In The Meantime: 25 Inexpensive Dates For The I-Ain’t-Got-It Brother

Date One & Two (The Get To Know You): The first couple of dates are always portrayed at restaurants and/or some communal event. However, it’s difficult to get to know someone where it’s noisy and sometimes it’s awkward and nerve-wracking sitting across a table from someone you barely know. Keep it chill on these first two dates. Strolls in the park/botanical gardens, Prospect or Central, are great spots to have a chat and explore paths/nooks of nature. Some parks have restaurant/grill taverns, craft/food markets, kayaking, batting cages, canoeing, duck feeding and so much more. Before you leave the house, find out what’s going on at your natural utopia. Most events are free or far from costly. For the extra smooth gentlemen; bring a blanket, a picnic basket, and a genuine smile.


Date Three (The Long Stroll): Date three is usually where the light banter becomes slightly heavier. You’ll tell him about that horrible last relationship and he’ll confess that he wishes for a better relationship with his mother. This is the point where the pheromones are high and you’ll get the butterflies and floating feeling. This is where the promenade, boardwalks, and sightseeing venues come in handy. There’s nothing like whispering amongst the roar of the ocean, the city’s skyline as a backdrop to soothing tone, or the thrill of height while spilling your heart. Long Beach, Coney Island, The Brooklyn Promenade (Dumbo), The Empire State Building, and/or the Staten Island Ferry are great places for wonderful views to accompany conversation.


Date Four (The Community Date): She is in. You’re not sure if she is good enough to meet your mama, but you’re sure that she can be around your friends or you hers. When she calls to tell you that her co-worker is having game night, rejoice in that. Scooping her up and carting her off to a friend’s shindig, where you’ll laugh and talk in hushed tones around other folks COUNTS as a date. Trying to avoid girl-talk and social events could keep you sitting on date three. Also, when your boy calls about sports bar night and hints that his lady friend and some others will be there; call her and ask her to accompany you. Showing her that you’re comfortable with her being around your boys will renew her infatuation completely.


Date Five (The Blow Her Mind): Here’s where it might get a little bit costly, but it’s okay you’ve had four dates to save up! Cop one of her favorites: Cold Stone Strawberry Ice-cream, Essence’s Latest Magazine, or a journal (if she’s anything like me.) Or if you’re aiming high, glance her size when she isn’t looking and pick her up a nice little black number. (Keep it classy chaps.) Show her that it doesn’t have to be a holiday or special occasion for you to show her some love. Tell her you’re coming over, but don’t tell her why. Trust she’ll be ready. Women won’t let you catch them on date five slipping. Embrace her at the front door; show her your special treat, and then demand that she get dressed appropriately, if she isn’t. If you chose option four, she’ll dance away surprised that you’ve decided to gown her for the evening. Take her out for some wining and dining. No Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Changs, or mainstream grandeur. Get creative! SoCo in Brooklyn specializes in red velvet waffles and chicken all day long, 1or8 is a beautiful late-night sushi spot in Williamsburg that doesn’t close till 2am, or ask her where’d she’d like to go and drive straight there. Bask in low music while you drive, impress her with your exquisite music choice: Crank up that Coltrane, Foreign Exchange and/or John Legend. Take a walk after dinner, laugh at all her jokes, tell her goodnight and repeat once a month.


After date five everything will fall into place. You’ll have date nights and decide upon mutual places. Sometimes she’ll surprise you (Jay-Z concert tickets) and sometimes you’ll surprise her (Jill Scott and Maxwell). But most importantly, you’ll both have an understanding of one another that is unique and special. That notion does not take thousands of dollars; it takes time, commitment, and passion. Simply.


& there’s so much more…


Date Six (The Intellect): The Bookstore. Swap favorite titles; sit in the bookstore’s café or on the floor of your favorite section. Sit in one another’s laps, wrap poetry and fiction around her with your arms and indulge in lattes.


