Is Dating A Luxury?

One of my fave blogs, Creole In DC, posts a series called “Would YOU Date Him?”.

Here was today’s entry:

My first reaction was “we can be friends”. Why? Because my first thought was that an unemployed father on food stamps has more important things to do & pay for besides going out on dates. There’s child support, spending time with their child, spending time looking for work, going on interviews, etc. And of course, for most people, dating takes money. Sure there are lots of date activities that are free or don’t cost much – but how many people do those things on a regular basis when dating? And even without the cost of the actual activity, how much does that time spent with someone else cost? Time that could be used doing something else, like working on their employment situation or with their child.

Luxury is defined as “a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity; free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being.”

 So if a luxury is something that goes above and beyond the necessities in life, that begs the question: is dating/relationships a necessity or a luxury? Do you need to have a romantic partner, or at least 1-on-1 interaction of a romantic nature regularly? Or is it something that’s just nice to have, but you can still function without it?

On first impulse, I think dating & relationships fall into the luxury category. I need shelter, though it would be nice to live alone instead of crashing on a friend’s couch. I need food, though it would be nice to eat filet mignon instead of cheap Ramen. I need some way to make money, though it would be nice to have an office job instead of working the register at McDonald’s. Get where I’m going with this?

Yes, as humans we all need human interaction & companionship. But doesn’t it have to come in the form of dating or a relationship? I don’t think so, at least not for me. Having good friends, family, and people to talk to, spend time with, etc will work for me. Would I like some of those things that come along with dating & a relationship? Of course. But it’s not a need for me, especially when I know I need to devote time & funds to other things.

On the flip side, if I met someone who I really liked who was unemployed, my natural response would be to step back out of consideration for his situation. I wouldn’t want to infringe on someone else’s time like that, knowing that they probably are trying to be on the grind and also watch their pockets. May be a wrong assumption on my part, but that’s just how I think.

 So for you, is dating & relationships a luxury or a necessity? Why? Would you be willing to date someone who was unemployed?

  • Dave Van Buren

    I think dating IS a luxury for all the reasons you mentioned. If I met an unemployed girl I’d be hesitant to date her until I knew the whole story. Only because I’m cautious of women who want to live off men. I’ve been down that road before and have no plans to go back.

  • Definite luxury and nope. I am done dating unemployed/underemployed men.

  • Dating & relationships are definite luxuries based on the reasons you provided.

    No, I am not willing to date a guy who is unemployed. B/c I would feel uncomfortable going out on a date & he spending $$$ on me that could used for necessities and not luxuries.
    Plus I would be wondering if he’s expecting me to chip in & help him financially. And that’s a definite no.

  • If it’s all about the money, yes, dating is a luxury. However, I’m not of the mind that someone–man or woman–should be confined to the house because they’re short on funds or out of a job.

  • Ahwoo

    Human companionship and intimacy are necessary, but the actual act of dating is not NECESSARY? You need opportunities to form bonds and create intimacy and most of all get to know one another. I’m reminded of workplace romances. We spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families sometimes and I know tons of people who have built long relationships from workplace romances so the act of dating is unnecessary but it’s the most expeditious and traditional method to achieve that goal.

    Dating an unemployed single parent. I’ve done it, but are we talking about not currently employed for real life reasons, so I have to ask questions like, how much do I like that person, do they I’ve any any goals, drives or ambitions are they a good person etc. Not sure if there is a different standard for women in terms of finances etc. As a general rule men don’t care about that, particularly if they traditionalists.

    • Anonymous

      It could very well be that men approach this differently.

      As I stated in my post, I would feel like the other person could be putting their time to better use than spending it with me. And I would definitely look at a man differently if he would rather hang out with me all the time than work on his hustle & look for employment.

      Also, I think the child+public assistance part is a big factor. That signals to me that he has bigger priorities than dating, or at least he should have bigger priorities. What should be most important is doing whatever he has to do to provide for his child, and to get to a point where he doesn’t have to subsidize his life with public assistance. If I was unemployed, those would be the things on my mind, not kicking it.

      • How many hours a day does it take to look for employment? He could do all that during the day while you work and spend time with you in the evenings. Sure he shouldn’t want to spend every free moment with you and he should be out doing everything he can to get a job but he can definitely look for a job and still have some fun.

        I definitely wouldn’t seek out an employed man but if I happened upon one who was a good man and had all the other qualities I seek but was unemployed, especially in this economy, I wouldn’t immediately discount him.