Monday, April 27, 2009

An Unnatural Disaster

A disaster over ten years in the making will soon descend on China. And there is nothing natural about it.

China currently has 32 million more boy children than girl children.

Holy Crap. That is soon to be a massive number of horny adolescent boys, and then marriageable young men- with no women.

Nature keeps a fair balance of male-to-female births. This is necessary for the propagation of the species. Humans seem to think they're smarter than nature. Or maybe they just get off on trying to control and change nature. Either way, once again "superior" human thinking has really screwed things up.

There isn't much positive to say about this. If there is any upsides of this, it would be women may become a more valuable commodity. Finally.

And this will cause a change in expectations. Any female already considered above average will definitely have far more options than probably ever before in the history of China. Average girls will become considered superior, and lower than average girls will become more average. There is nothing like a scarcity to inflate the value of whatever is available. Economics 101.

Potential Problems?

Potential violence. Not only do females have a general calming effect on guys they typically encouraging them to play fair, be kind, use their manners and obey the laws. They also give guys something to do. Guys who are dating or perusing girls are less likely to get into gangs, commit random act of violence, or congregate in testosterone driven groups of ‘bored and feeling-invincible’ guys.

Potential drop of male quality.
Guys dating girls dress smarter, have better personal hygiene, are more likely to seek steady jobs and be productive citizens. They spend quiet and quality time courting the girls which also puts money back into the economy through dinners, movies, gifts and event tickets. They tend to be more responsible with their decisions: everything from recreational choices to furthering their education and good financial planning. As once said “Guys are as good as the women in their society expect them to be.”

Potential sky rocketing of prostitution. Let’s face it. The human condition requires release of hormonal build up one way or another. Fewer guys with girlfriends getting taken care of at home, are going to find other outlets. Desperation often leads to use of prostitution and rape. Females of the right age are also going to see this as a golden opportunity to make ridiculous amounts of money servicing guys who have no girlfriends to spend money on, no clear futures of families to plan to provide for, and less incentive to further their education.

Potential rapid STD spread. With fewer females for the males to copulate with, the men will end up sleeping with more of the same girls. And as everyone knows, the higher traffic of visitors, the more and greater variety of germs collected in one spot.

Mass exodus of Chinese men. As with hunting and territory claiming, when the resources become too scarce, a wider region must be explored and sometimes that means leaving altogether. If women don’t find their way into the country, men will leave in search of them. The Chinese government might selfishly see this as a loss of manpower- even though they created the scarcity of women, and prevent the men from leaving the country. Unless or until that happens though, it’s a good guess that Chinese men will be aggressively doing international online dating. And leaving China to find brides is going to become as sudden and continually increasing occurrence.

Potential Solutions?

Execute 1.5 million men.
Take the stupidest, ugliest and least productive males, along with the criminals and just execute them. Not only would that reduce the general population and prevent the birth of more stupid, ugly, non-productive criminals in their society, there will be fewer men to fight over the women. Given China’s history of dealing with problems in a cold and calculated way, they’ll probably see this as being a legitimate solution.

Raffle off the single women. Men who can prove they have high incomes, high IQs and bring other assets to the table make bids for the single women. First come, first serve. The guys who have the best collection of assets win. Use the money from the raffle to pay the attempted suicide medical bills and psychotic/anxiety therapy for the guys who are poor and not lucky enough to be part of the raffle and will therefore probably never get a Chinese wife thanks to a brilliant system that left basically the equivalent of a small continent without the entire opposite gender.

Re-institute polygamy. By allowing multiple men to marry the same woman they solve several problems all at once. Naturally reduces the future birthrate. Creates wealthier families because there would be multiple men working to contribute to the same family.

Allow same gender male marriages
. Since there won’t be enough female partners to go around, but the men will still want the same comforts provided by living with a partner. As a bonus, if the government would allow each married male partnership to adopt and raise an orphaned child, there would be considerably fewer children without parents.

