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coupon on first date

I was out with a gf for dinner this week and I happened to have a coupon for a free entree which we used. Anyhow we got to talking about whether using a coupon on a FIRST date in a restaurant would be tacky.

So would you? If you are a guy and inviting a lady out, or as a women bringing a coupon with you if you knew where he was taking you? (Either way if the date is going Dutch or the guy is going to pay).

Or is it the height of tackiness?

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  1. On the rare occasions when l have a coupon and this situation comes up, l ask my date her feelings. If she has no worries, l go for it. No one has said no yet, nor subsequently learned they meant yes but said no either. Granted only used it three times.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      I have. And if I were paying I certainly would not ask for my date's feelings on this, just as I would not ask if she minded the fact that I'm earning Open Table points or 11 miles for every dollar spent. She might never even know about most of these. If these things are a big deal for her and she finds coupons tacky, than we have more problems than a little coupon and it won't last long.

      I think that if a date felt I took her to a place only for the discount, she's reading way too much into it. Could be I think it's great AND I've a coupon. Big leap to presume my motives only on a first date. Give me a chance to show what I am made of?

      And any date who believed I didn't think she was "worth paying full price": what is the commodity being bought and paid for, the restaurant's product or my date?

    2. I wouldn't say it's tacky per se, but if I were being taken out on a first date and my date, who was paying, presented a coupon, I would feel like it sends the message that he didn't think I was worth paying full price, and possibly only took me to that particular establishment so he could get a discount on a meal. Not a good foot to start off with if you ask me.

      9 Replies
      1. re: rockandroller1

        I would say the message is that this is a guy who isn't foolish with his money and isn't out to stupidly impress. I'd say this would be a clue that he had the potential to be a "keeper." But his actions perhaps aren't compatible with YOUR spending philosophy. Best for each of you to find that out in the beginning.

        1. re: c oliver

          I think it really depends on what a guy is looking for in a girl. I would take your view because I'm more of a feminist and am not that impressed by guys who think they need to blow a lot of money on me on a first date. Other girls may expect that and will be put off by a guy who uses a coupon.

          That said, if a guy picks a crappy restaurant just to use a coupon, then I would probably be turned off. I don't want to go to Chili's just because there is a 2 for 1 special.

          1. re: queencru

            This is not first date behavior. Later on if you have a relationship, okay.

            1. re: queencru

              I think you and I said the same thing :) I'm an old feminist (62yo) and put aside that foolishness decades ago. Okay also for the "little woman" to do the asking, pay and use a coupon. Thought those stereotypes were long dead.

              I like your second paragraph also. My 88 yo MIL, who has never had to scrimp in her life, will invariably pull out a coupon when she want to take US out to eat. And then we wind up at one of those chains. 'Course when WE'RE paying the skies the limit :)

          2. re: rockandroller1

            "I would feel like it sends the message that he didn't think I was worth paying full price"

            It IS tacky to use coupons, although everyone wants a bargain or a deal (freebies/samples/other items with purchase for cosmetics!). That said, I've often gone Dutch on my first dates, not believing that I ever needed to be paid for, full price or otherwise.

            If a coupon or discount card was being used (American Airlines had one system which was very convenient--the 15-30% discount would be reimbursed to the card and no one ever knew), it should be done discretely. Just as the check folder should not be flashed around the table so the date knows how much the meal actually cost and how much of a tip has been given--that to me is actually tackier than using a discount card or coupon; I've never gone on second dates with these men.

            But I do agree with C Oliver that if this is a potential issue between the 2 parties, it's better to find out earlier than later.

            1. re: Caralien

              Hmm, seems to me I've been in situations, not necessarily dates, in which the tip was discussed, and I felt fine about it. I honestly can't recall the specifics, but if something has happened that makes a bigger or smaller tip seem appropriate, I don't see why one couldn't/shouldn't say something about it.
              Choosing the restaurant because one has a coupon there, or because it's generally cheap--bad. Going to a good restaurant and happening to have a coupon--good. In my book anyway.
              What about going to happy hour together? Seems to me that's a perfectly normal first date meet up, but the whole point of happy hour is cheap drinks. Should suitors wait until 7 or 8 or whenever the happiness ends to pay full price?
              Leonardo, you're wickedly funny and right on target in asking what's being paid for anyway.

              1. re: saacnmama

                I think the point of doing happy hour as a first date isn't the cheaper drinks, but the fact that meeting up for drinks requires less commitment than dinner, which makes it easier to bail if things aren't exactly magical.

                1. re: saacnmama

                  Saacn: No, I don't wait until HH is over. But I do insist upon paying full price if I am there during HH. Just so I don't appear cheap. Perish the thought.

                  Charmed: If the point is to meet up for just drinks, it being less of a commitment than dinner, it could be ANY time not just during HH.

                  1. re: Leonardo

                    Leonardo: ....yes, that's true. I'm not sure that it negates my statement that often the suggestion to "meet for drinks" (which often ends up being during happy hour) has more to do with having an "out" from a bad date than saving a buck or two.

            2. As someone who will be celebrating her 43th wedding anniversary, I don't have current dating insight. However, I'll pass along the way my husband and I handle dining out when we want to do things like buying a bottle of champagne for a group or paying for the meal in a situation where we anticipate debate over who will pick up the check -- and we want to win the debate.

              In the case of champagne, we buy the wine in advance via a phone call. In the case of picking up the tab, my husband or I will excuse ourselves and settle the bill before it is ever brought to the table. (We've also made our intentions known to the restaurant via an advance phone call so our plan isn't done in by a too-speedy waiter.)

              In the OP's specific situation, I recommend he excuse himself, find the manager/waiter and present the coupon in a private setting. I don't see the need for the OP to settle the bill in private, although he/she might ask the waiter to avoid stapling the coupon to the bill until afterwards, if such a step is necessary. The advantage to my strategy is that the coupon has already been factored in when the bill is brought to the table. Potential tackiness avoided. Money saved.

              1. First date is to try and impress and not the time to to make her think she's a cheap date. Surely aren't going to gain any style points using a coupon under any circumstances on a first date.

                Here's a funny first date experience. First date I invited a girl to a fund raiser with a couple hundred people and we agreed to meet at the event. I didn't remember what she looked like (all Asians look alike?).....luckily she remembered what I looked like and she found me among all the people.

                9 Replies
                1. re: monku

                  Forget the coupons... your comment that all Asians look alike is the height of tackiness! (and not at all a "funny first date experience")

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    I'm Asian I can say it and get away with it.

                    1. re: monku

                      Context, my friend. Context.

                      Mr Taster

                        1. re: c oliver

                          My Asian wife says all us hakujin's look the same...lol

                          1. re: Servorg

                            No comment........I might get slammed again.

                            1. re: monku

                              You can always monku about it to your SO... ;-D>

                              1. re: Servorg

                                You must have a JA wife?
                                Is that how you spell hakujin ?

                                1. re: monku

                                  She is actually half Korean and half Japanese. And I think that's the spelling.

                2. I think the subject of money is awkward period on a first date. I do not care if a guy uses a coupon as long as we had gone to a nice place, we had a fabulous time and he uses it discreetly. That is far better than the bill sitting in the middle of the table for 20 minutes. For the poster who says she wants her date to pay full price because she is worth it- in these economic times I just find that a bit troubling, Even if you are on a date with a doctor, lawyer, etc...you do not possibly know their economic situation. And I know we hate to think about it but what if in the quest to find Ms Right he had been on a lot of previous dates- all with women who expect "full price"? The reality is also something we should consider. While "romantic" for a first date, if you are with someone fiscally irresponsible who spends more money than he has to impress people....is that someone you really want to marry?

                  1. jfood can only respond as if little jfood asked.

                    Jfood thinks it does not show a good sign if the guy pays with a coupon on a first date. As an ego thing as a dad, jfood would think, "heh, little jfood isn;t worth full freight?" If he is trying to impress with a higher end place by using a coupon, not a good sign. If looking to just make ends meet in this economy, well OK.

                    It is probably a demerit on the jfood advice scale to little jfood, but if they had a good time, chalk it up to experience and see how it works. If this continues, probably not a good indication of a long term relationship, but maybe a good friend.

                    1. On our first date my SO (weve together 2 1/2 years now) used a coupon and then we split the rest. We are both adults (mid-20s). I have to say using the coupon was one of the things that endeared me to him, it showed we have the same values and also showed he was comfortable with me. I told my mom about it after and she agreed he was a keeper.

                      1. There is a gender-reversed scenario that is somewhat similar and which got to me twice. I paid cash for a nice first date meal for two, and as we were leaving she secreted away the little receipt. Not only wasn't a free meal sufficient, she was looking to profit from it via an unearned tax deduction.
                        No second dates for those two.

