Being a guy in the dating scene is hard. And, it’s also expensive. Most women still expect a man to pay the bill, even if he’s struggling to make ends meet—and let’s face it, those dinners out really do add up quickly.

It’s not unheard of for a typical man to drop $100 or more on a date. Due to the sheer price of dating alone, a lot of men drop out of the singles scene feeling that they’ve been “priced out” of finding love. This doesn’t have to be the case.
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Dating can actually be a pretty affordable endeavor if you know how to plan ahead. Don’t believe it? Check out these smart date night hacks for guys who are tired of feeling too financially unstable for a love life of their own.

Learn to cook.

Though you can’t always bring a new girl home on the first date, learning to cook is one of the easiest ways to shave dating costs in half. Girls adore a man who can cook a fancy dinner for them, and cooking allows you to wine and dine them without the standard restaurant markup.
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The best part of learning how to cook a great meal is that it’s a skill that also translates into your daily life. When you can cook a mouthwatering meal, you won’t need to take trips to Taco Bell or beg ladies to fix you something to eat.

Get outdoorsy with your dating ideas.

Our planet is a beautiful place, isn’t it? One of the easiest ways to cut costs on a date is to offer to take your date to a nearby park, beach, or tourist location. It doesn’t cost much to take a tour through a local state park, nor are most local tourism boards too pricey.

The easiest way to enjoy the local scenery is to take a stroll through it—and that can actually help you stay in good shape. Daters who are on a diet also will enjoy this idea, simply because they don’t have to worry about scheduling the date on a cheat day.

Get involved with the local art scene, and find out where the newest underground exhibitions are.

Few things impress women more than a well-connected man, and what better way to show your savoir faire than to take her through a tour of the local underground art scene? One little-known secret about the arts world is that it’s actually fairly cheap to experience.
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Most gallery openings will not charge more than a $15 to $20 entry fee. They offer free wine and hors d’oeuvres in many cases, too. If you’re well-connected to the art scene and offer to help set up, you might even get in for free.

Just go out for a coffee, a beer, or another similar drink.

Question: Why is it that dates always have to be entire dinners? It makes things awkward if one of the people on the date decides it’s not working out and wants to cut things short.

A way better option for men who are just starting to “feel out” a girl is to just offer to go for coffee or a couple of drinks at a bar that doesn’t serve food.

This route has become more popular among Millennials, simply because it’s cheaper and also allows for an easier “out” if things don’t work out.

Learn to dress well and look good on the cheap.

Believe it or not, it doesn’t take a million bucks to look like a million bucks. It just takes a little understanding of how to be a well-dressed man.

Generally speaking, it’s far better to invest in a few great clothing items than it is to splurge on a bevy of cheap-looking tees. That being said, it’s okay to trim the fat. You can look amazing on a date by just getting a cheap suit and taking it to a talented tailor.
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Can’t afford a tailor? Don’t fret, just hit the gym. In most cases, women would much rather see a man who’s physically fit and well-groomed than a man who has a Rolex.

Finally, realize that any woman who can’t handle a date that isn’t at a fancy restaurant isn’t worth dating.

If you are looking for love, there’s something you need to understand. While money is a factor in any relationship, a woman who refuses to meet up unless you’re footing a restaurant bill is not someone you should have a relationship with.

Someone who really appreciates you and is interested in you will understand if you can’t afford $100 dinner tabs all the time. If she doesn’t want to date you without a Zagat-rated tour of time, it may be time to drop her.

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