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I already put a price tag on my last breakup, so how about figuring out how much it costs to fall in love?
- Dating sites. Most of them are free, and the rest are generally free for women. I am not a fan, but have tried them briefly, and prices are around $20 a month.
My friends who pay for them argue that they don't get so much spam and guys are more motivated. Maybe, a worthwhile investment.
- Grooming. I am not a girly girl. On a normal day you will find me dressed in whatever my hand reaches first in my closet, and combing my hair is about as far as I'll go in terms of trying to look good. But if I am going on a date, I will probably have my hair done, go for a manicure, and just maybe, even pick a cute top.
Without going overboard, you're looking at $30 or more before I even walk out the door.
- Putting yourself out there. When you are in a relationship, a tub of ice cream and a How I Met Your Mother marathon are a perfectly acceptable Friday night date. But when you are looking for love, you say yes to more events, bar nights, dinners with friends, concerts, games...to the tune of $20-$100+ a night.
I try to keep costs down by having just a drink or two, or having a snack before I go out, so I'm not tempted to have every appetizer on the menu.
- The actual date. A way to keep costs low is actually not to go on dates with everyone who offers. Spend a little time chatting first, and see if you really want to go.
I try to check if there aren't any deal breakers before accepting. Do we want the same things?
Some people are dating for fun, others to find love. Both are fine, but if you are one of each, it won't work.
You can pick a coffee shop, to make it a cheap date, or offer to go for a walk around town, which makes for a great conversation starter on top of being free.
If going out, I always reach for my wallet when it is time to pay.
Only once did a guy let me pay the whole bill (and yes, there was no second date!), usually the guy will offer to pay, or we will split it. While I think men should pay for a first date, and I will pay for the second one, and I always come prepared to pay my share. I generally bring small bills, so we can get it over with quickly and I don't have to wait for my change.
First dates usually cost me $5-$30, as even on a free date you would have transportation costs to get there. Dating is a numbers game so you may go on a dozen dates before finding a match. Then, go on a dozen dates with said match! Once things go well, I usually pay for every other date. I like it better than splitting the bill every time, and while not counting pennies, I balance things out in my head. If he gets expensive tickets for a show, I'll treat us to a nice dinner.
I also like small gifts when I see my boyfriend needs something. It's $10 here and there to show the other person you thought of him.
By then, things are going very well, and thank goodness because you are moving in together, and finally recouping the whole cost of dating by halving your rent and going back to tv marathons!
Just kidding. Sort of. Keep having fun date nights that don't break the bank. And make sure you want the same things financially or you are headed for disaster.
For a dozen dates at $15, a couple of grooming sessions at $30, a dozen more dates with "the guy" at $50 (of which I'd pay half), and saying yes 10 times to my friends telling me "you should really go out tonight or you'll stay single forever!" at $30 a night - that's $840 to find my next boyfriend.
And I am not getting my hair done for every date, or getting a gym membership to get in shape and look more attractive.
Nor am I a man paying for dating sites and first dates in full, or I would probably be looking at more than $1,000. Love is expensive!
Overall, dating can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. You can have just as much fun at the park as in a fancy restaurant, and if the person is right, the place won't matter at all.
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