The Real Cost of Dating

When considering the prospect of meeting their beshert, rare are those who look at the process in financial terms. Love, companionship and commitment are what we all want.  And no price can be attached to finding that.  Nobody wants to be callous and insensitive to the point that they would actually calculate how much the venture is going to set them back.  At least at the beginning…

The problem is that dating today can easily turn into a much more difficult and lengthy adventure than one would originally foresee.  With the multiplication of dating sites and huge catalogs of available singles at our daily disposal, no one can be blamed for thinking that finding a partner is going to be as quick and easy as anything else we can order through the internet.  And all this for an average price of 35 euros a month (the cost of joining the site).  No shipping cost.  A real bargain for a rather fun game.

But this, of course, is not where the game ends.  Or the expense, for that matter.  For even in the modern cyber world, finding a partner still requires meeting him or her in person.  This encounter will usually happen in a public place that serves food or beverages.  And because the dating scene is, as we’d better learn quickly, very competitive, one has to be ready to take on the challenge. With every hair in place, every nail polished and all dressed up in fancy attire. Needless to say that all this preparation, dining and entertaining will soon relegate the original €35 expense to the status of a subprime down payment.

None of this would matter if people found their soulmates after a few dates.  If this were the case, the return on investment would be excellent: after all, who would care about spending a few hundred – or thousand – euros if the money were spent on enjoyable dates and maybe even a lifetime of marital bliss?  But this, unfortunately, is rarely the case.

Despite the vast pool of potential partners and the multiple dates people go on after “meeting” on dating sites, very few end up in a stable long-term relationship.  And this means that they have to continue going on dates, at great expense.  For those who have money and time to spare and are mostly motivated by the game itself, it may not matter all that much. But, even for them, money would sometimes be better spent on other forms of entertainment than boring dates with unattractive people. As for the rest of us, more sensitive or less fortunate, the endless dating can end up draining both our bank accounts and our spirits.

Maybe the time has come to step back and reflect:  what do we get for all our efforts?  A lot of dates, not all pleasant; a lot of rejections which end up eroding our self-confidence and joie-de-vivre; and a lot of money evaporated with nothing to show for it.  What at first glance appeared to be easy and cheap is after all not a good plan for those of us who are really looking for a real partner.

And that may be why more and more people are now turning to matchmakers like Simantov!