So, little LUVGURU minions, you’ve been matched with a hottie, successfully stalked their profiles, asked mutual friends if they were the second ‘American Psycho’ or not and at last, exchanged numbers. Now comes the terrifying moment where you plan to meet outside of the codifications of cat memes and wink-faced emojis.
Like most millennials, you may find yourself living off of a paltry income, thanks to to the undying proclamation made to your parents that doing an arts degree was “not a waste of time!!” And if you’re not #blessed enough to have found work in your local call centre, and ‘self employed, savvy entrepreneur’ actually translates to living life on the dole, then first dates can be a little daunting. Well, fear not social welfarers. Romance at a discount is most definitely achievable. And we at LUVGURU are going to help you spread those welfare wings with pride, giving you tips on how to date on the dole.
BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET
- This little island of ours has plenty of dole-friendly activities for daters to take advantage of. Take for example, our multitude of free museums. Bring a date to IMMA, The National Gallery of Ireland, or the Chester Beatty museum for a culture-filled day of talking about art pieces that you don’t actually understand the meaning of. It’s also worth knowing that every first Wednesday of a month, admission to Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, The Casino in Marino (and also to Newgrange and to the Glendalough Visitor Centre) is free.
- For all weekend endeavours, check out the niche little site Dublin Event Guide for all free events in Dublin, with weekly updates. You can also sign up to their mailing list for a list of weekly free events that slot into your mailbox just in time for date night.
THE CENTURY OF NOSTALGIA
- In case the dull sound of house music at overly-priced shit holes has made you forget, knacker drinking is a timeless, Irish delicacy. Swap 6.50 pints in a sweat box for some cans in the park. Our favourite spots include the Iveagh Gardens with its mini waterfall, Phoenix Park (don’t go feeding the deer any Druids or Micky D H will have your head) and the Portabello Canal. Watch out for free events circling these areas, like the annual urban market, Canalphonic in Portabello, coming up in September.
- If it’s a rainy day, opt for a few shneaky cans at the cinema. Nothing says romance like the sound of beer over-fizzing as it’s being opened in the dark, semi-spilling onto an elderly couple next to you. Cinema favourites like The Lighthouse and the IFI have screenings from as late as 10:30, so knacker drinking can be comfortably done beforehand. Here’s hoping one of you still has an out-of-date student card to try and weasel a discount.
- As Blindboy from the Rubberbandits, aka the should-be Taoiseach of Ireland, so simply put it: “If you think you’re a feminist, let a woman buy you dinner and see how feel”. Ladies, if you’re living in your ma’s semi-detached gaff in Clontarf rent free, it’s time for you to pick up the cheque every now and then.
- Similarly, fellas, don’t be taking the piss. No one likes a scrounge. If you think you’ve found yourself a sugar momma that allows you to feed your weekly hash habit and have her fund the munchies, think again. She’ll find a better version of you the next time a lad buys her a drink in Workmans. Meet each other halfway and split everything. If one of you is on the scratcher and the other earns a daycent wage with next-to-no bills, go 60-40, 70-30, whatever works. Or if money is a touchy subject, make a point of doing as many free events as possible. Who needs a Netflix account when we still have Pirate Bay?
USE THE DOLE LIFE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
- Let it be known: you can’t exactly claim to be ‘purely focusing on music right now’ if you “band” never practice, haven’t had a gig, even in the local leisure centre, and don’t have less than 50 likes on their Facebook page. Similarly, DJing at your cousin’s 21st does not a DJ make. In this musical emerald isle, there are plenty of musicians, unable to commit to a 9-5. Be one of those who DO. Use your spare time to work on creative projects: be it tech, music, business, or even if you’re an avid hiker. Fill your days with worthwhile things and that way, no one can refer to you as a ‘waster’. Also, if you’re still living with the rents, time outside of the gaff is essential.
- Walk tall, welfarer. Don’t avoid eye contact with acquaintances at the post office for the weekly collection. Pick up that brown envelope with pride. Your local dole office is your catwalk and if someone wants to date you while you’re in this out-of-work phase, then they have to be down with the dole. Besides, social welfare has been the one true constant in your life. F the haterz. Or better yet, find yourself a dole double.
So there you have it. Our top tips on dating on the dole. The Beatles were right: all you need is love, and a little creativity. Now, what’s stopping you? Slide a cheeky DM into your LUVGURU match for a budget friendly date today. And remember, Lidl wine is as good as any other.
Written by Sarah Hamilton