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Ways of Knowing You Are Dating Mr. Cheap-Skate

Even if Mr. Cheap is charming at first, remember, talk is cheap.

Even if Mr. Cheap is charming at first, remember, talk is cheap.

In today’s world dating can be done in a number of ways. The couple can go for the traditional date where the man pays for the meal, and the show, or they can have a more modern approach and decide to go Dutch with each party paying for their own meal. Then there’s the feminist date, where she wines, and dines her man and pays for the date.

For the purpose of this article, I would like to talk about the more traditional date. Back in the early eighties, when I was a freshman in college, I went out with a few guys. I dated some guys that were true gentlemen, a credit to their sex, these were the men, who still practiced chivalry, and paid for the date, and really made sure everything was first rate. Then there were the more casual equalitarian, friendly dates when we went Dutch, and that’s great. I’m not a feminist, so I don’t believe in being the one to do the wining and dining, I’m kind of an old fashioned girl.

I remember a few dates that really stood out in my mind as rather memorable. Not because these men did anything out of the ordinary, but because these men were competing for the Mr. Cheap Award. The first time, I encountered a Mr. Cheap, was when I was going out with a friend and we went to a dance hall. At the dance hall, I met another guy, who seemed quite the charmer, and he asked me for my number. Since the guy, I was going out with, had a falling out with me, I was ready to date someone else. The guy I met at the dance hall gave me a call. He could sweep Cleopatra of her feet. This guy had a golden tongue; he would make you feel like you were God’s gift to the male sex.

Mr. Charming, soon to become Mr. Cheap asked me out. I accepted of course, after all, what girl could resist Mr. Golden Tongue. He took me to the mall, for our first date. After we entered the mall, he took me to the sporting goods department of Sears to look at some golf clubs, then we went to look at some athletic footwear, I started to get the impression, that this was not my usual date. I was kind of hungry, and my date and I went to the part of the store, where they sell confections. Surprise, surprise I bought some popcorn, and thank God, I brought some money, because I had to pay for my own popcorn. I was beginning not to feel like Cleopatra, anymore.

We then walked around the mall and I was starting to get thirsty from the popcorn, well my date escorted me to the drinking fountain. I asked him, “What were our dating plans?” I needed to know, what was our next venue? He told me we were just going to hang out. I then thought “hang out, no movies, or dinner, we were just going to hang out.” I told him, “I thought this was our first date and that things would be different.” He told me that he thought of us as just friends, and he wanted to hang out with me, just like one of the guys.

I couldn’t help but start thinking. “What happened to Mr. Charming on the phone, suddenly, I was just like one of the guys. I can’t believe, I wore my best outfit for this joker.” I decided I had enough. So I told Mr. Golden Tongue, I wanted to go home. When he asked why, I simply told him, “I was under the impression this was our first date. I have never been treated like one of the guys, and I wasn’t going to start now.” I also told him he was someone else on the phone. I tell you, talk is cheap! So if you get lots of complements from a stranger, don’t expect a great date to be part of the deal. We went home, I remember telling him I never wanted to see him again, and that was the end of that miserable date.

Be honest, and state the terms before the date. That way you don't turn out looking like a cheapskate.

Be honest, and state the terms before the date. That way you don't turn out looking like a cheapskate.

Mr. Golden Tongue was not the last Mr. Cheap in my life. About five years later, I was at a church reunion and I met a really nice, confident guy. He seemed to have it all together. He was from Tennessee and he was new in town. He asked me out and he decided to make it an interesting date. He decided to bring our mothers along on the date. I thought at first, he was just being really decent. When I told my mom, she thought this guy was a tad unusual. I was keen on him, so I accepted.

My mom, his mom, him and I all rode in his old, beat up car, with no air conditioning, on a hot July afternoon. We were all going to Westwood for lunch, and it was a long, hot ride all the way from the San Fernando Valley. I already had a bad feeling about this date, but being the optimist that I was, I wanted to give this guy a chance.

We got to Westwood. In Westwood, it doesn’t matter where you park, you have to pay. I directed him to the least expensive parking lot, which charged a flat fee of four dollars for all day parking. In Westwood, that is considered a very economical parking lot. When he paid his four dollars, he asked the parking attendant if he would get a portion of his money back, if he came back early. The parking attendant told him it was a flat fee, and then he looked at me with a look, I never forgot. I could tell, from the look on his face that he would have liked to have told me, that I was dating a real piece of work. I knew from that moment on, that this was not the gentleman; I met at the church social.

Our mothers and we went to the restaurant, I told him about on the phone, he asked me about the price range, and I gave him very accurate information. We got to the restaurant and I had to open my own door. We were seated in a rather tight booth and his mother was uncomfortable, when she asked him if he could ask the waitress for another booth, he would not budge. I was starting to get really annoyed with this joker. I called the waitress myself and asked to have our seats changed. If I had to be on the date from hell, I had no intention of having uncomfortable seating. We were comfortable, thanks to my initiative, not to mention my annoyance. We all ordered, I always try to be considerate when I order and I ordered one of the more moderately priced items on the menu, and so did my mom. His mother and he ordered about the same. When the bill arrived, well surprise, surprise, he told us this ridiculous story of how his credit card reached its limit, and he didn’t bring enough cash to pay for lunch.

