OnDating: Recession Dating

By Ellen McCarthy
Friday, October 10, 2008

Recessionary Dating Rule

No. 1: Flowers or chocolates, not both. Actually, maybe neither. And no three-course meals at four-star restaurants -- you'll make your credit cards weep. (I think we can all agree the word "declined" counts as a mood killer.)

But not to worry, we rounded up in-the-know locals to share ideas for cheap but classy Washington dates.

Shana Glickman, author of DCConcierge.com: Hit a book signing, she says, suggesting Politics and Prose Bookstore & Coffeehouse on Connecticut Avenue NW as a starting point. Buy a book to share, she adds, and then discuss it over coffee.

Toni Coleman, dating coach: Do something seasonal, perhaps a ghost tour, such as those offered by Alexandria Colonial Tours ($10; http://www.alexcolonialtours.com). "You're outside, you're walking around having fun and it's creative," she says.

Svetlana Legetic, founding member of BrightestYoungThings.com: Catch a free movie at the Library of Congress or one of the museums. (On Sunday at 2, "The White Silk Dress" is screening at the Freer Gallery of Art.) Follow that with an art exhibit. It's "the safest bet," she says.

Ann Wood, matchmaker:"I try to discourage people from gathering around at a table. If they sit down at a table, it becomes a job interview," she says. Instead, she suggests wandering around the Washington National Cathedral, heading to the top of the Washington Monument or venturing to a nearby town, such as Fredericksburg, to explore.

Sean Bugg, publisher of MetroWeekly: If you do want to gather around a table, Bugg proposes heading to Eden Center, the Vietnamese food and shopping mecca in Falls Church. "You just get to meet and see a lot of different kinds of people," he says. "And for just a few bucks you can get really good food."

Got other tips for cheap, fun dates? Drop us a line at dating@washpost.com, with "Dating" in the subject line.

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