He Paid For Your Date With A Groupon. How Do You React?

February 14, 2012  |  

Last week, we had a spirited discussion in the Madame Noire offices about men using coupons on a first date. Most of the office agreed that it was considered tacky and a deal breaker if a man chose to use a groupon or any type of discount program to treat someone to dinner on a first date.

But there were two ladies who said it didn’t matter. Needless to say, many of us were shocked. What was their reasoning you ask? One of my co-workers said she didn’t want to judge anyone for not having enough money and that she didn’t care how the bill was being paid as long as he took the initiative.

I thought that was an interesting point but at the same time, found it null and void considering that there are plenty of inexpensive yet nice restaurants out there that he could’ve selected for a first date. My own personal reasoning for not accepting it stems from the idea that the gesture reflects poorly on the suitor’s sense of sacrifice. For me, it would reflect on how he felt about me.

If he’s too worried about cutting corners on the first date by going to such hefty measures, then I’d assume that there’s someone else he’s willing to go the extra mile for because men tend to go the extra mile, when it comes to impressing women they see as wife material.

I threw out the scenario of the coupon date because of a friend of a friend’s experience ( I know, right?). On her third date with a romantic interest, he busted out a Groupon deal. She was so turned off by the scenario that she consulted her various friends about the validity of her sentiments. Like our office discussion, people were split in their opinions albeit the majority sided on the anti-coupon code of conduct.

What do you think Madame Noire readers? Should we be more open-minded to a man’s frugal ways on a first date or should we run when the coupon comes out?



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  • Crystal

    1) first of all.. if he doesn’t show any effort in
    looking for a great restaurant outside of the Groupon offers, that shows how much he’s interested in the girl.

    2) Just like job interviews, you can still be yourself paying with a Groupon BUT u still need to put on ur best effort for a lasting impression. Same goes for a first date. There isn’t any different logic in that.

    3) True he’s being honest with who he is but on the other hand, what is he doing by showing how much he is interested in her or not.

    4) There are a myriad of cheaper dining options outside of the Groupons, why must it be a first date with a coupon?

    5) Men and women enjoy challenges. If the girl is too flexible she appears easy and then guys lose interest fast. There should be some middle ground. Besides we are who people treat us as.

  • VeritasCurat

    First of all, it was the 3rd date, not the first. Second, if you expect the guy to never use a coupon on you, you’re not worthy of the guy who would use a coupon to take you out and spend time with you while simultaneously being frugal.

  • regular guy

    This is why women miss out on a good man. being petty over nonsense. At worst, he could just being frugal. Women want men to blow through money on them, yet want to have long term financial stability. Sometimes you have to balance it out. I’ve watched people get loads of product for nothing on extreme couponing, & I say why pay money if you can get it for cheaper or free. Is it really about the money?? Get your priorities together, cause women are known to want tons of materialistic gifts and such from a man, and then their out when the funds run low. #IREFUSE to be a victim of your childish, petty insecurities!!!!!

  • Prpallen

    I want to connect with a man body, mind, spirit and financially. As I age, being a good steward of my financial blessings becomes increasingly more important to me and I respect someone who shares the thought process. I wouldn’t be offended at all because what he pays for something doesn’t determine my worth. Besides, if he uses a coupon, groupon, etc., the value of the gift, dinner, vacation or whatever is still the same, he just didn’t pay retail. Smart man in my book!

  • NikkitaMichelle

    Sisters aren’t you sick of the guys who want to fake it before they make it?  They look like they’re doing well, but they’re living out of their car.  I don’t think so.  I appreciate a brother who spends his money wisely.  There’s a big difference between being a good stewart of money and being cheap.  It’s just the first date why should he break the bank, you might not even be around next week?

  • mybigkid

    i love honesty. I love it when people are “themselves” at first sight! all that pretending to be something your not only makes you look shady. 

    Your first date should not be your first conversation, right? By time you get to the first day, you two should have laughed about this coupon fetish, dont ya think?

    BE REAL! BE U!  If she is offended, maybe she is looking for a man on a white horse. Then you have your answer!!!

