The $$ of Dating

True. Dating is a budget item. There is a cost to dating. It’s not all walks in the parks under rainbows. Even coffee adds up quickly.

The Washington Post (my local paper) ran the Match survey about the cost of dating in 2016. Yes, it’s one of those stat reads that I love so much. I warn you now though. You may not want to read much further. The news is expensive.

The average unmarried American spent $1,596 on their dating life in 2016. Of course, in some cities the average is higher. For example, in Washington, it was $1,788; in New York, $2,069. I’m guessing it is a better number in Iowa. (My family is in Minnesota, I know lots of Iowa jokes.)

As you are hyperventilating about that large number and are starting to plan to never date, here are some items you probably didn’t think of that helped grow that number: bar tabs, dating site memberships, haircuts, manicures and new date outfits, entrance fees to dating events, and money spent on matchmakers. Breathe again. Your budget just became a lot more manageable and dating just became more possible.

Here’s another interesting Match survey find. Who should pay for the date? About half of men think men should pay on dates; 36 percent of women agree. If a woman offers to pay, it is a tell that she’s not interested. Seventy-eight percent of women said they split the check on a date because they didn’t want to feel obligated to go out again or to get physical. But it is not always that easy of a tell. Forty-seven percent of women said they offer to pay to be polite or to assert their independence. What that tells me, men, if a woman offers to split the check you can be confused for a while and that is always a part of dating. Source .

So if dating is confusing and a budget item, is dating worth it? Yes. You date to find out who you are and this helps you discern who is a good match for you. The worst thing that could happen (assuming you are not dating a red light person and you have your team involved with your choices) is you have a dud of a date which will give you a funny story to tell again and again. A failed date cannot define you as unlovable. A failed date might cost you some money but maybe the funny story is worth the cost of that coffee.

Funny story I was recently reminded of. One of the greatest movies of all time is Raiders of the Lost Ark. Right? For sure it is! Recently a group of friends were sitting around with time enough for us to talk about such random and fun things as “best movies of all time.” Raiders of the Lost Ark definitely ranked near the top. I saw that movie for the first time in a theatre on a date. I loved the movie but the date was soooooo bad that this great movie is forever tainted. A story I do tell again and again and again.

Being confused about a person’s intentions while dating is part of the journey. To short circuit that is to short circuit the learning. Embrace the vulnerability because failed dates do not define you.

Do not let your defenses and your excuses and your budget keep you locked up in a small world. Try brave dating. Learn who you are. Live your life to the full following after Jesus. Now. As you are living bravely, who is keeping up with you? That is the match for you. All the money you spend on dating will be worth every penny of it when you find that right match.

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