Okay…enough nonsense. Now for some real solutions.

Import wives from Thailand. Thailand has a problem all their own. For whatever reason it’s estimated that more than 50 % of the male population of Thais are gay. In a country where most young, attractive and healthy men are “bar boys” and where sexual tourism is a pillar in their economical society, women finding a husband is a big problem. It looks like these two countries might be able to help each other out. Or better yet, since China is feeling overpopulated, send healthy, productive and straight Chinese men to Thailand to boost their economy and birthrates. China wins out in getting rid of otherwise frustrated and potentially violent men, lowers their overall head count and their men can still get wives and possibly have as many children as they can support. The Chinese could also benefit from adopting Thailand’s policies of non-violence, tolerance, acceptance and warm heartedness.

Establish an environment of inter-racial marriage tolerance
. At some point China needs to accept that this problem was brought on by no one but themselves and a logical solution involves allowing more citizens to feel accepted when they find wives of other nationalities and start creating bi-racial families. China may be about purism, but it is undeniable the benefits and improvements that result from mixing the strengths brought by other cultures. Most countries are fairly racially mixed now and have found it to be an asset. China can’t manufacture enough females for their own population now, and they’re going to have to come from somewhere.

And the final, most obvious one…

Start promoting female births
. While it’s too late for some 3 million boys, China can prevent further problems for the next generation of boys by allowing and promoting the birth of more females. In some cases they might even do what France does, and pay a certain group of the population to have more children, however in this case it would be specifically girls.

Lack of forethought brought about a problem that has yet to see its climax. The next decade will be interesting to watch as young men in China reach maturity and start wanting the normal life that their own government denied them.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

China’s Policy of Dishonesty

Honesty is a problem for China. Maybe not everyone who is in charge of running and representing the country is dishonest…but I’m starting to wonder.

Let’s take a look at the stats:

• A Chinese girl soccer team from Daping Junior High that won an International tournament in Turkey last week, gets most of their players from a junior national team and don’t actually attend the Jr. High they were representing. Official regulations require all the players to be enrolled full time in the school they play for. The other teams they beat from Brazil, Sweden, Italy, France and Germany might not like the odds being loaded either.

• While the dispute of ‘08 Gold medal-winning girls for the Chinese gymnastic Olympic team were eventually “cleared” of being old enough, bone x-rays performed this March indicate some of them, and in fact 20% of the 15,000 Chinese athletes had lied about their ages.

Yi Jianlian who plays for the NBA’s New Jersey Net’s also allegedly lied about his age so he could qualify for the junior tournaments.

• The China Sports Ministry reported last year that, at least 36 Chinese professional basket ball league players may have altered their birthdates.

It’s not just ages and sports that China can’t be truthful about.

• 9-year-old Lin Miaoke wowed the audience by singing the Chinese national anthem for the beginning of the ’08 Olympics hosted in Beijing. It was later revealed the real voice belong to 7-year-old Yan Peiyi, another little girl- who the Chinese officials decided was not cute enough to represent the country.

• The fireworks at the Opening Ceremonies hosted in Beijing were also faked. They scam was so elaborate that the 55 second sequence took a year of planning and preparing by inserting computer graphics into the stadium coverage. They simulated smog at night and shook the camera during “filming” the fireworks for the giant stadium screens and for televised viewers, to give the impression it was filmed from a helicopter. The real firework display was done outside the stadium coverage, to help perpetuate the belief that it was the same display being watching inside.

• Corruption in Major Chinese Universities and Colleges just between 2004 and 266 involve millions of yen for bribes in student enrollment, teacher appointment, equipment purchases, infrastructural construction and scientific training.

• Making the grade and general tuition isn’t enough for students at Universities either. Many are also expected to pay additional outrageous sums of money on the side or risk losing their spot and their education.

• Prostitution has become an increasing way to “bribe” officials by businessmen and criminals.

