When The Urban Dater Is On A Budget

Remember Deepika and Saif crashing the Sunny weds Pammi baraat in ‘Love Aaj Kal’? Now that’s such a cool cheap yet fun date idea. Try it sometime! Picture Credit: The makers of ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and Google.

(A personal blog by one of our readers)

I am half Baniya and half Gujarati. This makes me the perfect miser (for the uninitiated, both communities individually are famous for their stingy nature). In addition to being a miser, I am mostly broke (Hi5 ya’ll) and so I was led to believe that dates (dating app dates, or even otherwise) were never going to be my cup of tea, given a low success rate and high expense rate in a place like Delhi (The Big Chill gave me cold sweats, quite contrary to their nomenclature).

Mostly, I could manage past the initial conversations, on text or otherwise, and muster up the courage to say, “Well, let’s meet up sometime.” If that ordeal of asking someone out wasn’t enough to make my brain go numb, the next question of WHERE to meet would most certainly drive me up the wall. Let’s go slow on that one. I’m not a foodie, or a drinker, or into clubbing. The only few times I do go, well, I make sure I only order water on the side, dance and then get the hell out of the place. (Bar owners hate me).

But some students, or young working professionals face that financial abuse every day, when their wallets stare at their pretty eyes and show them that empty grin of a ten rupee note.

Well then, screw it, I thought!

I picked up some coins from my piggy bank and walked on. I realised I had to be smarter, if not richer. So guys, here goes a list of what to do when on a date faced with financial crisis:

1. Don’t pay for the other person (unless she paid last time). She’s an equal. Treat her respectfully, as an equal. Believe it or not. Most women value the honesty. If not, you wouldn’t probably like having them around anyway. In fact a few of my dates actually openly treated an offer to pay the full bill (was the first week of the month) with absolute disdain. Many feel insulted by the offer too.

2. Innovate: A date is not necessarily a meal at Amour. If you mutually like music, go to a free gig. Or go audition a great sound system. You don’t have to buy it, stupid. Foodies can go around get some street food. A toy store is a great spot to spend nothing and have fun. Spend an afternoon playing video games at an electronics store. Chances are innovation would guarantee a better date than your boring darn meal anyway.

3. Be yourself:

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”

– Tyler Durdon

And you need to sing your tune and dance your song.

4. Be okay with saying no. You know you cannot afford that last LIIT pitcher. Don’t say yes to please another. Say that you’ll have to go somewhere else. Maybe be honest, and then enjoy another round of drinks at the park, with drinks from the wine shop. If she liked you, she’ll walk with you, with a coke bottle spiked with old monk too.

All said and done, I’ve been on quite a few neat dates since. Some included skill exchange (my date tried to teach me how to dance once. Another date has promised to teach me boxing.)

Remember, #SastaNaagrikBaniye.

This blog has been authored by Nadeesh Garg.
(The opinions expressed within this article are personal opinions of the author)

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