Can You Use a Groupon on a First Date?

Back during the dating spree of ’10, I bought a Groupon for Liluma Restaurant here in St. Louis. By sheer chance, a woman with whom I had exchanged a few e-mails mentioned that she had been wanting to try out Liluma. So we planned to go there on our first date.

Now, as you can tell from my rules for first dates, dinner is not ideal. But I had a Groupon for Liluma, so I figured…why not? If the woman ends up being prissy about me using a Groupon, than things probably wouldn’t work out anyway.

So I made a joke in advance about using the Groupon, and she seemed cool with it. The date itself was so-so (it was the one where I discovered the affect that the show True Blood has on a woman). I didn’t ask for a second date.

But here’s my question: Are Groupons acceptable for first dates? It’s probably unfair for me to label a woman as “prissy” just because she wouldn’t be cool with me using a Groupon. There are plenty of first impressions made on a first date–should frugality be one of them?

I’d like your take in the poll and in the comments. My answer would be that you just avoid the Groupon situation altogether by going out for drinks and covering the bill. But in a circumstance like the Liluma situation above, I’d say use the Groupon. Make a joke out of it.

10 thoughts on “Can You Use a Groupon on a First Date?”

  1. I agree that if someone puts up a fuss, they are probably in the wrong spot. But I voted no because I think it’s best avoided altogether. Your date might think you only went out to avoid a Groupon expiring unused, or only offered to pay because of the coupon, which I think might send the wrong message. But, if you can make a joke of it, especially when she suggested the place, that’s cool!

  2. There are many different coupons out there now. In bookstores, in the relationship section, they sell “Coupons for Lovers.” Theses “coupons” can be redeemed at any time for special favors. Groupon = appropriate for a first date. Coupons for Lovers = inappropriate for a first date.

  3. I’ve used a Groupon on a first date before, and am not ashamed to admit it. Frankly, if she’s turned off by that so much to call it a dealbreaker, then ya, I’d say she’s “not my type” – and prissy would fall into that category.

    At the very least, it will make for a great joke at a rehearsal dinner…. “You know, I should have realized how frugal he would be when he used a Groupon on our first date, but…” (cute laughter from the crowd).

  4. I’m shocked that the results are clearly 50/50. I have no issues with a Groupon being pulled out on the first date as long as its accompanied by a joke. In fact, if I suggested a restaurant and the guy said, “Oh I have a Groupon for that place” I’d reply with a “perfect!” That’s a good sign because I wanted to try it and he apparently did too since he bought the Groupon. Sharing initial similar interests WHILE saving money? Fantastic.

    I’m all for a guy wanting to try new things and finding ways to save money doing it. The only time this would be an issue is if the Groupon-user says, “Okay, I’ll pick up dinner but the Groupon doesn’t cover alcohol so we can split that” or something to that effect. THEN that looks cheap. That situation is unacceptable on the first and any subsequent dates (from the male or female).

    • You know, that’s a really good point–a Groupon indicates a genuine shared interest. There’s no faking a Groupon because you already bought it.

  5. As a frequent coupon user I would have thought I would be okay with groupons on first dates. However, I voted no because there are usually restrictions on groupons- minimum amount to spend, things are excluded, ect – and I feel fairly strongly that these issues can only hinder good first date conversation. It is, however, acceptable to use a gift card. I wouldn’t not go on a second date because the guy used a groupon, but if a friend of mine asked me what he or she should do before hand, I would council against it – and then suggest he or she use the groupon to try the restaurant with me 😉


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