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First date budgets unaffected by credit crunch

New research by UK online dating site FreeDating.co.uk shows that singles are spending as much as ever on a first date, despite the credit crunch.

Just 12% of single men were expecting to reduce the amount they would spend on a date due to the economic meltdown.

The study also revealed a surprising disparity between the sexes when it comes to the thorny issue of who should pick up the tab for a first date: 64% of guys believe the man should pay, whilst only 35% of women would expect their date to settle the bill.

Even more surprising was the revelation that the younger the respondent, the more traditional their views on this subject.

When under 21s were asked the same question, 80% of guys thought the man should pay, with 47% of women agreeing that the man should pick up the tab.

Dan Winchester of FreeDating.co.uk commented: "This research shows that the traditionally-held view that the man should pay for a first date is alive and kicking - even more so amongst the younger generation. Furthermore, guys are not letting the credit crunch hold them back when it comes to splashing out on a first date".

Chart: Percentage of men/women (by age) who believe that the man should pay for the first date

Asked how much they would spend on a date, Liverpudlians were by far the most generous, budgeting an average of £72. They were followed by guys from Coventry and Birmingham.

Table: Most Generous Daters (UK) - How much do men budget for a first date? Liverpool, Coventry, Birmingham, London, Newcastle

Sheffield singletons were the stingiest, with an average budget of £45. Guys from Nottingham and Southampton were also languishing at the bottom of the generosity table.

Table: Least Generous Daters (UK) - How much do men budget for a first date? Sheffield, Nottingham, Southampton, Hull, Bradford

Londoners were reasonably high up the rankings, with an average budget of £64.

However, there were marked differences within London itself, with the majority of guys from Chelsea expecting to pay in excess of £100 for a first date. Chelsea was followed closely by Greenwich and Kensington in this respect.

Table: Most Generous Daters (London) - How much do men budget for a first date? Chelsea, Greenwich, Kensington, Wandsworth, Clapham

Meanwhile, single men from Kilburn, Stoke Newington and Walthamstow were amongst the tightest, where the average budget was below £50 in each case.

Table: Least Generous Daters (London) - How much do men budget for a first date? Kilburn, Stoke Newington, Walthamstow, Southwark, Peckham

Respondents also had the opportunity to recount the stingiest first dates they had been out on.

One woman was taken to McDonalds, where her date revealed he only had enough money for two kids meals.

Another was taken to the cinema on "Orange Wednesdays", where she paid for the ticket, whilst her date had the free one.

Other cheap dates included dinner at a free food outlet for the homeless, and a day out badger watching.

Winchester commented: "Whilst the majority of women are perfectly happy to pay their own way on a first date, men should be aware that most of their fellow suitors will be offering to pay. Our research also confirms that, unsurprisingly, many women find meanness with money an unattractive trait".

"If you are on a tight budget, try and make up for your lack of funds with an abundance of imagination - doing something interesting or exciting will make the small budget less obvious".

We asked members if they had been on a date with a real cheapskate? Or someone who really pushed the boat out? Read the best responses below:

sonia2712
I went on a first date. The guy asked to take me to dinner. When the bill came he looked at it and put it back on the table. The waiter came to the table and the guy said to me "Its £36.00 so you owe me £18.00" I gave him £20.00 which he duly put in his pocket and told me he would put the change towards our next drinks!! Needless to say, i never went out with him again!
 
TinkerBoo
I went out on a date with a bloke who suggested going for a walk and then grab some lunch by the river...a romantic thought had it have been if i hadn't have been wearing heels and a killer dress. We ended up walking along the river which i have to admit was nice but we got to a bench where he pulled out of his bag a M&S sandwich and a couple of cartons of drink. I have to say we did have a second date but let's just say he was cheap on the second date too.
 
Barb13
I met a guy who took me to a french restaurant and we had drinks obviously, starter, main course and of course dessert, we were both too full for anything else!! He refused when I offered to go halves and he paid the whole bill. Another guy did the same and said that was the way he'd been brought up, to pay if he took a lady out!! But another guy allowed me to pay for lunch and drinks for the both of us and never batted an eyelid, he is history of course!!!
 