Chinese officials “justify” all of their decisions one way or another. But the biggest question about a history of dishonesty is…can ANYTHING they say or do be trusted? Without trust there is no basis for foreign policy. And that should be a major concern for a country that exports billions of dollars worth of goods to other continents every year.

They’ve also recently developed a bad rap with the lead paint dangers found in everything from toys and makeup to pottery imported from China in the past few years.

China is an amazing and awe inspiring country. They have lent so many contributions to the human species living experience. But their obsessive need to depict a “perfect” image of their country and people is far more damaging and in most cases a blatant obstruction of justice.

Is China even capable of playing fair? Or are they so used to bending, changing and ignoring rules and thinking they are above fundamental things like that they don’t even know how to keep a moral compass anymore?

Suspicion and distrust are a part of their culture. They are noted for being particularly cold to strangers and those they don’t have an established relationship with. Cheating and engaging in self-serving behaviors and choices make for a climate racked with doubt that anyone else would be honest. They are not a welcoming culture to anything new nor anything that is not of their own creation or their own idea.

It would seem that China has a policy of sincerely believing they are allowed to play with loaded dice and a virtually nonexistent set of rules, while the rest of the world must toe the line. Their line.

“Saving Face” is a major issue for the Chinese. To most other cultures it would appear for them to shoot past obsession and deep into fanaticism. A person must preserve a perceived “reputation” at all costs. Even if that reputation is only a front created by skillful lying and a history of deceit. A person who “loses face” feels they are no longer worthy to live in the world. It is a very extreme concept and one that leaves a person constantly on the edge of potential ruin. It seems the concept of forgiveness, (even or especially of oneself) is not really given much though.

And mercy? Don’t cross your fingers. Given the plethora of people who inhabit China and the way their government has treated visitors, citizens and their own offspring (particularly their daughters), clearly they view life as “expendable”. Some of the stories are beyond shocking.

There is also a code that demands any “favor” done someone be repaid, if not immediately then at a later date.

Every country has some issues with dishonesty within their own geographical boundaries. But not every country has developed a reputation for being completely without remorse for cheating, being cold and calculating with every transaction amongst allies, enemies and their own people alike, and demanding allowance for their own selfishness with every interaction.

For a culture that is historically capable of producing intelligent and educated people and innovative products, they are very much in danger of being known as country with a big brain and no conscience.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My napkin poises over the small eight legged invader to my home. It’s a tiny bug and I could destroy it with the most minute bump of my pinky. The insect senses danger as I sweep down on it and it frantically scrambles; all eight legs thrashing wildly in a dash of self-preservation.

Scooping it up into soft white depths to cushion my captive from my comparatively large and clumsy hands, I shake the napkin over my kitchen counter. As it drops down onto the smooth surface, it takes cover behind my knife block before it can be taken hostage again.

I watch from my towering spot of 5 feet, 4 inches from the ground, as this bitty and delicate creature finds refuge behind my cooking appliances. I feel almost benevolent allowing this morsel to seek sanctuary in my warm, dry home. The rain outside has been chasing a number of creatures indoors, and that is actually the precise reason I’m allowing it to live.

Symbiotic relationships exist all throughout nature. Bees collect nectar from flowers to make honey and inadvertently pollinate them. The Oxpecker bird eats parasites and ticks off the skin of zebras and rhinos. In exchange for a meal and the protection of a large creature (which makes it harder for small predators to kill them) they clean their skin and alert their host of the presence of large predators.

Humans play host to a multitude of bacteria and microscopic organisms for everything to digesting our food to eating the dead cells that flake off our skin. And humans have used insects as part of medical practices for centuries.

Sterilized blow fly larvae (aka: maggots) clean dead tissue out of deep wounds that would become infected and gangrenous resulting in amputation or death.

Blood sucking leaches are attached to re-attached limbs or extremities of someone with poor circulation (like with diabetes) to draw life sustaining blood through reluctant veins and arteries. They are also thought to secret a chemical that fights infection.