                        1. Been off the dating scene for many years, but I think that it would be tacky. Of course, you could use the coupon as an excuse to have a date in the first place, as in "I have this discount coupon to a restaurant that I've always wanted to try- would you like to go with me?"... If it was out in the open from the start, then no worries.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Clarkafella

                            This would be my tactic. If this was a problem for said date, then too bad for her. I also agree that Chili's or Applebee's isn't the place for this and neither is some high end place. But a nice family owned mid range price place is fine. It's about the company after all.

                            As for those who feel it's a "I'm not worth full price" thing. Get over yourselves. I'd be more than happy to spend my evening with someone who thought me interesting enough to do so with. Would you rather your date use a 2 - 4- 1 at a nice restaurant and have a great meal or have them pay full freight at TGI McScrappy's??

                            Both Mrs. Sippi and I believe that this situation has to be taken on a per instance basis and not as a general rule.

                            DT

                            1. re: Davwud

                              Very true, company, and who cares if you get a free appetizer, it depends on the circumstance. Besides, go out to another place and use the money saved for a couple of drinks or a movie or a special desert. If they worry about that, I think there is a lot more to worry about later on.

                              Just enjoy the night.

                            2. I would just reply if he was paying, hey I have a coupon for this, want to try an appetizer. I wouldn't have any problem and most guys I don't think would find it offense it you offered. Just be tasteful and suggest it. But not insisting. I think it is a nice gesture for a guy or a girl.

                              1. I don't think there's any one answer fits all situations. If it's a first date for the purpose of getting to know the other person a little, then I think it's definitely a no-no. Don't even talk about it. If it's a "first date" with someone you know, then you probably already have a few clues so follow your instincts. But if she suddenly tells you she forgot she has an appointment with her dog groomer that evening, you can pretty much assume you goofed.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  Ok ... have to remember the dog groomer story :)

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    No I didn't "goof". Using coupons is something I do. I'm not going to apologize for it or be ashamed and hide that side of myself to impress someone whose values I clearly do not share. If I learn this about her up front, so much the better. Next.

                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                      I think it is fine, you or she offers, who cares. You can spend the money elsewhere and enjoy your date. What is the big problem.

                                      1. re: Leonardo

                                        I meant "goofed" in HER opinion. Not necessarily yours! You're right. It's best to find out about things that are important to you early on. "She," whoever she may be, would probably feel the same. I think this is a question that may evoke differing answers according to the respondent's age.

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          I don't really think age is a factor. I know some younger women who are very traditional in their values, wanting the white picket fence and family by age 30, while I know plenty of older women who are happily single and don't want any guy to take care of them. I think it just depends on a woman's values and what she is looking for in a relationship. I would really be put off if a guy spent a lot of money to wine and dine me on the first date because I am more of a feminist who does not want someone to take care of me.

                                          1. re: queencru

                                            The reason I mentioned age as being a possible influence is because when I was first dating, "nice" restaurants had two sets of menus: one that had no prices for ladies, one that had prices for the gentleman. Then, to top that off, our mentors (mentoresses?) advised us to make selections from the less expensive choices. Life was a puzzlement!

                                            But I also very much enjoy the single life. Not so much from not wanting someone to take care of me but more from the viewpoint of not being required to take care of someone else. "Honey while you're up, would you make me a panini sandwich with grilled avocados with ham and brie and bring me a beer? And is there any of that chocolate tort left?" Sheesh. I really did want to see the rest of that TV special, you know! '-)

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              I do think age is a valid influence on this question. When my SO and I first started going out (19 years ago this week), we were both poor undergrads. Although neither of us presented a coupon on the first date, I think each of us would have been relieved if the other did! And coupons, splitting appetizers for dinner, buying each other cheap desserts of Stan's donuts and Diddy Riese cookies in Westwood were common as the dates continued.

                                            2. re: queencru

                                              Why are being a feminist and being taken out to dinner mutually exclusive?

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                I never said they were. I just said that certain personality types are more likely to judge a guy because he uses a coupon. Each person has different values and some would not be impressed by being taken to an extravagant restaurant, while others might be discouraged by coupon use. I am not going to judge a guy because he decides to be frugal. I dated guys when I was younger who were traditional and insisted on paying, but after the first date they couldn't afford to go out and we couldn't go anywhere. That's not the type of relationship I am interested in having. If a guy is not well off financially, he should be paying within his means, even on the first date.

                                                1. re: queencru

                                                  Sorry, jfood must have misunderstaood your statement "I would really be put off if a guy spent a lot of money to wine and dine me on the first date because I am more of a feminist who does not want someone to take care of me."

                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    I should probably explain myself a little better. When I was in my early 20s, I dated a few traditional guys who felt like they had to pay for every date. They'd take me out for a first date to a reasonably nice place, but after that they couldn't afford anything. I would offer to pay or split the bill just so we could leave the house, but these guys flat out refused and said we couldn't go out unless they could pay the full bill.

                                                    I've also dated guys who were the opposite and demanded we split the bill 50/50 every time even though I was clearly in worse off financial circumstances and ordered to reflect my ability to pay. I Caralien makes a good point that a good relationship (be it a friendship or dating relationship) takes into account what both sides can pay.

                                                    1. re: queencru

                                                      Thanks Q. The wonderful mrs jfood sits to my right as i type almost 29 years after they split a turkey sandwich over the sink ontheir first date. jfood could not even afford the coupon. And the coupon was very integral in their first few years. Mt Fuji Tapenaki for 410.95 buy one get 1 was the only place they could afford.

                                                      So yes relationshipsa re abased on a lot of mutuality.

                                                      Ciao

                                                2. re: jfood

                                                  "Why are being a feminist and being taken out to dinner mutually exclusive?"

                                                  They aren't. And many feminists are happy people, including happily married ones like myself.

                                                  If the male (or female) considers a potential mate based on what can/ought to be purchased at a certain price--the highest cost being determined the worthiest--well, that's something I've never subscribed to.

                                                  In the past, I've taken (male and female) friends and boyfriends out to dinner, and they've done the same for me. It was never 50/50, but based more on financial situations--we've all been through rough times. Do I like to be wined and dined? Of course! It's great when I haven't had to pick up the tab, but I don't expect it.

                                        2. obvious question #1. Why should the person being treated have any opinion or feeling about how the treating party is paying for the meal? Would it be ok if you made a judgement based on the person using an AMEX vs. Cash?

                                          obvious question #2. Like Leonardo said above, if "paying full rate" is what is expected on a first date, what is being purchased? the meal or something else.....?

                                          obvious question #3. why do so many people read so many things into the use of a coupon?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: nkeane

                                            Thanks nkeane. What difference does it make if I have a gift certificate, a comp dinner because they horribly screwed up last time, or I am bartering with them? Why does my date need to know or care about how/how much/form of payment/any discount applies to the meal?

                                            1. re: Leonardo

                                              Ohh, you just reminded me that the guy who turned into a screaming jerk as I left my last job is the same guy who I took out to eat as I was starting that job, in order to tell him thanks for helping me move in. The restaurant (there were very few in that mapdot) had messed up my order a week before, so I had a free meal coming, and used it then.
                                              I wonder if there's a connection. In any event, there were plenty of other signs in between that made it clear that we would work together as little and as frostily polite as possible.

                                              1. re: saacnmama

                                                hmmm, I'm a bit puzzled that Leonardo reminded you of that "screaming jerk" ??? All along, I've been impressed by Leonardo's confidence -- I found that most attractive!

                                          2. I'd be more concerned if my date wanted to dine early to make the "early bird" special.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              I think I would pass if they asked me that .... :)

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head. Is he/she just being cheap??

                                                DT

                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  Not necessarily being cheap -- if you're dining in a waterfront place during those months when the sun sets during early bird hours, you're in for a real treat! Some of these places let you order off the regular menu at a discounted price...it's not like they're serving you inferior food. Beautiful scenery, uncrowded, attentive service, really fresh food, and other diners may be seniors who've been married 40, 50, 60 years. It's not all bad. But as Veggo said it helps weed out the gold-diggers early.

                                                  1. re: neverlate

                                                    But you're not doing it to be cheap. You're doing it because you want the sunset. That's why I said in another post. There's no blanket rule for this.

                                                    DT

                                                    1. re: neverlate

                                                      Though probably getting off-topic for the coupon issue, we find ourselves availing ourselves of "sunset" dining, when at the appropriate resort, or location. Normally, we dine quite late, and for many years, this was still our habit. However, I now book, in the appropriate location, early and keep a link to sunset (for most places on Earth) times handy.

                                                      I do agree with Davwud, that we do it for the sunset, and not any discount. If there is a set "early bird menu," we usually do not bother, unless it realy catches our eye. I can only recall one time, where we actually accepted an early menu discount, but that was totally because of the menu.

                                                      BTW, we've been married for 38 years, so we're close! I never schedule due to discounts, have not used a coupon in decades, and actually have gift certificates expiring, as I type. Gotta' get cracking on that last bit though, as someone paid good money for these.