SnapdragonFlower
I went to a chinese restaurant on a 2nd date with a guy I met online. We ordered a set meal for 2 which with drinks the bill came to just under £40. My date asked the waitress if we could have it cheaper if we didn't have the desert. When it came to paying, I paid on my card and he gave me a 20 pound note and asked me if I had any change which meant me fumbling around in my bag counting up shrapnel to give him his £2 change. The 1st date, I paid for my own drinks. There wasnt a 3rd date! lol
 
SexyLegs69
All guys ive been with are too cheap to actually take me out! How rubbish is that lol x
 
cowsie44
I went on a date with a bloke we went for a walk and then he said lets go for somthing to eat so I said ok. He took me to this cafe and he got a glass of water and got a ham sandwich he had the cheek to get a knife and cut it into quarters he stuck one quarter on a plate and gave it to me and he ate the rest I told him where to stick the other quarter and left him sitting there and I never saw him again.
 
sharkie123
Over the years I've learned one golden rule - if a woman expects you to pay for her, she planning on not seeing you again. I've never yet been wrong.
 
Likealady
I went on a date where the gentleman took me to two different restaurants because the coffee was 10p cheaper, he also needed petrol, we were outside a petrol station at the time, but he insisted that 5 miles up the road the petrol was a penny cheaper. On the way he ran out of petrol and had to walk to the petrol station to fill up a can. This gentleman had his own business and was doing very well, needless to say I didn't keep in contact.
 
Ellejay48
Had a date with a guy for a drink in a local pub. He bought me a drink (diet coke) and he had a bottle of beer. When he finished his drink he waved the bottle at me and just smiled. Obviously he wanted me to buy him a drink in return. I said "If you can't afford to take me for a drink...then you're not the man for me!" He just stood up... asked me if I wanted to go to his for a cup of tea? I said politely "no thanks" he then walked out of the pub leaving me a bit gob smacked! How rude was that!
 
redheadlady
I went on a date with a guy to see a band but he would not pay the £4 parking fee at the venue and drove around for ages then parked on a back street so we had to walk miles back to the concert!!
 
HRHRED
HRHREDI went on a date with a guy from London. Apart from paying for the tube fare he just bought me a coffee in Regents Park where we spent 3 hours walking around in the pouring rain. Needless to say we did not meet again.What a cheapskate he was. I'm well rid of him.
 
PracticallyPerfect
I was taken out to the races, followed by dinner. Hotel all paid for with no strings attached. He offerred to buy my outfit, lovely thought but a step too far for me. I won about £200.00 quid and he won nothing. That was a great date, a lovely way to spend time with someone to get to know them.
 
pitbull73
Went on a date with a bloke off this site. We met at a pub and as we ordered the meal he said he'd left his wallet at home. I cancelled the meal and went home.
 
discovery2
Be nice just to get a date, let alone meet a cheepskate...
 
cheekyangel
I went on a first date with a guy who i met up with in London, he said he'd got a surprise planned for me. we went for coffee and a sandwich, then he took me on the tube and we ended up at the theatre to see the show "wicked" he'd already booked the tickets, and quite near the front. after the show he got me some dinner, and then walked me to my train and said goodbye. He paid for the whole thing. Only problem was he lives in Brighton and i live in Northampton. But it was an amazing date and we still talk all the time!!
 
CUPIDMISSEDME
Oh yes i was dating a real cheapskate. Never bought me a drink. We went to the cinema on "Orange" Wednesday "two for the price of one" I paid for the ticket, he had the free one! He asked if I would like to go again a few weekes later, then txtd to say: "If we go to the cinema babe do i need to bring any money?" lol, if that aint your star cheapskate i dunno who is lol
 
carlo70
I once got invited round to this girls house where she had cooked us a meal. She had made a shephards pie with tinned mince and smash.
 
