Dear Yente,

So, I’m broke. Let me just get that out of the way. It’s not that I’m a loser who can’t hold a job, but I’m investing all of my money into a new tech startup and just don’t have much left for dating. I’m already spending what’s left of my discretionary income on JDate (which has so far been worth it!), but now I don’t have much left over to take any of these amazing women I met out on a proper date.

What’s a guy to do?

—Thrifty Entrepreneur

Dear Thrifty Entrepreneur,

Thank you so much for your question. As my love Perchik says so eloquently in our show, “Money is the world’s curse”…

Well, I don’t know if that is true, but I DO know that if any of these ladies are as amazing as you think they are, they won’t care if you pay/what you pay for! And if they do care that much, then they are not worth your time.

From my dating experience, I can tell you that I often feel quite uncomfortable when the man pays for everything. I always feel much more in control of the situation if I’m also contributing. Additionally, if things are really expensive, it feels forced. How can you get to know someone when there are no prices on the menu? I know I couldn’t. It’s lovely, of course, to be treated to dinner, etc. and I’m glad chivalry is not dead, but I also have a credit card and I’m not afraid to use it.

But more importantly, I’d like to bring up the idea of a “proper date”…? Your word choice makes me think that you think a date requires drinks/dinner/a movie…the very typical standards of the dating world.

I’m here to tell you that I don’t believe that to be so! Some of the best dates I’ve been on have cost barely anything: a stroll through Central Park; a quick road trip to somewhere new; take-out and a movie (I believe the new term is “Netflix and chill?”); free outdoor concerts; a picnic somewhere green. There are tons of ways to show a girl you care that don’t involve a large bill at the end of the night. And I’m sure any girl worth your time would be much more impressed with your creativity and thoughtfulness than with the thickness of your wallet.

Best of luck!


Samantha MassellSAMANTHA MASSELL (Hodel): Samantha made her Broadway debut at age 12 in Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme. Most recently, Samantha originated the role of Florika and understudied Esmeralda in the US Premiere productions of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse. At the St. Louis MUNY, Samantha starred as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin, Rapunzel in Into the Woods opposite TONY winner Heather Headley, and Ursula in Bye Bye Birdie. Off-Broadway, she has appeared in the New York City Center Encores! productions of Little Me and It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman.Film/TV: Beatbox, ZUG, How to Be a Man. Samantha started her career in the children’s chorus of The New York City Opera, where she appeared in a number of productions and made her soloist debut as Elizabeth in The Ballad of Baby Doe. Samantha is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The University of Michigan, where she double majored in Musical Theater and English. Come see Hodel find her “Match” at The Broadway Theatre in Fiddler on the Roof, now in previews.

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