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How much do you spend on a date?

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    Agree thats heavy for a first date. I'm just saying i can see a date costing for that for food/drinks, is all.

    Greg, doesnt sound bad at all. You need to figure out if shes worth spending more on as much as you need to make sure you aren't tossing money at her and she ends up being a gold digger. You can weed them out really quick with an affordable, sensible date.



      @Jordan, yeah I don't think it does too much. I mentioned it to a female friend once (not someone I was trying to date), she was unimpressed. Either way, I like this date progression:

      Friday or Saturday night drinks somewhere fun. If it goes well then brunch or lunch somewhere shortly thereafter. If that also goes well, dinner out somewhere decent with drinks to follow. If that one goes well, cook dinner for her at my place.

      Starts off cheaply enough while showing if she is interesting in a variety of settings. By the time you have that figured out, then comes dinner.

      "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



        I think you answered your own question by saying it didn't break your bank. Spend what you can responsibly afford and would like to spend.



          Usually stick to Drinks & Apps on the first date. 1-2 drinks each and an app or 2 would mean about 60-70$ here in Boston (cocktails about 12-15 on average, apps about 8-10). I usually pick up the tab on the first outing but if there is no attempt to pay that date or next, it's a big turn off for me. It's pretty much done then.



            Ah, dates. I miss dates.

            With a toddler to worry about, my wife and I strive to get one "date night" a month, usually when one of our parents is in town.

            Without free grandparental childcare, a trip to the movies now costs roughly $100, counting babysitter fees. As such, we watch a lot of television these days.



              @All: The title of thread was "how much do you spend on a date", not a "first date".

              Early dates I definitely keep cheaper - much closer to the $50-$60 range, until I get to know the girl better. Also, after a few dates I'll usually let her start picking up the drinks after dinner which will keep my tab closer to $50-$70.

              I also do a few cook at home dates, outdoor activities that cost nothing (free museums, concerts, etc).

              Don't get me wrong - spending the money disgusts me. They are also often the most boring dates because dinner in itself isn't all that interesting.

              Would love to hear ideas for other good cheap dates.



                There's way, way too much eating happening on these dates. Until you've had at least several dates, eating should ideally be something you happen to do if you get hungry while out on a date and not the focal activity of the date.

                Why? Let me count the ways:

                1) You're sitting across from one another. This makes it hard to flirt. It also tends to make the conversation go like a job interview.

                2) She's been on dinner dates before. Lots of them. They've all gone like job interviews. She's tired of it. Do something different, set yourself apart, and keep her on her toes.

                3) It's expensive. Chances are things are not going to work out with this girl. And when they don't, it won't be because you didn't splurge on the first or second date. If your platonic lady friends make you feel bad for having this attitude, start querying them about the ways they weed out guys. It ain't pretty.

                4) You're eating. Eating is not, by and large, an attractive or sexy activity. When you're gassy, or bloated, or whatever, are you as fun, clever, and witty as you normally are? Neither is she.

                5) Because you want to get the restaurant right, you're likely to pick somewhere you're already familiar with. Already familiar with = less novel/fun/interesting for you.

                6) ***Did I mention it's hard to flirt and keep the conversation playfully interesting when you're sitting across the table from an almost complete stranger in a high pressure situation and doing nothing but eating?***

                Any sort of shared activity that forces you to move and adjust your bodies and that naturally opens up topics of conversation and loosens you both up will likely lead to better opportunities for a rapport to develop as you get to know one another. A museum, a walk, a picnic, a vineyard/wine tasting, dancing, bowling, a poetry slam, a monster truck rally... I'm getting carried away, but pick something you're comfortable with that facilitates bonding on both physical and emotional levels. The more you can make the activity an outgrowth of the conversations you've already had, the better.

                Cliff notes: activity>>drinks>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>eating out. If things do work out, you've got the rest of your lives together to explore restaurants.



                  Greg, zero and Standard hit it on the head for me -- I rarely go to dinner with a girl that I haven't already spent some good time with. I typically date girls from my extended friend group... friends of friends, etc. I usually have a pretty good idea of who she is and what she's all about before even planning a group social event with her directly. By the time there's any one-on-one planning, I already know that I'm pretty sure I like her, and if I'm not going in blind, hopefully know she has some interest in me.



                    @Standard_Deviance: While that sounds like a good idea, the problem I have is that most first dates for me are done on weekday nights (wed/thurs night) after work around 7pm or so. That means neither of us have had dinner, and will both be starving.

