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7 Cheap And Unexpected Date Ideas You Need To Try Immediately

See you at the laundromat!!

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1. Breakfast and/or Brunch

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

We all lead busy lives. By the time you've caught up with your actual friends, your second-tier friends, your twice-a-year-but-somehow-they-always-have-amazing-gossip-about-people-you-know friends, and your former roommate's cousin who just really wants to Pick Your Brain about your place of business, there are no more drink or dinner slots left in your calendar until long after the Obama administration has ended.

Enter: found time, in the form of the breakfast date. It can be tricky to pull off — nobody wants to meet at the crack of dawn, and there are those pesky things called "jobs" to contend with — but the Brate™ can be surprisingly delightful.

You're not yet worn down by the grinding gears of society and capitalism; your makeup has not melted, your hair has not gone flat; you're not running late because your previous four obligations all backed up. It's like how booking the first dentist appointment of the day is always a good idea — everyone, in that moment, has the greatest possible chance of being their best selves.

Also, you have an easy out if it's bad (harder to sneak away to a faux-forgotten haircut at 11 p.m.) and a wonderful reward if it's good, which is morning sex, which is the best sex, fight me.

2. A Book Store or Library

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Half of the conversational lulls on dates come from the fear of being awkward; the other half come from the inability to think of what to say. A bookstore will bridge those gaps. You can explore new sections! Laugh over irreverent material! Pore over life's most pressing questions! Find a bizarre recipe and hint at one day cooking it, together. If you're at a library, let them borrow your library card, or borrow theirs, or sign up for one TOGETHER. It's as romantic as sharing an Amazon Prime account.

Besides, buying someone a book is so much sexier than buying them a drink.

3. The Laundromat

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Maybe you live in a civilized part of the universe (i.e., not New York City) where people actually have washing machines within their own homes rather than down three flights of stairs, half a block, and a roll of quarters away. That sounds nice!! But for the rest of us, laundry is a dead chunk of two hours where you have to remain in proximity to your tumbling underthings.

What better way to jazz up that slog than with some light tongue-kissing? Hit up the bar or coffee shop around the corner while you wait for the delicate cycle to whir to a halt, or play a card game under the romantically flickering single bulb swinging overhead. Or just annoy everyone else by making out up against the machines — you know, vibrations.

Also, there's nothing flirtier nor more vulnerable than showing a potential paramour your Truly Last Resort Underwear.

4. A Walk/Leisurely Run

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

How often have you actually explored your neighborhood, your town, your city? Pick a random place to meet and don't set a destination. As you walk around new blocks, you'll feel inspired to tell each other fond childhood stories. And when those run out, people-watch. Welcome the possibility of haphazard interruptions, and when things get weird, start "leisurely running"!

If you need to get away, tell them that you dropped something and that they should keep running ahead — you'll catch up. Then, run back, turn at a random street, and keep running. If you're a nice person, you can text them later that you had to find a bathroom and ended up getting lost.


5. A Photography Excursion

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

You know those photographers who post stunning photos of their S.O.s on their Instagram that make you secretly wish you were that S.O.? Well, now you sort of can be!

It doesn't matter how skilled either of you are or what equipment you're using. In fact, a disposable camera is tastefully romantic. Photography is sexy. You can take pictures of one another that might turn out to be significant later. Or pick a place in nature or a place that's swarmed with people and simultaneously build your portfolios — an unintended but possibly professionally useful outcome!

6. The Post Office

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

I know — dealing with the postal service is a universally loathed chore. For one thing, it's basically only open for two hours every Friday when the moon is full, and for another, it's hella depressing. But that's why we need to reclaim it as a spot of joy! While you're waiting in that endless line, whisper jokes to your potential bae. Send them out to find The Best Pen, or to buy the jauntiest roll of stamps they can find.

If you really want to up the ante, write letters to one another and send them, so that you have a souvenir whether you make it to the next date or not.

7. A Grocery Store

Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

You might think it's boring, but grocery shopping is a grossly underrated bonding activity. It's nostalgic, and most of our lives are shaped by our habits of preparing and eating food. Exchange childhood stories, pick favorite foods, try something new, and finally, carry on the romantic tradition of cooking together. Your date might go something like this.

You see your favorite type of cheese: aged manchego. Your reach for the last block, but from the corner of your eye, you see their hands get to it first. They give it to you. It's a match. As you delight over your shared opinions on cheese, your stomach does a pirouette as you secretly wonder if this is the one.

You suggest the produce aisle next. You whack them with an ear of corn. They pop a grape into your mouth and gently squeeze a grapefruit nearby. The tension in your hand accidentally breaks the skin of the pomegranate you were holding and you both watch as the juice slowly drips to the floor.

You pick up one last thing from the frozen aisle: pistachio ice cream. As you head to the checkout line, you realize that your groceries have consolidated and it'd be too much of a hassle to separate them out. They suggest dinner that night — their place. You offer to cook the night after that and you both chortle over how many dinners that grocery trip just secured.

You leave hand in hand, knowing that you've made it to at least date number five.