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How do you go on a date without draining your bank account in the process? How can you impress a potential new partner, get to know them and have a good time without spending more than you can afford?

We all want to impress that somebody that we’re attracted to but the temptation to spend far more than we can afford should be resisted. If you go overboard on those first few dates, you’ll end up giving the impression that you’ve more money than you actually do and then the inevitable anti-climax will be that much harder. Getting to know somebody, hitting it off and perhaps building the foundation for something more permanent is not about money. It’s about finding out about each other, discovering what you have in common and deciding whether there’s enough of a connection to keep dating.

So how do you go on a date without spending a fortune? We’ve rounded up the best and most affordable ideas to get you started:

go datingTake a walk

If you live out in the countryside and the weather is set fair, check out a national park or an area of outstanding natural beauty. Pack a small rucksack and some lunch, take your camera if you have one and take a hike to enjoy some wonderful natural scenery together. If you live in a city, how about exploring the place together and visit some parks along the way?

Visit the library

Neither of you may be bookworms but libraries have something for everyone – novels, non-fiction books and DVDs. Libraries are calm and wonderful places. Find a quiet corner and share some poetry for a really bookish but romantic experience.

Have a picnic

Picnics are among the cheapest but most fun dates. You only need a basket or cool box, a blanket and a few things to nibble on and drink and you’re all set. Food tastes great outdoors and without the formality of dining in a restaurant or at home, you’re bound to have fewer inhibitions.

Visit a museum

Museums are great for a date and a lot of them don’t charge an entry fee. If one or the other of you are into art, most of Britain’s big cities have large art galleries. Sculpture and natural history museums are also thought provoking and if you run out of things to say to each other, the displays are a great distraction.

Go to a free concert

Concerts too expensive and festivals out of your league? There’s a way to enjoy great music for next to nothing and to impress at the same time. Check out online listings for local free outdoor concerts – there are usually a number of these in the big cities each summer.  Or find out what bands are playing in local pubs and bars where you can enjoy an inexpensive bottle of wine together.

Go to the beach

If there’s one thing about living in the UK that’s great it’s the fact that no matter where you are, you’re never hundreds of miles from the coast. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, walking along one of the country’s beaches is a great way to get outside and take in some wonderful scenery. If the weather’s good, there’s something truly romantic about enjoying a bottle of wine watching the waves break on the beach.

Have a movie night

Stick some popcorn in the microwave, a bottle of wine in the fridge and enjoy a film from Netflix or Amazon Prime. If you haven’t got a subscription, then even better because new members get a month’s trial for free and both services have hundreds of movies to choose from.

Cook a romantic dinner together

Everybody loves good food and it tastes even better if it’s been made with love. So don’t splurge a fortune at a fancy restaurant – prepare something at one or other’s home together. That way you ‘ll have plenty to talk about when you do sit down to eat, even if the food does not turn out the way you had anticipated! You could even split the workload with one making the main course and the other the dessert.

Board games are not bored games

Rediscover the joy of board games away from iPads, televisions and computer screens which are conversation killers. Board games like Scrabble and Monopoly are fun and great ways to start closer conversation.

Stargaze

You don’t need a telescope to enjoy the night sky. If it’s clear, head out of town away from the light pollution and you’ll be amazed at the wonder of the heavens. Spotting stars and constellations is an inherently romantic way to pass a couple of hours together.

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