Dating Using Discounts

by Mike Dang and Meaghan OConnell

Meaghan: Mike! I just read an excellent article on the Date Report that cites you as a couponing expert. Or um, quotes you about your couponing-while-dating philosophy.

Mike: I am neither a dating expert nor an expert about coupons, but I have thoughts about money! So the premise was: When is it okay to use a coupon (or Groupon, or what have you) on a date?

Meaghan: Oh man. I would probably say it’s always okay but not really ideal? You can probably laugh off anything, or get away with it by being forthright. But for a first date at least I would avoid it. Which is kind of what you said!

Mike: Right, so I think it’s okay to use a coupon/Groupon if you’re open about it, like, “Hey I have been meaning to try this place, and I have a Groupon for it, are you game?” Also, if the coupon is for a restaurant, my thoughts were that you should tip particularly well because you want to show that you’re smart with your money, but not cheap.

Meaghan: Or at least give the illusion of such, before the person learns about the real you!

Also when I read this article, I was reminded of a story from my FATHER about his first date with his ex-girlfriend/fiance/person he was with for a long time. I remembered some kind of two-for-one lunch deal and texted him to confirm the details:

“Yes. We met at Applebee’s for lunch after previously meeting six months before at a singles event. She called me and said she had a two-for-one coupon for lunch and asked me to go with her.”

Now, at the TIME I don’t remember him being critical of this bold move on her part, I think he was just excited that she called out of the blue to ask him out, and maybe charmed by her resourcefulness. But how do you think you would have reacted? Ha.

Mike: I mean, of all the things to be critical about when out on a date, using a coupon seems to me like not that much of a deal-breaker? Rude to restaurant staff is a deal-breaker. Doesn’t seem interested in anything you have to say is a deal-breaker, etc.

Meaghan: Good call. Yeah I think if you like the person you will always find a way to rationalize someone’s ‘quirks’ (ha, is coupon-ing a quirk?), but if they otherwise put you off, I would definitely be talking about the two-for-one move the next time I hung out with my friends. It’s a risk! Also I asked my dad how he felt about it, and he said, well he said a lot of bitter things about his ex! But then admitted that at the time he just thought it was smart. So there you go.

Mike: In the post, Sarah notes that the guy used the coupon just for himself and not on her (and she paid for herself). Now, I think that’s a deal-breaker. I mean, right?

Meaghan: Hah, CORRECT. If someone did that to me, you would find me just sitting there in the restaurant weeks later with my jaw dropped, dead.

Mike: What does everyone else think? Coupons on dates — yes or no?