There’s a lot to think about before a first date. It’s your first impression, your chance to shine. What do you wear? Where do you go? What base do you reach? All legitimate questions which have answers you’ll either live to be pleased with, or ultimately regret.
The same applies to how much money you spend on it too, particularly if you’ve never met your first date before. Apps such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish have almost eliminated the need to meet someone in person and chances are, if you’re reading this for tips, the first date you’re due to go on you’ll have probably never met.
Which means one thing, you’ve no idea whether you’re actually going to like this person. So how much do you spend? You run the risk of this person being the worst person you’ve ever met (although we’d hope not, they must have seemed pretty cool on Tinder, right?) or the greatest person that has ever entered your life – the one! It’s risky business.
Which is why there are a few key tricks to making sure your date runs smoothly and you know exactly how much to spend…
If you’ve been chatting for a while and you’ve discussed nights out, places you’ve eaten before, you’ll have a pretty good idea where your potential partner might fancy going. The same applies if you met this out and about in the first place. If you have talked about the swanky cocktail bars they go to, probably best not to check out the local dive bar.
Equally, if you met in the local indie bar, don’t get them dolled up for a night of champagne and caviar.
Yes, you may want to impress, but don’t go all out and leave no cash for a second date!
You don’t want to be spending the rest of a month waiting for your paycheck and eating tins of soup because you had a real blow out on your first date. Know your bank balance, know your budget, and also check out whether you can benefit from this date. Your credit card may give you rewards or cash back for spending in restaurants for example. You’ll find plenty of information on that at sites such as moneyunder30.com and it’s well worth checking out if it’ll save you a little more on that first date.
Also, if there have been any signs in your date’s financial situation, do take that into account. It can often put them in an awkward situation if they don’t necessarily have the money to be buying rounds in a cocktail bar or going halves in a Michelin-starred restaurant. It can really spoil a vibe and no matter how much we try, money matters and it can make us feel uncomfortable.
We all like to be wined and dined in the swishiest of restaurants and there’s no doubt a trip to the fanciest place in town will impress. But it also sets a precedent. Don’t set the bar too high and build up to the expensive stuff. A first date isn’t about showing off the latest wine bar, it’s about getting to know one another.
A first date should ultimately be a casual, inexpensive, relaxed affair that allows you both to get to know each other and decide whether it’s a good fit. You really don’t need a roast pheasant with a fancy jus to tell you that.
It’s difficult to put a definitive budget on a first date. After all, everyone gets paid differently. But spending within your means – and your dates – will make for a relaxed atmosphere where you can get a firm grip on whether things are going to go further. Of course, there’s no harm in buying yourself some nice new threads to impress that way!