Entries in Relationships (3)


Times Are Tough! Ideas for Fun, Affordable First Dates

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's summer and love is in the air. While true love might not cost a thing, dates are another matter. Given the uncertain economy, it's important to stretch your dating dollars.  Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and ABC's Good Morning America personal finance contributor, has dating tips that will help you have a good time without breaking the bank.

Q: How much should I spend on the all-important first date?
A: Mellody thinks ... You shouldn't spend more than you can afford. A Recent survey found out that more than 50 percent of men spend more than $50 on their first date. Make a budget for your dates and do not exceed that. There's no need to be lavish in order to impress your date, and don't forget that going all-out financially on the first date heightens your date's expectations for future get-togethers, making it hard to spend less on other dates.

Q: How much should women spend on a first date?
A: Mellody thinks ... Women usually have it easier when it comes to spending money on the first date, but where they really go overboard is on getting ready for it. Fifty-three percent of women say they spend money on buying new dresses and grooming for first dates. This is unnecessary. Wear the clothes and jewelry that you own.

Q: Do you have any cheap-date ideas?

A: Mellody thinks ... You can have a date for virtually nothing. Many museums in major cities have free or discount days where you can impress your date with your knowledge of art. Many cities and towns have free concert series in their parks. Don't forget about the attractions of the great outdoors. Hikes in parks and other outdoor activities are easy to do, free, and are a great way to have your date's undivided attention.

Q: Who should pay on the first date?

A: Mellody thinks ... This is always a controversial question. In my own, old-fashioned, personal opinion, the man should definitely pay for the first few dates, but there are a number of factors to consider. Who invited whom to go out? The younger generation is more likely to be OK with going Dutch. If you've been dating someone for a while and you earn more, you might consider paying, although you shouldn't do that to the exclusion of your other financial obligations, including student loans, credit card debt and living expenses.

Q: What is a great, free date activity that will really impress my date?
A: Mellody thinks ... You can consider taking your date to volunteer. For example, take your date to work in a soup kitchen, or help build a home in a community, or help out at a pet shelter. This might not be best for a first date, though, but it might be a good, cheap option for, say, a third date. This idea might not be for everyone, but it could be a great way to spend quality time with someone you are trying to get to know, and it will look great in the eyes of your date.

Q: I just want to take my date out for drinks, or dinner. Is there a way to do that economically?
A: Mellody thinks... Taking someone for dinner or drinkers can be expensive, but many restaurants are now offering special promotions, such as one deal per week, half-price appetizers or discounted drinks. Some restaurants even offer different daily specials. Don't be afraid to take your date to these places, especially if they are discounting something he or she really enjoys. There are good websites, such as Metromix, that you can check to learn more about restaurant promotions in your area.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dating Website Lets Members Buy, Sell First Dates

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Maybe money can't buy you love but, if you name the right price, it can get you a first date.

At least that's how it works on, where members who label themselves "generous" flash dollar signs to bid for the chance to take "attractive" members out on a date.

The buying and selling of beautiful singles may sound like prostitution, but the site's founder, Brandon Wade, insists that WhatsYourPrice is about paying for first dates, not paying for sex.

"If you look at the way charity events are held, you have these firemen and beautiful prom kings and queens [up for bid]," he said. "People are already doing this around the world, obviously for charity, but a similar concept would apply here."

But this site isn't just for people seeking so-called "mutually beneficial relationships" – Wade says it's for anyone looking for relationships.

For "attractive" singles, he said the site provides a more efficient way of reaching only the most serious, most desirable candidates. For "generous" singles, says it guarantees they date only the people who meet their high standards.

Offers typically range from $20-$100 a date, although Wade said he knows one member who tried to offer $1,000 for a date. As the members go through the negotiation process, all they can see are each others' pictures and profiles, which include their net worth and income.

When two members agree on the price of a date, the site takes a small percentage of the cost and then "unlocks" the conversation between the two parties.

But what about the notion of true love? Doesn't paying for a date get a couple off to a superficial start? Not so, according to Wade. Paying for dating is simply more efficient, not more materialistic, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Cloud Girlfriend: Start-Up Offers Fake Relationships for Facebookers 

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- A new start-up says it can create your perfect girl, as long as you tell it what you're looking for. But don't expect to snuggle up with this mate because she's only going to be accessible via Facebook.

Still in pre-launch mode (the site says "coming soon"), Cloud Girlfriend claims to generate a virtual girlfriend who can interact with you publicly on your favorite social network.

"'s tagline is, 'The easiest way to get a girlfriend is to already have one,'" the site's San Diego-based co-founder, David Fuhriman, said in an email.

For a fee (which the site has yet to disclose), the service provides a "network of real people, not bots" who post romantic messages and communicate with users on Facebook, Fuhriman said. But no one (besides the people involved in the faux fling) will be the wiser that the relationship isn't real.

For now, the site only offers female companions but, when asked about the lack of males, Fuhriman said, "Maybe there could be a boyfriend." But, he emphasized, the point of the service is not to satisfy sexual desire.

" is not a new virtual porn site or an adult chat service," he said. "Those services attempt to fill a physiological need, but it does not satisfy intimacy and friendship."

Instead, his site is intended to build its customers' self-esteem and confidence.

Even though the site has yet to open up to the public, the mysterious company has stirred up considerable buzz in the blogosphere and among potential users, who the site says should "register early to get in line."

But some tech blogs think the site might not even be able to get past the social network's terms of service, which prohibit Facebook accounts that don't belong to real people.

"If he's going to be toying with Facebook profiles to create fake girlfriends, we assume Facebook will hammer him," Business Insider said in a write-up of the new start-up. "Facebook doesn't want spammy accounts filling up the social network."

But Fuhriman said Cloud Girlfriend will not interfere with Facebook users' experiences on the site.

"We expect log-ins, time spent on site and page views to increase for people who are connected to a Cloud Girlfriend," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio ´╗┐

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