                                                      Hunt

                                                2. Hey it's money, I'd use it without feeling any guilt or tackiness.

                                                  1. Yes it's tacky. Use the coupon on some other occasion rather than a 1st dinner date.

                                                    10 Replies
                                                    1. re: dty

                                                      im sorry, but what is really tacky is making some sort of judgement about someone based on such sillyness. There are so many other, more worthy things to judge your date on!

                                                      funny story: I had a chef friend that I helped move some equipment for. He told me to come in and have dinner sometime on the house, as a token of his appriciation. So, I go in with a date(actually a 2nd date) and get the 5star treatment. She thought she was with royalty! should I have told her that I had to shleep a deep fryer and two coolers up a flight of stairs for this dinner? it gets so ridiculous when we start to parse what is/nt tacky or "proper". besides, I could use a coupon without anyone ever knowing anyways.......whatcha dont know, you cant get butthurt over, right?:-)

                                                      1. re: nkeane

                                                        Frugality is using the coupon to try out a restaurant. Cheapness and tackiness is when you use it on the first date. Just as I don't go on an interview in my flip flops, why should I ruin a first impression on using a coupon?

                                                        1. re: dty

                                                          Why/how would using a coupon "ruin a first impression"? Please get specific because I totally don't get it. If you went out to dinner for the first time with your next door neighbor and used a coupon, would THAT be tacky? Again, how/why?

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            With the understanding that the first date is potential for a future relationship...dinner with the neighbor is not. I have issues with frugality and it would be a deal breaker for me....just as if he smoked. If my neighbor smokes that is their issue. I'm not going to be intimate with them or potentially have a future with them.

                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                              The reality is some think it is tacky and some do not- as evidenced by this thread. While it could be argued either way on here, in the real world if you happen to be with someone who would see it as being tacky, chances are you wouldn't be able to have this discussion- you just wouldn't get a second date! Why take the chance just to prove a point?

                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                              Because usually first dates call for putting your best foot forward. So then what can I expect in the future? Only eating in restaurants when we have a coupon? Only buying generic brands at the supermarket? Never splurging on an expensive bottle of wine? Grocery store carnations instead of roses on our anniversary? Russell Stover's instead of my beloved (but more pricey) local hand-crafted chocolates?

                                                              BTW, all of this only applies to men with established careers. If the couple in question are young and struggling, or there were other extenuating circumstances, I'd be way more understanding. Broke is broke, ain't no way around it. But then I'd be just as charmed with a bottle of wine, a couple of candles, and take-out Chinese. It's not about the expensive dinner; it's about the message conveyed by using a coupon on a first date and setting a tone for the future.

                                                              And no, if a neighbor used a coupon when we went out to dinner, I wouldn't think that was tacky because I'm not looking at my neighbor as a potential life partner or mate. There is a big difference.

                                                              1. re: lisavf

                                                                Well said lisavf. And yes, there is a difference between young and struggling and well established. And it's about how someone makes you feel.

                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                I equate going out to dinner with a date/inviting guests over to my house for a meal with showing my appreciation/love for them with generosity. If I can't even fork over the extra $15-$30 bucks on a first date, what does it say about my willingness to take care of that potential someone whom I'm gonna spend possibly the rest of my life with? I was taught since I was little that it is mandatory/convivial to bring a gift to a host/hostess to show appreciation for their invitation, to overcook a meal if I'm hosting so my guests won't starve, and to not scrimp on my friends and loved ones when we go out.

                                                              3. re: dty

                                                                what if you're going to try out a new restaurant with a fellow hound......and it happens to be a first date? why does a coupon ruin a first impression(btw, if you have already met her/him and asked her/him out, then by default you have already won the "first impression" lottery! congrats)

                                                                1. re: dty

                                                                  "Just as I don't go on an interview in my flip flops, why should I ruin a first impression on using a coupon"
                                                                  Well said!
                                                                  If the same person were to show up with sweats, socks and sandals, and uncombed hair on that first date, would that be considered "being themselves"? of course not!

                                                            3. The use of a coupon is not a problem for me, but the manner of it's use could be.

                                                              If the restaurant was picked based solely on the coupon, then it is a problem. For a first date some energy should be put into choosing the venue - atmosphere, ability to have a conversation, delicious food the invitee will enjoy. Within those considerations will be more practical concerns regarding cost, location, available reservations...I don't see why a coupon used after the other considerations have been made is a problem.

                                                              Likewise, the invitee should be able to order without feeling pressured/limited by the coupon. A BOGO can be used without the guest needing to know when placing their order. If a coupon is the only way the bill can be paid, then a different date should be arranged.
                                                              If the person is intriguing to me I'd rather have limited funds spent for 5 coffee dates rather than 1 dinner with a long gap afterwards.

                                                              The intent and methods of handling a coupon, IMO, relate to the differences between frugal and cheap. I'm a big fan of frugality - feel wise spending habits are important in a potential partner. But cheap is another thing entirely...

                                                              1. I'm feeling flu-ish today and suffering from fuzzy brain so excuse me if I don't write so well :)

                                                                Let's say I'm a single woman. I meet someone at a party and would like to get to know him/her better. This has no romantic connotation. I invite him (I'll use him as generic) to be my guest for dinner. I have a coupon (typical here is buy one entree, get second at half price). I use coupon. Have I shown that I don't consider him worthy of full price? Of course not. Okay, so two weeks later, I meet a man at a party and I DO have some romantic twinklings. Same invite, same coupon scenario. Have I shown that I don't consider HIM worthy of full price simply because my interest in him is different than man #1? That would make no sense. Or when we introduce "romance" into the equation, does that mean I should treat man #2 better than man #1 in whom I had no tingling sensation? That wasn't how I was raised. (And, yes, I'm condoning women asking and paying. Maybe gays have at least one tiny thing easier, they don't have to get into all that boy/girl BS!)

                                                                Carry it a step further. In cities that have some type of "restaurant week," should I not invite anyone out to dinner at those places during that time because it's discounted?

                                                                Hope I make sense. Time for some more Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup made with milk :)

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Fluish today and a fuzzy brain ... that is my excuse today. I still am fluish and a fuzzy brain and went fishing to boot. Bad idea. Now I'm really bad off. You stole my excuse.

                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                    Poor us :( I just "made" Caralien's 3-4 ingredient potato leek soup in slow cooker for dinner.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      I have a potato, onion and carrot and broth soup too on the stove 30 minutes and great. Love those things. Great food. Never made mine in the slow cooker, good idea. So healthy and great flavor. Perfect with a grilled heirloom and gruyere sandwich. I have a few from my garden, purples and oranges. I'm finally hungry and 3 days of the flu, I ate my fish I caught today but just a bit, now still hungry.

                                                                  2. Are you kidding? I have actually been out to restaurants with dates in the past, and said "Hey wait, I think I have a coupon for this place" (Yes, I do have a coupon book in my purse with tons of coupons for everything from a free slice to bogo for tons of places in the area)

                                                                    What can I say, in times like this every dollar counts.

                                                                    I sometimes offer people in an adjoining booth an extra coupon if I have one.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                      Now there's a way to insure a second date!

                                                                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                                        Sounds like your wallet is like Costanza's in the episode where his wallet explodes when he puts in just one more coupon.

                                                                          1. re: nkeane

                                                                            Aah, but isn't it a music lesson tag that provides the coup de grace?

                                                                      2. Look, if I'm using a coupon, I'm probably taking her to a middle of the road place anyway. I don't know many "swank" places that offer coupons. So that said, if she's getting a free meal, it's free whether I pay full price, get 10% off, buy one get one free, get extra miles to fly or fix my car or put chrome on my Harley ... that's my business.

                                                                        If she's going to judge me in negatively based on how I manage my money, then she's not worth it because if down the road we both become a serious item, she'll be extremely grateful of my frugality because that will mean she gets to go out to eat another time or gets more flowers or gets to retire a little early because I've been saving up all those years.

                                                                        She should be grateful that I know how to manage my money which means she'll be financially more secure and not have to worry about getting tossed out of the house because we can't add up the bills right and don't have enough money to pay the mortgage. She shouldn't be so shallow.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: gr8chefwannabe

                                                                          There is a "swank" place in my area which has coupons for $25 off a meal. Given to the type of customer$ they want back. These coupons have an expiration date, so I would recommend using them, first date or not. Not to worry what others think, they can't have your kicks for you.

                                                                          1. re: gr8chefwannabe

                                                                            But sometimes "I know how to manage my money" translates to "I watch every penny I spend, and if we get involved in a serious relationship, I will watch every penny you spend, and if we get married, you can only spend what I tell you that you can spend, and I'll tell you how to spend it and where to spend it." I've known men like that, whose wives had to track every penny, no exaggeration, every penny. I'm not saying that's how you are because I don't know anything else about you, but using a coupon on a first date can be a signal about an overall ideology about spending money. Perhaps it's a good way to find out if it's a shared ideology, because my non-coupon ways would likely mean that we're a bad match anyhow.

