This is a reblog/re-edit of a post I wrote almost over 2 and half years about the economics of dating. Why? Because everything costs. Everything has a price tag. Especially dating. Check it out:
Dating now is a lot like going shopping when you don’t have any money. Even if you find the right thing, you can’t do anything about it. –Joshua Harris
Recently, I’ve been listening to the frustrations of dating and in particular…Who should pay? Should women ever offer to pay? Should men accept the offer? How long should a man and woman date before a woman ever offers to pay? So, I headed to cyberspace to do my research and came across this article on the Huffington Post, written by Catherine Pearson, “Men Still Paying for Dates…And Women are Partly Responsible”. Interesting title right? In short, a study was done and found the following information helpful:
- 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say men pay for most entertainment expenses — even after they have been dating for some time
- 57 percent of women say they offer to help pay
- 39 percent admitted that they hoped men would reject their offers to pay
- 44 percent were bothered when men expected them to chip in
- Nearly two-thirds of men believe women should contribute to dating expenses
So, interesting points, right? This is so true. I’m dying laughing. Mr. C still pays for 95% of our dates and it’s been a year and half of dating. I pay occasionally, but I do believe that a man should pay for dates. However, before you think me cruel and not considerate to the man that I love, I must say that I’m not. Although he pays for most dates, I do tend to spend more on gifts. I am a gift giver so I pick up things just because gifts.
But, I wanted to give you an economic breakdown of how a potential suitor may stack up in the dating market. Now, let’s say he’s a 40 year old male (divorced) with a 7 year old child who is in school full-time (first grade) and living in the Washington, DC area. We will give him a career as an IT specialist making about $85,000 a year.
|Rent||$1,200.00||Two bedroom apartment in a not so good area in the Washington, DC Area|
|Utilities||$400.00||Includes Gas, Electric, Cable and Cell Phone|
|Gas for the Car||$300.00|
|Credit Card Bills||$300.00||Expenses with car maintenance and dating|
|Student Loan Payments||$200.00|
|FSA||$100.00||Required as part of his divorce decree to assist in the payment of his child’s medical expenses|
|Health Insurance||$220.00||Based it off a monthly two person rate of $1100 with him paying 20%|
|Total a Month||$4,290.00|
|85,000/26 (pay periods)||$3,269.23||Pay Period (Gross)|
|3,269.23*40% (taxes and benefits)||$1307.69||Taxes and benefits deducted|
|$1961.54||Total (Net) per Pay Period|
|1961.54*26(pay periods)/12 (months)||$4250||Monthly Salary|
Sobering reality huh? Looking at the chart above, this man is already broke before taking you out to dinner even though by most standards he’s making a pretty good salary. Just not enough to date living in the Washington, DC area and being divorced.
I recently read a report about how some families in Silicon Valley who are making above $150,000 are struggling. Reason…housing is pricey. So, the man that I just described above is not necessarily living in the best neighborhoods with a 2 bedroom and paying $1200. Housing in a good neighborhood is not affordable to him.
How can he afford to court and woo you on this salary? Is it fair for him to take you out weekly at an average spend of $80.00 or more? Does his financial status make him ineligible to be considered a life partner? Maybe. It’s up to you.
Mr. C was right when he told me that Roland Martin said a black man in America has to work two jobs. The reality is that in this day in age, everyone needs a side hustle or another stream of income. The cost of living, dating, paying child support, paying alimony and/or paying back student loans makes it impossible to date without a second income.
Mr. C’s income is going to change as he has a son entering college in the fall which will tie up some of his disposable income. In other words, I know that he will not be able to take me out all the time. I’m cool with that. We’ll find cheaper ways to date because I understand his situation. I’m going to probably pay for more dates. I guess I should as it’s been over a year and half. LOL.
I think the key is that you should be flexible in the beginning of dating. A man should pay for the first three or four dates. After we get to the fourth date, I know that you’re probably a good guy and I will offer to get some dates. I took Mr. C to my favorite jazz spot for dinner and jazz in Philly on our fourth date. I drove, paid tolls, gas, entrance for the concert and dinner. He was shocked. You see how I do it right?
Really though, the key is that if there is longevity, let’s be honest about whether or not you can afford something that week. Let’s think of low cost or free activities and budget dates. I’m not above it. If I want to go out with you then I’ll pay. But, let’s be clear…I’m not financing our relationship.