  • 50%off

    I think it shows intiative and creativity.  I would rather be taken on a date to a (upscale, expensive, exclusive) place I’ve never been and have my date pay with a coupon than to be taken to IHOP or the neighborhood spot.  I live in NYC and see some of the deals on Groupon.  There are some great deals on there…  It boils down to some people will just always find a problem with something and never be happy.

  • Josiane

    It is interesting to see all these comments. He could be
    a man who like to get more bang for his bucks, and he took you to a nice
    restaurant and save at the same time. I would recommend talking and getting to
    know the person before you make a decision not to see him anymore.

    He could also be a man who has a budget and found a coupon
    to a nice restaurant that is within his budget range and decide to take you out
    and use the coupon.  In fact, it would be
    a lie if he were to take you out to another restaurant because he did not want
    you to see him use a coupon.  Your
    potential relationship starts based on a lie.

  • Yoopergirl36

    I once went out on a date with this guy who on the way to the restaurant asked me if I liked the place.  When I responded yes, he said good cuz I have a gift certificate that I need to use cuz it’s about to expire.  I have to admit that I was a little offended.  He could have just paid the bill with the gift certificate and never said a word to me.  I never went out with him again.

  • dveo

    I wouldnt give a crap. I am Groupon QUEEN. so i really wouldnt care.

  • I would look at it as a perfect opportunity to try to get him to ask me out again.  I would bring up other sites I have used for good deals.  I would also mention Restaurant Week.  I would hope that he would like my knowledge and interest in something he has already showed me he is interested in.  Lets be honest, this is a first date and we have no idea where this is going to lead to.  To often women get caught up in the material aspects (how much money he makes and how much he spends on you), when the real reason for a first date is to see if you two click, more important if you two clicked on a mental level through conversation. 

  • Health2012

    I read all of the comments and I was most impressed by the comments of the women that supported the coupons on the first date. Frankly, I was on the fence on this one. So, I called my father and asked him about it. My father (age 75) said, “that is cheap for a first date”. He said that he wouldn’t use a coupon on the first date, but it would be okay on the third date. My father said everyone has their own opinion. He said that it would have been better for the man to have taken the woman to a restaurant where he didn’t have to use the coupon.

  • Teflon Mom

    Coupon on the first date gets a sideye.  Coupon on the third date is cool.  I don’t like doing math publically – figure out what you’re trying to do, calculate all your costs and make all your transactions smooth.  First date coupon just says to me, “you’d better not even think about dessert, it wasn’t included on this groupon!” 

  • Steve

    Girl, If I don’t use this coupon you can’t get a drink.

  • This is ridiculous. If a man uses a coupon you should just be quiet. He actually wanted to take you out to a nice place and decided that he could also save money as well. You’re happy as you had a good time and so is he. A lot of women complaining about this don’t even pay for their own meals or don’t even pay for their own carfare. They have the man do it. The way I see it, is if you are not paying, then shut up. I think it’s sweet if a man even offers to take me out, because I am APPRECIATIVE. If the date went blahh, then it went blahh and we’ll move. Stop being snobby gold diggers.

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    so you’d rather have a man who pays full price, probably in debt, and putting on a show for you about his finances than a man’s who’s probably being realistic about his financial situation, may be an all around great guy who is only trying to impress your shallow behind, but you can’t see that because you’re walking around with your nose stuck in the air looking for a man who doesn’t use coupons. Really? you’ll let a good man walk over a coupon? it’s not attractive for the most part but it certainly shouldn’t be a deal breaker. . . .

  • Msmykimoto2u

    I pesonally wouldnt mind a man using a Groupon on a first date because if the shoe was on the other foot I would turn right around and be using my good ol Living Social coupon, LOL! I would appreciate his honesty and it would probably ease alot of tension.

  • Candacey Doris

    In this economy i’m not at all offended if he uses a coupon. Especially if it’s an expensive place. Shows he’s looking out for his money and being frugal. The last thing i want to do is date a man who lives beyond his means. I hate the type that makes it rain in the club but lives on a couch. 