Swallowing whipworm eggs seem to help people with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disorder), and there are other examples of scientists of past and present using creatures that seem like the scavenger things of nightmares to actually make people’s lives better.

You might say I’m transplanting opportunistic spiders (the non-poisonous variety) to help combat the more obnoxious creatures that I honestly have no use for in my home.

I’ve done the whole “Pest Control” process with having a licensed company come out and spray around the house and yard. But I find that it doesn’t really eliminate the insects. And I hate having toxic chemicals around and in my house. I’ve never had a problem with the typical offenders: termites, mice and cockroaches. Mostly I get ants. In droves. Every year they find a way in and I battle them out, only to have them find a new way in the following season.

That’s where my arachnid friends come in. Behind the tank in the master bathroom, in the corner of the blinds next to the living room window, in the pantry near the containers of flour and boxed goods…you will find one of my watchmen. I clean out around their webs and occasionally take them down if they’ve become a mess, but leave the spider unharmed. They’re my troops in a battle of conquest. In keeping weevils, ants, fruit flies and other miniature nauseating bugs at bay, these spiders earn their spot in my home just as well as any dog or cat.

Large spiders don’t share the same fate. I don’t want to have anything around that could be poisonous, doesn’t build a web or doesn’t stay in one spot. And a larger spider wouldn’t be content with a steady diet of ants. Anytime I find the bigger variety of spiders in my house they’re covered with a cup, scooped up by sliding a strip of cardboard underneath then flopped on their backs to be transported outside, or they find their end at the bottom of a shoe, inside the canister of a vacuum cleaner or inherit a swirly watery toilet grave.

Other pests like slugs, earwigs, roly-polys and silverfish find no welcome in my castle either. ‘Depart or die: posthaste’ is my mantra. Honestly though, I don’t give them much chance to make a decision. They were beyond that point of no return the moment they invaded my territory.

I hate bug spray. Even in small amounts. I find that a spray bottle full of the regular, clear anti-bacterial hand soap and water does a marvelous job of killing anything that is thumb-sized or smaller. Blow flies, wasps and large spiders that try to nest around the outside of my house get a serious dousing of this excellent soap. Depending on their size, they either die immediately or within seconds. Anything with a shell seems impenetrate-able at first, but after wading through a soapy moat surrounding their escape, they too sluggishly halt and succumb to death.

I love the fact that there is no chemical residue left over, no toxic fumes, causes no risk to humans (children) or large pets if it comes in contact with their skin (you wash with it for pities sakes!) and once the insects are dead, a swipe with a dry paper towel leaves the surface actually cleaner than before!

Also, if you have a sink full of dirty dishes or a counter with spills and crumbs but don’t have time to take care of them and are afraid if you leave you’ll return to a full on ant invasion: spray everything down well with the soapy spray and the bugs won’t go near them. It’s awesome. I could be a spokesperson for this product!

I watch the spider for a few moments longer, as it moved around the counter finding a good spot. The ants mill around unaware their days are numbered. Soon a little web will be ensnaring them and hopefully deterring any more of their comrades. As long as my new little friend does his job, my home is his home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Formula for Love?

Romantic love is not calculus. Thank God for that because many of us are terrible at math.

But maybe, just maybe there is a formula for finding your match. Or at least, identifying what kind of person would be your ideal match.

When shopping for a car, choosing jewelry or buying a new lawnmower, I think that there is a process for picking out quality and for finding what is right for you.

And like buying a car, finding a partner can be somewhat confusing. But if you do your homework, you’re more likely to get what you want the first go round by absolutely eliminating what you don’t want and shopping smart for what you do want. That’s right. Dating is remarkably like shopping.

There are millions of cars out there: All different shapes, sizes and colors. Each have different features and come with different grades of accessories. People are the same way. When picking out a car- a person must first take a look at themselves.

