of some rude person ruining your date. If you want to go all out, you can make dinner and base the whole night on a theme. Get a movie set in Italy or starring Italian characters, and make some spaghetti or lasagna. Or, if you are both Harry Potter fans or Monty Python fans, pick up a flick and make some British-inspired snacks.

Play a Sport

Are you both athletic? Maybe both of you can decide on a sport to play together. If not, you can always ask your date to teach you how to play something they are good at. If you do go on a sports date, try not to be obnoxious when you win or upset when you lose; you may not get a second date with that kind of attitude. Always keep your competitive nature under control.

Go to a Museum

Are both of you into art? How about architecture? How about history? You may want to take your date to a museum in your area. Some museums offer student discounts while other museums have days when admission is free. If you do have to pay for admission, it is usually affordable. Some museums also offer concerts, so you may be able to check out some interesting art and hear some great music. Museum dates provide the opportunity to learn new things together or teach one another.

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