And today, one of my favourite topics, that I have a love/hate relationship with: dating. I know some of you love dating, and others are struggling for decent dates. For me, in addition to the challenges of dating as a feminist, how awkward is it to date as someone on the FI path?
Are dating and pursuing FI easily compatible?
Now there is a loaded question if I’ve ever seen one. Many, many studies and you know, plain common sense have shown that if two people share a home, day to day costs can get cheaper. Housing costs alone are a big part of most people’s expenses – certainly my mortgage my single biggest expense – and by combining housing many costs reduce. Obviously, this comes with the massive caveat *klaxon alert* that the people have to be on the same page spending wise.
So in terms of pursuing FI, it seems you can easily conclude that a partner on the same financial wavelength would be a good investment? Since the core root of FI is to reduce unnecessary costs, it seems to share your living space with someone you love having around is a win-win. But getting to that elusive partner stage involves going through a dating and selection phase.
When dating becomes spendy
However, if you are starting from a single position like I, you have to date and go out to try out suitable partners. Finding someone that ticks your boxes, and likewise for them is no mean feat. And this dating exercise does involve the spending of money. If you are someone who doesn’t spend that much on going out, this cost can be challenging to swallow. As for safety reasons, these are going to be dates in public places, especially for first dates.
And then we get into the divisive question of who should pay on a date? There are many models for to select from:
- The inviter should always pay, as custom
- The man should always pay, as tradition
- You should split it, go dutch
- The modern man should pay, as gender pay gap
- The higher earner should pay, hello fairness
Personally, I’m a fan of keeping things equitable and splitting things – going dutch is my dating model.
Less spendy dates as a filter
As the first date moves to subsequent dates, I’ve found it useful to see if your date ideas are compatible, activity and cost wise. Nothing is as a good a filter as someone who loves doing the same hobbies as you. For me, that is walking, travelling, exploring, museums, running and books.
I award bonus points for men who love doing the frugal ones as well, who appreciate things like walks in the park and home cooked meals. It’s a good test of how well you get on if you can make all sort of things a fun adventure – meaning it’s the company you keep that really matters.
Compromise on things that don’t really matter to you
Indeed, one thing that I found it hard to do, but has really helped me open up the dating pool is compromising. People tend to have lots of hard stops, especially on physical attributes. And yes, I was certainly guilty of this before. You get a lot of people hung up on items like height, build, hair, education and even their job. And yet these are the filters on most dating apps so you can automatically exclude potential dates based on these characteristics.
The fussier you are the longer it will take
Following on from above and compromising, a random interjection on finding a suitable mate – as I’m sure we all have seen, some people seem to jump from one relationship to the next. They appear to want – actually scratch that need – a partner, and don’t seem particularly fussy. These people have no problem attracting mates.
But I fall on the other side of the spectrum. I’m much happier being single until the perfect man for me comes along. And I think that is something we all need to understand – if you want someone niche, it will take you longer to find them. The old wider you cast the net comes into play here.
But the better match you get overall
In my experience, it is rewarding waiting for the right match. But this does involve many bad dates, and many more just not right for me dates. I also found reviewing the not perfect dates useful and seeing what I could do differently next time. Were there a few incompatibility warning flags I missed?
FI and dating
In summary, dating is what you make it. You can choose to spend loads of money on dates or keep to your more frugal spending habits to attract someone on the same wavelength spending wise.
I don’t think there is ever a right answer that suits all situations on who pays on dates, but when you aren’t spending much it becomes less of an issue to overcome.
Over to you
- What are your thoughts?
- Do you feel dating is compatible with FI?
- Who do you think should pay on dates?
- Are you looking for a niche partner?