Using Groupons on a Date: Timely Enough to be Cool, or An Absolute No-No?

The Beam

Over the summer, I attended a WordPress meetup for the free barbecue. The place was a meat market in more ways than one.

One of the few women in attendance was my friend The Beam, who got hit on by a developer from Living Social, the instant coupon company. His pickup line went something like this: “We have a two-for-one deal to Regal [movie theaters] right now, if you’d want to go…”

So I couldn’t help but wonder*: With the proliferation of Groupon and Groupon-wannabes, is it now cool to use coupons on a date?

I like to ponder these vexing relationships-in-a-digital-age questions, so I started doing some reporting. A quick search online led me to plenty of heated debates and conflicting blog posts, and the people I trust, like Friend Matt, were just as undecided about it as I was:

Is it attractively frugal? Retro enough to be hipster? Or just cheap? Is there a threshold — 10% off is lame but 2-for-1 is worth it?

Like any relationship exploration, what works for one couple doesn’t work for others, la la la. And let’s assume that we are unpacking this idea for early-stage couples, because I know my partner-of-eight-years would not think twice about using a Groupon for a two-for-one deal at Popeye’s Chicken with me, and vice versa. So let’s focus on fledgling relationships. The various approaches:

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