Dating Faux Pas

Dude using a Groupon on a date

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).


16 thoughts on “Dating Faux Pas

  1. My friends and I were just talking about this the other day. Personally, I wouldnt care at all, but some of my friends said they would. Living Social has a lot of “Adventures” that seem like they’d be a lot of fun. Going out for dinner and drinks is getting sort of boring.

    • What were your friends’ concerns?

      Also, I totally agree with you that drinks and dinner can be boring. Let’s go to a comedy club and laugh or do something different. Although, I must say that I took my then-girlfriend out rock climbing once, to switch up the monotony of dating, and it was met with mixed reviews; might have been too challenging of a date option…all that to say that doing “adventures” can be fun but also take a certain amount of planning and knowing your partner, which might make it harder if its a first date

  2. This is a tricky situation….I think if it was a first date I would mind. It kind of equates to taking a date to McDonalds! If its someone you’re in a relationship with, then that other person knows your intentions, that you are being responsible and saving. Whereas if its a first date…those intentions can be misinterpreted as your date thinking that you don’t think she’s worth the cost. It would be better advised to go to a less costly, still nice, restaurant, than pull out a coupon with someone who doesn’t know you well enough to know your (good) intentions.

  3. I agree with livedlovedlost. In a first date scenario I think this could lead to… shall we say unfortunate misconceptions? The person you’re dating doesn’t know you yet and will not know how to interpret the use of a coupon (is he frugal or a miser, does he have a job and is just taking advantage of a good deal or is he dead broke going to be hitting me up for food money in a week?). I hate to sound materialistic, but this is how I see it: first dates are for first impressions, why take the chance of making a bad one? Better to take your date somewhere less expensive and leave the coupons for when you know each other better. On a personal level, the coupon would be a misstep but not a terminal faux-pas if the date went supremely well. If it was mediocre or downright bad it’s just going to weigh heavily on the minus column. You know women are making mental plus and minus lists in our head on a first date, right? I am, at least (so are my friends). Try to stack up the plus chips, there are any number of less expensive date ideas out there.

    Finally, and I’m wondering if anyone else feels this way, on a first instinct, gut level reaction, adventure coupons seem less objectionable than restaurant ones. Don’t know why though… is this just me?

    • GMB, I definitely appreciate your suggestion of not using a coupon on the first date. Thanks for sharing that you and your friends are also making mental plus and minus lists on a first date. Haha. Any insight into the complex mind of a woman is appreciated.

      I also agree with you that adventure coupons seem less objectionable. Not sure if its because the adventure seems less intimate or not. Whatever the reason, I agree.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s