The Cost of Dating for Women

The Cost of Dating for Women

Guys complain a lot about how much dating costs them and if a girl is "worth it." I don't think they realize how much we invest in hair, nails, clothes, accessories and babysitting (if needed, which can go as high as $15 per hour depending on market prices and the number of kids). If we're responsible and cautious, we're going to meet you there which means gas, tolls and parking, too. If I'm staying over, I have to pay to kennel the dog.

I've greatly cut back on going out because I just can't afford it. I'm not a high maintenance woman. I do my own nails and use box highlights from the grocery store. I get clothes as inexpensively as possible. My most recent cocktail dress came from JCPenny. I didn't buy new shoes for that occasion, but I should have because the old ones were worn out and didn't look good. I bought $40 in costume jewelry at Target to go with the dress. I paid $45 for a haircut and style (which is cheap), drove an hour on the expressway (about $10 in tolls) and paid $20 to park in the city.

So please consider the cost for us, too. I'm not saying some women don't take advantage, but there are hidden costs you aren't aware of.


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What Guys Said 50

  • Want to trade genders?

    Most guys don't care if you cut your hair cut for the date, they don't care about your nails, and they probably never notice your shows. If you buy a dress for a date, that cost is not solely attributable to the date, unless you never wear the dress again. That is something that you do for you, not or us. If you want to just tack on costs, how about the cost of electricity to heat the water for your pre-date shower?

    You are seriously suggesting that dating is just expensive for girls as it is for guys, are you?

    • I will probably never wear that dress again unless I get invited to another fancy party in a casino in Atlantic City.

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    • And everyone would have known that the shoes you were wearing weren't new? Everyone would have said, "OMG, she hasn't had a manicure in 2 weeks?" If those people really would have said those things, that is a very petty and insincere world.

    • Yes, they had cracks in the leather and were totally plain black. Probably eight years old. Very old style. And I personally never get manicures. I stopped even painting my nails because it chips immediately... my nails ate very thin and brittle. I know I'm making myself less attractive but I'm just tired of constantly repairing them. I'm not not kidding that every woman I know has beautiful nails. Men do look at my hands when I'm out and I know they think it looks weird.

  • Most girly girl type women consider clothes, makeup, hairstyling just standard basic things lol costs directly related to dating because of guys

  • ' I don't think they realize how much we invest in hair, nails, clothes, accessories and babysitting '

    lol, women really do live delusional fantasies nowadays.

    1. Girls do that for themselves / other women. You can accesorize but you don't have to go crazy to be considered attractive (if you already are naturally attractive)
    2. Guys have to take care of their appearance as well. Hell, I normally dress a lot nicer than most girls bother to when they come on dates.
    3. You're paying for this stuff outside the date. Nothing's more humiliating than being given the cold stare to buy gifts for the girl. It's like you are expected to be subservient and cater to her like she is some princess or something.

  • You women overthink stuff, if you take regular care of yourself, brush your teeth twice a day, pluck your eyebrows, take a bath everyday, basically practice good hygiene. I don't see why your looks would be a problem. Also, no women I've ever dated has done this stuff for me. And they look pretty good. Maybe you just have terrible taste in men.

    • Apparently I do.

    • Really can't blame you. Its more common than people would like to admit.

  • the reality is, much of that is wasted.

    nails? yeah, no man cares.

    clothing? we don't know if you bought that shirt for $50 at kohls or at goodwill for $6.

    the single best use of money for a woman in dating is gym membership.

    jewelry? not needed at all.

    that, and tolls and parking doesn't apply outside of major metropolitan areas.

    • This was a formal event in Atlantic City. It was definitely required.

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    • Noo... what I'm saying is that older men are used to wearing suits to work and seeing women who are more nicely dressed. So when you go out they tend to want someone who's more dressed up. People didn't start wearing casual clothes to the office until more recently, so dating has gotten much more casual as well for younger people. A guy in his mid-forties or fifties (which are usually the only guys that want to date women over 30) expect a woman with hair and nails done, nice clothes, etc.

