Fail to Fab: The Overcompensating Starving Artist

By: Jess Downey, Copy Cutie

Fail: A few months ago, I went on a(nother) date with an artsy guy. As we strolled through the park he told me he was an unemployed video editor who was trying to start his own thing, and I admired his courage to go after what he wanted. Near the end of the date, we ended up at a little café for a glass of wine. One glass turned into two bottles, which turned into appetizers, a meal and even dessert. Since he was a gentleman, he picked up the tab. We went out a few more times and each date was the same — bottles of wine, elaborate food, plus dessert. One day he revealed he had no idea how he was going to pay rent. It was a little awkward and it made me question all the elaborate dates. And his sanity.

We’ve already discussed the starving artist who never pays for a thing, but there is also the starving artist who overcompensates for what he doesn’t have.

Fab: It’s great when you want to impress a woman. In fact, it’s perfectly normal — and very much appreciated. But keep in mind that impressing doesn’t necessarily equal spending lots of money on over-the-top dates. And if it’s a choice between your rent and a date, you should probably put dating on hold until your finances are more stable.

While the guy should always at least offer pay for the first date, be sure you plan something within your means. Take some of the tips we gave the other starving artist to come up with a fun and romantic night out without breaking the bank.

If you sense your date is overly eager to impress you, put his mind at ease by suggesting ideas that are easy on his pocket. Save the splurging for special occasions or when things get more serious. If it’s the third date or beyond, ladies should offer to pick up part of the tab or pay for alcohol to show you care.  

But if you’re dating a gal who always wants a night out on the town, she probably isn’t the woman for you.

Remember: It’s OK to splurge once in a while if you can manage it. But ice cream on a park bench with a guy who you know can afford it is far sexier than a five-course meal with a dude in debt.