A reader asks: How much should I be spending on a first date with the woman I asked out?
The answer to this question on how much to spend on a first date depends on what type of date it is. I believe that when it comes to a first date budget, there are two main kinds of first dates:
The first kind of date is where you either meet someone on some social networking site, or online dating site or you are set up on a (blind) date. You know almost nothing about each other and your first date will be more like feeling each other out and seeing if there is any attraction and mutual interest. In this case, you should keep it casual and simple and there is no reason for you to spend more than $20-$30 or so. One drink or a coffee and a snack should do it. Anything more expensive and elaborate is an overkill regardless of how much money you make, and it will not serve the purpose of that date – to get to know each other and focus on each other rather than the venue or the food that you are served. Also, spending too much on a first date with someone who know nothing about and haven’t met before is a major beta behavior that sends a signal that you feel eager to buy women’s attention and are too eager to impress them in all the wrong ways. This is hardly attractive.
The second kind of date is when you met someone at work, at school or in any other social or professional context, you connected, developed mutual attraction without even going out, and at someone point you decided to take things to the the girl out. This means that you have gotten to know each other and you already like each other. Your first date is not going to be about feeling each other’s interest out. You have done that already and you are pass that. You are already somewhat interested in each other. Therefore, it would be ok to have a more expensive date, such as dinner, concert or some type of unique activity. It’s only nature that you, as a guy, would want to do something nice for the woman you have been talking to and developed interest in.
Still, I don’t recommend going overboard with how much you spend on a first date. Of course, what’s considered overboard depends on your age, location, occupation, the local dating culture, and other factors, but generally no one should spend more than $100 on their first date. Not only is it not necessary, but it’s counterproductive to making the right impression on a woman. It should never look like you are trying to buy and overpay for a woman’s time and attention. Whether any woman would ever admit or not, spending too much on a first date never makes a guy more attractive. Sure, it might make her want to spend more time with you because you are buying things to her, but this is neither attraction nor romantic interest. More often than not, this again makes the guy look too eager to impress the girl in all the wrong ways. Save your high-cost surprises for the more meaningful events, such as a birthday of someone you love and who loves you, and other significant events, including, of course, anniversaries of your relationship.