Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Economics of Dating


Money matters because dating is a way of sizing someone up and assessing the value of their company.  Every decision on a date can be broken down on an economic level.  Which place did you choose, what clothes are you wearing, which beer did you order, what words did you use to describe your job, your living situation, your family?
Serial daters just want another person in their lives, one might say, at any cost.  And it’s true.  Dating does cost something.  Patience, time, vulnerability, and dollars and cents.  Long distance relationships have larger opportunity costs.  Plane or bus tickets might have been used to pay for a nicer apartment.
Fairy tales have an even steeper price.  Girls my age grew up on Disney movies and some attribute unrealistic expectations to them, but they should remember that Ariel sold her voice and Belle traded her freedom—Prince Charmings don’t come cheap and neither do plain, ordinary significant others.  Some might say that it’s all worth it.  It’s certainly good for the economy: every failed movie date provides capital to make yet another independent romantic dramedy.  Yet, I often hear people complaining about the complexity of dating and it might be because they aren’t thinking about it economically.
 Its interesting to think about dating that way. I hardly ever went to a restaurant on earlier dates because I did not think it was worth the money, especially since I paid for my own dates. But I think the final line of the article makes a lot of sense; people should not put a dollar sign on everything, but should not disregard the fact that they should look at how one chooses a partner from an economical standpoint (how much love, patience, and attention you are able to spread out over a dating period).


  1. This is the kind of thinking that brings dozens of couples to sticky tables in dinky hotel lobbies and forces them to fiddle with glasses of diet coke and make small talk while balancing on uncomfortable chairs and eyeing the myriad of other couples around the dim room who are locked in various stages of the exact same experience.

  2. Michal, have you tried online dating sites at all? Any recommendations? I've heard good things about recently - mainly their members being more focused on marriage than the other sites. Have you heard anything?