  • Elegance

    I would not be offended. It would be a sign that he is smart and probably responsible with money. I think that one should rarely pay full price for anything. That’s just common sense and that is more attractive to me than a guy trying to wow me with money. Plus, since he saved on dinner he could use the savings to go someplace else with me after the date. In fact, we could afford more dates. Furthermore, it shows that he planned ahead, picked out Groupons that would come in handy, bought them, and used them when an opportunity arose. Groupons have great deals…people who don’t go for deals are just throwing money away. 

    I’m looking for a husband, I plan to have two kids, and put both of those kids through university. That takes money so I’m interested in a frugal guy who doesn’t waste money trying to impress people. It’s just food people! As long as he has a degree and a white collar job I could care less about coupons.

  • Just sayin’

    I use restaurant.com, groupon, saveology, etc. and even give them as gifts. I think people need to get over themselves and be happy to save $$$$. Yes, ideally this economy would be better but we’re in a depression and love or connecting with someone shouldn’t be limited to financial circumstances. The most generous man I ever dated was the brokest. He would take me to eat and feed me while not eating unless I forced him or the restaurant owners gave him food bc he loved me. Before and after him, I’ve dated much better off men and most have been alot more materialistic and didn’t have such genuine intentions. A generous heart is not limited to the size  of one’s bank account bc the size of the heart and bank account tend to mismatch. We will remain single with such rigid guidelines!

  • Idiot

    This is why there are so many single women. 

    • Mariah

      Okay! Damn, a man can’t use a Groupon? What is the world coming to? As long as he’s not robbing the restaurant or trying to dine and dash it’s not really a problem.

  • F3ral Anarchy

     i guess for some of the ladies the mindset is….hold off on showing how smart you are with money management until after wedding bells?

  • F3ral Anarchy

    any of you all heard of “the millionaire next door”.   a few of the topics they touch on to slowly building millionaire wealth is frugality.  coupons, sales, deals etc is how they build up all that money.  funny to see there are a few sistas out there who would run for the border when it comes to a frugal man….these must be the same women who purchase that louis bag and THEN figure out how the rent will get paid.  XD


    Don’t run give the brother a chance. He could being doing a whole lot worse with his time than dining a woman and taking advantage of a good deal.

  • Idiot

    If you’re getting a free meal, why would you care how he pays for it?

  • Better than that!

    Personally for me, and I’m just simply stating my opinion here. I don’t want to go out on a date with someone and he pays with a coupon.  If you can’t afford the date let me know in advance, and we could go some where that you can afford.  I’m not shallow at all by making this statement.  If you can’t afford to live above your means then simply don’t try to.  I can understand, I’ll even pay for the date, but don’t embarrass me or yourself with a coupon.  I’m better than that!  Ladies were all worth it, make sure he knows that we know were worth it.  I wouldn’t leave the guy because of it, I’ll just tell him that he clearly needs to do better!

    • bella2278

      I respect your opinion and your honesty,  but how is the use of a coupon or a groupon embarrassing?

      • Better than that!

        “personally” for me it is.  I would just simply be embarrass by it.  Not only would I be embarrass I would also be offended by it.

        • bella2278

           But HOW is it embarrassing? Would it make you feel embarrassed for him?   Would it make you feel like you are out with a poor man?  Would it make you feel poor?  I’m really trying to understand your point of view.

          • Better than that!

            ok, I’ll sum it up like this.  I’m not the type of lady that prefers a man to use coupons to live in luxury that he clearly can’t afford.  So I’ll be embarrass for him, not because he’s poor.. I can date a poor man, I have no problem with that.  If the bill comes up to $95 dollars in total and he has a coupon that worth’s $100, then he’ll be expecting $5 in change.  That’s not my type of scene, like I said if he can’t afford let me know and I’ll pay.

            • F3ral Anarchy

              interesting.  so with groupon you can get deals on things other than food. like electronics etc.  so if said man says “hey you know that tv you like that was 1500, well groupon has a deal right now where you can get it for 1000.”  you would say no because…….

            • Idiot

              Have you ever used groupon?  You cant get change moron.

            • Idiot

              I don’t understand how using a coupon makes someone poor.  If you could get something for less money, why wouldn’t you.  Even though I can afford a $100 meal, if I can purchase it for $70 why shouldn’t I?  Now I can see why women are accused of not having any logic.  Thankfully there are many logical women refuting your utter ridiculousness.  

