With a limited budget and not many good places to go, dating at University can often involve a lot of trips to Nandos and Wetherspoons. Here are our top tips to spice up a date on a student budget.

Do you want to ask that amazing girl on your course, sports team or halls out for that perfect date? An offer which would sweep her off her feet and make it impossible for her to resist.

Unfortunately, students aren’t known for having huge amounts of spare cash and many student places struggle to strike-up the romantic ambience. It may be the decor, the quality of food or the rugby social going on in the corner of the bar/restaurant that kills the vibe. Whatever it is, they often aren’t ‘dream date’ material.

At many universities one place has risen up above others and become the ‘date place’. Don’t be fooled by the title, this usually is just a slightly more up-market place than your standard student dive, but still doesn’t cost you a fortune for a couple of drinks and maybe a bit of food. This can be a solid choice but if you’re keen to really impress, here are a few tips to help you not screw it up:

Keep it off campus

You probably spend 60% of your time in the SU bar and think it is an enlightened palace, but that doesn’t mean it will impress when you take your date there. Plus, you’ll probably bump into just about everyone you know, so it isn’t going to have the quiet and romantic vibe.

Instead - Go to a cocktail bar. It may be a little away from campus but that makes it a bit more of an occasion. Plus, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg as most of these places have 2-4-1 deals, happy hours, etc.

Above: Sometimes typical University haunts aren't that romantic...

Don't Be Distracted

Yes, I know it’s the big top-of-the-table clash in League 2 and Oxford United are playing some good football this season. However, she isn’t going to be impressed if you have half an eye on the football, especially if it’s a game that seems really pointless (sorry, to all people who support League 2 teams!).

Instead - Organise a date on Thursday - the Europa League is too dull to distract you… Or go somewhere which doesn’t have TV screens in the toilets! How about an Ice-cream parlour? Everyone likes ice-cream and they seem to be popping up in every student town/city nowadays. Get an ice-cream each or maybe share a plate of waffles. How good does that sound?

The Takeaway

You’ve gone for a Tuesday night date but that doesn’t mean you absolutely have to go for the traditional Domino’s 2-4-Tuesday. As students you are likely to be having a lot of takeaways anyway, whether it is a chinese because you have nothing in the fridge or a kebab because it’s 3am!

Instead - Cook for her. Yes, the c-bomb has just been dropped! It’s a bit of a risk, especially if your speciality is Marmite on toast. However, there must be one thing you can cook well or a Jamie Oliver recipe which is easy enough to follow. You pull this off, she’ll be dead impressed. There is nothing sexier than a man who can cook… unless you’re Heston Blumenthal!

Above: Proof! Guys who can cook are sexier.

Choosing the Restaurant 

 Having a meal may be more of a second/third date thing, but when you get there make sure you pick the right restaurant. Nando’s is cheap and so is Pizza Hut, but they don’t really have that date feel to them.

Instead, find a nice local restaurant. The good thing is that these often have great deals on too. If you’re going for nice meal, she isn’t going to mind you pulling out the voucher code to get some money off. Heck, it may be a positive thing - showcasing your frugal qualities!

Having a Drink

Going for a drink on a first date is the convention - whether you’re a poor student or a cast member of Made in Chelsea. It relaxes you, lets the conversation flow and allows you to show off your “knowledge” of Sauvignon Blanc blends. It’s always good to stick to what you know and, as students, you’ll know a lot about drinking. However, that doesn’t mean you absolutely have to go for a drink.

Instead - If it’s summer, go for a walk. Get some ham rolls and pork pies and you could have yourself a picnic too. It probably sounds a bit like how your grandparents met, but picnics are a tried and tested winner for a first date. If it’s winter, put a few more layers on and feed the ducks. Maybe that's a little too out there, but if you suggest a slightly more fun and original date, they will be more likely to say yes!

Above: Nice picnic basket.

Hope you have found my top dating tips useful. Now it’s all down to you not to cock it up. Good luck out there.



Top Student Offers and Freebies