Dear V: Dating without dishing your dough

Dear V,

I’ve completely fallen for this girl over the last couple of weeks. We’ve hooked up a few times – of course, it’s college – but I want to take her out on an actual date. It’s not usually my style … I tend to be the casual hookup and one-night stand type of guy. My friends tease me because I’ve lost track of my body count. But with this girl, it’s different. My problem is, I’m what you might call a “baller on a budget,” so I don’t want her to think I’m not serious if I ask to split the check. Should I be honest that I can’t exactly “make it rain” right now, or should I just not ask her out until I can foot the bill?


Waiting for Payday


Dear Waiting for Payday,

Don’t wait to ask out the girl of your dreams just because money’s tight – she might start seeing someone else and you’ll lose your shot.

There are plenty of fun, cheap things for couples to do when you’ve got no green. Try putting on some oldies music and making s’mores in a fire pit or visit local cultural venues on days with freebie events. Take a stroll down Calle Ocho during Viernes Culturales or lay out on the beach and take a dip in the ocean. You could even spend a night in watching movies, eating popcorn and making a pillow fort. If you think creatively, you’ll realize there are plenty of ideas that don’t involve throwing money down the drain, and they’re usually a more memorable experience than the standard dinner and movie date, anyway.

Be honest with your date that you’ll need to split the tab if you go somewhere pricey. Nowadays, girls shouldn’t expect you to pay for everything – she just simply might be a bit surprised since you’d be the one that asked her out. It’s understandable, though; you’re both college students. Plan a cheap second option in case she’s a chick living check to check, too.

However, you’ve got to ask her out first before you worry about how to pay for it. Since you’ve already hooked up a few times, she might not be looking for anything involving feelings. Prepare to deal with the fallout of being rejected – if she only wants to continue hooking up, it’s going to be hard for you to keep your emotions out of it and would be best for you to move on.

So, ask her out. Don’t be afraid to admit that money’s tight and move on if she’s not looking for what you’re looking for. Sure, you might be used to one-night stands and hookups, but you can’t stay that way forever if it’s a girl you’ve fallen for.

Remember to spend your time (not just your money) wisely, too.