Anonymous
AnonymousI met a really nice looking guy over the internet and started chatting with him for a few months. I finally met him and he picked me up at my house, on the way too the ice skating rink, we stopped at a petrol station where he asked if I would go and pay for the petrol. I said yes. When we got too the icerink he was in front of me in the queue and only paid for himself. I thought that was inpolite. Then because we were in the same area code as where he lived he said he was goin home and that i should ring a taxi to take me back home. I never spoke too him ever again, i think a man when they are taking out a lady should always pay.
 
happy k
I had a guy chatting me up who asked if we could meet. So i said yes that sounds great where would you like to go, and he replied can we just sit in your flat as I have no money lol needless to say i stopped chatting to him.
 
roxybaby61
I went on a date to the cinema with a dentist and he bought his own ticket but not mine and he was the one who asked me on the date plus he had a dodgy shirt on!
 
Doonmad
60 year old female
DoonmadHee hee, Yes I have been on a date with a real cheapskate. I got taken to a shopping centre for a date, then was taken to his favourite shop - 'Poundsaver'!! Where he bought his Dad a pound radio for Fathers Day. Needless to say I didn't meet again. He did say afterwards that he had taken other ladies to the shopping centre on dates and even went to McDonalds! Lots more to say on that date, but think that is enough for now. :-) Cheers.
 
Cupcakeâ„¢
Having usually paid for most dates without any thought of what was spent, she offered to take me out one night. I thought it odd when she suggested meeting at 9.45, which was rather late I thought but in my desire to meet her, duly turned up at the specified location. After talking in the car for 10 minutes she dashed out and into the local chip shop at around 9.55 and returned with a bag of chips and can of coke to share between us. I asked why she had left it so late and she said that because it was closing time for the chip shop that she might get two bags for the price of one, which this time she didn't.
 
xxluckywhitexx
i went on a 1st date and the guy took me badger watching cheep date or what!!!!!
 
cal29
cal29Yes i once went on a date with someone who was the big i am. Knew everything about everything, knew all the dodges, she came with minature bottles of booze in her handbag, to keep the cost of the evening down. On leaving nipped to the ladies and nicked the toilet roll.
 
mswba
My last first date said he would take me to bridgnorth but instead he stopped at a chipshop on the way and brought me a fish & chip special £1.00 and a can of coke. I decided to go home...
 
SmilingBird
Cheapskate - oh yes, there are many instances. The best one was I'd been out a few times for a drink with this bloke and as I like to pay my way I hadn't been aware of his ways. Anyway one night I stayed over at his house. In the morning he said I could have a shower, which I did - but I didn't expect him to ask me for £5 so he could get some more electric as I'd used some of his on having a shower!!!!
 
FredaLivery
I went on a date last year and bought us both a coffee and i had to buy myself a scone... He didnt have any teeth, maybe that was the problem!! lol
 
Phila1
I had a girl offer to have sex with me if I paid for the meal
 
Happy Heart (back with Mistletoe kisses in December ;o) )
First guy I ever had a date with from internet dating asked me if I would have dinner with him on Valentine's Day. He took me to a Wetherspoons at 6.30pm, and insisted we order from the 2 for 1 menu. I offered to pay for my own meal so that I could have something I wanted, but he wouldn't hear of it. We were there for over an hour, but I only got 1 coffee, and wasn't offered another drink, even though I was thirsty. He wouldn't let me pay for anything, but wouldn't consider spending more than £10 for the whole evening. I was home by 8pm!
 
Denise26
I had a date with a guy who hounded me for ages to meet him and when I finally agreed to meet him in a resturant he asked me if I had the money to pay as he was broke!!!!!!!!
 
Lovinalaugh
One woman asked me to drive 2.5 hours to meet her, pay for an expensive meal and then drive 2.5 hours back again! I asked her to meet me half way, and she said no!! Her excuse was: It's traditional for the man to come to the woman and take her out!!! Needless to say I didn't meet up with her!!
 
