Danzis has bestowed upon us a second recession guest blog, this time on his favorite activitiy when he's not watching TIVO or steaming salmon - DATING! What say ye, Danzis? Can we still date in a recession and save a few Ben Franklins?

Dating During a Recession
by Alan Danzis

In a recession, only a few industries seem to thrive. Video games for one—as long as you already own the game console. Dating sites too, according to The New York Times and others.
There could be many potential explanations for this rise. Recessions tend to bring depression, and if you’re single, you may already be depressed. So you might feel like working twice as hard about ending your single life during these tough economic times. The only problem? You were probably already watching your wallet and that’s not something you want to do when “wining and dining” a potential love.

That’s what I’m here for. As someone who’s been perennially single for the last six years or so (give or take about six random months in between), I’ve come up with some of the following tips:
- Stop trying to impress. Your potential date will probably be more impressed that you found a small, romantic little pizzeria that deals only in cash and fresh, non-frozen fish that she AND her friends have never heard of, as opposed to you waiting an extra hour and a half to get seated at a table you had to make a reservation for when you were born.

- Cook for your date. This is not recommended for first or second dates obviously, but cooking for your dates is not only impressive, but also a lot cheaper—this also works as it relates to making your own lunch during the week. If you think you’re not ready for candle-light dinners at your apartment, try something simpler—a bottle of wine and some handmade sandwiches in Central Park. Just make sure you casually found out their allergies and what foods they absolutely hate early on in the dating process—if someone baked me banana bread, or made me a banana split for instance, I would know it was never meant to be.

- Go out for some exercise. That doesn’t mean hanging out with your potential love at the rowing machine—it means taking a walk through a park, or even a neighborhood. If you’re both from say, Hoboken, why not grab a coffee at Starbucks and walk up and down Washington Street, our main drag. Even better: time it to when a local Festival is in town giving you some places to stop at while you’re walking. I mean, what girl doesn’t always say she loves “long, romantic walks [insert place like beach here]”? Time to call her out and see if it’s true. Bikes work too—just make sure you plan a place or two to stop in the middle to chat. Just like going to the movies on a first or second date, you want to make sure there’s ample time to, I don’t know, talk to your date.

- Drink more slowly. When beers cost $7 a piece plus tip, your date’s cost can skyrocket pretty quickly. Unless you and your date can make two beers last quickly, think about going somewhere where martinis or margaritas are the norm. They’ll cost more on the upfront, but it’ll take way longer to drink. Two of those can easily last you over two hours. Just don’t get wasted—not a good way to make a first impression. (Unless your date is too.)

- Rent a movie. My parents didn’t get their first VCR until they were married, so watching movies at home on a date was pretty difficult—I don’t think even my tech-savvy Dad had a projector. But luckily, watching movies at home on a date is easier than ever thanks to Amazon On Demand, iTunes, Netflix, etc. You don’t even have to go to the store! Even more importantly, there’s WAY more options, meaning odds are you’ll find something you AND your date like—though make sure their opinion counts first. To help yourself out though, maybe leave out two or three movies that you’ve seen before next to the TV as “thought starters.” Especially since you’ll mind less if you guys wind up talking during the movie—which is the whole point, dummy. Just make sure it’s a comedy and not Apocalypse Now. Because otherwise, you might wind up ordering some Kate Hudson or Brittany Murphy movie on iTunes…

So those are the good things to do in a recession. Next time, if Katharine lets me write again, I’ll tell you what NOT to do on dates during a recession. Until then, check me out on Twitter at www.twitter.com/adanzis for all my thoughts on TV, dating, politics and more.

I think Danzis may have broken some of his own rules, but who am I to judge?


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