I made a potentially devastating dating mistake (or a potentially wonderful dating find) the other day; I joined Groupon and LivingSocial, two of the most popular sites that offer deals on restaurants, spas, travel, etc. They seemingly make your home city (and others) more affordable by offering discounted coupons. These aren’t the same coupons that your family cut out of the Sunday paper to save fifty cents on a roll of toilet paper. No. These coupons often offer triple digit savings. For example, check out this deal. I am all about exploring New York City, so I thought it best to join these sites and receive email updates about dope offers from interesting spots, while saving some cash.
Aside from bombarding my inbox as if it were the shores of Normandy, the deals have been wildly enticing. However, these recent deals, coupled with my singledom, raised a pertinent question: can one use a coupon on a date?
While I have never used a coupon on a date, the closest I have come was a gift card for a specific establishment. I was with my then-girlfriend and told her in advance that I was going to use the gift card, and she was cool with it because we both wanted to try this restaurant. Since the gift card covered the bill, I left a significant tip (sidenote: I am a very generous tipper because my grandmother, for many years, worked as a waitress, so I know how important a tip can be) because my out-of-pocket expense was non-existent. For some reason, I felt the need to spend significant money to make the date seem, for a lack of better word, official. In my warped mind, which I’m constantly questioning, the exchange of currency for service and food made the date legitimate somehow. In other words, the date would not have been a date if we ate for free. Writing those few sentences completely demonstrate how I shifted the importance of the date from the experience (the laughter, the food, etc.) to the payment. Seems like I’m hustling backwards!
Agh! But so many questions arise with these varied offers relaxing in my inbox: is the gesture seen as frugal and cheap or financially responsible? Should this issue even matter if the date was successful and fun was had by both parties? How would the date react if when the bill came, one busted out a printed email and placed it with one’s bank card in the check holder? Surprised? Astonished? Calm? Uninterested? Or does one excuse oneself to the restroom, find the waiter, and settle the bill away from the table? Does one have to have a pre-date conversation in which one divulges one’s plan on using a coupon (for the aforementioned deal, it seems like one would have to say something since the menu is pre-fixe)? Would that conversation change the mood and assumed excitement of the date? Is paying with a coupon a first date faux pas? How is this experience different from going to an upscale restaurant during restaurant week in which the menu is pre-fixe as well? Is paying with a coupon only acceptable in a relationship (with your boyfriend, girlfriend, wifey, hubby, or whatever one calls their significant other)?
Honestly, I wanted to test out this
possible relationship suicide potential dating faux pas before writing this post, but I could not bring myself to potentially embarrass someone else for a post (sidenote: I have no problem embarrassing myself…kinda). But seriously though, this deal does look dope.
Anyway, what say you? What are your thoughts? How would you react if someone paid for the date with a coupon? Should it even matter? Please share your comments; daters around the world need your help (read: I need your help).