Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Low Cost Dating

Kathy M. Kristof writes about personal finance in the Los Angeles Times. She had an article recently on low cost dates.

But a new study by [ING Direct USA] indicates that cheap dates might be dicey for guys. The reason: When asked what words they associate with a frugal blind date, women said a guy would be stingy and boring, while men thought a frugal girl would be smart and sexy.
Another example of how men and women are not interchangeable.

The tough news for guys is that this smart and sexy girl is probably going to expect her male counterpart to pick up the check, said Evan Marc Katz, a Los Angeles dating coach and author of "Why You're Still Single." That used to be because women earned considerably less than men, if they worked at all; now it's because women find a generous man nurturing.

"It's not about money per se," Katz said. "The appearance of generosity in a date is very important to women."
Right. There's always going to be some reason, isn't there? So much for equality.

Crudely speaking, in many cases, the real reason is that men want sex more than women do. Yes, there are some women, especially during certain times in their lives, that want sex more than some men. But in general, men as a group want sex more than women as a group. Exhibit A: Most the overwhelming majority of prostitution customers are male. Modern day dating (and in some cases, marriage) is often little more than prostitution. You'll find women who vehemently deny this, of course- usually the same women that will have sex with a guy they barely know if he spends money on them. (I had an instructor in college who shared a good laugh with me during his office hours when we noted which young women in class objected most strenuously to this notion.)

In the more idealistic sense, the claim by marriage-and-family-minded people who believe in traditional gender roles is that men pay for dates because they are demonstrating that they can provide for a wife. Really? Putting more debt on your credit card trying to impress a woman you barely know would indicate the opposite to me. If a woman wants to know a man can provide for a wife there are many other ways of doing that. For example, I recommend exchanging credit reports, income, and asset information before setting a wedding date.

The article goes on to give some suggestions for less expensive dates.

"If a man goes out on two dates a week, and 50% of the women don't want to see him again, he's spending a lot of money on strangers," Katz said. "There's no correlation between a good date and an expensive date. If she thinks there is, she's probably not the right person."
Right. Now, if you're with the person you’re going to marry, will there be expensive outings you'll both enjoy? Sure, because there are things both of you want to do, especially together. But a man who is dating casually with the eventual hope of getting married should save as much of his money as possible for the future. If he doesn't want to get married, then he’s going to be saving it for himself alone. A guy who is just dating for sex is better off letting the quasi-hookers move on, and instead dealing with the many women who decide whether or not they're going to have sex with a guy within five minutes of meeting him; they will do it regardless of how little he spends. In fact, they'll probabably get turned off if he spends a lot of money and tries to demonstrate that he actually cares about her.

I'm so glad I don’t have to deal with this any more. Any money I spend on a date is an investment in my marriage. I earn income, and half of it is legally my wife's. But the reality is, like most wives, she makes most of the spending decisions. She does a darn good job of stretching our dollars, too.

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