Is your guy so cheap he squeaks when he walks? Is your girl so thrifty she uses tea bags thrice? I feel your pain.

I too was a long-suffering companion of a date who felt that a root canal was preferable to spending money.

Allow me to introduce him. We'll call him Rob. (I'll call him the most miserly, tightfisted Scrooge to ever walk the face of the planet.) Let's have a look at some of Rob's endearingly frugal ways, penny-pinching behavior that bought our relationship to an untimely end.

Restaurant dates were for special occasions only. Lucky me, my birthday counted as special enough to warrant forking out the cash for dinner. But tightwad Rob would insist that we order main courses only -- no dessert or starters. And he would hound the wait staff to replenish our bread, which he then wrapped in a napkin and stuffed in his jacket pocket. For breakfast.

On the rare occasion we would stay in a hotel (usually when someone else, such as my work, was paying) he'd load up on all the toiletries from the bathroom and then call housekeeping to replace them. This would go on every day during the stay and we'd depart with a suitcase full of crappy miniature shampoos.

Sound familiar? Perhaps you've got your own special brand of skinflint in your life who is forever calculating the cost of things, bemoaning spending money on things that aren't considered essential or practical and basically ruining the romance by being so damn cheap.

How do you get your stingy date to see that splashing the cash now and then isn't such a bad thing? Our tips will help your prize open his steel-trap wallet or loosen her purse strings -- if only for a moment.

Pay Your Way

The classic cheapskate hates the idea of spending good money on food in restaurants when you can cook for yourself at home. True but not very romantic. Tightwads, particularly guys, are wary of restaurant dates because they feel the onus is on them to pay. Put your Scrooge's mind at ease by offering to split the cost of eating out and letting them choose a restaurant with prices they are comfortable with -- and no, McDonald's doesn't count as a date-worthy restaurant.

Discount Vouchers

There's nothing the money minder loves more than discount coupons. Use these to your advantage by collecting as many offers and two-for-one deals as you can, then when you next want to see a movie or go to an exhibition and your honey whines that it costs too much money, you can whip out one of these babies and show them that you're actually saving them money. Watch their little eyes light up as they do the math. Then sit back and enjoy your date.

Flower Power

Love having the odd bunch of flowers to brighten your day but your date is too stingy to spring for the occasional bouquet? To be fair, florists can get pretty expensive, with some retailers charging for flowers by the single stem and bouquets costing more than your weekly grocery bill. Instead of fighting a losing battle with your lovable miser, take matters into your own hands and steer them towards a local growers' markets where garden-fresh blooms can be had for a fraction of the retail price.

Note to Cheapskates: If cut flowers seem like a waste of money to you (they only wither and die, moneygrubbers protest), buy your loved one a potted plant instead. You'll win big points for your romantic gesture and you get to keep your wallet firmly closed for many months to come since potted plants last well past their cut-flower counterparts.

Speak their Language

Penny-pinchers watch their spending like the proverbial hawk and know exactly how much money is in their wallets at any given time, and you know it's going to take something pretty special for them to cough up for something they see as an unnecessary purchase or expense. Show your date that you care about saving money.

For example, on Sunday morning, have breakfast at home: Two coffees, orange juices, scrambled eggs on toast, the morning newspaper, some sliced fruit. After your breakfast, lean over and whisper to your cheapskate date, "Honey, we just saved $40 dollars eating breakfast at home this morning." This is music to their stingy little ears. Follow this up by purring "Now we can afford to see a movie this afternoon, aren't we clever?" Try it. It's like feeding candy to a baby.

Now if you can just rustle up some discount vouchers for the cinema, you just might be able to wrench a serving of popcorn out of them, too.  

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