Coops194
Once rang Pizza Hut and made a false claim that I had a bad experience in one of there resturants, in return they sent me a 20 quid gift voucher which i used to take a lady friend out, she thought I'd paid, good result!
 
plukajane
Yes, met at Ikea, he forgot his wallet!!! I bought coffee, then he said, we might as well have another seeing as its free!!!
 
Dave333
Dave333Here's a girl trick to watch for guys! Most single girls are dating new prospects 2-3 times a week. That's a lot of eating out and as a result, most girls can't afford to pay their way. So what's the trick? As soon as dinner is finished, she will excuse herself and go to the loo. She'll stay there just long enough for you to get bored & pay the bill! It may be 2008 and we may have a Black President, but equality rarely extends to paying towards dinner!
 
fablady
I have yet to meet a man who will even offer to pay for a coffee. I am not rich and have always paid my way but have now reached the stage where just for once I would like to be firmly told to put my purse away.
 
tee247
I went to the cinema with a guy I met online, 1st he moaned about the car park beacuse you had to pay £1 so I got him a ticket. Then he walked off as we got to the desk so I paid, he went to the food hall I watched him fill a large cup with Tango 3 times and drink it! Then I walked over to him and he started to walk in to the cinema I said don't you need to pay for your drink he said nah and walked in! I didn't know what to do so I followed haha. He shouted and cheered all through the film, we went to a bar after and I brought the drinks he wanted a Breezer by the time I had put my change away he had downed it I asked if he wanted another he said yeah a pint! I got him one he then said so what do u think of me...? Well he asked so I told haha had the cheek to text me 2 days later to ask if I wanted to go out again, I think you can guess the answer can't you hahah
 
rainingdates
I'd met a very handsome man on a plane to Seville. Next time he flew through from Ireland via London Stansted to Seville I met him at Stansted airport for a drink. Understandably he had no sterling so I offered to pay for our very expensive drinks £8 each with my cash. I then went on and bought us another round. I'd run out of money by this time so offered to put them on my credit card thinking he'd surely offer. No! Not a chance...so I'd paid £48 for drinks on a man who it turned out had a long term g/f in Seville. He didn't look so very handsome after that. Next time he came through London he asked to meet me again. Needless to say I was 'busy'!
 
Tukes
The man I was dating suggested we go to the pub for a meal. He bought the first drinks, so i offered to pay for the meal.. He accepted the offer, took my money and went to order. When he returned he gave me my change, then thought for a few seconds and said he had given me £1 too much back, and took it from my hand! I kinda lost interest in him after that!
 
MsAstonMartin
I had a date that took me for a meal in the pub as he had won a free meal voucher, he was drinking 1/2 pints but when I gave him the money to go to the bar for a drink he come back with a double vodka for himself and told me he had put my change in the charity box. lol
 
The real KD!!!
I had a date with a woman who just told me to be ready at 7pm and make sure I'm wearing a suit, she pulls up outside my house bang on time in a stretch limousine and takes me onboard The Symphony for a dinner and dance cruise up the River Thames. After 2 fantastic hours we disembark and go across the road to a club where we drank way too many cocktails and continued the dancing, at 2am we head back to mine and the rest is classified.
 
ROXYFOXY
54 year old female
ROXYFOXYI went on a date once and had the best meal ever wined dined flowers bought me and even the doors opened for me and my seat pulled out for me I had a dessert and I didn't pay a penny I wanted to split the bill but the guy wouldn't hear of it at all after the meal we went home and he opened the car door for me too a real gent but sadly the spark wasn't there for me but we remain good friends.
 
lakelandream
lakelandreamI took a girl out on a date, bought all the drinks, dinner, bottle of perfume and trip on a boat! Whilst taking her home she asked if she could pop into ASDA, yes cool I said, she bought several days shopping and when we got to check out she desperatly needed the loo and left me to pay for her shopping! I took her home and carried it in got a peck on the cheek and tara! Felt like home delivery driver. There's nothing free about freedating!
 
