Here’s the foolproof way (i.e. not at all foolproof) to not be taken for a ride while trying to get the ride on a date:
You aren’t rich
You might be one of the few college students that this doesn’t apply to, so my advice is to throw this newspaper in the nearest bin. Or if you’re reading online, throw you’re laptop in the bin. Just continue living life the way you have been. You’re already a winner, champ.
If you aren’t rich and still want to go on a nice romantic rendezvous, start by asking your date where they would like to go and when they say “oh I don’t really mind” ask them again. If that fails, choose one of the many nice, cheap restaurants in town. Let’s face it, if you got this date on your last visit to Coppers, Marco Pierre White’s for a steak dinner is too much of a leap forward on the cost/commitment scale.
It doesn’t have to be for food and it doesn’t even have to be in the evening. Day dates and coffee dates are cost-effective. The cinema is not a good option for a first date though.
Don’t feel pressured into paying for everything. Sure, you asked them out on a date but they said yes and isn’t that a fifty per cent stake in the endeavor? You can buy as much as you want but don’t be afraid to play up the poor student act. Maybe every second drink is a bit much to expect on a first date but it shows a lot about the person when they even offer to put their hand in their pocket. It shows that they are think you too are worth the investment.
A relationship should cost time, not money. You shouldn’t be broke just because you have a girl/boyfriend.
Finally, if you find yourself in a situation where you think the only option you have to entertain or impress your date is with displays of riches, then ask yourself is that truly a relationship that you want to sustain?