The Triple D: Dynamic Dating DO’S To Fit Any Budget

After the last Triple D about Clair and her Tool-Tilting Cup of Coffee, I’d imagine you’re cringing at how bad it can get on the dating front.

I always go back to this scene from Sex In The City where Charlotte just cannot take another moment of looking for THE ONE:

I used to feel EXACTLY this tired, as did many of my girlfriends. Several friends who are still swimming in the dating pool are really feeling this way right now with the advent of online dating, which I will talk about in the next Triple D post. (Oh boy, WILL I!).

I’m not saying any of us need a white knight but few people meet the one until they stop looking. (Yep, I said that…read this earlier blog for more on that subject.)

But walking back over to the positive side of the fence, I’m married to an amazing man, who gave me the best 1st date ever. I know firsthand that there can be Dynamic Dating Do’s rather than just the sort of Distastrous Dating Don’ts you heard about last week.

What are the elements in a really good date?

  1. Well planned
  2. Rich in variety
  3. Full of conversation
  4. Shouldn’t be pricy.

If you are a date-planner, male or female, you’re probably scratching your head over #4 and thinking, “REALLY??”


I actually think it’s better if a first date isn’t super pricy, especially in today’s economic climate. Many people who are out of work (and have been for some time) still want to date. If the first date is a big pricy extravaganza, it might actually work against you these days since the recipient of the extravaganza might feel they’re out of their league.

I’m not saying go to McDonald’s (unless you’re on a date to see how everyone’s kids get along) but I believe most people – male or female – will value a creative date over a costly one. Your date will be more impressed by thoughtfulness than by a flash of the cash. At least you HOPE that’s the case…

Some of my most memorable dates are the unusual ones and not a single one was pricy. In my Top 10 of all time dates: hiking, walking on the Boardwalk at the beach, bowling, and a county fair. The nice part about dates like this is that they can be long or short, depending on how it’s going.

I saw a book the other day about great dates – I promise to go back and get the title for you, but a quick browse of the first few pages of Chapter 1 were fantastic. The author said “building a great date was as simple as a FACT: Food, Activity, Conversation and Thought.”

Analyzing the memorable dates with this definition, it becomes clear why they were stand-outs.


This was a first date and I was actually worried about the serial killer potential (he was a stranger I met in a sushi bar), so I brought my 90 lb. Akita for protection. This had the added bonus of the guy having to pass the Pet Test. (See Amy Shojai’s blog for more on the Pet-Liking-The-Date Test.)

There was a picnic lunch (Food), the hike (Activity), LOTS of Conversation and he definitely Thought about the date. The other plus: the date had a definite beginning and kind of a less structured end in that we could walk as long as we wanted or linger a while after the hike. And I had the dog for an easy exit if needed.

Boardwalk at the Beach:

The first time I went to Venice Beach was on a date. I grew up in Los Angeles and had never been to the Boardwalk. I don’t know what it’s like now, but in the mid-90’s it was People Watching Utopia.

Not only was it an explosion of Activity and Conversation, but back then if you walked North a ways, there was Big Jim’s Beach café, which had amazing burgers and was pretty much on the beach.

Funny Note:  We met several people from Pritikin Longevity Center at the bar having burgers – they apparently liked to walk down and get a dose of cholesterol in between weigh-ins.

(I’m sad to say that both the café and Pritikin have since moved – they were institutions in that area for a long time.)


I am a REALLY spotty bowler – my high score is around 120 and my low score is a 25. (Like I said, SPOTTY.) Because of this, I was pretty nervous about this date, even though I’d been out with the guy one other time.

What I found out when we got there is that (a) my hometown bowling alley had really good food and (b) Friday and Saturday nights are also Rock & Bowl nights. The music cranks, the bumpers come up (unless you ask them to be put down) and the lights flash. It was a FUN date (and with the bumpers up I bowled a 165)!

Most bowling alleys these days work this way to entice the date-night crowds – just give them a call and ask.

A County Fair:

My county fair date was at the OC Fair in Orange County, CA. This was one of the best dates I ever had – music, animals, crafts, rides and fair food (ears of grilled corn… corndogs… funnel cake…oh my…). You name it, we checked it out. We went during the day and ended up staying until close.

Most grocery stores, and usually the local paper, will have coupons for two-for-one tickets to the local fairs so, during the summer, this is a primo date.

Whether you’re married, single or just out with your friends – all of the above “dates” should leave you smiling.

Have you had a really great date lately? (And if the answer is “No,” WHY NOT?) What are some of your favorite or most unusual date spots? Please be sure to give the city and state, if you can, so the rest of us can visit your nifty spot.

We’re working out the schedule for the May Webinar. (Baby Girl is cutting all four molars right now so I’m slower than usual.) The winners can be found here and the topic of choice was LinkedIn.

Between now and mid-June, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. Everyone who did not win a spot in the May webinar will be entered in the June webinar. Same thing for July. There are thirty spots left for the taking and I want to see one of them go to everyone who wants one!

Have a great weekend!

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm ( Write on!
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5 Responses to The Triple D: Dynamic Dating DO’S To Fit Any Budget

  1. Fab Fab Fab!

    That’s one of my fav episodes of SATC….I can sympathize with Charlotte’s hair hurting. 🙂

    I can still remember my first date with my guy vividly. We didn’t do anything special, but just the getting to know each other conversations. I also agree that bowling is a great date! I feel like you can’t take yourself too seriously when you bowl (well, you can but you’ll give yourself an ulcer).

    I do love your Friday Dating Dos!


    • amyshojai says:

      He POINTED and said that??? *snort* I am sooooo glad I’m not dating, ROTFL! Loved today’s blog, too but that “coffee enhanced date” is just too funny.


      • Jenny Hansen says:

        No fooling, Amy. He actually pointed and said THAT. There was no way that wasn’t going into a blog. I was driving down the freeway crying with laughter.

        Did you see that I linked to your blog about kitties and boyfriends??


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      The “my hair hurts” is killer dialogue…SITC had the best writers. It’s truly hard to be dignified when you’re bowling and wearing those shoes!


  2. Pingback: Epic Fail Statement of the Week: “You Seem Kinda Frigid…” | Jenny Hansen's Blog

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