Dating Don’t: Breaking the Bank

I love the fantasy version of dating where everything’s shrouded in a pink mist and it rains sunshine and daisies on you and your perfect mate. Music plays when you kiss, you’re wined and dined, showered with gift boxes from Tiffany’s… and everything’s fantastic because, duh, you’re in love. Or what Dane Cook refers to in many a sketch as “lerve.”

Clearly in Fantasyland there is no concept of money, which is the primary reason I would LOVE to move there and live happily ever after with Christian Bale.

Let’s face it, ladies, the dating game has gotten out of control with expenditures. If you’re doing distance, travel just to see the other person will cost you a small fortune. Between that, the upcoming holiday season, birthdays, anniversaries, Hallmark holidays and oh, remember the generic DATES you’re going on? Yeah those. They’re all costing you.

I admit, there’s nothing more fun than splurging a little on a date-night outfit, heading to a fancy schmancy dinner, going away for a weekend, or getting tickets to a concert or sporting event your new fling would die to see; it makes you happy to make other people happy, I get it. But frankly, unless you’re one of the those lucky bitches who have Mommy and Daddy as your personal piggy bank, odds are you’re young and broke. And more than likely – unless you’re dating up – so is the other person. (Note: Dating up would be the ideal way to do it if money is your concern… I don’t attract these guys, but if you have advice on how to do so, please comment away below. PLEASE.)

Sure, you want the great first impression to keep going, but is it worth getting yourself into debt to buy those Tory Burch boots for the perfect outfit, or box seats at that game? Hate to tell you, sweetie, but you don’t get reimbursed for cash spent while dating if you break up. And the bills really only make you bitter, which doesn’t make you too marketable for the next guy.

I’ve made the mistake many a time – seriously, just look at my credit history – and have a few suggestions for how to keep yourself and your credit card statements in check:

Chivalry is dead, go halvsies. Take turns visiting each other if you don’t live in the same place. If you do, have fun but spend within your means. My own record shows many a guy who had no problem letting me pay, which is fine if it’s for half, but I have yet to date someone who finds it necessary to pay my way all the time. If their situation is anything like mine, I try to appreciate that. Do what you’re comfortable with and what you can afford.

Start small with the gifts. I’m a huge fan of doing things we both can enjoy for birthdays, holidays, and the like. If you’re in the beginning of a relationship that might not be “the one,” well… it may not pay off in time, if that’s what you’re expecting. Talk with him about gifting and set a cap to your spending limit. It’s nice to do nice things for people, but, like your mom tells you, it’s really the thought that counts.

Do not, do not, do not try and buy his affection. He was attracted to you for a reason, so don’t think you need to buy him off to make up for a fight or to keep his interest. It’s not going to fix anything.

Level with him. Don’t play it off like it’s no big deal when you won’t be buying groceries for the next month after a really expensive date or weekend. If you really like this kid, tell the truth: expensive dates once in awhile are fine, but you’d love to keep it low key. It’s ultimately about the company you’re keeping, right?

Love is a many splendid (and expensive!) thing; spend wisely, ladies.

[photo courtesy of]

Proceed with Caution: Friends to Lovers
Proceed with Caution: Friends to Lovers
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