The Goose and Gander: Let’s talk about relationships and going on inexpensive dates

By Amanda Gabriel and Dan Teano
Elm Staff Writers

Going on dates can be very expensive, especially for college students. While dinner and a movie is one’s typical date idea, it is not always the most affordable. So what is there to do? Check out what inexpensive date ideas Amanda and Dan give so that you don’t go broke on your next date with your significant other.

Amanda says…Most college students have one thing in common—we do not have large bank accounts. We attempt to live off as little as possible to either save money or simply because we do not have much money in the first place. The dining hall is our main source of food and whatever snacks we can stash from it become our second line of defense. That being said, it’s no surprise that when it comes to going out on dates with your significant other, things can get quite pricy. High costs seem unavoidable when you are trying to impress your date, but the truth is, there are many alternative and cheaper date options.
If it is a nice day outside, try going for a walk or having a small picnic on the front lawn. Walking along the cobblestone sidewalks through Chestertown is a scenic route that proviedes great exercise. In addition, the town is about a mile walk from campus which gives the two of you plenty of time to talk. You and your partner can go and sit by the water and take in the beautiful scenery together (bonus points if you take your significant other to watch the sunset). Another option is to have a picnic. Take a large blanket and pack some snacks. If you are really on a budget, you can take your food to-go from the dining hall and sit together in front of George’s statue. That being said, it may be nice to go to the store and pick out a few inexpensive snacks. This date idea is perfect for lunch, or even the typical romantic nighttime date under the stars.
If you are not much of an outdoors person, the local Chestertown 5 theater is a cheap option. They have specials in which some days are cheaper than others, so look on the website for the best deals. Normally tickets are around $6 per person which should not break the bank. Instead of spending money on popcorn inside the theater, take your date to the dollar store before hand so that the two of you can pick out your favorite candy and soda for a few dollars to sneak inside.
Lastly, volunteering not only looks good on a resumé, but also it can turn into a great date that does not cost anything. Take a trip down to the local animal shelter and help out with the animals. This is an enjoyable opportunity to get involved and is also a mood booster. Who does not love petting animals?
Cheap dates are all about being creative. You don’t have to spend a great deal of money on flowers or fancy dinners. Instead, take advantage of the small everyday things you may already be doing on your own, because a Netflix and chill type date can be just as fun, if not better than a fancy and expensive date. The setting is more relaxed, and you are more likely to be yourself.
Dan says…Nick Cannon once said, “Love don’t cost a thing.” Although the former hip-hop artist and movie star foolishly divorced singer Mariah Carey, his words still hold an undeniable truth. One of the most cringing experiences in life is picking up the tab at a restaurant. When the checkbook slowly opens, thoughts such as “I should not have bought an appetizer and dessert,” and “I don’t know if I can buy that jacket anymore,” start to fill one’s mind. When the black book is finally opened, the payer’s eyes are immediately fixed to the total cost at the bottom of the receipt. After a sigh and a slight roll of the eyes, the payer has to convince himself or herself that their date deserved the elaborate three-course meal. Fortunately, not all dates have a price tag on them.  After a little mental effort and creativity, one will soon realize that there are ways to break the ice without breaking your wallet.
Ironically, cheap dates are not meant for cheap people. After all, the success of a date should be measured by the quality of the time rather than the quantity of money. Moreover, penniless dates take a certain level of ingenuity, which will add depth to the intimacy. Anyone can take a date out to dinner, but if you want to differentiate yourself from the majority, here are some cheap date ideas below.
Firstly, if you and your date have passed the swim test here at Washington College, then you can rent out kayaks for free at the boathouse. Kayaking through the scenic Chesapeake Bay is a romantic luxury that people would typically pay for. Luckily, Washington College students are able to spend as long as they wish on the calm waters. If the distance between the boathouse and campus diminishes the prospect of adventure, fret no longer— you and your date can rent out bikes from Public Safety. At the end of the day, you will be able to bike and kayak for the price of none.
Another cheap date idea is to create a music playlist with your partner, then listen to the playlist while actually living out its vibes. For instance, make a playlist full of your favorite pump-up jams, then play it through the speakers while working out, or make a road trip playlist with pop or alternative throwbacks and drive somewhere or nowhere. By doing this, you will be able to learn more about your partner’s preference in music and expand your own music library.
While contemplating the best cheap date ideas, I figure that the best way to pinpoint the absolute best date is to simply ask guys and girls around campus. Surprisingly, every one said, “Walk around Chestertown.” If you need a place to take a special someone out, there are many shops and stores within walking distance that every person would love to check out.
With a little creativity and an adventurous spirit, you too can compose your own list of cheap date ideas. Cheap dates are the exact opposite of a cop out, since devising one and proposing it takes more effort than its pricey counterpart. After all, since your significant other is attracted to you and not your bank account, you shouldn’t have to spend a dime to convince them to stay.

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