                    Any suggestion for ways around this? The one thing I've done is to simply say that I'm working late, and then meet them at like 8:00 or something. It's still weird to communicate to them that you are only doing drinks and not food though.



                      Wow. I would like to respectfully ask any one of you to take me on a date. Greg has offered in the past, but the trip didn't materialize.



                        Seems fine to me. I haven't really done much (read: any) dating in my life, but seems like nothing wrong with spending $100. I'd probably go for some variety, both in type of dates and in budgets, but it seems worth it to me to spend that money. I'll hopefully get more enjoyment out of that $100 than I would out of a new shirt or something.

                        That said, if we're on the topic of first dates, how do you guys feel about sports games as a first date? (Obviously with dinner or dessert afterwards) I'm considering doing that in a few weeks. I'm already good friends with the girl, so I think something casual like this would remove some of the awkwardness of a date with a friend, but I'm also worried it too difficult to talk/flirt.

                        And a second question, I feel like I'm at a big disadvantage here. Most of you guys are mentioning drinks as your go-to first date (or a part of a dinner date). Any suggestions for those of us who don't drink and/or aren't of age?



                          It has been already said but I'll say it again:

                          Spend as much as you can comfortably but if she doesn't even offer to cover her part by the second-third date - run away from her! Trust me, you don't want to be with a girl like that. All of my girls offered (or even insisted) to pay for their dinners from the very fist date.



                            Here's a list of the dates I did with the last girl I was with (~ 3-4 months)

                            1. Screwtop - small wine bar - drinks and appetizers - probably $60

                            2. Portrait Gallery jazz night and board games (free) + dinner at Jaleo ($90?) + drinks at Poste (outdoor hotel bar, she paid)

                            3. Georgetown - french market (free), JPauls for dinner ($80-$90?), movie (she paid), mr smiths for drinks (she paid)

                            4. Torpedo Factory (free) + Mai Thai ($40) + Virtue feed and grain bar for drinks and pool (she paid)

                            5. Movie at her place / cards ( free )

                            6. Jazz in the garden (free) + Oyamel dinner ($80?) + 18th st lounge for drinks (she paid)

                            7. BBQ party (free)

                            8. Artomatic (free) / Tios mexican for dinner ($70?) / Evening star for drinks board games (she paid)

                            9. matchbox for dinner ($70?) / bowling (damn expensive) / passenger - cocktails for drinks (she paid)

                            10. 4th of july / cafe asia for dinner ($40?) / fireworks at iwo jima (free)

                            11. Pizza / drinks at Rustico ($50)

                            I'm probably underestimating some of the dinner tabs - pretty sure a few were closer to $100. Just trying to show that I try to mix in a lot of free events, but even with her picking up the drinks after dinner it still gets a little pricey.



                              As far as women paying, I think they should offer at some point in the first three dates, but as long as you can afford to, pay for her anyways and thank her for offering.

                              I think picnics or wine in the park are awesome dates (though I would note you should avoid asking her on a first date that requires her getting in a bathing suit. It is generally too forward and gives the underlying sense that you want to see them in their skivvies too soon):

                              "Thunderball" (Don't bring a harpoon though)

                              "An Education"

                              "Mad Men"

                              "The American"




                                @zero: That all sounds great to me.

                                I'm a big believer that weekday nights are better than weekend nights for dates... slightly less pressure + nobody feels like they're missing out on one of the big going out nights + you're breaking up the monotony of both your work weeks.

                                I also think it's a good call to telling her you can't meet til 8 or whenever. I don't, however, think you need to frame it as an excuse (ie, "I would meet at 7, but drat, I can't"), whatever the excuse. Just tell her this time and place and activity is what you had in mind. If you're expected to plan the date, the benefit is that you get to set the terms. Don't tell her why you're setting them the way you are. If something doesn't work for her, she'll let you know.

                                @th: I'd really only take a sports fan to a sports game on a first date. Even then, I'd prefer something else. But if you're friends already, I think that should make it work better (a sports game is *very* casual and familiar, which might not work w/ a stranger). It also sounds like you're younger, so you can pull off that level of informality much easier.

                                The good thing about a sports game is it's easy as hell to talk during it and yet, when you're not talking, you have something natural to occupy you (watching) and not make the silences awkward. Imo, a sports date works best w/ a non-sports fan if you've been dating a decent bit, she knows you're into sport/team X, and you take her there and try to get her excited about the team/game, she gets to joke w/ you about how none of it makes sense, what a dork you are, etc. In other words, kind of as an ironic date in which you play off the fact that you know this isn't her fantasy date but it therefore means you know she likes you enough to express interest in this passion of yours. If that makes sense.