What is your lifestyle like? Do you live in the city or choose the country life? What style of car best suits your needs? Is roomy passenger space important or do showy rims suit you better? What features do you consider mandatory and which are really optional? Are you going to actually use the seat warmers or would it be better to focus on an extended warranty? What are your intentions for this car? Do you need a commuter that is economical and business-suit friendly? Or will you need something more rugged that can handle a heavy load and is built for off-roading?

It might surprise you how similar this is to choosing a partner.

Are you looking for someone who is going to enjoy road trips and camping? Or someone who cleans up well and can work a room for a business networking conference and will genuinely enjoy an opera charity banquet? Can you support a home and family on just your income or will you need a partner who can handle having kids and a job? Does the size of her bra matter more to you than whether she’ll stand by you if you lose your hair or job? What if you lose both? Or- ever thought of this… what if she loses her bra size?

Once you’ve identified what style of car you’ll need for your lifestyle, you’ll need to be realistic about what you can afford. This can be the hardest part to admit. Generally speaking, the prettier the car, the more bells and whistles it has, and the more prestigious it is to own- the more it’s going to cost you.

Not surprisingly- people are the same way.

Typically if you’re looking for someone that is going to be the envy of everyone you know- you’re going to need a sizable bank account and/or a lot of time and attention to maintain them. Like luxury cars, people who are exceptional generally hold out for someone who will take exceptional care of them.

Usually people who buy $100,000+ cars, have a clean garage to store them in, take them in for regular oil changes and are meticulous with their interior detailing.

A person who has an impeccable physical appearance, comes from an upscale family and may boast expensive talents, hobbies or education, is going to expect to maintain a certain quality of lifestyle- one that spares no expense. For someone who usually head to a local bar to pick up ‘dates’ and consider grabbing burgers ‘eating out’- their chances of getting with this quality of person, are about as high as affording a Pagani Zonda C12 F.

If you can afford that kind of car, congratulations. Can I get your phone number? (Just kidding!)

Physical appearance and intelligence are the two premiums because they are the most likely to be passed onto their future children. Other features include: talents, education, personal income, potential sizable inheritances and family/connections prestige.

First: make a list first of everything you have to offer a romantic partner. This is like assessing what kind of car you afford. If you’ve got the goods, the chances are higher you can get the upgrades. For a man, height, income and education are going to matter more to women then you might think is fair. Keep in mind though, if you’re planning to have kids, or if they already have kids, they’re just following a natural instinct to find a good provider to ensure their/your kids have a decent quality life and a secure future. If you were a woman, those would matter more to you as well.

Like it or not, money is going to matter at some point to every woman. Maybe not before she has kids, but definitely after. Maybe not when she’s really young, but definitely when she starts to get older. Face it. Money is needed for every basic necessity and definitely every luxury in the world.

But back to your list. You can give yourself bonus points if:
• you have a job w/ dependability
• you have a degree
• you have a six figure income
• you own a successful business
• you’re over 6 feet tall
• you’re the sole owner of a home or condo or property
• you own a clean reliable car
• you don’t have debt or a car payment
• you’re under 40
• you don’t have kids
• you have an especially attractive face
• your dad and both your grandfathers have full heads of hair
• your body fat is 12% or lower
• your family has a history of longevity (long life) and no personality disorders
• you don’t need regular doses of prescription drugs to live a normal life (ie: anti-anxiety or anti-psychotic medication)
• you don’t have a chemical abuse problem and you don’t smoke
• you have a fairly normal family and a good relationship with them
• you have famous or wealthy parents, grandparents or aunts/uncles/cousins
• you have musical or artistic abilities
• you are a celebrity or publicly well-known
• you have an IQ of 130 or higher
• you have useful and specialized talents or skills

These are provable statistics. Everything on this list can be verified in ways that would stand up in court. Any of these can be proved by government statements (DMV, banks, etc.) tests given by certified professionals or genetic testing. When going through a professional matchmaker, these are the kinds of stats they’ll start off with in creating you a profile.

