If You Can’t Afford To Date Then Don’t
Y’all really intending on this never ending debate about $200 dates and plane tickets, aren’t you?

That’s my reaction each time I see the Twitter timeline begin a discussion about if there is actually a preferred or correct range that one should spend on a date. I must say it is very difficult to have a discussion on Twitter. Truthfully, anything that happens on Twitter is just ranting and soapboxing. Sprinkle in a few minions who RT everything you say and that’s all it is, it’s a far cry from a discussion.

The conversation has always annoyed me. On almost every level I cannot understand why we’re having this conversation. I know why though. I’ll start by saying that I take pride in being a great dater. It’s something that requires effort and attention to detail. On the contrary, if you hear about anything over and over again it’s about the horrible dates that singles are encountering. People aren’t even figuring out if they like someone because the date is bad. It’s not just men who are responsible, it’s women too.

With that said, when my male friends reach out for advice on date suggestions or tips, I usually can tell whether I’m going to give them some advice on how they ask.

“Yo Jay, what’s a nice spot to take a chick that isn’t going to hurt my pockets?”

That guy… shouldn’t be dating.

“Yo Jay, what’s a gift I can get for a chick that doesn’t cost a lot of money? Like I’m not trying to spend a whole lot of money at all.”

That guy… shouldn’t be dating. There’s no crying in baseball and there are no discounts on dating.

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The fact is dating is expensive. It’s supposed to be that way. You’re going to spend time, effort and money; in that order. If you’re good at dating, you’re going to spend a lot of those three things. If you’re worried about how much money you have to spend, you’re really cheap or plain old broke. Money is the cheapest factor.

If you want to date in a major city, be prepared to spend a pretty penny. Don’t let money control your decisions on the date. If you can’t afford to date then don’t. The way to be a gentleman is to figure out what she wants out of a date and do that. Don’t worry about the cost. Again, if you’re worried about the cost, you shouldn’t be dating. They say, “if you don’t get it, you don’t get it” for a reason.

When an article was published that stated the average man in DC spends $177 on a date, I thought to myself, “Sounds about right.” I did some quick math with a friend of mine.

Dinner for 2 at Oya followed by some fun activities in Chinatown DC:

Pre-dinner drinks: $10 x 2 = $20
Appetizers, entrees an dessert: $50 x 2 = $100
Drinks during dinner: $20 x 2 = $40
Fun and games at Penn Social (a bar with arcade games): $60
UberX the two of you home: $30
Total Cost: $250

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I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that a man really doesn’t have to do all that on a first date. And you’re right, you don’t. The problem is, I will. It’s not just about me; it’s that other men will do that too. They will put their all into a date to make a woman feel special. Men are competitively raising the bar every day to separate themselves from the pack.

While I don’t doubt that there are women who don’t want this type of date but I bet you there are some that do. I always say, “I can tell a lot about the women you date by the way you treat them.”

It’s important to note, not every date should cost this much. It’s important to note, it might and if you can’t afford to sustain it, then don’t start it. Over the course of the courtship, she may offer to chip in or pay for something but don’t expect it.

Let’s be honest here, do you really want to start out your courtship at Applebee’s? Is that what you want the first impression to be? #cmonson. If you shortcut the first date, you’ll shortcut the relationship so if you can’t afford to date then don’t. It is important that you cross all the pitfalls of first time dating. If you hustle your way to the second date, you’ll hustle your way through the relationship. Don’t feel like the person you’re dating deserves the best like in the courtship phase, then you won’t feel like they deserve the best when you’re with them. I’m not asking you to simp. I’m not asking you to enable gold diggers. What I’m attempting to say comes down to one simple concept; either go hard or go home.

“The way a man spends his money is a reflection of his sincerity and character,” said Brandon Wade, CEO and founder of WhatsYourPrice.com.

Dr. J