                                                                            Now, if it's slipped to the server without my knowledge, and I found out later, then that would be a sign to me that you cared more about the experience and didn't want to bring focus on the issue of how much you're spending. That would be fine. But if it's done in an obvious way, my spidey sense would be tingling. It's not being shallow. It's all part of finding out whether you're a good fit.

                                                                            1. re: lisavf

                                                                              But maybe the date is only a date, one out of many, and he's not even thinking about marriage. Possibly trying to save a few dollars toward a goal such as a trip or a car, or more dates (other first dates).

                                                                              1. re: neverlate

                                                                                I'm not saying they will necessarily get married, but dating is an audition for 'something' whether it's a one night stand, a dining buddy or life partner. And dating is how we (general) usually determine compatability. Mr. Coupon Guy and I would not be compatable as I believe anyone who would consider using a coupon on a first date is most likely a frugal person in general.

                                                                              2. re: lisavf

                                                                                devils advocate warning: if you're spending money that someone else earned, that someone else has full reign to demand accounting.

                                                                            2. While it has been many decades, since I last "dated," I do not see anything wrong with this. It shows that the "other" is frugal, and conscious of expenses.

                                                                              Besides, it gave you and your first date something to talk about. How did that go?

                                                                              Now, if the guy brought a coupon and applied it to only his meal, and then expected his date to pay full price for her's... that would be a problem and should also be a big red flag.

                                                                              Hunt, who is probably the last person to ask about contemporary dating etiquette.

                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                bill, I have heard of that scenario, when a guy took a girl on a date, got the check and applied a coupon to his meal, and made the lady pay in full for her entree. Apparently he also cut his tip down too and she had to make up the difference.

                                                                                I am the OP here and I wasn't on a date, it was just me and a friend discussing this situation should it come up in the dating world. I am not sure how I would feel if it was a first date for me and the guy used a coupon so I thought I would ask chowhounders.

                                                                                1. re: smartie

                                                                                  As I eluded to above, for me it would all be about whether or not the person was being cheap. There's nothing wrong with being frugal or even if times are hard, trying to be money concious. But I hate cheapness and would find such behaviour very off putting.

                                                                                  DT

                                                                                  1. re: smartie

                                                                                    Maybe he was raised by a mother who was a coupon freak -- he went on the date just for the thrill of using the coupon, and not for the lady's company. Just think of what he told his mom when he got home!

                                                                                    1. re: smartie

                                                                                      Thanks for the input. I'm learning a bit about how "dating" might have changed. This was something that I had never considered. Maybe it was because, back when I was "dating," coupons only came on stone tablets, and those dudes were heavy!

                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                        But the coupon tablets? Well, at least money didn't weigh so much--a sack full of coins would be sufficient, although you might have needed a leather strap to hoist those stone tablets onto your back, which would have diminished your ability to hold the hand of your potential beloved (at least prior to dinner!).

                                                                                        I really don't think dating has changed all that much--try to get the right words out without fumbling--worse if you actually like the person a lot--and try to impress without being arrogant, sounding intelligent without being a bore. Worry that the place chosen isn't up to par (or breaking the bank), and hope that no one spills the water or wine and the date doesn't realise how sweaty the palms may be. Try not to be nervous about everything going on around you. Then ending the evening on a positive note. As far as I can tell, this is how dating has been for eons.

                                                                                        1. re: Caralien

                                                                                          And don't forget the frog kissing part!!! Eeeuuuwwwww

                                                                                        2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                          I remember dem days. You were supposed to crack dem up-side a da head wit dose stone tablets an' drag dem off into da bushes.

                                                                                          1. re: yayadave

                                                                                            LOL Dave! You ever go to Assi food court, I notice you been staying outta that thread.

                                                                                            1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                              Sorry. I did not look at that thread. I don't know where North Wales is and I never even heard of the stuff you folks were eating. Sounds like a great time you all had. I need to get out more!

                                                                                            2. re: yayadave

                                                                                              Like your px of the statue at St Eustache in Les Halles

                                                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                Thanx. I had to use an on-line pic because I could never get one of my own without people crawling on it or standing in front of it. That's a nice little park and only a couple of blocks from E. Dehillerin. You knew cooking or food were in there somewhere.

                                                                                                1. re: yayadave

                                                                                                  l was hoping your food reference was Chez Denise, a block away as well.

                                                                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                    Aw, Jeese, there are too many good places to go in that city. You just can't hit them all. Although trying to would be a worthwhile goal.

                                                                                      2. Its a great way to break the ice for a first date.
                                                                                        "Hey, I got a coupon for _________. I've never been there, want to check it out?

                                                                                        1. My first husband was very frugal (see:cheap). In the early years of our marriage we had to be frugal, thrifty, cheap, etc. because we were broke and so I paid it little mind. After we were flush, debt free, living the life, he was still a cheap ass and it was one of the reasons we divorced (not the only reason obviously).
                                                                                          After that when I dated ANY sign of frugal/thrifty/cheap and I was outta there....and so the coupon on the first date (or early in the relationship) would have been a deal breaker. But if the date is thrifty also, she may see it as a good trait, but I would err on the side of caution and not bring out the coupon on the first date.

                                                                                          1. I wouldn’t have had any issue with this during my dating days, as long as the guy didn’t behave as if he was otherwise stingy - leaving a bad tip, for instance, or expecting to get his meal free while I paid for mine in full. I had a friend once who went on a first date with a guy and they met at a museum – he got in free with a coupon or something, and then watched as she paid. As she said, it wasn’t that she expected him to pay for her, but as he was getting in for free, wouldn’t it be nice to at least offer to pay for half of hers so they would both benefit?

                                                                                            1. It's been a long time since I was out on a first date, but I would put this on the tacky side.

                                                                                              1. I suppose if the person really (and I mean REALLY) wanted to cash in the coupon for whatever reason, one way to avoid the "tacky" and "icky" feel of it is to buy the date some flowers and say, "I really wanted to buy you some flowers, and using the coupon just made sure i got you the best flowers money could buy."

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                  Now that IS a way to put a very positive spin on things.

                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                    *Sigh*.........protests.......too......much......

                                                                                                2. As many have said, it really depends on the person. I have issues with cheapness, so I would be put off if a man whipped out a coupon. OTOH, I suppose if I were Angela from The Office I might get stars in my eyes when my date used the coupon.

                                                                                                  That said, I also agree with Monku who said the aim of a first date is to impress, and coupon doesn't really impress unless you want to impress her with your frugalness. Bettter to go grab coffee or visit some inexpensive ethnic restaurant or little bistro that's within your means.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: PegS

                                                                                                    Better to go grab coffee or visit some inexpensive ethnic restaurant or little bistro that's within your means.
                                                                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                    Bingo. What I was thinking as well. A coupon on a first date just seems to be a major no-no, IMO.

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      I agree with this philosophy as well. I'd also be perfectly happy at an inexpensive place or even with a picnic in the park but using a coupon at a restaurant on the first date would probably be a deal breaker for me.

                                                                                                      Out of curiosity, I asked my husband if he thought it was acceptable to use a coupon on a first date and he said 'Never'. We were very poor students when we met but our early dates always felt special, even if we didn't spend a lot of money.

                                                                                                      1. re: ms. clicquot

                                                                                                        I think a lot of women are uncomfortable with a home-cooked meal on a first date-- I know I am. I'd much rather be in a public place than at his house where who knows what can happen. I think there is also less control when you are going to someone else's house and he's deciding everything that's going to happen in terms of the pacing and whatnot. Give me the coupon all the way before first date at home.

                                                                                                        1. re: queencru

                                                                                                          I agree with no home-cooked meal on a first date - especially since the person doing the cooking has no clue as to the food likes/dislikes of the invitee.

                                                                                                          But none of the people on this part of the thread (from PegS down) said anything about a home-cooked meal.

                                                                                                          1. re: queencru

                                                                                                            I agree with the home-cooked meal on a first date being awkward, unless it's a picnic. That is both romantic and frugal!

                                                                                                            1. re: queencru

                                                                                                              I thought about it after and edited my post because I agree that it would be uncomfortable to be in such an intimate setting with someone you barely know for the first time! Almost all of my first dates were with people I already knew so a home cooked dinner wouldn't have been so strange but with a stranger? No thanks!

                                                                                                        2. re: PegS

                                                                                                          To me a first date doesn't impress me at all. I care less about the food or the impressiveness. I want to talk to him. The rest is irrelevant. He could make a funny joke about the coupon and hint at going out later to have fun and I would think it was unique ... not the standard, but the best and impress... that is so standard and boring to me I would hate a date like that. Do something fun, a great seafood place, some oysters, simple food, enjoy and relax. I hate fancy fufu dining for a first great meal. That to me is a total turn off for someone who just can't be himself and impresses with money and buying things. Not the person I want to be with.