    • What a load of crap, as a man of 50 plus years. We prefer a woman to wear a dress or skirt, to jeans and slacks. But we don't expect you to be dressed to the nines, to go see a movie or for dinner at Olive Garden.

      It never stops amazing me, that women talk to each other about what men want and like. Instead of asking, male friends or members of their family. If you run into a guys that is more concerned with how you dress and do you hair and makeup, you are dating a guy that is with you only for your image you are a trophy for his own lack of something.

      We men are easy, women over think things. We don't care about 99% of the things you stress out over when getting ready for a date, all we men really care about is that you show up and that you are ok with where we go for the date.

  • I've heard this argument before so here is my refutation.
    1) Everyone is responsible for their own expenses. If you choose to buy $200 shoes, get a $50 haircut and wear clothes made by some famous designer that's your choice. No one asked you to do that and I'm sure you'd still be desirable if you spent less on yourself.

    2) When you go out with someone you are investing your time into that person. Adding money to this investment makes the desire for a return that much greater. Women are able to easily take advantage of men by using them as free meals if they pay for her. That is why any date in which the man pays and gets nothing in return is a loss. Even if the woman is a great person, by spending money on her the man gives her the same value as that of a good or service. Last I checked a woman going on a date with a man is not a service she is providing him; it is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

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    • Unless you're a woman, the mytake owner

    • @CorruptedDocument Ok. Usually when people respond underneath a comment and don't tag the myTake owner it implies that it's a reply to the original comment.

  • But it's the women that choose to go these extra miles in expenses, not the men. So please consider the cost for yourself.

    • But if she didn't do these things, men would consider her frumpy and not ask her out. Point being both genders have expenses for dating, period. Men need to understand ALL things cost us MORE. Haircut, shoes, clothes, not fair but TRUE.

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    • @BrunetteNYC I have to disagree on the shoes part. Guy's shoes are usually way more expensive

    • @Indigocloud that's true. I had to buy an suit and shoes for my son for a funeral and I couldn't believe how expensive was, even though I got the whole thing at Sears.

      He's been invited to a bar mitzvah in March. I hope to god that the suit still fits him.

  • I'm sorry, but no woman I've ever gone to a date with has ever done anything even close to that xD
    Plus, do we tell you you gotta do all that? Did we tell you to get your hair done and get pretty nails? I doubt it.
    Most guys would prefer a girl that doesn't do all that stuff, sure, look nice, but we don't really care if you do your own hair, or if you spend $45 bucks on it.
    The only thing you can't avoid wasting on much money is on driving, but same applies to us guys, we aren't excluded on that.

    by the way, you know how much men's clothes cost? And I'm talking about good looking clothes. Women have so much variety when it comes to clothes, that you can look ridiculously gorgeous and just spend $20 on the whole outfit, but if a guy wants to even match that, he needs to spend at least $40 on the shirt xD

    • Well, at my point is that when I do my hair doesn't look right. I am NOT a beauty maven. I'm a divorced Mom and more about getting everything done than pampering myself, spending hours in front of the mirror, and watching YouTube videos on how to do my hair. So this particular evening, because it was a special occasion, I did pay to have my hair done professionally. The $45 includes the tip which was well deserved.

      I know that men spend money too. All I'm saying is that I think a lot of guys who complain about spending 80 bucks for dinner don't realize that the woman probably spent an equal amount on other things so that she can go out and look nice for him. That's all.

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    • Everything @AleDeEurope wrote. Also, women buy nice clothes to impress other women more than men. Also, no fair using a formal occasion as an example of how much women spend on dating. Hello, outlier?

    • If I see a woman who is dressed to the nines at informal settings, my thoughts are "danger, high maintenance."

  • Majority of those will be reused to catch another date if this one doesn't pan out.

    • "Catch?" Lol. True that clothes and jewelry can be reused. Regular maintenance has to be done all the time, though. I just had a facial Saturday, which cost about $70. I only get one about every other month and debated stopping it, but the difference in my skin is so dramatic (I. e. practically no acne or red areas) that I decided to keep getting them.

