Dear Sasha: Answering Your Most Private Dating Questions –- Coupons on Dates?

  • Posted on: January 18th, 2013 by

Man Paying Bill

Dear Sasha,
I recently went out with a guy that used coupons to pay for our dinner.
It was our first date. I was a bit turned off. Am I being too judgmental?

To coupon or not?

Dear Groupon Griper-

Yes, you’re being too judgmental!

I don’t know if you’ve heard about this or not, but we’re in the midst of a little something you could call The New Depression. That fiscal cliff everyone was freaking out about which we supposedly didn’t go over? Most folks plummeted off it like a drunk man in a barrel joyriding over Niagara Falls several years ago.

You should be happy your date took you to a meal at all. In this day and age, it would be perfectly reasonable to suggest enjoying a nice free walk during the getting-to-know-you portion of courtship. Like most people, this poor guy is probably scraping to get by, but he dug you enough to throw down some scrilla and take you out like a lady. So what if he was looking for a discount? Just be grateful he didn’t ask you to go Dutch.

Dating is expensive, especially if a man wants to make a strong impression. But, more often than not, that money might as well be served in a cream sauce along side your baked potato because it’s totally wasted on a first outing.

In fatter times, one of my best friends took a woman to dinner at a fancy, stylish LA restaurant and dropped two hundred dollars on their first date. And they never went out again! He wasn’t into her, she wasn’t into him, but he wanted to save face and show her a good time, and she wanted to be wined and dined for a night. One insurance policy payment and a month’s worth of gas money later, they parted ways as slightly more familiar strangers. That’s just wasteful.

I think your date sounds savvy and responsible for having the forethought to make sure he could show you a good time without living on ramen for the rest of the month. What I wonder is why you needed him to lavish you with money and attention? If you have a good time with someone, it shouldn’t matter where they take you, be it a four star restaurant or Dennys. It’s about the time together, not the final tally on the check.


  • 100% with you there Sasha. The fact he is paying at all is pretty impressive in this economy.  Maybe he’s only working part time?  Maybe he’s interning?  Maybe his job is on the line and he had debt hanging over him?  Whatever the situation you can’t judge him on that criteria at this time.  Plus what does money have to do with love anyway?  If you love someone it should never be for their wealth or assets.  It should always be based on whether you love them for who they are not what they are.  To badly paraphrase Martin Luther King “I dream of a day when I will be judged by the content of my character not by the color of my green.”

    Start as you mean to go on I say.  If he’s hard up at the moment better its right there on the table from the start.  If you expect to be treated differently then he’s not the guy for you but for what it’s worth it would not be offputting for me.  In fact its quite sweet.  It’s the gesture that counts.


  • ms_anthro

    I have to disagree. There’s no reason a first date has to be dinner. If the guy is strapped for cash, why not suggest meeting for coffee or just a glass of wine? Or something more creative, like hot chocolate over ice skating, or an ice cream on the beach? I would be completely turned off if a guy used coupons to pay for a date, and it’s not because I’m a materialistic person (I’m quite capable of paying my own way, thank you very much, and I always offer to go dutch on first dates). It’s cheap and tacky. Save the coupon dates for later in the relationship unless you’re dating a tax attorney or accountant or similar–someone who might find your, ahem…frugality…more refreshing than miserly.

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer Kelton CEO / founder LLC is a Los Angeles native and a pioneer in the worldwide dating industry, investigating the game of love while providing encouragement and support since 2007, starting with the acclaimed dating book Don’t Use My Sweater like a Towel. An accomplished CEO, visionary and entrepreneur, Kelton’s work in the […]

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