Love (and Groupons) will keep us together

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

Saving money on dates is sexier than you may think

By Sharon Miki, Contributor

Falling in love has never been more complicated—we’re working in the difficult Netflix-and-chill era of dating, where vegetable-themed emojis are easier to interpret than facial expressions and ghosting is more ubiquitous than a Kardashian-Jenner at a Lakers’ game. For sure, dating in 2016 is more complex than ever before… but does it have to be more expensive? Not if you’re willing to get over yourself and embrace the sweet money-saving love of coupons when it comes to dating.

Whether you’re embarking on a first date or you’re coasting in a multi-year relationship, the reality of dating is that money is always a factor. Our popular culture perpetuates the idea that conspicuous consumption is the fastest route to showing affection. On TV and in the movies, we’re inundated with images of impulsive, grand (i.e. expensive) gestures as the epitome of romance, and as a result, many non-fictitious people feel a lot of pressure to impress their partner with their wallets. For students and young people, this inclination to spend more to get more love is often not realistic and rarely wise. You’ll either go into debt, or you’ll waste hard-earned money that could be better spent on things like tuition, housing, or saving for your future. The process of wooing is important, for sure, and sharing meals and adventures is integral to its success, but there’s no reason that you have to pay full price for it.

Coupons, Groupons, and well-found deals are not gauche—they’re smart. Whether you use a couponing app like Checkout 51 to save money on ingredients to cook your girlfriend a meal, or you buy a Groupon to save like 168 per cent on a weekend away for your boyfriend’s birthday, you’re getting more for less than non-couponing suckers. You can then use those savings for other essentials, or, if you really want to go nuts, you can reinvest the savings on other gifts or activities for your date. Either way, when you save, you can do more. Why is saving something we’re supposed to be ashamed of?

Honestly, there is no shame in saving money, even when it comes to dating. Especially when it comes to dating. Budgeting and penny-pinching is sexy. Sure, we’ve all heard the songs about seeking relationships devoid of scrubs, but there’s a big difference between a lazy cheap-wad and a savvy saver. Saving money in a relationship is actually, believe it or not, a huge turn-on for most people. In fact, recent research from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business found that people who save their dollars are perceived as more attractive than spenders because their saving behaviour is indicative of intrinsic self-control. Those who have self-control, financially or otherwise, are often viewed as more stable and desirable as a partner. There’s nothing hotter than a smart, goal-driven partner—even if they’re pulling out a Groupon at brunch.