If you can legitimately claim more than 80% of the qualities listed- chances are you could date/marry/have children with just about any woman of your choosing (who isn’t already taken!). A woman who can claim 80% of qualities indicating good genetics, superior intelligence and financial security could likewise date/marry/have children with just about any man of their choosing.

The average person only has a handful of these though. Might as well focus on your strengths rather than dwelling on things you cannot change (like your genetics, your family history or your IQ) and focus on improving the ones you can control (like body fat percentage, income, getting a degree, etc.)

The next list of qualities are character traits that general cannot be “proved” but are just as valuable. Things like being: generous, honest, cheerful, patient, kind hearted, loyal, considerate, hard working, romantic, adventurous, playful, responsible, morally ethical, non-abusive, good with kids, good communicator, respectful, emotionally supportive, emotionally grounded/stable, monogamous, non-jealous, modest (not too proud), affectionate, confident, easy going, self-reliant, altruistic etc.

Next, make a list of everything you’d like to have in a partner. Detail all the qualities you’d ideally like to have and star next to the ones that you consider mandatory. Don’t get so caught up in the physical category that you forget things like loving nature, rational behavior and loyalty.

You can think of comparing the lists as bartering. You may not have the height, but maybe you have the income. You may not have the home, but maybe you have the education. As long as what you are offering is fair with what you are requesting, you’re likely to find a compatible match.

An overweight high school drop out who is on unemployment, is ‘4:20 friendly’ in their spare time and is living with their parents is never going to score a playboy model rocket scientist who plays semi-pro tennis in her spare time and has a vacation home in Madrid! That kind of guy fantasy is only in the movies. The unrealistic, never-gonna-happen-in-real-life movies.

There are several additional ways to find out compatibility with another person. Obviously the more ways you can establish compatibility with someone, the stronger your chances of maintaining a strong bond with them; be that in a relationship or a commitment like marriage.

Astrology is one of the ways. While some people chalk it up as not ‘scientific’, there is an astrology listing as a resource on virtually every email and bringing-people-together site. This would suggest that a fairly large percentage of the dating community considers it at least worth checking out. If you know your Sun sign, this site will show you “at a glance” what signs you are compatible with.

If you do a little more research, you can find out if your Moon signs are also compatible. At the following link you can find out if your Venus (planet of love) signs are compatible.

Eastern or Chinese astrology signs also predict compatibility.

Helen Fisher an anthropologist who specializes in romantic relationships came up with a series of questions to find out which two of the four categories you are foremost: Explorer, Builder, Director, Negotiator. According to her research and experience with, there is a very real way of predicting who will choose who out of a room of single people- based upon their dominant personalities. The test to discover your personality type can be found in her book “Why Him? Why Her?”, or online at the following link:

The Five Love Languages
are a list of the five ways to show someone love and respect. Everyone has an order of importance they’d put them in. The top two you’d want and respond to the best is quite telling about you. Knowing your top two, and those of a partner are important to making each other feel loved and cared about. While you don’t have to have the same order, sharing at least one of your top two will help increase your compatibility since showing each other love and receiving love from them will much easier and require less effort.

While there are likely dozens of other ways to test compatibility, combining these is probably a good start to discovering your ideal mate.

To use myself as an example, My:
Western astrology: Sun: Gemini
Eastern astrology: Horse
Personality type: Negotiator/Explorer
Top 2 Love Languages: Physical Touch and Quality Time

My Best Compatible Partner would be some combination of the following:
Western astrology: Sun: Aquarius, Aries, Leo or Libra
Eastern astrology: Tiger, Horse or Dog
Personality type: Director/Explorer or Director/Negotiator
Top 2 Love Languages: Physical Touch or Quality Time

If only we could all walk around with signs that list these qualities, how much easier would it be to find the love of our lives? If nothing else we certainly could all save ourselves a lot of time and effort not focusing on the wrong people!

