A couple of times a month, the wife and I schedule a "date night." It might be dinner out, a movie, or some other fun activity we both enjoy.
I was thinking way back, and it's a long way back, to my dating days.
When I was in high school in the early 60s, I could buy a half tank of gas, take my girlfriend to the drive-in, and feed both of us for less than $5.
I know that sounds remarkable and very economical by today's standards.
But as we approach the second half of 2023, I'm pondering the hardship the young face as they embark on the road to a long-lasting romantic relationship.
Compared to my dating days, there's a much more significant investment in today's dating scene than in the 1960s.
Relationships should not depend on the resources of the male, but in a competitive dating environment, it might come down to just that.
Some people are impressed by the almighty dollar and what it can do for them.
Sometimes you find out too late that it might be cash, not you; that's the attraction.
The Dating Cost Is Relative
But how much did $5 buy then compared to today? Five dollars in 1965 would have the same buying power of $48.43 in today's economy.
When I began my career, I made about $1 an hour working in the family business, which would be $9.75 an hour in 2023 dollars.
So, it would take a little less than a day's pay to date someone — once.
But, if you're talking about a date on Friday, Saturday, and maybe Sunday, you're slowly getting into big bucks' territory.
No Wonder Kids Still Live at Home
My dollar-an-hour paycheck didn't have too many constraints.
No rent since I was living at home during high school, no car payment since I had access to our very stylish Ford station wagon, and no food bills, although my parents should have at least charged me for food.
But if you're a college student in today's society, you will have some bills. You might have a credit card and maybe a car, but it's hard to date on a bike.
You might walk everywhere, but there is still the $8 for each movie ticket plus another $5-6 for popcorn and Junior Mints.
Even an average restaurant will run you $30-$40, including tips to impress your significant other.
Suddenly $8.10 an hour minimum wage doesn't go very far.
This lack of funds can be very stressful, especially if you expect a second date.
Some Final Thoughts on the Cost of Dating
Heading toward 40 years of wedded bliss, I can appreciate the challenges of what it would be like starting over.
I doubt I would have it in me to go to the effort and expense of dating if it ever came to that.
But when you're young and in love, sacrifices must be made, and I guess young millennials are making them.
The female in this budding relationship will hopefully consider her date's finances and not let that information influence her decision to go out again.
Many fun things to do in this world don't require money. Beaches and mountain views are, thankfully, still very reasonably priced.
Maybe the 2024 candidates should run on a platform to cut the dating cost.
Lower gas prices, increase the minimum wage, and perhaps a universal minimum income.
You'd easily win the young vote with those talking points.
I can't recall many news stories about raising the minimum wage to make dating more economical.
Perhaps that message wouldn't have the traction of living in poverty.
Does dating cause poverty? I think that might be determined by your level of love for that significant other.
Money can buy a lot of fun, but there's also something to be said about watching old movies on TV and eating peanut butter out of the jar.
I guess that's a story for another blog. Happy dating.
Thanks for reading. I hope you'll take a moment to subscribe and make a small pledge to keep these stories coming. Thank you so much.
About the Creator
Author, Radio Talk Show Host, blogger, YouTuber, Vietnam Vet, half-fast guitar player, average cook, and a really nice guy. I read all my articles; you should too and subscribe. Thanks very much.