In the month of Valentine’s Day, we’re all forced to consider, among other things, the cost of romance in the modern age. This time of year, much of the western world becomes polarized into two groups of romantics: We have single mopers who retreat into their Netflix queues with disgruntled proclamations of independence, and we have couples trying desperately to impress each other with lofty Valentine’s gifts and dates.
I’ve heard time and time again how using discounts isn’t romantic or even acceptable on dates. I have more often than not heard this from young people like myself, whose personal finances are dictated by unemployment, crushing student loan payments, and low-paying, entry-level jobs. Why are we keepers of our own destruction?
For some reason or another we maintain this archaic notion of a “provider,” even in dinner dates — if your significant other can take you out to a fancy, overpriced meal, they’ll probably be able to provide for you in old age. But when expecting your date to pay exorbitant amounts for food, drinks and entertainment, aren’t you really glorifying carelessness and wasteful tendencies?
Granted, I’m not arguing that fancy shows of affection should be off limits or that we should blacklist pricey restaurants on Valentine’s Day. By all means, splurge if you so desperately desire, but don’t demand this in a valentine.
We need to rid ourselves of the notion that discounts are in some way “less than” romantic. I say “Cheers!” to the man or lady who plans ahead and takes advantage of an undeniable deal. These are the smart ones with whom you ought to ally yourself; the ones who are building a 401(k) and saving up for early retirement.
Paying $15 for $30 worth of fondue? Why would you ever berate someone for using such brilliant tactics to get food? There should be no awkward feelings when passing the waiter a money-saving barcode, only pride at having outwitted your bank account’s limited inventory once again.
Now’s the time to go forth and prepare for Valentine’s Day 2K14: bookmark that discount website, hold your head high, and keep your eyes peeled for your penny-pinching soulmate.