Dating games: The high cost of love

Remember that dating's an investment, and one day you'll be in sticker shock over the price of a wedding.

Dating games cheap 521 (photo credit: illustration by Pepe Fainberg)
Dating games cheap 521
(photo credit: illustration by Pepe Fainberg)
Being single isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap.
Between finding dates and then going on dates, the cost of love adds up quickly. In this economy, it would be easy to cut down on certain soulmate-searching techniques, but all that would mean is that you’d lessen your opportunities of meeting your beshert.
Rather, think of it as an investment. If somebody asked you how much money you would be willing to spend to find “The One,” you wouldn’t hesitate to spend every dime you have. And if they said that all you needed to do was spend a little more money to meet said beshert sooner, you wouldn’t hesitate to call your mother and ask her to sponsor your JDate membership.
Let’s add up the cost of finding dates. You have the cost of a monthly subscription to at least one Internet dating site. On JDate, for instance, that’s about $40 for a monthly membership, but who doesn’t like a deal? That means signing up and paying for more months at one time to get a deal of a lower monthly fee overall. I know you hope you’ll meet someone the first month – and maybe you will – but buying a three- or six-month membership is a better deal. And you know how it works – if you buy the most expensive package, you’ll meet your beshert in the first month; but if you buy only the first month, you’ll end up having to pay more for each subsequent month. Fate works in mysterious ways, but if you tempt fate you’ll end up spending more in the end. So keeping with the JDate scenario, let’s say you buy the longest, six-month subscription for $22 a month.
Then you have the cost of at least one Jewish singles event and at least one Jewish networking event per month. That will probably cost you about $20 for each event. If you go to just two Jewish events each month, then that’s an additional $40. Not bad, right? Next, you have the cost of going out at night to mainstream bars and networking events and, of course, birthday parties and the like in the hopes of meeting a single Jew there. Going out just one night a week will probably cost you about $50 when you add up the entry fee and buying a couple of drinks. So for the month, that’s a total of $200. So just to put yourself out there is going to cost you nearly $300 a month. That sounds like a lot, but if someone told you that $10 a day would get you a husband or wife, you would fork over the cash in a heartbeat. And that’s the minimum because most singles are going out a lot more than one night a week! After you finally meet someone, you have the expense of going out on dates and all that a new dating relationship entails. Eventually, if not sooner, you’re going to have to buy some new “going out” clothes, you’re going to want to get a haircut, you’re going to want to wash your car (or put more money on your metro card) and, of course, you’re going to have to pay for meals and drinks and movie tickets and concerts and flowers and so on. It all adds up. And if you look at it the way I’ve just laid it out there, it sounds overwhelming and expensive. But again, it’s all worth it if it leads to your beshert.
We all buy new clothes eventually, and we all need haircuts eventually, and we all need to wash our cars (or put more money on our metro cards) eventually. And paying for all or part of a meal, drinks, tickets, etc., is par for the course. It’s called dating. If you’re not spending that money while you’re out on a date, then you’ll spend it while out with friends. You can either spend the money on a date without thinking twice (as you should) or you can dwell over each penny when the date is a dud – because some dates will be duds. But don’t look at it that way. Remember that it’s an investment, and one day soon you’ll be in sticker shock over the cost of a wedding. And believe me, if you think dating is expensive, planning a wedding is a whole other beast! There’s really no way to cut costs while dating.
These expenses are par for the course. You can find less expensive (but tasty) restaurants to go to. You can skip the movies, since you can’t have a conversation and get to know each other there anyway.
You can drink less. You can cut your own hair. You can borrow clothes from friends. You can wash your car yourself. You can walk. Just kidding.
There are little ways to save, but this is the reality of dating. Try to think of ways to save money in other areas of your life because dating is one thing you shouldn’t scrimp on. Your ROI (return on investment) is priceless.