You've met (or matched with) someone you like and it's time for that all-important and exciting first date. Forget about those pesky butterflies, you need to think logistics – how much cash should you budget for the occasion?
A recent survey found UK couples spend an average of £127 between them per date. That's over twice as much as the French who spend just £46. Of course it’s up to you how much you spend, but there are many ways to woo a partner without breaking the bank. Here's our guide to navigating date number one…
Who should pay?
Go back twenty years or so and the gentlemanly thing to do on a date was to offer to pay for the lady. Times have changed. Now, dating protocol is to split the cost of food and drinks evenly if the meet-up is a mutual plan, as you would with a friend. Decide how you'll handle the bill before the date to avoid any awkward moments.
Pick a venue
How well you know your date may influence your venue choice. If you move in similar circles, a dinner reservation won't seem too daunting. But if your date is someone you've just met online, you might want to keep the first meet-up brief, such as going for coffee or drinks to gauge attraction levels. Cinema dates can be fun and affordable but there's not much chance for conversation – best to opt for a relaxed venue where you can get to know each other.
Date in the daytime
A classy brunch or afternoon meet-up can be just as romantic as a candlelit supper. How about a picturesque stroll through a city or along a river, with a pit stop for hot chocolate and a slice of cake along the way? Or you could take advantage of the nation's wonderful (and advantageously) free museums and galleries for a cultured get together. There's also less chance of drinking too much and embarrassing yourself at 2pm.
Do an activity together
If a romantic stroll isn't your thing, an 'activity date' might be more up your street. There are tons of voucher deals on websites like Groupon for fun experiences like wine tasting, go karting and cocktail making. Or save cash and head to the pub for a game of darts or pool. All of which takes the heat off those first nerve-racking conversations and you can bond over a shared passion instead.
The stay at home date
It sounds crazy, but why not date at home? You've got the venue, the food, the music – perfect! The menu options are endless: yummy Sunday lunch, cosy winter fondue, tapas evening. Plus you can wow your date with your cooking skills, obviously.