The crumbling economy has definitely put a major cramp in the social lives of many (read: the author of this article). We suffer from the pains of fluctuating gas prices, the hassle of finding the perfect outfit on a budget and the consequential inflation of cover charges and other expenses. In turn, many people have started sacrificing the much-needed night on the town for sitting at home, twiddling their thumbs and mumbling about the aches of boredom. However, some manage to see the beauty of the recession in that it breeds creativity. A new approach to minimalism in terms of navigating through the social scene with limited finances is also touching daters.
Now, as women, the last thing we want to hear from a guy is, I don’t have much money, but I’d like to go out. We’d much rather stay unaware of the fact that the guy we’re seeing is financially strapped. We’d prefer to think that our potential or current partner is impervious to the hardships tackling us all. In fact, it’s much easier to walk around in ignorant bliss, purchasing fancy five-course meals, attending shows and taking semi-lavish trips (while diving in debt). But it’s time to face the facts. Folks are suffering and being socially active certainly isn’t as important as handling basic essentials. Cutting down on entertainment expenditures doesn’t have to mean skimping on the fun.
Enter recession-proof dating, a financially savvy way to enjoy the company of your significant other.
First off, too much emphasis is placed on the date itself. The outfit you wear on the date. The quality of the place you go on said date. The total dollar amount spent on the date. In the midst of all the hype of the outing, details about the conversation and chemistry seem secondary in many cases. Recession-proof dating forces us to focus on people-to-people connections and pay attention to our personal desires.
When we concentrate on what we truly enjoy vs. what the masses are doing or say we should do, we may just find that dating comes easier and becomes more affordable. This means including our love interests in the things we take pleasure in rather than splurging on what the majority says a date should be. Ditch the fancy dinners for cooking your favorite meal. Skip the new release in the theatres with overpriced movie treats and share your favorite flick with your mate. Forget about paying too much for drinks at the bar where you’ll have to compete for conversation space and share a bottle of wine at the park.
Two avid readers can go on a city-wide tour of independently-owned bookstores in a hunt for literary gems. Music lovers can dig through the crates of record stores and share fond memories involving rare tracks and long-forgotten releases. Volunteers can express their mutual concern for their community by participating in various causes in their area. Wine connoisseurs can introduce their date to their world by attending free wine tastings. These outings can result in learning more about one another and possibly making tangible purchases worth your dime. Besides, there’s nothing worse than wrapping up a date and realizing you spent unnecessary money on items you can hardly account for.
The concept of recession-proof dating is closely related to the classic Nappy Roots track, “Ballin’ On A Budget.” Well, in theory at least. It’s about enjoying yourself without making it painfully obvious that you’re working on a limited money supply. Most importantly, it’s about late night movie marathons at home, free art shows, enjoying nature, sharing hobbies and engaging in other activities that emphasize quality time.
Even before the recession and pending depression, finances or lack thereof have put a strain on romantic relationships due to a culture of excessive consumerism. We’re all aware that the divorce rate is beyond ridiculous and that many people with failed marriages can point to money as the main cause of their marital downfall. By starting off with a recession-proof date plan, a couple can build a solid connection based on a realistic vision of their financial situation, capitalizing on their personal interests.
One may find that coming up with quirky, money-saving dates will enhance the excitement of budding and established relationships.