Finding someone with the correct combination of characteristics is like discovering a sequence for opening a lock to a person’s heart. Using this formula for checking out potential partners is almost guaranteed to cause one of you fall for the other. But there is no sure fire way to ensure you’ll both fall in love with each other. And, it has to be said, there are the rare exceptions to every rule.

After all, while breaking everything down scientifically and mathematically is fascinating and can maximize efficiency… some things need to be left to chance.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Love for Cheap Dates

Dinner and a movie. A movie and dinner. How did that become the standard for dating?

After finding myself single and getting out into the dating scene again, the invitation for that specific combination of “getting to know you” activities just keeps coming up. And I have a theory about it.

It’s lazy. It’s boring. It doesn’t even make sense.

The way I see it is if you’re dating someone, the idea is to get to know them better. In a movie theater you can’t talk to them. You can’t even see them! So after one and a half hours of sitting just a foot away from them, you don’t know them any better then you did when first meeting them! And if the movie wasn’t to their (or your) liking, that’s $18 badly spent.

As for dinner there is an absurdly long list of things to worry about and potential problems. Does the girl let the guy order for her? If he’s paying for dinner, he might think he’s supposed to or is entitled to. Who’s picking up the tab? Does he get it? Do they split it two ways? Order separately? If you order a large meal will you terrify your date into thinking you have an appetite (and potentially the waist line) of a full back? Will the guy be irritated if he’s paying for it and his date can’t finish it?

The dinner dates I’ve had where the entire experience transpired in an eatery often left me racked with questions. Should I forgo a desert? What does it mean if he orders an alcoholic beverage during our first meeting? What if I get something stuck between my teeth, spill food on my clothes or worse, knock my date’s drink into their lap?

When meeting something for the first time, you want to talk to this person and get to know them. That is after all the entire point of getting together. But how can you do that when you’re eating? You’re already dealing with drippy sauces, too much or not enough silverware and the persistent worry that you chew your food weird. How can you also be expected to be a charming and interesting conversationalist?

You only have one shot at a first impression. You want to be memorable. Doing the ‘same old thing’ isn’t memorable. Doing something new and different is. Trying something for the first time even if it’s something simple adds excitement to the experience. And some of the best dates I’ve gone on, didn’t cost a thing.

It is possible to be an amazing date, but not spend a ton of money. Being a good cheap date doesn't mean being stingy or selfish. It's not about finding out how you even feel about someone before deciding whether to spend money on them. Being a good cheap date is about being so creative, imaginative and playful that the kinds of dates you do are amazing without costing much or any money. Being a good cheap date requires more thoughtfulness and humor than being an expensive date. It’s not about how much money you spend, it’s about how you spend your time and energy.

Get Outside
• Take a hike/ walk at a local National Park or Botanical Gardens. Even your local Plant Nursery is nice to take a stroll through.
• Toss around a softball or Frisbee or kick around a soccer ball at a neighborhood park.
• Shoot some hoops at a high school’s outdoor court after school hours or on the weekends if your local park doesn’t have a court.
• Go for jog or bike ride together
• Play a friendly game of tennis

Get Active
• Hit the batting cages
• Walk (or run) along the beach/ lake
• Head out to a swimming pool
• Go tubing in a lake
• Ice skate, Inline skate or Roller skate (indoors or outside)
• Window shop through a shopping center
• Play miniature golf
• Join a pick-up game of volleyball at the beach or local rec center

Get Cultured
• Check out a local art gallery
• Take random photos of the city, countryside or historical site
• See what’s new at a Museum
• Check out a local music venue
• Go to an Ethnic celebration/ festival (Indian Powwow, Celtic celebration etc.)
• Go to a book signing at a bookstore
• Go to a poetry reading

