He Used A Coupon On Our First Date! Does He Get A Second Chance?


A woman who doesn’t like me using a coupon on the first date isn’t the woman for me” – Anonymous single male

What are your thoughts on men who use coupons on first dates?  Are they cheap? Frugal?  Smart?  Would he get a second date?  Or would you write him off as a cheap @$$%$@!

Chances are if you’re a routine reader of personal finance blogs then you know that as a rule we support anyone in their pursuit to save money.  But there’s something about using a coupon on the first date that tends to rub even the most money conscious woman the wrong way.

Is he cheap?

Am I not worth paying full price?

Is he a miser?

Why would he pick our date to use a coupon?

These are all questions that go through the minds of the women I talked to about this topic.  It would seem that in this scenario, we tie our worth to how much he spends on us on the first date.  Well, here’s a reality check.

You probably aren’t the only one he’s dating and he has to find a way to subsidize his pursuit of Mrs Right.

If your date decides to use a coupon, don’t write him off.  Congratulate him on being a conscious spender, especially since this is your first date.

Connecting your worth to how much a man spends on your first date is setting yourself up for disappointment.  He hardly knows you and has to maintain his spending plan to pay the bills, date other women and meet his own financial goals.  While I believe in chivalry, I don’t believe in a guy going all out on the first date to the tune of breaking the bank.  I tend to think that women who expect this are looking for a sugar daddy and not a serious mate.

What do you think?  Would you give the guy a second chance if he used a coupon on your first date?


  • michwake

    I think it is awesome and wish my boyfriend would do this more often. He has always comes off as the big spender and buys dinner for the whole table then complains later about how much he spends eating out as if it is my fault. I have no problem going out with people and busting out a Groupon or some other deal. I don’t have time to clip coupons and chase every sale but if I can get half off at a place I love…why not?

  • Andy @ artofbeingcheap

    I’m a male. Years ago after a divorce I went on a bunch of first dates, and I always wanted to do free things like go on a walk around the park. I got frustrated that none of the girls would go on a second date with me. Looking back, I think several of them didn’t want to see me any more because I didn’t spend any money.

    Although I was frustrated at the time, I now realize those women were doing me a favor. I eventually met my wife, who is (mostly) OK with how frugal I am, and I am very happy to be with a woman who isn’t impressed by wasting money.

    So if it bothers you that your date uses a coupon, go ahead and dump him, chances are he will be better off without you.

  • Rebecca

    I don’t see anything odd about it at all (there is a line that can be crossed, but using a coupon for 20% off isn’t). It says to me personally, a guy values money (I see too many people who throw money out without a care). Most of couples I know regularly use coupons and freebies on their dates.

  • Michele Carskadon Wright

    sexist to expect men to pick up the check now that women are working
    full-time. It’s as if she’s a child instead of an adult. I always
    insisted on splitting the check with my dates, and that was a LONG time

  • So Cheeky DC

    I went on a first date to brunch on Sunday and the guy pulled out a Living Social deal when the check came. It made me smile on the inside. lol.

  • onefrugalgirl

    I would not think poorly of a man’s decision to use a coupon. Especially if he still paid for the date. I think it’s much better to be with a saver than a spender. A man that’s good with his money should not be deemed cheap. There is a big difference between the two. And long term I think any woman would rather be with a guy who can handle his finances.

  • http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/ Michelle

    I wouldn’t care if a guy used a coupon, however, I haven’t dated someone new in over 7 years so I’m not sure if that’s normal or not :)

    • http://www.girlsjustwannahaveufunds.com/ Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      I wouldn’t care either *shrug*

  • Jenny Olson

    P.S. I also think you’re right in drawing distinctions between frugal vs. cheap or miserly. There’s a stigma toward the latter terms, but not the former :-)

    • http://www.girlsjustwannahaveufunds.com/ Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      I agree. If you’re cheap or miserly then that’s something to look at, but frugal, not so much.

  • Jenny Olson

    What a great piece! I’m a PhD student who studies the relative appeal of savers versus spenders as romantic partners, so this really spoke to me. Our research finds that savers are, indeed, more attractive than spenders due to perceptions of greater self-control. I would LOVE to explore coupons in a future study!

    • http://www.girlsjustwannahaveufunds.com/ Ginger-GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds

      Glad you found it informative!