Column: The right price to treat a date

Column: The right price to treat a date

By Julia Gall

Two weekends ago, my roommate had a “guy friend” stay over. I had was gone for the weekend and when I came back, she sat me down and told me the horrific details of her weekend-long disaster of a date. I felt that it was my moral duty to retell her story in hopes that no guy will ever again commit such a faux pas.

Let me make it clear that I dislike cheap people. There’s being thrifty, which is sacrificing things you don’t necessarily need to spend money on, or finding less expensive options for something. And then there’s cheap, which is the blatant refusal to do anything that involves money and then, of course, complaining about it. There’s a definite difference there and “cheap” is not a quality I’d want in anyone I surround myself with. I’m not saying that guys or my friends have to splurge on food or anything else all of the time. We’re all college students here, but you shouldn’t be afraid to splurge a little on special occasions, like dates.

My roommate met this guy last year through a friend who came to visit from another school. They hit it off really well the one night they hung out together. They kept in touch and talked to each other pretty much daily either online or on the phone.

He was planning on coming to visit her over a weekend when he had a break. It would be the first time they saw each other since they met, so they were both very excited. He told her that it would be the most romantic weekend and that she could plan everything: where she wanted to go to dinner, and what they would do during the day. He told her that the sky was the limit for this weekend.

But suffice to say, the weekend wasn’t what had been promised.

This guy not only complained the entire time they were out to dinner about the prices of the restaurant, but also decided it was acceptable to tally up his monthly expenses on the back of the check he was filling out. Seriously, who does that?

Needless to say, it was not a great weekend. I found his behavior so appalling not only because it was a serious lack of manners, but it made my roommate feel uncomfortable. Any guy who claims to like a girl as much as he claimed to like her wouldn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable.

Now my advice to guys out there is this: don’t be cheap. If you can’t afford to take a girl out to dinner at the moment, why not cook for her? I guarantee she’d appreciate the effort. Or, instead, pick out a restaurant that is within your budget. Boston offers plenty of interesting and affordable options for dining; it’s just a matter of looking for them. Try looking on www.menupages.com, which offers listings of more than a thousand restaurants in Boston and is divided by type of food. It doesn’t take very long, and laziness is no excuse not to take a girl out within your budget.

Dinner is not your only option either. Renting a movie or going for a walk around the Boston Common are extremely inexpensive and still appropriate dates by my standards. It’s all a matter of being creative!

Bottom line is, if you really like a girl, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to take her out. There are many other options out there. If you use your creativity, she’s sure to be flattered by the gesture. Spending a little extra can go a long way.

– Julia Gall can be reached at [email protected]

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