Can I afford to date you?

I have been told quite often that people make time for what they want. Probably more often than I care to remember. One day a young lady gave me this speech and I told her that my time and money are two different things.

She seemed to be taken aback by my statement and I let her know that I meant no harm by it. I just really hate when people make that statement and don’t stop and wonder if there could be more factors involved.

Being in like and getting to know someone can be expensive as hell if you don’t know how to budget.

Not sure why I was the person that he confided in but just last Saturday one of the guys at my gym complained to me about how expensive it was to date women. He said that he was a traditionalist so he always paid but it was beginning to hurt his pockets. Before doing my usual of nodding and saying “I feel you” I asked him what usually happens.  He told me he was more of a dinner and movie or drinks type of guy. He also told me how some women frowned on certain restaurants and how they seemed to spend more freely when they went out for drinks. Ironically, I read (via social media) that a lot of men have this same struggle.

I get it. We were taught to pay for dates, we were taught to initiate everything in that whole process. I get it on your end ladies, Y’all don’t want to come over and chill at the crib, watch Netflix or just hang out. Maybe you need to tweak your expectations or how you should date. Be up front with the woman about your financial difficulties, maybe go dutch… but in the meantime as I stated before, budget.

I live in Washington, DC… it’s expensive here. Especially considering that I moved from North Carolina and there was definitely a difference as far as my cost of living. As a matter of fact, let’s do some brief research to figure out the exact cost of living in the area. Here is what I found.

Before I attempt to crunch numbers I did read in the Washington Post that in order to live comfortably (this was in 2010) in D.C. you would have to make within the range of $75,000 – $108,000 plus a year. I agree wholeheartedly.

For the sake of this post, we will pretend that you have no children and live alone in a one-bedroom apartment here.

Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 2,201.60 $ 1,500.002,501.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,644.95 $ 1,200.002,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,885.71 $ 3,000.005,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,776.47 $ 2,000.003,500.00

So we are looking at anywhere from 1200 – 2500 a month, just for rent. Now let’s pretend that you only cook your food and never go out to eat. That has to be between 350 – 400 a month for groceries… at least. Transportation.. you know what, I will just say you take the metro because if you drive there are monthly parking fees amongst other things. So taking the metro would roughly be around $200 a month. Now let’s look at your utilities, I will include the internet in this as well. So the internet, water, and electricity are at least $200. So to be nice we will say $200.

This does not include a car note, gym membership, credit card bill, student loans, barber/beauty parlor, cell phone bill, going out to eat, cable, buying clothes or anything else and right now someone would be paying anywhere from $1950 – 3300. Hell, if that’s all I paid I would be a dating fool lol. If I had to guess people spend way more than 3300 a month.

If I had to guess people spend way more than 3300 a month… at least here.

So now let’s look at the cost of dating. I always suggest that people get creative with dating. Utilize Groupon, lunch dates, attend festivals and go to museums… anything is more cost effective and creative than doing dinner and/or drinks lol.

It has been a minute but I think my last date was around $100. Yes, I was lucky lol. Is that a safe amount of money per date on average? Dinner and drinks usually cost more in the $150 – $200 range (uber or lyft included because buzzed driving is drunk driving lol, plus try parking in DC on the weekend, HA!). So let’s say that the cost to date on average is $150 and you go on 3 dates a month. That is about $450 a month. (I intentionally left out gifts and/or trips. I would assume that would usually be done during the relationship)

So is $450 a month too much?

If that is and women don’t understand your struggle and don’t want to work with you there is only one other option. Don’t date lol.

I did read a blog somewhere saying this:

“The fact is dating is expensive. It’s supposed to be that way. You’re going to spend time, effort and money; in that order. If you’re good at dating, you’re going to spend a lot of those three things. If you’re worried about how much money you have to spend, you’re really cheap or plain old broke.”

“If you shortcut the first date, you’ll shortcut the relationship. If you hustle your way to the second date, you’ll hustle your way through the relationship. If you don’t feel like the person you’re dating deserves the best like in the courtship phase, then you won’t feel like they deserve the best when you’re with them.”

Do I agree with this logic? No. I personally think that the traditional dating process can be too one sided more often than not. With the majority of the risks and sacrifices being placed on the man. At the same time, common sense teaches me that if something costs too much and it is not a necessity then you no longer do it. Dating would definitely fall under that category.

Just be honest with yourself and don’t overextend. Also, in my experience when a woman likes you, she will work with you. You just have to be honest and not let that pride get the best of you. If she doesn’t want to work with you that is ok too, wouldn’t have worked out anyway.

That is how so many men get caught up now. They aren’t upfront with women, overdo it, lie, then get into debt. So of course now that they can no longer do what they used to the woman no longer dates him and now she is labeled as a gold digger. Not her fault that you gave the woman unrealistic expectations that you couldn’t keep up with. Also, a few expensive meals don’t count as “gold digging”. At worst I would say the woman was a “user” but gold digger? Stop it lol.



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