Let’s say you believe in letting a guy pay for your dates, and let’s say that instead of taking you to an expensive restaurant he takes you to a park for a picnic. Is he cheap or creative?The answer is: it depends. If he’s young and doesn’t have any money, cheap dates are a necessity. If he’s older and has money, a cheap date can be refreshing and different. What he spends the money on isn’t nearly as important as how he pulls off the date.
If he asks you to make the food for the picnic and he puts little effort into the date, he’s being cheap AND unromantic. If he puts together the date - tablecloth, wine, cheese, snacks, cutlery, etc. - he’s romantic. If he adds a single rose and insists on taking your picture under the tree, he’s really romantic.
Cheap dates can take many forms, and again, it’s all in the execution. For loads of ideas on dates that cost less than $30, see Cristina Rouvalis’ article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The timing is important as well. If he starts out your relationship with cheap dates and progresses to wanting to hang out at your place, he’s either immature or unromantic or not that into you. If he starts out with nice restaurants and throws in a few creative, cheap dates, all the while giving you the feeling of being courted, he’s creative, romantic, and really into you.
Women: look for courtship behavior from a guy*. It’s not a guarantee that your relationship will work out, but it is a strong positive indicator. Men: if you’re into her, court her! Ask her out to nice places; be creative; make sure she knows you’re pursuing her romantically. Sounds old fashioned, I know, but when a man pursues a woman and when she wants him to pursue, it usually turns into a very fine romance.