Love in the Time of Layoff: 5 Dating Tips for the Recession

by Laura Rich on May 28, 2009 in Lifestyle

romance date dinner man woman 150First dates at Le Cirque and second dates in St. Barth’s are out (for me, and maybe you, they were never in, but you get the point). Everyone’s feeling pressure on their wallets, and so for a lot of folks, that means pressure on the dating budget. What are the dating experts advocating in the downturn?

Mainly: Be cheap and be wary. Be very wary.

We don’t really agree with the sentiment of “being cheap” – no one should blow their wad on a few casual dates, of course, but a relationship is an investment and “being cheap” might not be a great way to start. But who are we to say?

Here’s how the pros see it:

* Curb your dating. According to dating expert David Wygant, there are some compulsive daters out there. Now’s the time to get some help – “Dating is not about getting a free meal (and an expensive freel meal at that). Dating is about connecting with somebody so that together you can figure out what do next.” (David Wygant)

* Make it a potluck. Instead of going to a restaurant to be surrounded by other diners, invite friends and family to dine in your home, and make them bring something.  (

* Cry “women’s lib.” Guys, save a few bucks by letting your gals pay. This is only a big deal for guys who see such a move as “a blow to our pride if the woman takes the lead financially.” Bonus: “There’s no reason to keep reassuring her that you will pay next time.” Classy! (

* No bailouts. Apparently, romantic partners are regular targets for co-signing and making loans – on the first date! (Who knew?) Don’t do it, says Wygant. “You are not a charity. This is just a first (or second or third) date.” (David Wygant)

* Make “dating” a budget line on “If you spend too much on dinner, Wells Fargo will send you a text letting you know – and then you can plan the rest of the night accordingly.” How romantic! (FiLife)

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