The idea of a picture perfect date might conjure up images of a posh restaurant, wine glasses and exotic food. But when you live in a city like Mumbai, you know that it comes with a humongous price tag. With prices of movie tickets soaring and dinners costing a bomb, dating could turn into financial doom for many couples.
So how do you make a good impression and yet so easy on the spending? It isn’t easy at all.
Twenty-four-year old marketing professional Arjun Bedi (name changed) reveals that he’s had bad experiences with girls who demanded way too much.
"It’s so frustrating because you don’t want to look like a cheapskate, and at the same, you don’t want to invest so much money on a date with someone you have just met!" he says. "Often, I have suggested eating at local restaurants or going to a good play, but that doesn’t seem to go down too well."
Women will tell you that men can be just as bad. Twenty-two-year old content writer Disharee Bose says her ex-boyfriend lived off her for a year.
"He’d make me pay for everything, from dinners to phone bills. I realised this guy was not only leeching on my money, but also messing with my head."
However, actor Imran Khan who dated his wife Avantika for eight years before they married last year, says the issue of money can easily be controlled.
"It’s really about balancing your costs. You would spend the same amount of money if you were out with your friends instead of your girlfriend. But remember not to deny her of special gifts or surprises occasionally — that’s what you do for people you love," he says.
If you are an enterprising person, you will find ways to cut your costs. For instance, at the end of the month when he’d be slightly tight on his budget, Christopher Isaac would take his girlfriend out for a drive or cook for her, on the pretext of ‘doing something new’. "You save a lot of money and also have a good time," he says.
Since an expensive date does not always guarantee a good time, don’t be afraid to take chances.
Save bucks, date here:
1 Cook a special dinner at home for your partner
2 Sit by the beach and chat
3 Go for a long drive/bike ride
4 Go for a late night ice-cream
5 Give pubs a miss, hit a rustic dhaba instead
6 Go to a bookstore and spend time discussing favourite reads
7 Rent movies and have a private screening at home
8 Go for free film screenings
9 Stroll in a mall
Try these, at your own risk:
1 Attend book launches with free wine-n-cheese gatherings
2 Go for art exhibitions
3 Chat at public parks or on local trains