                                                                                                          Sorry not me is any way. I don't mind a coupon. You did got with the person because you liked him. Like what you see, but don't equate every relationship or possible relationship to having a coupon is bad. I'm not that judgemental I guess and it doesn't bother me. I am more into the guy or girl and the person he is. To me a coupon to try to save some money doesn't hurt anything. I would do the same and have.

                                                                                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                            I agree with you entirely. If the first date is about the restaurant and how much a guy is willing to spend, then that's not the guy I want to be with. I'd rather him take me to some place low key or quirky where we can actually talk to each other without being self conscious about choosing the right food/wine. I do not want to date a guy who is going to try to convince me he is one thing and then a month down the road we are sitting in the house eating ramen because he is too broke to afford to go out and expects me to pay for everything (yes, I've dated these guys) even though our financial situations are similar.

                                                                                                        3. If you're the kind of person who likes to use coupons, why not? Presumably the only kind of person who would consider using a coupon on a first date is somebody who feels pretty strongly about using coupons. And if the date has something against that kind of person, the relationship is unlikely to develop anyway.

                                                                                                          IMHO, a first date is about getting to know each other. So acting like someone you're not is ultimately unproductive. There's nothing wrong with being on good behavior, but if you're a coupon user, it seems silly to pay extra just to avoid appearing cheap. And if you really are cheap, then you need to either change your weltanschauung or find a compatible mate.

                                                                                                          Then again, what do I know? On my last first date, the White House was occupied a Bush with two middle initials. Pour lots of champagne, marry her before she sobers up, and do whatever it takes to keep her happy thereafter. That's the ticket.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                            That's how I feel. Why pretend to be something you're not. When my husband and I married (the first time!) over 20 years ago, I didn't change my name. Someone asked me "what if he'd had a problem with that?" My response was that we'd have had other dealbreakers WAY before we ever talked about name changing. If you want to impress, it should be with your wit, kindness, intelligence, etc. Not by the amount of money you spend.

                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                              So well put C... I totally agree. have fun, enjoy, get to know one another, I care less about the meal or the price, or where you go. Just enjoy you time together. Pizza on the beach with a couple of beer would be just fine for me, why not?

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                I agree that when dating you should be yourself. One thing Dh loved about me what how I love food and drink without apology and was more of a food lover than he was..and he thought that would never happen.

                                                                                                                My first husband (Mr. Cheapy) went on to marry a lovely (and frugal) woman and they've been married over a decade and are happy by all accounts. I'm sure she would have seen the coupon as a good thing (not being snarky).

                                                                                                                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                  It's good to hear that things worked out for both you and your ex! :)

                                                                                                            2. In my experience, all of the guys that I have dated were on their best behavior in the beginning. Then as time went on, I saw their less than desirable traits once they were more comfortable (with the exception of DH, which is the reason why I married him). Oh, I had a first date that involved dinner at one of the priciest restaurants in NYC. Several months later, I was reprimanded for wanting to order a $7 chicken curry dish at a Malaysian restaurant when there were plenty of $5 rice and noodle dishes to order from. If a guy pulled out a coupon on the first date, that to me says that he has the potential to be cheap. There is a difference between cheap and frugal. I adore frugality. I despise cheapness with a passion. I would be wondering what's more to come in the future -- lectures if I spend $20 on a T-shirt (as you can probably pick up a T for $10)? Dates at AYCE sushi restaurants on Monday evenings (you know, when they need to get rid of the leftover raw fish)? Dragging me to certain restaurants just because it's cheap as opposed to it being good? Lectures about total strangers being "frivolous" with their money? It would totally be a red flag for me as my view is that stinginess with money can spill over into other aspects of personality. The only instance where I could see myself understanding this situation is if the guy was broke. But even in that situation, I would prefer that we just went out for coffee or a very inexpensive restaurant than for him to pull out a coupon at a mid-range place.

                                                                                                              What I said above only applies to first dates. After you get to know somebody very well, I would be fine with the use of coupons. And if I was going out to eat with somebody on a friendship level (eg. not a first date), I couldn't care less if he pulled out a coupon.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                "There is a difference between cheap and frugal. I adore frugality. I despise cheapness with a passion." and "Dragging me to certain restaurants just because it's cheap as opposed to it being good? Lectures about total strangers being "frivolous" with their money? It would totally be a red flag for me as my view is that stinginess with money can spill over into other aspects of personality."
                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                Well put, Miss N.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Agreed. It's not *necessarily* a bad thing, but it certainly raises a red flag that there could POTENTIALLY be control issues over money in the future. Then again, if you're a coupon gal, you may LOVE that a guy pulls out a coupon. Then you may be well-suited, as Janet has indicated her ex and his new wife are. After all, there's a lid for every pot!

                                                                                                              2. I haven't read all the responses, but I'll say my gut reaction is "no coupons on a first date." I don't actually know why. If there's a monetary issue, I think I would MUCH prefer the guy take me somewhere within his means (hey, coffee or a completely FREE hike is ok by me) than take me somewhere that's beyond and/or where it is necessary to use a coupon.

                                                                                                                But like I said, I'm not sure why. Interesting topic, smartie!

                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                  I say definitely use coupons on a first date if you have a trust fund....

                                                                                                                  1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                    LOL! Weed out them golddiggers early!

                                                                                                                  2. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                    If spending more money then needed is whats important, the other party can always volunteer THEIR CC at the end of meal!?
                                                                                                                    funny times we are living in. The idea of the guy paying all the time has been dead for quite awhile now. Im a guy and let me tell you, Ive been asked out and treated to dinner about 30-40% of the time. Lets just let antiquated notions stay in the Era they belong.....

                                                                                                                    1. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                      Yes, puleeeeeze! Our daughters are in their early 30s now and "came of age" in a much more healthy envirnoment. There wasn't the pressure I had to have a "boyfriend," go steady, etc. And, no, the guys certainly aren't the only ones asking and paying these days. I think it bodes very well for the future. If girls start early enough doing these things, perhaps they'll develop more confidence in themselves. That's where the "I don't need someone to take care of me" attitude comes from. At least that's my opinion.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        I don't think it has anything to do with "I don't need someone to take care of me" but more to do with "how willing will you be down the line to truly mesh our lives together." I consider myself a feminist and I've never needed the support of a man. However...well, take this for that you will, but 1) I always offered to split the bill on any outing 2) On a date that ends up with no potential I will insist on paying my share 3) On a date WITH potential I will gracefully give in and allow him to pay for me. ;)

                                                                                                                      2. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                        Dh and I have been together 10 years and he still always pays the bill. And that's okay with me :-)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                          Really. Why? I find that if we're in a booth, it's often easier for me to reach my wallet as my bag is on the seat. Or one or the other wants to hit the restroom while the other settles up. Or he didn't bring his reading glasses :) Always? Just tell me he doesn't say "and the little woman will have the chicken ala king and 1000 island dressing on her salad"!!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            I often give the server the credit card, but it's Dh's card I'm an authorized user on. Dh makes 10X what I do and we spend a few thousand a month dining out.

                                                                                                                            I do pay for things like his birthday dinner, an occasional lunch and drinks from time to time.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                              Oh, I understand now what you're saying. Our money is all co-mingled so whoever signs the CC, it doesn't matter. Comes out of the same pot.

                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              This is Janet we're talking about. Believe me, she has her own mind on what food she likes. I don't think she'd ever let her DH say "and the little woman will have..." Although she is petite. :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                That was 100% a feeble attempt at humor. When I see/hear that happening I want to go over slap someone ----- really hard :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                  Ahhh, sorry about that c oliver. My comment would be "are you not speaking for yourself to save your voice for the opera singing you'll be doing later?" :-) (Not really, but I kinda like how that sounds.)

                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                  Hehe....my first MIL (mom of Mr. Cheapy <g>) was one of the women c is referring to. She'd sit there with her lips pursed while her husband decided and ordered her meal.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                    I can visualize her, Janet. At least perhaps you know where Mr. Cheapy got it from. :-D

                                                                                                                            3. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                              I agree nkeane, and I almost added "or we go to a more expensive place and each pay our own way" to my original post. I didn't because (1) I thought the underlying assumption of the hypothetical was that the other person was picking up the tab and (2) I have no patience for long posts so I try to keep mine as concise as possible.

                                                                                                                              But yes. I agree. I would rather the guy take me on a date where (1) he can afford it without coupon, if he has decided he would like to foot the entire bill; (2) if he can't afford it without coupon we each pay our own way; or (3) we do something free.

                                                                                                                          2. ok, two cents worth from me....and i'm single (go figure)....

                                                                                                                            #1. If a date is paying, I don't WATCH him like a hawk while he pays, so I wouldn't really know what he's paying with unless he does the card at the table thing.