              • Elegance

                I do not agree with her at all! You can have money and still go for discounts. Many celebrities are filthy rich but they get tons of things for free! And you know what…they take those gifts, gladly! I would know how much someone makes based on their job, car, and where they live so dinner wouldn’t, mean anything to me. I would rather we spent the money on fun experiences rather than food. I’d rather go to an amusement park on a Groupon and eat a hot dog. Everyone needs to be more financially responsible nowadays. I like people who know how to get deals. 

                As for the TV question, I wouldn’t even consider buying it without the groupon or a sale. I would thank him for saving me money!

            • VeritasCurat

              You watch too much TV. That’s not how intelligent, rational people behave with coupons, especially in this context.

        • Ms_Sunshine9898

          I’m still not understanding what there is to be embarrassed by. as a flight attendant, i travel to many cities around the world, and let me tell you, a night on the town is not what it used to be. Just for one person it’s expensive as hell, try two. you may not intend to, but you still sound very shallow. instead of worrying about how he’s paying for it, you should be more concerned with how he treats you and what are some good things about him, especially since he didn’t look at you to pay your half of the meal expectantly. it’s funny how women always say there aren’t any good men, and some women will let one passed by over something as shallow as using a coupon or the kind of car he drives, but will ignore real red flags such as secrets and questionable excuses in favor of a life style or appearances. . .

      • F3ral Anarchy

         lol  i was about to ask the same thing?  living social and groupon are the best things since sliced bread!

    • Idiot

      That doesn’t mean he can’t afford it.  It just means he’s saving money.  Nothing wrong with that. And all women are not worth it.  Too many people feel entitled.

  • My first comment was full of derision but in a nod to my new meditation habit I’m mostly left with sadness. There is so much to life, including joyful companionship. To think that such small, petty, petty, petty thinking would deny any human being the very companionship they proclaim to want is beyond sad.

  • bella2278

    What if the same man that used a Groupon on your first date also wanted to take you on vacation using his frequent flier miles?  Isn’t that the same thing.  I don’t understand people who do not enjoy saving money.  A man that knows how to save money and spend wisely is a gem.

  • Allyce

    I would be glad that he is resourceful. No shame in that game. 

  • flykiss121

    I agree with most of the comments here. This is ridiculous. It’s hard to find a man who wants to take you out at all (as opposed to a movie in the crib) and you all are complaining about a coupon. Please. I funded my whole birthday weekend one year (mani/pedi, massage, dinner and drinks) with Living Social and Groupon deals. If you can save money you should. Some people are too busy tyring to be Beyonce with no Beyonce money. I feel for these guys sometimes. How would your pockets hold up to the expectation of paying full price for every single date you ever go on? They practically need a second job just to keep up with this standard. We all use coupons for gifts we give other people if we can…or buy things on sale. Would you spend full price and leave the coupon home to make a point? Of course not. 

  • Some people should just get over their self. Times are hard now days and everything is so expensive. My sister is like this if a man take her to Red Lobster she gets up set. Her Ex boyfriend use a buy 1 get one free deal on her one time and her dumb butt never called the man again. And she wonder why she is still SINGLE, always up in mind telling me my husband cheap because he use coupons, if that the case me and him both are some cheap a** people because i am always looking for some sort of deals. 

  • cityofwind

    I’d give that man a high five. Times are tough out here.  Hell the outfit I’m wearing on said date was probably purchased with two or three groupons. #sensibleshopper!

  • Chaun

    With the Economy it shows that the individual is being smart with the disposable income they have. By using a coupon they’ll hopefully take a appreciative person out more regularly with the savings. If they are a Saavy Groupon user the establishment may be very fine are using.

  • Rah Truth

    I would thank him, enjoy the meal, and never go out with him again. A man who takes me out with coupons is not my type. Period.

    • Ms_Sunshine9898

      good luck finding a nice guy with that type of shallowness. . .

  • Misskaywill


  • Definitely not a great way to start things.  Money is not everything, but I do believe in making a great first impression.

