Monday, January 30, 2017

Relationship Etiquette: Using Coupons on a Date

Using Coupons on Dates?  Good Idea?  No?

With the state of the economy, coupon clipping is becoming a national sport.  It seems a natural evolution due to our need to purchase items we want at the lowest price point possible.   This need is evident by the rapid popularity of coupons-for-everything websites like Groupon.  Since coupon usage seems commonplace, using a coupon to pay for dinner appears a smart move.  However, it just may not be such a great idea when it applies to the date.   

Frankly, using a coupon while on a date is not an etiquette faux pas.  Logically, a coupon or gift certificate is as good as cash.  Nevertheless, as we all know, perception is everything.  Moreover, on a first date, and even the first few dates, both parties are sizing each other up.  Who is this person? What are his/her quirks?  Do I even like his/her appearance?   With all of this evaluating humming in the background, it is best to consider the perception of how everything we do. It may be best to get to know the person a bit more before diving into the coupon book.   

The first date doesn't even have to be dinner anyway--get coffee and play chess.  But, if, if it is dinner and the gentleman wishes to use a coupon, he should take her to a restaurant where he feels she will enjoy the food, not just so he can use the coupon (that would offend most).  He should ask if she has any preferences, allergies, or food restrictions.  Act interested in her!  Imagine that she is a vegan and he takes her to a steak house just because he has a coupon.  If this is the case, it could appear that he just wanted company while he eats his food of choice on the cheap and not as if he was interested in her.   

One suggestion: He could call ahead and ask if he could give it to them as they are seated (discretely) and it would be deducted from the bill without the date being any the wiser.  He'd better make sure it's valid though.  Boy, would that be embarrassing if not. 

In the end, it is all about personal preference and opinion since there is nothing wrong with using coupons.   

Personally, I don't have a problem with them.  After all, if a man is acting the gentleman and paying for the date (which he should), then the woman should act the lady and not notice how the bill is paid.  He could use pennies and it still shouldn't concern her.  For me, if I was the one using the coupon, I would not use it on a first date.  I wouldn't try to conceal it on future dates.  That's just me though. 

Remember that first dates are all about perception and being your best.
  • Make the date special--ask her/his preferences.
  • Perhaps choose an activity designed to get to know your date better instead of dinner.
  • If using a coupon, best not on a first date--usually.
  • Ladies, don't question how her date pays for her meal. 

Ted from Facebook:  

"I wouldn't use it on a first date; I think it would look a little tacky. But after I've dated someone for a while - someone who hopefully shares my frugal sensibilities - I would feel comfortable using one." 

David from Facebook: 

My husband I did, lol, and we still go to the same restaurant 20 years later! 

XiXi Zhai from G+: 

"It really depends on which date, which setting, and how comfortable and familiar you're with the person. Hopefully the guy would pay on the first date :P unless I had a coupon to offer hahha" 

These two coworkers bantered back and forth about the issue 


"Would I as a guy taking a girl out use a coupon, or are coupons in general ok for dates? Here's kinda what I think. Unless you're in the 1%, everyone is living a lot leaner now. I don't think it's an issue of using them on dates. I mean isn't that why sites like Groupon are doing so well. I think that if I was on a date and pulled out a groupon or something like that and she had an issue or thought it was tacky, that's really on her and I would wonder if it's something that I would pursue further. Everyone is on budgets nowadays and if that's a way for people to get out and have fun together and also be out spending money in the economy, I think they're a good thing." 


"Well my point of view is that I think it's fine unless you're on the first few dates. I think if I were with someone for the first time and they pulled out a coupon for my dinner I might think they were cheap or even that they didn't want to spend much because I am not worth it. Also, I know women like to know a guy can take care of her and has his finances in order, so if on a first or second date he's pulling out coupons it may show that he's a broke ass that doesn't know how to manage money and just wants {XXX}! Now if there was a whole day of stuff you were doing with someone then a coupon for dinner or lunch would be fine."  


"Ok, this is especially touchy. If we went out and it was to somewhere I had talked about and wanted to go to and you found it on groupon that would be acceptable. BUT if this was your time to shine on our first date out oh hell no coupons. I think it really shows how classy and gentleman like a guy is in the way he takes care of a girl on a first date. Now if you went by the restaurant in advance and gave them the coupon when you made reservations that's different and shows you put a lot of effort into planning and trying to make the night an exceptional one.  

The thing with knowing you is that I know you go out a lot so if you were to take me out and then use a coupon I'd probably be pissed." 

Lynn from Facebook: 

"I think if you're going out with friends or even later down the road it's acceptable.  My uncle and aunt plan their dinners around their coupon book.  But if you are trying to build something with someone new you want to put your best foot forward and not look cheap or broke or someone with a quirk that may not be desirable to certain people."

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