                                                                                                                            #2. It depends on the type of date....if this is a meet and greet, maybe it's ok...but if this is someone you've liked for a while and want to impress, is it really necessary to use the coupon at that very time ? Can you not find some other opportunity to use it? I look at it like a job interview, or dinner with a business client, neither of which i'd whip out a coupon during.

                                                                                                                            i'm not all about the benjamins either.....i'd just rather not feel like a dinner date is more about the coupon, than me.

                                                                                                                            1. A Texan driving a shiny new 350 diesel dually would whip out the coupon and say "darlin', I'm usin' this here cupon (w Ron White accent) so I'll have more Benjy's to spend on you later".

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                BWAH! And, you know what? That would totally work!

                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                  Now darlin' wud dat dar koopon be fer a free fries at dat dare mack donalds? You reckin' they might be a' super sizin' it fer us?

                                                                                                                                2. I guess it really depends on the attitude - obviously I wouldn’t be happy w/ a guy who made a point about it and perhaps even had restrictions on what we could order, or who chose the place only for that reason. But if they just happened to have a coupon or gift certificate for the place we wanted to try, or the chef owed them a favor, all the better! It’s true that we rarely go to places that have coupons, as it happens, but I am thinking about it along the lines of the movie card my husband had when we first met. The local art theater offered a card – I think you paid $70 and got 10 admissions, so they would punch the card when you came in. It would have been quite strange for me to find out after the fact that he paid $10 to take me to a movie rather than $7, simply because he didn’t want to come off as cheap.

                                                                                                                                  People haven’t addressed the question of offering a coupon if you are the guest, which the OP also asked. Before reading this thread I would have been fine with the idea – if a guy offered to take me to play mini-golf and I happened to see a mini-golf coupon in the paper I would certainly have offered it up. Now, were I (God forbid) to be dating again, I suppose I would be more leery.

                                                                                                                                  1. What I think is tacky is the assumption that the guy is paying on the first date or that it is dutch. There's another possibility: the woman is paying. The whole "guy should be giving her a free meal" assumption is the tackiest part of this thread.

                                                                                                                                    I'm too lazy to use coupons 99% of the time, but I see nothing wrong with someone using them. If someone doesn't like the other person using a coupon, they probably aren't going to get along over time anyways.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                                      I always just assumed that who ever asked the other out was paying. If it were in fact a date. Not just friends getting together. Then it's Dutch.

                                                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                        I agree - I have happily paid on plenty of dates in the past. That said, in my experience, a guy still will not let you pay for him on the very first date, whether or not you asked him out. (Though admittedly I was asked out much more often than I asked - my sample there is fairly small.) I have gone dutch and I have been treated but a guy never let me treat him. And I am not from an older generation - I was dating guys in their teens and twenties in the '90's.

                                                                                                                                        Once in a relationship it is different - I would be uncomfortable in a situation where I didn't feel things were fairly equal.

                                                                                                                                        I should add that I would be fine if a guy let me pay on the first date, had I invited him out. I always asked for the check and got out my wallet, etc. It simply never happened.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: meg944

                                                                                                                                          Oddly enough, the first time it happened to me I didn't know what to do. I said not to worry. Why don't we split, yada, yada, yada. It just seemed weird. So I said okay and as it turned out it was the correct thing. She was adamant that she asked me out and she was to pay. She also wanted to see how I would react to it and she said it was good.

                                                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                            From dealing with female friends and acquaintances, I've learned that there's no sure fire way to deal with the paying situation where you'll always do the right thing. I've heard of people offering to split or pay, and that could mean that they actually mean it or it could mean that it's a test and if you don't refuse you're out. I also have met women who ding guys because the guy doesn't suggest a split. The list goes on and on.

                                                                                                                                            At the end of the day, this is 2009 and I'm too lazy to play games. We should have hit a point in gender equality now where everyone can pay for their own meals and/or one gender isn't expected to be the one wooing the other. Furthermore I personally am not going to worry about the sort of game playing I describe above, and I'm going to do things to suit my mood at the time - if it pans out great, if not oh well. :)

                                                                                                                                    2. I still say, it depends on the relationship, depends on the OP, I don't find it offensive and never would, but approach it delicately. It is 2009 not 1960. I don't think now a days someone trying to save some money and spend on something else later for you is a bad thing. It depends how it is approached. if you paid and just put it in with the credit card. He or she wouldn't even know. Come on. It isn't that big of deal.

                                                                                                                                      1. It's not a good idea. And the reason has nothing to do with cheapness vs. frugality as others have cited, it has to do with social skills. The person should have the social skills to realize that using a coupon on a first date could be potentially controversial, and thus should avoid doing it. If he/she doesn't have any awareness of the varied ways others could interpret something like that, this lack of social skills bodes poorly.

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nicole

                                                                                                                                            Interestingly, I asked my husband about this thread last night and while I would be fine w/ a coupon (given no other negative behavior,) he said he would never have done it, at least post-undergrad. His reasoning was just as you said - that it might possibly be perceived negatively, so why take the chance? He did say it might be different if it was a one-time only option (for instance, if he was offered a BOGO coupon for a wine tasting event he intended to bring his date to, he might use it. If it was just something like the Entertainment card, he would never use it. But, if his date offered hers up, that would be fine and he would not judge her negatively for it - her solicitude would likely even gain her some points.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: meg944

                                                                                                                                              My husband said they same thing when I asked him about it. We are both coupon-lovers, but that's not the point. The point is understanding how your behavior may be perceived by people who don't know you well.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Nicole

                                                                                                                                              Yes, that's also an excellent point. I was once on a first date with somebody who picked up a joint off the street, put it in his pocket and said that we should smoke it later. I was surprised by his lack of judgment in this social situation as he had no clue as to whether or not I was 420 friendly.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                Not to mention being "friendly" to the idea of picking something up off the street and later putting it into your mouth, which I would have found much more shocking than it being a joint.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                                                  Yup, that was the second thought that crossed my mind. I mean, he had no clue what the state of the joint was in. It could have been laced with so many things -- uh, dog urine perhaps? He did say he was thrifty (cheap IMO). Well, that was my first and only date with him.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                                                                                  Your story certainly makes coupon use pale in comparison! But yes, lack of social judgement, to say the least!

                                                                                                                                              2. I am astounded by the preponderance of women's responses here, who "flunk" a guy for the means and method by which he is buying her a meal.
                                                                                                                                                It begins to explain why married households have reduced from 71% in 1970 , to 52% today. Next year's census offers little hope, based on this (non-statistically significant) thread....

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                  To me I care less how he pays or if we both paid. To me it is important about the two of us and to enjoy and have fun. I care less if you pay with a total gift certificate. It is the idea of taking me where ever and just the thought of dinner. Now a days, it is just nice and thoughtful. Who cares how he pays. You will learn more about him as time goes on. If it is a habit, that may be different. But cut him slack. Just enjoy and have fun.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                    That's my EXACT reaction. I'm 62 and have been independent as hell for all my life. I have a loving husband (married him at the age of 40 and divorced him once - so far!) who is SO frugal. I respect anyone who is sensible about money. It's probably a tingly turnon for him :) He - and others like him - get an ***A++++*** in my book.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                      Ditto C, I agree, who cares how he pays, enjoy the night and who you are with. Shouldn't matter.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                      Hmmm...if not using coupons leads to the decline of marriage in America, my better half and I must commit ourselves to dining out at oh-so-mediocre restaurants, the type that usually issues this kind of coupons, so that we can build up enough residual karma to save other marriages.

                                                                                                                                                      Marie Callender's, here we come.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dty

                                                                                                                                                        Please clarify who is demonstrating the bad manners : the man buying a woman a dinner, or the woman whining about how he did it?
                                                                                                                                                        If a woman embraces the airport fiction paperbacks about the knight on horseback coming to whisk her away, she should keep reading. But she ought to think about what she is bringing to the party. This is the day and age of quid pro quo.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                        I'd flunk a guy for many reasons...coupons on the first date would be only one of many. And I do it without apology. Which is one reason why my marriage to Dh has been successful and my marriage to Mr. Cheapy was not.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                                          I think the real problem with using a coupon is that restaurant coupons are often kind of a hassle. Honestly, restaurants make them so complicated. I went to a cooking demo once and the chef gave out coupons for his restaurant that you had to be in a party of four to use. Other coupons require that you order a certain way. Sometimes you get attitude, too, because the server is worried that it will affect their tip or something. You don't need any of this on a "getting to know you" date. If you are the one doing the asking, you should try to set things up to run as smoothly as possible so you can focus on each other.

                                                                                                                                                          Also if you do the coupon thing, you run the risk of being perceived as the sort of person who always has a private agenda of some kind that has nothing to do with the company. It doesn't matter if it's a date or just your friends, it tends to make people feel they are just along for the ride. If a friend says, "I have a two-for-one coupon, want to come along?" that's fine. Get to the restaurant and it emerges that they have a coupon-- that can be pretty uncool.

