If your goal is to get to know someone and you're on a budget, prioritize dates that allow for conversation, rather than dates that have steep price tags but limited chance for meaningful self-disclosure.
By opting for contexts that allow for easy conversation (e.g., going for a walk in the park, meeting for coffee), you're giving yourself an opportunity to get to know your date, rather than spending money on a date that limits conversation (e.g., for a movie).
In addition to being relatively low-cost, these types of dates also have the added advantage of being easy to end naturally and without the, potentially awkward, requirement of waiting for a check.
Alternatively, if you “click,” you can easily extend the date by finding an easy option for a meal or other activity.
But until you meet your soul mate, you can expect to spend a little more than usual. But the share may be higher or lower in every city, and the ratio of women to men also will differ in each.