Love isn't cheap, especially for men in the beginning.
Drinks, dinners, experiences, tickets, etc. all add up to be quite an expense. Men are still generally expected to pay for at least the first date, and depending on the guy, possibly the next few ones as well.
Although the costs usually get split as a relationship develops, it still leaves quite a hefty toll on your wallet.
You don't need to go all out and plan a lavish dinner because it's the thought that counts, not the materialistic value of the date.
There are plenty of ways to get to know or even WOW someone that don't involve a fancy dinner or the full red-carpet treatment.
Dating is all about creating experiences and spending quality time together. Crafting a unique and thoughtful date will "make the man feel like a gentleman without the woman thinking he's a cheap guy," says Julie Spira, Dating Expert and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert.
So if you are strapped for cash or just looking for some fun date ideas that don't break the bank (while still looking like a gentleman and earning major brownie points), here are seven budget-friendly date ideas.
1. Be Active.
Go on a hike or walk around town and sweat a little bit together.
Get to know if your date has a sense of exploration and doesn't mind letting her hair down all in the name of fun.
2. Be Creative.
Spend some time finding free activities or exhibits around town. Find a free museum exhibit and go for a walk around the city and stop for a coffee or treat along the way.
3. Act Like A Kid.
We all had so much fun going bowling, mini golfing, go-karting and ice-skating as a kid, so why not relive those experiences with someone you care about? Let out your inner child and enjoy some friendly competition.
4. Be An Urban Explorer.
Pass through a local farmers market or pack a picnic lunch at a park or the beach and enjoy some time outdoors. Take pride in preparing a meal together while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
5. Go Dancing.
Whether it's salsa or a swing class, dancing presents "plenty of opportunity for leading, touching, high energy and if you're bad at conversation, the music will help cover those awkward pauses," says Dan Silverman, The Miami Matchmaker and Dating Coach.
6. Cook Together.
Going out to eat often gets really pricey. Instead, invite your date to cook and eat together. Go to the market and pick out ingredients together and plan out the menu.
Cooking is probably not the best option on a first date, but cooking together is a fun way to learn if you can work together to create something delicious!
7. Be Helpful.
Get to know the person you are dating by doing some do-good and feel-good activities.
Head over to a food bank, serve meals at a homeless shelter, read stories to kids at a hospital and show your sensitive side.
Most importantly, remember what really matters. Do stuff you enjoy and be yourself as she is not looking to date some guy you are trying to be... she wants to date you.
Date nights are about one thing: getting to know the other person. Money doesn't need to be a driving force behind that.