My mother, being the wise woman that she was, made sure we brought cash of our own. My mother spoke up, and told him we could just pay for ourselves. His face lit up, he didn’t have to pay the whole meal, and he even had cash left over. We went for dessert and again, despite having the means to invite us all, we still went Dutch. My mother and I only regretted not bringing our own car, so we could just disappear. We walked around Westwood with Mr. Cheap and his mother and it was finally time to go home. I have never been happier to end a date in my life. After the date, I thanked him and made a covenant with myself, never to date him again. He called the next day, to see if I wanted to go out again. Let’s just say, I keep my covenants.

I had a friend, who had her own Mr. Cheap story. She dated a guy that was so cheap, he would take her to Mc Donald’s, order one hamburger and one drink, with a plastic knife and two straws. He would cut the burger in half, and share the drink with my friend. My friend told me, she was dating him, because it was a time in her life when she really hit rock bottom; rock bottom with half a hamburger, and sharing a drink with some loser that is.

To my male readers, I’m not saying, that men have to spend $300.00 on an outing to impress their dates. You don’t have to invite her to a lobster dinner and the Phil harmonic. You can take her to a rose garden, museum, picnic or the beach. Be creative, creativity doesn’t cost a lot, and makes for unforgettable dates. Also, be honest about the terms of the date. Men with integrity are worth far more than the richest of men. Let just say, the right woman appreciates it, when you know how to be Mr. Right.

If you plan to go Dutch on a date, be honest from the moment you invite her out. Let the woman know, the terms of the date. You, being the man, are the one that leads in the date, and sets the terms, so don’t play games. Don’t lead her on, you know, talk is cheap. Don’t make it sound, like she’s Cleopatra, and then treat her like one of the boys. Us woman, like some accountability, we like for you to communicate what the terms are. Your date will like you more, if you are honest from the start. If you’re not, you’re more likely to loose her. If it’s a casual date, try a picnic, nature is a beautiful setting.

I remember the time, when my college boyfriend and I wanted to go on a beach picnic. He agreed to bring the drinks and an ice chest, and I agreed to bring sandwiches. We went to the beach, enjoyed a majestic scenery, got to talk about what was on our hearts, it was beautiful. I still remember that being one of the best dates in my life. He did things right, he set the terms honestly, he planned on making sure we had a beautiful setting, without spending a lot money, and we agreed on the menu, we went 50/50, and that was cool.

A word of advice, to my female readers, first of all, be careful with flatterers, because talk is cheap. Always bring your own money on the first date. In fact, it’s always wise to bring some money, on any date, in case he turns out to be a jerk, and you have to call for a cab. If he tries for some weird arrangement, or he is new in the area, try to see what the dating customs are like, were he’s from. He may have very different standards than you do. Try to make sure, that he’s the type of man that is honest with you from the start. If you follow these few guidelines, you should not be in for too many bad surprises.

Dating can be a very positive experience, if done with some integrity. Honesty is the first step towards integrity, and this is foundational for a relationship to work. I'm not just saying this to men, but to women as well. Treat each other with respect, and don't defraud your date by making false promises to one another. If you can try to be friends before trying for romance, all the better. The best relationships started with the couple being just friends. Most of all, be respectful of one another. Remember, this can be the start of something great.

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Jaye Robinson from Michigan on August 27, 2018:

Wow. That fool's only intention was to feed him and his mama. You and your mother was only tagged along just for different conversation. Thanks for a great read and I wish u the best

Real Life on November 22, 2015:

I met a very nice man. Walked up to me, introduced himself, asked me out. Yep, they're still out there ladies. Nice guy. Shows up on time, has a great friendship with his sister, married for 28 years. (Divorced 10 years - they did not have much to split and earned the same income.) Within 2 months it was clear he was amazingly cheap. I was surprised when he would ask me out on a date and then only have enough money to pay for only his portion. He rarely used a credit card. (I earn a nice living, which he could easily see in my surroundings, homes and travel.) I am not uptight about money and look fairly earthy. I grew up in poverty, I completely understand making ends meet. Regardless of all this, I felt taken for granted for how hard I had to work and sacrifice to get to where I was financially, unappreciated when I did offer to help regarding money and it completely killed any tiny bud of romance to not be treated like a lady. I realized I didn't admire this man because as a white male from an affluent family it showed that he barely applied himself in life and had an arrested development regarding his role in a mature relationship. I decided long ago that I did not want to be a nurse or a purse. I learnt not to offer to help before the 8/9 month mark in dating.

Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on March 01, 2015:

Hi Shawna, I'm glad that your cheapskate date happened a long time ago and that you moved on... I think it would have been better if he had just given you a card instead of some expired chocolate and that way you wouldn't have gotten sick... Cheap people see no harm in expired stuff, to them it is still stuff, I guess they are not just cheap, but careless as well... I hope you found someone who is right for you.. Or at least looks at expiration dates before giving a gift...

Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on March 01, 2015:

Hi Renee, sorry I didn't write sooner... I just saw comment now... I hope you are not dating Mr. Cheap anymore or that you have been able to influence him and make him mend his ways, although that can be mission impossible.... I hope you find someone that makes you happy... What can I say, cheap happens...

Shawna on February 27, 2015:

I met this guy for long and long long time. On Valentine day he brought a very nice and fancy gift box for me. When I open the box there were the items he got from he got from his staffs, clients and the 2 tea bags in his office. I ate the chocolate he got me and I got sick that afternoon for a week. Finally I found out those were the stuff he did not used and have been seating in his freezer and couple of the items were expires.

I was so upset and sent him an email and told him "all the stuffs I have been doing for you like fixing your clothes, give ive

renee on April 10, 2014:

Regarding MTV show... I'm 45 and dating an uber cheapskate. You would have to see it to believe it. Too bad I'm over the age limit. Cheapness knows no age boundaries, unfortunately. And I hear ya, Internetwriter62... It may be time to reassess my relationship.

Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on July 02, 2013:

Thanks for the invite Mike, but I'm a lot older than 28, therefore I wouldn't qualify. I hope you find a lot people willing to share their experiences, and since there are plenty of cheapskates around, it shouldn't be too hard.

Mike Schultz on July 02, 2013:

Are you dating a cheapskate? MTV True Life wants to tell your story!


Do you have a boyfriend or girlfriend who pinches so many pennies it's pinching your last nerves? Do your romantic evenings out often include coupons? Or does your partner forgo restaurants altogether in favor of dining establishments that feature value meals? Will he or she search far and wide for the best price possible on gas or goods no matter how inconvenient it might be?

Is your partner someone who could actually afford some of the finer things in life but just can't bring him or herself to part with any greenbacks without a fight? Have you had enough of this behavior and are demanding the wallet get less squeaky or you're walking?

If you appear to be between the ages of 16 and 28 and have answered 'yes' anything above, MTV wants to hear your story! Write to us at and give us your name, location, phone number, picture, and a description of your relationship and situation and what you plan to do about it.

Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on November 11, 2012:

Hi Sarina,

I'm sorry to say, but if you are only at the dating stage and he is acting like this, well unless a miracle happens, things will only get worse, not better, once a cheapskate always a cheapskate, I know people who have been cheap their entire life. You will have to evaluate your feelings, if you find that there are redeeming qualities in your beau that surpass his cheapness and he makes you happy in other ways, you may want to forgive this flaw, on the other hand, if it bugs you and is a cause for irritation, well, this could cause some pretty bad friction and fights. I don't know your feelings, so with what I have stated you will have to do some serious soul searching and decide what would be best for both of you.

Sarina on November 09, 2012:

Well, I came across your article while researching "cheap dates" and possible cures (other than dumping them). ;-)

I recently started seeing someone who is very nice and real but on the cheap side. I know he likes me and I have hinted in all kinds of different colors and flavors at how attractive and such *generous* guys are and how we, The Women, dislike cheapskates.

I had time to pick up theater tickets Wed, no thank you and def. no offer of reimbursement. Same Thu for an event that was pre-buy only with pre-event party and I had been able to add an addtl. ticket to mine. I had to use my credit card to pick up the tix and made the comment to him (for reaction, yes) that I had had to pay for his ticket too. He asked if I wanted him to pay for it and I didn't answer as I thought it was too embarrassing. A real gent would have just reached in his wallet and given me the money for BOTH tickets without further ado?

He knows I am old-fashioned and likes it. I have yet to be treated to a dinner. When we are out, it's drinks only, one time he ordered chips and salsa, lol. Oh, and at the movies he bought popcorn and never offered me any? Ack, is there a non-embarrassing, positive way to cure cheapskatism or is it just dumping?

Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on January 19, 2012:

Hi Rob,

Now that is a very nice place for a date, and definitely not cheap. But guess what a picnic works to if done with love and the right amount of planing. Just let her know that you care.

Rob on January 17, 2012:


Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on April 14, 2011:

Thanks Amy, I'm glad you found my article to be fun and entertaining, even though I was mad at the time, I still have some very fond memories of that time of my life.

Amy on April 14, 2011:

This was great fun to read. Very funny but of course it wasn't funny the way they treated you. :)

Internetwriter62 (author) from Marco Island, Florida on February 25, 2010:

Thanks for sharing with me. I hope my hub helped you in some way.

Aine O'Connor from Dublin on February 25, 2010:

Sounds like you and I could swap some choice "cheap" date stories. How about somebody who decided not to spend anything significant until he'd made sure you wasted your last €7,000 on your last attempt at being a mom. He did buy me a nice trinket though. I keep it as a reminder of why they're wasters. Not all of them, I know, just those I happened to depend on at a crucial time.

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