mmni
I went on a date with a guy, he suggested the place & I met him there. After a few drinks we were getting on quite well so we decided to eat in the restaurant. He said we had to hurry to get a table, we sat down & I grabbed a menu, he then took it off me & said we had to have "earlybird special" as it was 5.99 each! I said I was going to the ladies, but actually left & made it home in time for Coronation Street! Tightwads are sooooooo unattractive...
 
steph_ellis250
I've been on one date before who told me we were going out for a meal. I got all dressed up and we ended up going to McDonalds and he only had enough for two kids meals!!!
 
rainbowchild
My ex was a stingy so and so - his favourite was to take me to this really cheap curry house that looked like a burger van. This is also the guy who once gave me a large DIY book so i would stop asking him to do stuff round the house.
 
missnice2
I went on a date with a guy once from another site, and he was like what do you want to drink? I said a single vodka and diet coke he kept on coming back with doubles. Needless to say i got very drunk very quick and when he paid for the meal (I offered to pay half) he said I was the most expensive date ever!! The cheek of that man, i even put my hand in my pocket for a couple of rounds, and thought it was all fair!! He never called again lol ha ha
 
jjk3ace.I know you are beautiful,share it through your smile.
I was on a date with a 30 something female, I sussed her out as being married and just looking for some fun on the side, but wanted me to settle the bill, I hate users, after running up the bill, I pretended to go to the toilet and left by the side door :D
 
Moonlite
About a year ago met this guy, we lived quite far from each other so I came to his for a weekend and the very first evening he wanted to cook a romantic dinner for me. We went to supermarket where he just kept going on and on and on how expensive it is to spend a fiver on couple of steaks and veggie and I had to buy my own wine in the end... The dinner was in busy kitchen in a sharehouse, I could only dream about candles, flowers or even some privacy. In the end he left me sleeping in the mattress on the floor in a sleeping bag while he was enjoying his warm double bed on his own. Was supposed to stay the whole weekend but packed my stuff saturday morning, didn't even wait for breakfast because he'd probably charge me for that... Haven't seen him since although he tried to call and txt me. I'd rather spend the rest of my life on my own eating beans on toast than with someone who can spend the whole "oh-so-romantic" evening talking about that fiver he spent on the dindins :D
 
Kir5ty
I once had a guy make me drive because he was drunk from being out with the lads. He took me to McDonalds for a "meal" and used a 2 for 1 voucher meaning I couldnt order what I wanted to eat. We then went to the cinema - for Orange Wednesday. Total spent on me for the date? £0.00
 
TillyTrouble
One guy made sandwiches and complained the whole time about how much they cost to make! Talk about cheapskate! I mean I didn't even get taken anywhere we had them in the car! And he moaned about how much travel cost but I'd paid to get there not him! hee hee.
 
♪♫ρнυηкуρυηк♫♪ (has decided to change his name just to protest over this stupid name change rule that should have been coded in at the outset of this sites development. Besides, I'm seriously ge
One date of mine took me home - to meet her Mum!!! She didn't spend a penny on the date, or on any soap either!!
 
dkb
My date only had enough cash to buy one drink so he bought a pint!
 
scarletmmoi
I was invited out for a meal, I was told that it would be very casual, this guy bought me fish'n'chips from the seaside and cuddled up in the back of his car very cheap but ohhhhhhhhh he was cute lol
 
playboy88
I went on a date on friday with a guy I just met the weekend before, he took me out for a meal, drinks we played pool, he then took me out for my tea, bought me wine, a DVD sweets, we went shopping and the whole weekend I did not spend a penny he spent close to £300 on our first date..... MUST BE LOVE :)
 
shaddy67
I went on a date with this bloke off the internet all we did was drive around all night, then the dirty git took me to a dogging site my life I was pooing myself I got out of the car and walked home lol
 
