DAfG: Dating on a Shoestring

Everybody around you is talking about the recession. You heard through the grapevine that your company is planning to do another retrench exercise. It’s time to tighten up on your spending. As you know, dating is about impressing.

So how do you cut down on your spending, and yet not come across as a cheap date? Here are 6 creative date ideas that you can implement to recession-proof your dating!

1)      Play tourist: Tired of the same old hangouts? Always going to the shopping centres for coffee or dinner? Break the routine. It’s time to play tourist. Grab a copy of the local map, and go off the beaten track. Bring your camera along and take lots of photos of what you see and of each other!

2)      Be a volunteer: When you give, you will receive. What better ways to impress your date by showing her that you have a BIG heart? Look out some local charities and see how you can help out. If both of you are animal lovers, head down to SPCA and help them out for a day. Or you could visit an old folks’ home to bring some cheer to the elderly folks. Take this opportunity to get to know your date better, as you see their compassionate side.

3)      Visit the flea markets: Women love to shop! Offer to drive your date to one of the flea markets in town, and spend time exploring the various booths with her. She will be really impressed to finally meet a guy who is willing to shop with her!

4)      Move that dinner date to picnic under the stars: Rather than the boring (not to mention expensive) dinner date, move it one notch up by dining under the stars! Romance her with your prepared picnic basket of champagne and strawberries. Do remember to bring along insect repellent to keep the mozzies away.

5)      Cook up a storm: They used to say, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” In today’s world, I think the same applies for women as well. Rather than pay hundreds of dollars for a 3 course dinner, why not cook your own dinner? Your date will definitely be touched by your culinary efforts.

6)      Watch the sunset together: Stroll down the beach together, hand in hand. It’s beautiful. It’s romantic. It’s sweet. And most importantly, it’s free.

The key here is to be creative and innovative. Put some thought into it, and think of something that you’ll both enjoy doing. The more personalized the experience, the better it is. The great thing about being on a budget is that you are forced to think out of the box, and this will make the date a unique experience! And when it is an all new experience for her, it would make the date, and you, more memorable!

Happy dating!

(Note: First appeared in New Man Malaysia Oct 2009)

Extra link for the brave ones: Poppers Amazon.

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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Respect to Men is like what Love is to Women

A while ago, I attended a relationship seminar. As part of my profession, I constantly go for seminars to learn from other experts. 🙂 And this time, it is a seminar by a couple – Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn.

One of the most interesting takeaways I had from this particular seminar was…

Respect to Men is like what Love is to Women.

So what does that mean exactly?

A lot of times in a relationship… men and women have conflict… over money.

Especially when the man loses his job. Or the woman gets a pay rise, and now earns more than the man.

Sometimes, the woman loses respect for the man. She does not mean to. But we are so hardwired to think that the man is supposed to be the provider. He is supposed to bring back the bacon. And suddenly, when she becomes the main provider, the dynamics of the relationship begin to change.

Coming back to… Respect to a Man is what Love is to a Woman.

As a woman, we expect to be loved no matter what. We feel that we deserved to be loved by our man. No matter how good or bad we have been. It is supposed to be a given.

And hence, it is actually the same for a man. He expects to be respected no matter what. He does not need to earn it.

According to a research done by the Feldhahns, apparently, men are willing to leave a relationship if they felt they are constantly being disrespected, even though they knew for sure that their partners love them.

How does this apply to real life?

Was a speaker at a recent matchmaking seminar in Singapore. Was asked this question…

Violet, does a relationship work if the woman earns more than the man?

Actually, the crux of the matter here is not the salary. It is about each party playing their role. The woman can be the sole breadwinner, and the man can be a house husband and they still can be happy, if the woman shows the man that she respects him and his contribution to the family; and the man shows the woman love.

The problem is when the woman starts to resent the man for not bringing home the bacon, or start showing him contempt because she feels that he no longer deserves her respect.

In a relationship, it always takes two hands to clap. Respect and love come hand-in-hand. 🙂

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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