Getting Hungry?
• Check out your local farmer’s market
• Get ice cream or fresh fruit at a grocery store to eat while walking around town or at a park.
• Pack a picnic and take it with you on an excursion
• Get meal-on-the-go bars or snacks at a local health food store

Staying Indoors

• Head to Arcades
• Check out a local high school or college musical or theater performances
• Go to a local high school or college sport event
• Try out Karaoke
• Go to a drive in movie theater
• Meet at a large store where you share an interest: music, sports, books, electronics, etc.
• Go nighttime bowling
• Shoot pool
• Pick out wacky clothing or shoes at a mall for each other to try on
• Build an elaborate maze for a pet mouse or hamster
• Go to a comedy club

Do Something Productive
• Volunteer together for a local clean up or local event
• Do a charity run or walk
• Volunteer at a animal shelter or check out a pet store
• Get certified together for First Aid and CPR training
• Help someone paint- a room, a fence, a piece of furniture, etc.
• Go to a salvage yard and find something to fix up and find a use for it.
• Create a scavenger hunt
• Help out with a community project
• Plant flowers, trees or shrubs in your yard, for a church or nature reserve
• Buy a bunch of flowers or balloons to pass out at an old folks home or hospital
• Put together a neighborhood garage sale or one with all your friends

Anything But Ordinary
• Go to a theater audition together
• Take a tour of a factory
• Draw a mural with chalk at a park or on your sidewalk
• Go to your local courthouse and watch a trial
• Go to a costume party
• Check out a flea market or various garage sales
• Attend open houses for homes being sold (just don’t take their paperwork unless you might buy)
• Try out your local public transportation: bus, Trolly, Subway, BART, ferry
• Go to a technology or science expo
• Test drive cars together
• Go play Bingo
• Find and go through a corn or hedge maze
• Attend a benefit concert
• Find a good place at night to star gaze
• Find a hill and fly a kite. Better yet, make the kite together and then fly it.
• Volunteer at a animal shelter or check out a pet store
• Check out local events at Convention center- gem show, gun show, craft show,
• Take a free foreign language class together
• Take a train ride to anywhere
• Find a multiple person bike to ride
• Host a costume party, plan it together
• Take a Haunted house/ mystery house tour

If you happen to have to have a little more cash to spend or are willing to invest more time, there are other ideas that are far from ordinary.

Creative Dating Ideas
• Go Fishing
• Go to an Amusement park
• Go skiing or snowboarding
• Take a class together – art, dancing, pottery, photography, martial arts (these can be pretty inexpensive at a community center, community college or through a church)
• Rent or borrow a Canoe
• Go horse back riding
• Try out archery
• Go to a shooting range
• Try out go karts
• Rock climb at a local climbing gym
• Go to a local Fair
• Attend a sporting event you don’t typically watch (Martial arts tournament, Horse competition, dog racing, ballroom dance)
• Get dressed and go to an Opera or Broadway musical
• Sign up to be extras in a film
• Check out your local country club event
• Take a road trip
• Go to a sports or boot camp together
• Get tickets to be in the audience of a televised show
• Go to the circus, zoo, aquarium or water theme park
• Take a musical instrument class together (percussion, etc.)
• Go sky diving or bungee jumping
• Go water skiing or rent jet skis
• Go on a one day cruise
• Enroll in "circus school" together
• Go to a Murder Mystery Restaurant
• Go on a backpacking trip

My sister told me about a date she and her boyfriend came up with. They bought water flotations beds and remote control boats, headed out to a lake and floated around the lake racing their little boats. They'd taken a picnic lunch with them and made a day of it.

Everyone loves novelty.
Thanks to Google it’s easy to find out what’s happening in your area. Check out your local events or those in neighboring cities. It may surprise you what exciting things are happening that you’re completely unaware of. Combine any number of these for a truly unique experience.

Regardless of your budget or skill levels, whatever else might be said of you, no one will ever be able to call you a boring date.