Gwen Guthrie once famously sang, “You have to have a J-O-B if you want to be with me.” However, these days we have more going on than just rent. With student loans, more folks opting for entrepreneurship and a gig economy that sees many men hustling to make ends meet, the prospects of spending stacks while dating becomes less and less attractive. 

Nonetheless, in the digital spaces the discussions rage on about $200 first dates, all expenses paid first date “baecations,” who should pay for the day based on who initiated the date, and tons of other frivolity. Honestly, it can be overwhelming and disheartening, especially in pandemic times where funds for many have been negatively affected. However, that doesn't mean the desire for companionship ends. Regardless of what your favorite IG talking head or Twitter meme may have to say about it. Anyways, enough lamenting about the current state of affairs. Let's move forward into the land of exploring solutions with those who are aligned and waiting for you to show up as your authentic self, finances be damned. 

Find A Way Outdoors

Depending on your location, the weather may not be the most ideal for outdoor dating, however if your locale’s weather permits, get outside! Keep it socially distant and mask compliant of course, but get outside. A walk and talk through a local park, a picnic, or exploring your local downtown area and grabbing food to-go will give you enough time to get to know each other, get some much needed sun and some quality time. 

Food & Drinks But Not How You Think

Many first dates include great music and adult beverages. You don't have to let the pandemic stop you from enjoying these activities . Participating in a virtual cooking class with a chef can be an exhilarating experience, even virtually. Mix in a bottle of wine and an oldies playlist (make it era specific or blend eras, i.e. 90s & 00s to make it really cool and nostalgic) and you’ve created a great and memorable experience for two. 

Be Creative!

Everything mentioned above is cool and all but they fall into the typical box of date ideas. Think outside the box and go to a farmer’s market, take a trip to the gun range, or better yet, you’ve been talking for some time right? So then take her somewhere that reflects your mutual interests. Take her somewhere that reflects something you are really passionate about. 

Dating isn’t supposed to be hard, pretentious or intimidating. You’re getting to know someone and sharing a piece of yourselves. Keep it in that energy stream and have fun!

Written By Marc J. Kelly

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