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    • Don't you think people would do it if they could simultaniously dine with all the potential dates in a room for the price of one lunch? That's what your gamble is like. Waging that someone, anyone will be interested in you is much safer then putting all your chips on one person. The more failure you have the more costly the latter is. The former is a fixed cost only.

      Hehe they my have had dinner but they sure payed for it.

    • Hmmmm... I'd rather wait until I knew someone was going to date me. Three years of this is getting old.

      But sure, if you feel like you're spending money on women with nothing in return then don't do it.

  • what a bunch of nonsense. you do these for you not us. none of this shit is needed

  • I've replied to this bitchy complaining about "waaaah, he wants me to pay! I'm the victim!" with this before


    • She wasn't doing that though...

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    • That's a lot of laughter.. Is this your abs workout?

  • I have to wonder if there isn't a better way, because I can't afford it either.

  • Okay, the difference here is you don't HAVE to put money into that shit. If we saw you without it and liked you, you're literally just wasting money for YOU, and not for us.

    • The point is if you saw me without it you wouldn't like me.

  • If this is an argument for men spending money on women, consider that no one asked you to do most of that stuff. This would mean women effectively decide how a guy's money is spent before they've even met, and guys don't even notice most of the stuff you spent it on anyway.

    • My point is simply that women are paying for things too. That's all. I'm not saying that men don't pay more, I'm just saying please consider that we are not completely free loaders.

  • Honestly not gonna lie im a firm believer that first dates should be very cheap and informal. I also believe first dates should have the bill split that way if one person does not like the other no one is actually out any money...

  • " I don't think they realize how much we invest in hair, nails, clothes, accessories and babysitting"
    so you saying single women dont spend on their image?

  • Women spent a lot of time and money to make themselves beautiful.

    Men spent a lot of time and money on their toys or beers or buddies. Until now.

    Men beauty products are on the raise (so fast that companies are scrambling to make enough). So yeah, ladies can expect men to become more handsome, smell better and generally cleaner. What the ladies shouldn't expect is for the men to fork out the money because, well..., they all spent it on men beauty products.

    Before, there was bar soap for men. Now, you have a bunch of men beauty products taking over the women's shelves' space.

    • This is a very good point. My ex husband did not spend a lot of money on grooming. Basically he just showered, shaved and put on the suit from the closet. But now that I think about it, yes, there probably are a lot of men out there investing in personal care

  • If I'm on a date with you, I'm not examining your body, but your mind, I asked you out because I thought you were attractive, you could show up in sweats a T-shirt and flip flops, and I wouldn't care, as long as we can maintain a good conversation. All that money you are associating to the date is wasted, except for perhaps the gas money, which the guy is also spending.

  • Like others have said, you really don't have to pay much, and most of those expenses are mutual. You also better be willing to pay for some of the date, as i see paying for dates in their entirety as prostitution, if i wanted a prostitute i would go to the street corner in the middle of the city.

    • Questionman put it perfectly "Last I checked a woman going on a date with a man is not a service she is providing him; it is a mutually beneficial arrangement."

    • I am certainly willing to pay for some of the day and the few times that I get asked out I do pay. All I'm saying is that guys act as if we are not putting anything at all into this process. I hear tons of whining about how much they spend. All I'm trying to point out is that there are some costs that they may not have thought of. That's all. I'm not claiming that the costs are equal. I'm just trying to say that we are investing something in this also.

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What Girls Said 14

  • You're sooo right.
    I am glad you pointed this out.
    I keep my eye brows waxed, my hair constantly done, my outfit on fleek, while some men complain about a $10 dinner. I mean really? That's nothing in comparison to the hundreds I spent on self grooming.
    I honestly, wouldn't want someone in my life that made taking me out seem like a hassle.

  • First of all, one would assume if you had kids you would have family and friends who can watch them for free. Or, if they are old enough they can stay at a friends house. And, even if you have to get a sitter, you decide how much you pay them. So, I don't see the problem.

    Second of all, why would one put their dog in a kennal for one night? Again, you could have a friend or family member check on the dog. As long as it's fed, watered and goes to the bathroom a couple of times, it will be fine until you get home. The only time you should board your dog, is when you'll be gone for weeks at a time. So, that argument doesn't make sense to me.