    • F3ral Anarchy

       so if he spent the full amount and didnt go out of his way to look up a groupon to use at a expensive spot that would be a great way to stat things?

    • Ms_Sunshine9898

      If money isn’t everything, why shouldn’t the first impression be that he tries to manage his money wisely or giving you the false impression that he may have more money to spend than he does? technically you’re saving money and getting a free meal by going on a date with him so why shouldn’t he be allowed to save too?

  • Pivyque

    I think it’s great. He likes to save money. 

  • sexcgenius

    So on ur first date, he let’s you know that he is good with his money and that makes you nervous?  If anything, he’s the one who dodged a bullet.  This kind of thinking is why the housing market hit us harder than the rest.  Some of us just have no concept of money and how to manage our finances.

  • Rachael

    This is the sensible thing. Who wants a guy who spends lavishly, knowing next month he’ll be sleeping in his car?

  • Nessa

    This is completely closeminded. You’re upset because a man is trying to make a smart financial decision. You can save money than why not? Why spend more than you have to? I would pay with a coupon. That doesn’t say anything about you at all because until you’re wifey….his pockets are more important than you. I think this is very shallow. The man is still paying! I can’t with women these days….many men don’t even court women anymore and you’re upset because he’s trying to save money. All of a sudden his personality is absolute? It’s a horrible scale to measure a man. What aboutb all the tacky things you could be doing to turn him off? Should he cross you out because you do duck faces on facebook??? I mean really…

  • Using a coupon is going the extra mile. It is a sign that he prepared for the date ahead of time, instead of walking into some random spot. When a man pays for the date, he is showing that he can take care of you. Paying full price when a discount is available is not a good indicator of this brother having any common sense when it comes to his money.

    • Elegance

      Exactly! I really admire guys who can get deals (as long as they are legal). I think paying full price when you can get a discount is just throwing money away. I don’t like guys who waste money trying to impress people. It’s not about how much you spend, it’s about the quality of the experience! 

  • Sugar_Spice

    I don’t know how to feel about this one, I guess it depends on the reasoning behind the coupon. Goldstar.com, living social, & so forth offer really good deals but if your going out of your way planning the date around the coupon then yes I find it tacky. There are many inexpensive things a person could do on a first date (a picnic in the park, talk over coffee, browse at a museum, a walk on the beach, etc.).

  • queenie

    I would not mind. I don’t want a man spending the big bucks on me until we know we are both interested in one another. It takes away the pressure, I know he’s not spending beyond his means and when we finally do go on expensive dates, I’ll know it’s because he really cares about me. Besides, Living Social and Groupon have some great deals that would make for really fun and interesting dates!

    • Elegance

      I agree, those sites got me into wine tasting and taking a massage class, things I had never done before. They are great date ideas! Plus, if you have never eaten at a restaurant, the food could be bad, but at least you had a discount. Seriously, as long as he’s paying for the date that’s fine. But insisting he not use a discount is goldigging in my opinion. Seriously, is he not allowed to use frequent flyer points…geez! He paid and didn’t even ask to go Dutch!

  • Ms. Jay

    Honestly, I wouldn’t matter. It just goes to show that he is careful with money. Who knows, like you said, he may make up for it in other ways. I’m not ballin like Beyoncé or Paris Hilton, so I’m not gonna get my panties in a bunch because bomeboy uses a coupon.

  • Nina Dashotta

    Why run when he breaks out a coupon?? Ya know there is a website called Living Social that gives half off deals to couples, to very nice restaurants and vacation spots. If a woman is worried about if a man uses a coupon or discounts on a first date then that date should be her last. Any woman to me who is that shallow deserves to keep dating around. Think of it this way: if you were a man and just met a young lady, depending on what’s going on and financially important in YOUR life, would you risk $50-100 on a date where you didn’t even vibe with that person? I know for me, my current and future financial endeavors are more important than throwing glitter and stars on some first date with some random person.

    • Pahleeze

      I agree fully. Newsflash! YOU ARE NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND YET! He is not supposed to spend that kind of money on you. If you are this ungrateful he shouldn’t mind if you ever called back. Especially if this is a place you can’t afford yourself anyway see his efforts not his shortcomings.