Forget dinner and movie. Dates don’t have to be extravagant, and for a first or second date they really shouldn’t be. The first meeting, or date “0,” should really be a 20-30 minute coffee date (I’ll talk about why in my next blog post). A casual walk along the beach or happy hour will be just as effective, if not better, than a fancy sit-down dinner. Trust me when I say that it’s not what you have planned that will impress a woman, it’s that you have something planned. We like a man with a plan—it shows us that you know how to lead and that you put effort into our date.

Don’t dwell on the dollar amount when planning a date. There are plenty of fun, romantic, and entertaining things to do in Seattle that won’t put a dent in your wallet. Here are my top four suggestions for a cheap but high-quality date in the city:

Get artsy. Plan your date for the first Thursday of the month for free admission to many Seattle galleries and/or the Pioneer Square Art Walk. Strolling through a museum or gallery is a great way to get to know each other. Let the pieces direct your conversation, and keep it flirty! Direct her through the space by holding her hand or lower back, keeping contact as you observe the art together.

Live music. No need to dish out the big bucks for seats at a concert hall. Award-winning guitarist Andre Feriante has free performances twice a week in beautiful date-worthy settings. Hear his expert flamenco/classical melodies on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm at the Marriott Waterfront Lobby Bar, and Sundays from 7-10 pm at Il Bistro in Pike Place Market. Both locations are a perfect place to bring your date for a drink while enjoying an intimate performance.

Take a walk. A short walk can go a long way when it comes to a date. Designate a meeting place, ideally a coffee shop to buy her a drink, then take a stroll. Seattle is covered with romantic places to wander: Volunteer Park, Green Lake, the Burke Gilman trail, Golden Gardens, the Arboretum, Alki Beach, Discovery Park, the Ballard Locks, etc. If it goes well, take her to lunch afterwards. If not, good thing you’re on foot for a quick getaway!

Go to the market. When in doubt, take her to an outdoor market. Seattle Farmers Markets provide a bounty of things to see, do and taste. Snag some free samples, wander around, and maybe even buy some foods to cook together later.

Want more date ideas? Need tips or advice? Ask Miss Marina!

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