Date Seven (The Basquiat): There’s so much to explore in this world. Delve into the museum you’ve been meaning to go to or the free exhibit downtown. Read signs and discuss the prevalence of the pieces.


Date Eight (The Get Up and Shout): Open mics, ciphers, and/or dinner theatre is abundant in any major city. Go and listen to some poetry, music, and/or scripted prose for an evening.


Date Nine (The Shake My Tail): I’m not huge on lounges and clubs, but there are plenty of places with themes I wouldn’t mind going to. Swing46 features 1920’s jazz band swing dancing, salsa clubs are littered throughout and reggae clubs will leave you drenched in sweat and full of great Caribbean food.


Date Ten (Game Night): Hit the arcade or a Dave & Busters with your girl. Bet her that she can’t beat you in whack-a-mole.


Date Eleven (The Ball Game): Pick her up a Yankees fitted and a hotdog. Give her the spot that Mikey usually has when you use your season tickets, for once. Watch her try to root like one of the fellas. Laugh. Fall.


Date Twelve (The Magical Dinner): Visit the local hibachi spot and watch a chef cook up great food in amazingly crafty ways. There’s also a place in NYC called Ninja, where the waiters do amazing stunts and you’ll have dinner in your own private underground cave. This is date five territory; it’s a little pricey.


Date Thirteen (The Festive): Fairs and festivals are abundant everywhere. There are tons that feature food, crafts, rides and more. My personal favorites always include seafood.


Date Fourteen (The Sweet/Tasty Date): Head out to a wine or chocolate tasting. Cocoa Prieto, a chocolate factory in Red Hook, has these often. Strand Bookstore also has amazing book signings. If a chef or chocolatier comes to sign books, they usually being their delicacies along with them!


Date Fifteen (The Chef Date): There are a ton of cooking classes all over the city. Join Livingsocial or Groupon and you’ll be sure to find a great inexpensive idea for this sort of date night.


Date Sixteen (The Literary Date): Bookstores, cafes and not-for-profits often have prominent authors come to speak, share portions of a new/old book and have signings. In 2012 “92Y,” a cultural and community center, will have Junot Diaz, Zadie Smith, and Edwidge Danticat come to visit.


Date Seventeen (The Adventure Date): Need a short staycation? No problem. Take the day off and head to Coney Island, Rye Playland, Atlantic City or Six Flags for a day filled with adventure and games.


Date Eighteen (The Shopping Date): Need some input on your attire? Drag her to the outlet malls on the end of Long Island and get some pieces for your/her fall collection.


Date Nineteen (The Around-the-Way Date): So often we overlook the awe in our own backyards. Stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge, explore the neighborhood you always drive by, or grab reasonably priced drinks at famous actor Anthony Mackie’s bar in Crown Heights, NoBarBK.


Date Twenty (The Old-School)Drive-in movie theatres still exist; you’ve just got to drive a little bit further for them. Grab a bunch of snacks and head to one.


Date Twenty-One (The Daring): Have you been thinking about adding a new tattoo or piercing? Go and get them together and be her support system after she confesses that she’s afraid of needles.


Date Twenty Two (The Imaginative): Ever watch “500 Days of Summer”? Well, you could stroll through Ikea, Crate and Barrel, or even take an open house tour of the house you hope to own together one day.


Date Twenty Three (The Shake & Bake): Head to the market together and craft something for dinner according to a recipe you saw on all-recipes.


Date Twenty-Four (The Educational): Take a class together. There are loads of institutions that offer courses on a variety of things. Study together. Study “everything.” Hehe.


Date Twenty-Five (The Active Date): NYC has a ton of marathons/tours. Take a five-borough bike tour or run in a charitable race together. Give back while getting to know one another.


So no more excuses okay?


Chivalry is in. Ladies…share this with a friend (male of female). I’m most certainly sharing it with mine. Hopefully she’ll share it with Mr. 4-months. *sends*

“RivaFlowz” is an educator and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz or read more of her work on her blog or her latest venture.


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