                                                                                                                                                      3. To open up a new can of worms... what about a gift certificate on a first date?

                                                                                                                                                        1. To stir up the pot a bit, restaurant.com is having an 80% discount on coupons. Use the code DINE at checkout.
                                                                                                                                                          $25 off coupon for $2 instead of $10

                                                                                                                                                          I used a 2 4 1 coupon on my first date with Mrs. Doc.... 15 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.restaurant.com/consumer-pr...

                                                                                                                                                          34 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                                                                                            Stir up the pot a tad more: Someone gives you 2 tickets to a benefit worth $500 each, catered dinner at a celebrity's oceanfront estate with live music, dancing, speeches. You get goody bags to take home filled with expensive free loot including coupons to area restaurants. You get off real cheap on this one because you don't have to leave a tip. Would invitee consider the inviter cheap because he/she didn't pay a cent? (The donor of the tickets was happy to make a donation to the cause, and genuinely wished recipient and date to have a good time.) Would it make any difference if the tickets were $10 each -- to a Boy Scout benefit, serving spaghetti and meatballs? A free meal is a free meal, right?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                              Now you're opening the door to any number of scenarios. If someone says, "Sure. it's acceptable to take a date to a benefit where you got the tickets for free" is that going to cast any light on whether it's OK to use a coupon?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                ah, but tickets to something like that....the transaction money wise, has already taken place PRIOR to the date, so said date is not witnessing this event....which is part of the problem.....whipping a coupon out is being a bit obvious.

                                                                                                                                                                see.....talking about the cost of anything while on a date, is tacky IMHO...this is what it boils down to, and putting out something that factors into the monetary transaction is bringing that out there.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                  The menu has prices on it, the check is brought to the table, either cash or a credit card is put on the table. Come on; hate to be harsh but that argument seems a bit weak. Should the invitee leave to powder his/her nose before all that nasty money stuff takes place?!?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't mean not seeing it....i mean disputing it in some way, selecting a restaurant openly because it's cheaper or pricey, commenting on the prices on the menu, dropping it into conversation that you paid "such and such" for these tickets etc......

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't get that the OP had implied such an imaginary scenario.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                        I wasn't responding to the OP I was responding to neverlate...and expanding on that with my comments above. To explain, i was suggesting that in addition to the things i mentioned, bringing a coupon out, or asking if you can use it while you're actually out on a date, is bringing the issue of price to the forefront, similar to "discussing " it.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                          So, are you saying that it wouldn't be okay in any situation? Not okay to do with your best friend or your neighbor? If so, then you're consistent in your actions. If only when potential "romance" is involved, then I think it's inconsistent and doesn't make sense to me. I understand that not all agree with me. Has anyone changed their mind on this subject while reading this thread? I sure do hope so.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                          wow, I feel like I opened a giant size can of worms!! (half price of course with a coupon)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                                                            what an instigator you are !!! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                            besides, i prefer my worms to be bottled....and soaked in mezcal !!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                              Me too, me too. But can I have some lime and salt also? I don't have a coupon but willing to pay full price --- but don't watch :) I DO believe that this is some kind of gender bias that we don't actually name. We're basically talking about a "boy" asking out a "girl" and using very old-fashioned "manners." Is that what we're talking about? Having vodka tonight not tequila but.... ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                    IMO (and it may seem illogical) there is a difference in sharing a gift and using a coupon. And if the guy says "I've two tickets to XYZ Event and would love you to join me." the spirit of that is different from whipping out a coupon. Same with the gift certificate.....the guy is sharing a gift he received with you.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                                                      Not all coupons are bought/used by so called whatever. The Hospice and Animal rescue groups in my area sells books of 20 coupons to high end participating restaurants. This is a form of fund-raising, so it's not cheap. By telling others about these coupon books it might bring in more support for these programs. So no need to hide or act sneaky, with any kind of coupon.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                                                        At my last dinner at Peter Luger I was treated by my brother In law who had gift certificates. I was not insulted. Restaurant .com $10 coupons on sale for $.60.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                                                                                                          If you were on a date with your brother in law, I can see where coupons might not be a very big issue! 8-)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                                                                                            what if he received a coupon as a gift?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                                                                              Have you ever gotten or given a coupon as a gift?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                The other day I gave a couple free Starbucks Tazo tea coupons as a tip to a waiter.

                                                                                                                                                                                (I'm a regular and gave him the usual 20% tip along with the free coupons).....he said he didn't go to Starbucks, but his son would be glad to use them.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                  no, just pointing out a possible chink in the argument.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                                                                                    Seeing as no one would give a coupon as a gift then you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                      My grandmother was always thrilled to receive the Entertainment Book (regional coupons) for a gift...it allowed her a way to treat her friends and try new places on a limited, fixed income.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've received coupons and benefit tickets as gifts. The persons giving the gifts said: "Enjoy! we're going back to the city" or "I hate crowds". A few years ago, I won a substantial gift certificate to a restaurant -- a tables on the sidewalk peoplewatching kind of place. Gift certificate was a door prize at a volunteer luncheon.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                                          Gift Certificates are not coupons.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nkeane

                                                                                                                                                                                        Not a chink at all. Let's change the word "coupon" to "bottle of wine". If jfood shares a coupon with friends or a bottle of wine with friends it is a positive gesture. The geneology of the gift does not diminish the sharing aspect.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Let's change the word "coupon" to the word "basketball."

                                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously, that's not logical.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bibi rose

                                                                                                                                                                                            Huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                            A coupon for dinner and a bottle of wine are both things that are part of the dining experience. And the sharing of a food related gift is the idea behind the analogy and substitution. Makes absolutely perfect sense and completely logical.

                                                                                                                                                                                            But, if you would like to cook and share a basketball with your friends at a dinner, please go right ahead. Make sure you serve toothpicks for dessert. :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmmm, jfood, let's change "geneology" to "provenance" -- coupons and basketballs do not have sex with each other.....

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                                                nice...some cartoonist at dreamworks is probably working on the sequel.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                                  You makes some interesting points.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm on the board of a charity. Usually one of the live, or silent auction items is a limo to and fro, a private jet to, say Los Angeles, or Santa Barbara, with lunch and dinner. Now, if I was to invite a young lady (other than my wife, of course), would she see me as cheap, because I had already paid for this, and only had a certificate (coupon)?

                                                                                                                                                                                  I know that the above is an extreme, but not out of the question, except for the thought of me inviting someone, other than my wife. Still, someone always gets these trips. Are they likely to be looked down upon? Somehow, I kinda' dobut it. However, you folk ARE teaching an old dude a thing, or two, about dating standards, and I do appreciate it. If wife ever comes to her senses, I might actually NEED some of this stuff. For now, it's just a discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                    Never mind what young lady thinks. Your job as board member is to raise money for the charity. Take detailed pictures of your trip with the young lady, show them around.....get higher bids for next year's auction!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                                      Good one! Thanks for setting my perspective back on track.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                        Just kidding, but as you know, donations are down this year......

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hey, it sounded like a good move! I’ve used similar, by bringing up the successful bidders from “last year’s” auction lots, to tell the audience how great it was. Yes, donations are down. I keep holding out hope that there will be a rebound. I am glad that I am not in philanthropy right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                          On the other hand, I do have to say that many inn-keepers and restauranteurs are certainly stepping up to help charitable events meet their bottom lines. I applaud and thank them for doing more than their part. [Maybe not on-topic to the OP, but we did get around to food... eh?]

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                              2. It's only tacky if the coupon says you have to have a particular meal ('half-price spaghetti') and you tell your date 'you have to have THIS particular meal', or if you refuse to spring for any more than what you can get a discount on (like 'free entree with an order') and then you skip appetisers and dessert and only drink iced water all night so you don't have to pay extra! There's a difference between being frugal and being cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly. I've been reading this thread and thinking about how my own response and I found it continued to be 'depends'.

                                                                                                                                                                                  It depends on who you're out with and how you've met that person. It also depends on how you pull this off:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Compelling someone to eat somewhere they don't want, a meal they don't want, or limiting their options, or even employing some form of deviousness are the behaviours associated with coupons that I think many would object to. (At the same time: how handy to learn this so early into the relationship. One could praise the date for making it a real time saver.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  However, having means to provide offers, to try a place or an event-- I don't know why this would be a problem. One could be forthright, as well; i.e., when proposing a plan, note the options, existence of coupons/gift certificates, clarify that this is not a requirement, that this doesn't count. I think because so many of us today go dutch on the first date (think about all the posters in this thread who've referred to 'gold diggers'), a minor shared freebie isn't an awful thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And as I yammer here, I'd like to point out, it is how one pitches it: I have a deal I'd like to share, would you be up for it-- no pressure-- works just fine. And sharing is key: no using it for one party while the other pays.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And to add on to the depends: I think that coupons of negligible value (10% off for an moderate to inexpensive meal) may be a but awkward on the first date. Awkward for making happen, and also just possibly too minor-- best to save for another time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  A coupon can open the way to other options, a show of casual-- rather than forced-- generosity. It can also indicate that someone is controlling and mean.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh yes... and the cheapest of the cheap - hand over the coupon for YOUR meal and make your date pay full price! lol If you're going to use a BOGO coupon either split the cost evenly, or else say 'my treat' and pay for your meal and use the coupon for your dining partner...

