#DontBeJan – Here are much better low cost to free first date suggestions

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the fireworks over the National Mall from White House on July 4, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

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A first date doesn’t always have to mean spending money. Just because someone drops a lot of cash on you, doesn’t mean you’re special. Sure, it can be seen as an investment of sorts or the act of giving as a “love language“, but if that’s their love language AND they’re not financially fit, problems are sure to be on the way!


Recently, an Austin, Texas man filed suit against a girl for texting through a movie. He did the thing that any avid movie goer wishes in their darkest heart of hearts, but actually never acts upon. He gets a half hero card because she texted during the movie AND the movie was Guardians of the Galaxy. Where is this girl from? I mean, everyone knows you don’t text during a movie, especially a Marvel movie. However, we take away the other half of his hero card because he took her to a movie on a first date! Like, who does that? He does, apparently.


Movies on a first date are a bad idea because you don’t get to talk to the person to get to know them and you spend 2 hours in the dark sharing an experience that you talk about after, but what if she or he is the weirdo that has a problem sitting in silence for 2 hours. I guess this guy filed suit.


Dating is expensive. So here are our Top 10 First date ideas so you can genuinely get to know the person without investing a big dime AND your time:


X. Go Gardening or Farming

Get your hands in the soil and become one with nature. Check to see if there’s some local volunteering that can be done simultaneously. In Austin, there’s Urban Roots.  Speaking of…


IX. Volunteer!

If you haven’t donated your time in a while to an effort you both care about and want to solve, sign up to volunteer. Whether it’s an animal shelter, local food bank, Veteran services, Job training for Youth… The two sets of hands are better than one and there’s nothing cooler than finding someone who finds themselves in the service of others.


VIII. Free Museum Day, Art Exhibits, things that make you laugh, smile, or think!

We actually checked out free museum day yesterday. We had to shut the house down for a few hours to do a preventative maintenance check and sweep for bugs, so I took advantage and ran over to LACMA to soak up some art. That’s when I learned that they have Free Museum days often. LACMA even had an outdoor bar to grab a drink after you soak up all that art.  Plus, you get to know on a scale of 1 to 10 if they are willing to let down their hair from time to time.


VII. Visit a Botanical Garden

Do you have one near you? If you can’t go hiking, it’s a great option as you can see all the amazing plant life and chit chat.


VI. Star Gazing in a Field

Some observatories are no cost. But what else is no cost is finding a place away from the city lights so you can check out the stars and enjoy each others company. A very romantic pick for only the most special of dates that you’ve built trust with. Otherwise, this is the creepy potential serial killer date that most will avoid.


V. Cooking Class

A good way to get to know someone is through how they eat. You learn if they eat, how picky they are, if this is going to be a good match… but learning to cook something with them takes team work and can show how well you could potentially work together in the future. I’m always learning new things and new techniques. This is on the pricier side of dates, but you both walk away with a lifelong skill and a meal! If you’re really strapped on the cost of the lesson, you can just make a plan to cook together at a home. This is another date type that requires trust beforehand.


IV. Dancing, Dancing, Dancing… Dancing Machine

Dance lessons would be fun and so would just going dancing! I think the best first date I had was dancing lessons. I totally march to my own drummer when I hit the dance floor, but it was great learning some new moves and with a partner no less!


III. Go Hiking

Go for a hike! Being in nature pulls you out of your element and allows you to focus on being present in the moment. The extra oxygen pumping will also give you a nice little work out. Be sure to pick a trail that’s heavily traveled or she/he might question if your name is Buffalo Bill.


II. Hit up a Farmers Market

Go hit up the farmer’s market together. This is great if you really don’t know each other because it gives you a 15-20 minute window to just talk and check out the booths. If you’re not digging them after this short time, you can get out of there. But if you are, you can always buy some in season produce and ask them to come by and cook it with you for your second date. 😉


I. Play games together

Whether it be firing up the playstation or breaking out a board game. There’s something fun that can come out of a bit of competition. Maybe you can teach them something new or maybe they can school you! Either way, it’ll be a fun way to let your guard down and get to know each other.


Still lost? You can find free events near you quite easily by typing in free events and the name of your city. There’s always some band or comediane that hasn’t hit their 10,000 hours yet that you can go hear and support. There’s always some random paint or pillow fight in your area.

What are your thoughts on a first date outside of going to the movies? Do you have any suggestions? Chime in below!

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