Recently, after a year plus of taking a break, I re-entered the dating scene. Since I occasionally write about personal finance, I thought that I would share some of financial issues that I have experienced or considered during my dating adventures.
What type of expenses will you have to incur prior to the first date?
Let’s see. First of all, I joined Match.com to help meet new people. A three month subscription cost $68.97, but since I register via CashCrate I got a $51.73 refund for a total cost of $17.24. Before my first date I got a haircut ($20), bought a new shirt and jeans ($60), a new mop to make my kitchen presentable ($15), some flowers ($4) and a roll of Mentos ($1). Grand total $117.24. Could I have avoided these expenses and saved a little money? Yes, but even during a recession, I felt it was money well spent and helped boost up my confidence level and my second date chances.
Who pays for the first date?
Guess what guys–it still is our job–Deal with it. Ladies, score some bonus points by offering to split the tab or take care of the tip–which we should politely decline. Speaking of tipping, a savvy woman will pay close attention to the amount that you are tipping, so be generous and for the love of god put away those tip charts, calculators, or Iphone tipping apps.
Can I feel comfortable using a coupon at the restaurant or the movie?
Yes, I think having a coupon or discount card could show your date some fiscal responsibility. However, if you insist on going to dinner at 3:30 to take advantage of the early bird special, then do not be surprised if you don’t make it to a second date.
Does your date’s salary play any type of factor? Would you date someone who made significantly more/less than you did?
Obviously, this is a tricky one. I noticed on Match.com that many people did not answer the salary question for themselves and for what they were looking for in their mate. Still, I found that many others indicated that they would only be interested in meeting someone that made the same or more than they did. As a result, I would argue that salary was important to the majority of members.
For me, I chose to share my salary range and did not pick a preference for my match. Nevertheless, I must admit that I was a little intimated to reach out to women who made more than 3 ranges higher than me. Although I can honestly say that I would not be bothered if my date makes more money than me, a date that doubled my salary proved to be a deal breaker for me.
Would you date someone who is Unemployed?
The good news on this topic is that I think now, more than any other time, more people will be understanding and sympathetic to a single’s unemployed status. The bad news is that being unemployed still means that you are more likely to set off someone’s internal “bum” alarm.
For me, the answer would be yes. As long as she was actively looking for a job and was able to maintain her sense of humor about the situation, I would certainly be okay with it. In addition, I must admit that most guys (including me) have a “save the princess in distress” fantasy in their psyche, and dating an unemployed woman would certainly trigger it.
Unfortunately for those unemployed guys out there, I think that you might have a little harder time finding a mate. Before I start getting any hate mail here, NO, I am not saying that women are more shallow or materialistic than men. Instead, I find it much easier to picture a guy explaining to his friends that his new girlfriend is unemployed than a woman telling her friends that her new boyfriend has been recently laid off.
Disagree? Leave me a comment.
Okay, now things are progressing a little further, but you find out that your partner is in massive credit card debt, now what?
Obviously, this can be a tricky situation. After all, if the relationship progresses further, the debt becomes yours too. For someone who has ZERO credit card debt and has not paid a cent in finance charges in over 5 years, this one was especially hard to answer. I think that as long as my partner had an aggressive plan to get rid of the debt and is willing to make some sacrifices (ie brown-bagging lunch and avoiding Starbucks every day), I would find a way to deal with it. Besides, I fully believe that there is no reason to cry over spilled milk, but every reason to try to remember to close the carton properly so that it does not happen again.
Finally, things are getting pretty serious, do you sacrifice pleasure for safety?
No! A $12 box of condoms is less expensive that a trip to the doctor for that mysterious rash. It is a lot less expensive than hospital bills, diapers, and baby food
Is, “Hey Baby, Let’s save some money tonight and entertain ourselves” a legitimate and good line during a recession?
Probably not something you should say, but I would argue that it would be a fun and fiscally responsible strategy
Yes, “money problems” are indeed the number one cause for divorce in the United States. As a result, you would be a complete fool to ignore the problems that money (or lack thereof) can cause on your relationship. However, life is too short to make every decision of your life based on money. Moreover, I would argue that great communication can overcome bad finances any day of the week and twice on Sunday.