Felix1985
Invited a girl to this lovely restaurant in Cardiff once, spent a small fortune reserving a table, she turned up drunk, in a bra and fishnets. Got turned away, no rufund on the table. And spend all night holding her hair back while she emptied her guts up. Don't you just love 1st dates!
 
meadowlady
First date after meeting on here... He took me out, paid for all the drinks, paid for the meal... then when I realised we had missed the last train back home, he paid for the most expensive room with a 4 poster bed in the most expensive hotel in the area, yet respected my wishes and never laid a finger on me. He paid for breakfast the next day, took me out again and paid.... We spent 18 months together, he took me away on exotic holidays, treated me and the kids to expensive restaurants, he even took me for a meal that cost over £300 just for the 2 of us. We split up about a year ago, but we remain best friends, and he still treats me like a queen even in friendship. What a wonderful chap, what a shame the chemistry fizzled out, but I love him dearly as my friend.
 
ginney
I met up with a guy for lunch we split the bill which was £12 each, he said he would take me next and kept on insisting so after many refusals i accepted, he took me to Ikea and bought me a hotdog for 85p
 
nikkijordan
I once went round to a guy's house for dinner as he was cooking, I told him I loved spag bol, so there he was serving it saying how long it had took him to do, as I offered to clear the plates I was scraping the dishes in the bin when I noticed a box saying ICELAND MICROWAVE MEAL £1 and guess what it was? You guessed it SPAG BOL!! Needless to say I never went for dinner again!!
 
swoozie
Yes I've been out with a real cheapskate, been going out a while, asked to take me out to dinner, had a really nice time, then when the bill turned up, he was tapping the table waiting for me to pay half the bill!!! Another time (you'd have thought I'd of learned my lesson), we went on holiday, both with the same amount of money I came home with about £20, he had most of his left! He took me away for my 40th birthday, again I had to pay for dinner and half of the cost of the room, then we ended up in his brothers house, so then he never had to spend a penny! Never again will I get sucked into that again!
 
Foxxyd
Went on a date with a guy who arranged the date, then asked me to pay coz he was skint, promised to take me out next time but i never heard from him again!
 
beansta
I've been on date with girls that expect my to pay for my own beer cheek of it lol!!!!!!
 
Lovingangel81
I went out on a first date with one guy a few months back. There was not much conversation between us, not through lack of trying! I offered to go halves on the meal which he jumped at the chance to do so although it was not an even split, far from it! He then asked if I wanted another drink and stay for a bit and chat so I agreed and we walked to the bar. Once there he ordered the drinks then when they came he just looked at me then said "I'm sorry do you mind getting them I've got no change" I refused, said I didnt have enough so made him get them on his card! Needless to say, I never saw him again xx
 
I dare ya!
It's not a good idea to spend money on dating. This is not about money, it's about checking that he/she is who you think he/she is and if there is genuine sexual attraction and desire. And the generally accepted concept of dating is not a good "activity" to get to know someone. We know people by who they are, not what they say they are! The best "dates" are when you invite someone along to something you're already going to do, like shopping for a shirt or something.
 
Beigebookends
One guy I dated spent the entire meal boasting about how much money he earned, and how many cars he had, and how much he paid for his clothes.... then went on to describe how he went away every christmas so he wouldn't have to buy christmas presents for his grandchildren, and when he went out for dinner with a group of friends he would have the most expensive thing on the menu, even if he didn't like it, so that when it came time to splitting the bill, he would get his money's worth!! At the end of our meal, despite saying how he was an old-fashioned gentleman that held open doors, and paid for his dates' meals, he put exactly half the money for the meal on the table, and didn't even tip the waiter! Needless to say, it was the first AND last date.
 
joanne_73
Drove all the way to Manchester and on our first date we went to Greggs the bakers for lunch!
 
misspontefract
The guy who said that as his WIFE checked all the bank statements... would I pay, as he was afraid that she would find out!! Honest, but NOT FOR ME!!
 
mistersoft
I have been on a date and we dined at a free food outlet for the homeless... How it happened is another story!