(NewsNation) — Going on a first, or even multiple, dates with someone new can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Add in inflation pushing up the price of going out, and dating can be even more challenging.
Bela Gandhi, a dating and relationship expert, came on NewsNation’s “Morning in America” to give some tips on how to make a good impression without breaking the bank.
In fact, the most important thing about making good first impressions has nothing to do with money, Gandhi said.
“The best thing you can do is bring your warmth, bring your positivity, bring good eye contact, smile, and be fun,” she said.
While the stereotypical item to give on a first date is flowers, they can be costly — and Gandhi said some of her clients even feel like it’s too much.
“Just bring yourself,” she said. “First dates are not the time to go out to a nice dinner. Somebody has to earn that time with you.”
Some of the best dates don’t have to be expensive. It might be nice to grab a coffee, or go for a walk in a new neighborhood, Gandhi said.
“There are a lot of studies that show when we’re side-by-side, we have more authentic, intimate conversations with people,” she said. “It’s like disclosing your life to a stranger on an airplane. We’re more comfortable when somebody is not boring their eyes right into our soul. And, you get more steps in, you’re being active. You have adrenaline, right? So that can also build attraction.”
Skipping out on alcohol and opting for mocktails instead is another option, Gandhi said.
“So many singles are reporting that they don’t want to have alcohol as part of their dates,” she said. “Not only is it more expensive, but it also dulls our senses and it might make us ignore those red flags that people throw down right away in the dating world.”
To be even more aware of potential red flags, or see if a date is even worth it, Gandhi says people can see their love interest with a pre-date chat on Zoom or FaceTime.
“Crazy cannot hide for more than 10 minutes. So put the person on video,” she said.