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Kajikit

                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. There is nothing wrong with being frugal, especially in these times. I just can't see wanting to be extravagant in this economy where there is no guarantee that anyone is in a financially stable situation.

                                                                                                                                                                                    On the other hand, if a coupon specifies one of three entrees at a mediocre chain restaurant and my date plans on paying only if I order one of those three entrees- no thanks! I've dated cheap guys and I've dated frugal guys, and there is a HUGE difference between the two. The cheap guy is the type who does anything to get out of paying for what he orders- either by passing the cost onto his date or by using coupons/freebies. The frugal guy is more likely to pick out inexpensive mom & pops and cook at home to save money.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I'm back on the dating scene and I have to say, I'd be turned off if my date used a coupon bc I do think it seems cheap (and I'm all about freebies and coupons bc, hey, I like a deal too). Last week I went on a date w/ guy to a wine tasting. Ingenious enough for a first date and good fun, except I found out that it was actually more of a restaurant promo for FREE wine sips (hardly enough of a pour to consider it a tasting) and complimentary tastes. I was turned off, but decided, what the heck, why not. He turned up dressed with very little effort and when the tasting was over, we stayed long enough to finish off our sips of wine (he didn't ask nor indicate buying a glass was intended) and share the remaining selection of app's. I was left thinking: well, i guess i'm not only NOT worthy of a true date experience but also basic clean and dress-up? Needless to say, I was turned off.
                                                                                                                                                                                    I've also recently had someone invite me to come down for dinner where they work (while they were on-shift) bc they got a discount on the food. Um, yeah, needless to say i said no.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Maybe I have high standards? But on a first date I like to think that I am worthy of effort. I'm not saying my dates have to be expensive (I've certainly enjoyed community festivals and hikes in the park) but effort is contextual and going out specifically bc you can use a coupon or get a discount is (in my book) a turn off.

                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: aussiewonder

                                                                                                                                                                                      If he had paid for this promo, which turned out to be as lame as it was, would you have then valued this date?

                                                                                                                                                                                      I wasn't there, so it's hard to assess this but upon first glance, I had a hard time finding the slight. In fact, what came immediately into view were two fundamentally incompatible people. You want a big effort made on your part-- he might be more decidedly low key, using this event as a chance to do enjoyable things and get to know you better. This kind of event has a possibility for a next step and a built in exit strategy, making it ideal for a first date. (Hikes are solitary affairs; an invitation for that could appear far more skeevy than a 'let's take advantage of this event' kind of thing.) It also says, let's try wine and food-- sounds fun to me (I've had 'dates' where we've strolled from one free wine tasting to another. He did not dress up, I wasn't fussed. It's fun to do what we like-- taste wine-- and chat amiably in between.)

                                                                                                                                                                                      That said, maybe he didn't care. Maybe he didn't dress up for you because 1) he doesn't like to dress up and is letting you know this immediately; 2) he was second guessing the invitation and was going to make this unpleasant for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I see now that he was not clean-- that's not so much fun. But aren't you relieved to learn this at the beginning?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with you on this one. This guy may be the type who likes to do a short, low-key event for a first date rather than having a longer dinner. Not everyone dresses up for every event. I have plenty of friends, both male and female, who wear jeans everywhere. Granted some jeans are dressier than others, but I don't expect a guy who normally wears jeans to dress up for a really short wine tasting event.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The event may have been one that could have been extended if the date were going well. However, if a person is obviously disappointed within the first 5 minutes, I think I'd be bailing out pretty quickly as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: aussiewonder

                                                                                                                                                                                        You say you have "high standards". Does this mean that you have a high degree of respect and and show REAL interest in the other person, at whatever stage in life he may be in? Things are pretty bad for a lot of people these days. You might not have felt so let down if you knew more of what was going on. "All that glisters is not gold".

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                                                                                          A VERY important point! Yesterday's New York Times had an article about people who were earning $70,000.00 to $100,000.00 a year just two or three years ago but who, through "downsizing" and the economy, are now working for $10.00 an hour and glad to have those jobs. It is an incredibly rough time for many, and all indications are that it's going to get worse before it gets better. I think the word "coupon" today and the same word a couple of years ago have different meanings and importance.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Food for thought! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                            I was thinking the same thing. Can you really fault a person for choosing a frugal date in this economy? Even if someone appears to have a high-paying job, a first date is not going to know if the job is stable or what other things are going on behind the scenes with the finances that could lead a person to try to be frugal and prepare for the worst.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. As many have said, I think it really depends on the situation and the people involved. My first gut reaction was "yeah, I think that's pretty tacky" but after reading various opinions - I think it really could go either way.

                                                                                                                                                                                        With that being said, I WOULD wonder in the back of my mind if the restaurant was selected simply because he had a coupon. And what if the food was bad? Does that mean the person just has bad taste in food? That would be a definite deal breaker for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe it's different in other parts of the country but I tend to see coupons for restaurants that have a declining customer base....there is a reason for that. I'm lucky enough to live in an area that has a wide range of low cost eating alternatives. If we ended up in some mediocre - or worse - BAD, restaurant simply because of a coupon....well, I'm sorry but that just doesn't fly in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm not saying it has to be expensive - take me to a great bbq joint or a terrific ethnic restaurant, Roast Grill for a great hot dog or Tookie's for chicken salad but please, please don't take me some where just because you have a coupon!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's another way to look at this situation: Let's say the tables were reversed and I was hosting a first or even second date at my home. Suppose that I knew this person loved beef but when I go to the grocery store, I see that chicken is on sale.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, I could take the frugal approach and save some money by purchasing chicken OR I could shell out the extra bucks for beef to ensure that my date thoroughly enjoyed the meal and felt that I really cared about him.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I could simply buy the chicken, pocket the extra few bucks and eat my next meal alone because my date felt that I didn't pay attention to his affinity for beef.....

                                                                                                                                                                                        Of course, my date would never know that chicken was on sale and that's what drove my decision. But, I would know that I didn't go all out. Worse yet, my date could be thinking "Did she not remember the 30 minute conversation we had about how much I love beef?"

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chicaraleigh

                                                                                                                                                                                          use a coupon on first date maybe if your a teenager going to Maccas but otherwise NO.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Wow, this is a tricky one.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Something about introducing a coupon into the scenario makes me a little twitchy. I'd rather just go somewhere within my own and my date's means, and not run all those weird calculations in my head. The few times I've used a coupon, I recall it had to be mentioned before ordering (but that was years and years ago). Sorta a set a chintzy tone to the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Meals out, to me, are treats. Someone else does the cooking and serving. I just sit back and relax and enjoy. And that luxury does not have to be expensive. Something about the coupon just throws me out of the relax-enjoy-we-are-DONE-worrying-about-workaday-concerns mindset, and back into the workaday-watch-every-penny-worry-about-money mindset.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly, on a first date, I think there is just soooo much going on, psychologically, it is best to keep things simple. Both parties have their antennae up and alert for all sorts of signals. A coupon? Open to all sorts of interpretations, as we see in the different responses, here. It may be (falsely) interpreted by the one being treated that he or she is a "discount" date. Whether their interpretation is true, would I want to put anyone in that position? Nope.

                                                                                                                                                                                          And if I were the one being treated: I'd rather a guy invite me to take a drive to his favorite taco truck, if that was what was within his budget, than bust out a coupon at a "date" restaurant. It really is the thought that counts here. Maybe this is an L.A.-centric point-of-view, but there is no reason to not have fun and eat well here, at any price-point.

                                                                                                                                                                                          My usual expectation on a first date is that I will pay my own way, though. Or at least offer to get the next round, or whatever. So what do I know!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LicketySplit

                                                                                                                                                                                            And as I yammer here, I'd like to point out, it is how one pitches it: I have a deal I'd like to share, would you be up for it-- no pressure-- works just fine. And sharing is key: no using it for one party while the other pays.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And to add on to the depends: http://copilka.info/ I think that coupons of negligible value (10% off for an moderate to inexpensive meal) may be a but awkward on the first date. Awkward for making happen, and also just possibly too minor-- best to save for another time.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: akbarss

                                                                                                                                                                                              The pitch is key! Excellent point.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I do think it could be an utterly charming approach, under the right circumstances, to ask someone out, say, based on a 2-for-1 coupon.

                                                                                                                                                                                              "I buy us dinner. 2-for-1. You tell me two things about yourself for every one thing I tell you about myself. You in?"

                                                                                                                                                                                              The key of course to a successful first date (and relationships in general) is being that person who will listen twice as long as they will speak.