A while back I spoke with a guy who said he’s not dating because it’s too expensive. “It’s not the same for women,” he said. “You just have to show up and everything’s paid for.”
His first point was valid. In Orange County a cocktail alone can cost upwards of $18 and a ticket to a movie, $22. (Fun Fact: when I first moved to the OC and went to a matinee alone, I was sure the cashier misheard me and rang me up for two tickets when he told me the cost. “I just need one,” I reiterated.
“That is the price for one ticket,” he told me. Such a warm welcome to the OC…)
My friend’s second point, not so true. While the date itself might not break a woman’s bank (if the guy treats her, which is not always the case) getting ready for it often can. We’ve got nails, a new outfit, make-up, wax, potential therapy appointment to discuss how, at the age of thirty, we are still having to get dressed up and go out there. Or how, at fifty-five, we are back out there, trying to meet The One because the guy we thought was The One, clearly wasn’t.
For both men and women, dating can be expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I’ve found that the cheaper the date, the more I enjoy it—both when I’m just getting to know somebody and when I’m in a relationship.
Dating on a budget requires much more thought and creativity and those two factors generally make for a more fun date (and a more romantic one too!).
This beach picnic I recently set up down the street from my house on Balboa Island used all things I already had. A table and chairs from my backyard, candles from my living room, a bouquet from the kitchen table, and a bottle of inexpensive wine.
And my outfit was less than thirty dollars. (My top was under ten and my skirt was just twenty.). It was cheap, easy, and yet romantic enough that several people stopped to take pictures and one guy thanked me for the idea and said he was going to do something similar to propose to his girlfriend of several years. It’s inherently romantic to catch people off guard, so whether it’s your furniture or your schedule, rearranging something can wow your spouse, significant other, or someone you’re trying to catch the attention of, and won’t break your bank.
Pink Corduroy Mini Skirts I Love (mine can be found here!)
I’d love to hear more of your suggestions (or personal stories!) for dating on a budget! Feel free to share in the comments below!