    Third and most important, we women choose to do all this stuff. No one told us we had to. If you decide to pay $45 of dollars on a haircut, that was your choice. No one told you, you had to. If you decide to get a new outfit, instead of working with what you have in your closet, that's your choice. If decide to go get jewlery to match the outfit and not work with the netrual pieces you have in your jewelery box, that's your choice. We women do these things for dates because we choose to, not because we have to. So, that' s not a very good argument in my opinion.

    Also, everywhere you go in your life you have to pay for gas in your car and there may be toll fees. And, both people have to drive to and from the date. So, you're both in the same boat.

    I feel everytime I seem to take a guys side, people think I have some motive for doing so, but I don't. I'm a common sense and rational thinking person and if there's no actual logical to what the person is saying or I see it from a different perspective, then I don't typical agree with what that person say's. I don't agree that there's a big cost to women because everything they do, they choose to do on their own free will. I also don't agree that guys have to spend money on a date, if you choose to go over your budget on a date because you feel that's what girls want, that's your choice. You don't have to spend tons of money. It's all about personal choice, in my opinion.

    • Actually, I don't have family and friends in this area. I moved here because this is where my ex husband is from and when we got divorced I lost all of the family support because they are all HIS family. My fanily live in other states. I have friends, but they are busy with their own families and none of them live next door who could just come over and take care of the dog. So it really is an issue for me. I have a baby sitter who charges $10 an hour. When I had to go on a business trip, she charged me $100 a day.

      I live in the Philadelphia area, so maybe things seem more expensive you're not near a major metropolitan area. The $45 haircut included a tip, which is very reasonable.

      My point is not the actual cost, because my costs are significantly lower than most of the women that I'm competing with. My point is just that women do pay for stuff that men don't always take into account. That's all I was trying to say.

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    • Well, as I said of my other comments, I live in Philadelphia, so this is a major metropolitan area and everything is very expensive. For $100 a day she was sleeping over because I was in Washington for a conference. She is older than me. She does child care as he
      r professional job. Perhaps it's because I'm in the corporate world, but men really do look down on women that don't keep themselves up.

      Plus I'm divorced, with kids and post-pregnancy body.

    • She's right! We don't care! Most of us don't even care how we look and generally only dress to impress (women). In reality, the guys who care are probably:
      1. Gay as fuck
      2. Gay, just a little less fuck
      3. Gay, with no fucks
      4. Picky as fuck

  • It does not take me that much effort to look pretty. I get compliments all the time about my hair that I literally just wake up with.

    • Sure, rub it in. ;-)

  • Unfortunately they don't care... They're the victims in almost every situation. o. O
    Ya know?

    • I know, sheesh. I'm not complaining... Just stating that it's not all one-sided. The whining in the male comments is just proving my point!

    • Who is the victim? Except the babysitter (and I don't date mom's) none of these expenses are necessary as guys don't care about that stuff.

    • @zagor The men are the victims... ... that's what I said... The MyTake is directed at men, isn't it?

  • haha! Yup! I just wasted money on an extermely expensive blow dryer. hahah! But not for a date just for me. And if I had a date I just buy some plain tops or those that are on sale for free people. I have like 3 used shirt and its was like so less. I was suprised good condition to. I understand so well. I just couldn't date someone who saw me as something he had to do. Like he had to pay for it. Its not a had to its I want to because I actualy care think. I just won't have that attiude I rather stay in my room eat ice cream and get fat. Thats just not how I was raised. I don't want any different at least when it comes to dating. I know money is expensive i would figure out other ways to work around the money! And for those guys who care more about money than love don't talk to me ever. Your not interested in me your interested only on yourself. And I need someone mature thats just final!

  • This is just stupid.. grow some self esteem and use the money you would normally use on hair, makeup, clothes etc on the date or just save them.. this sounds to only Apple women with no confidence in their apperance

  • if u look good, no matter what cost of ur clothes... i buy quite cheap clothes from popular brends for young adults and it looks good on me.
    i do my own nails and it also looks good. But i dont save money on haircuts usually.
    I spend money on fitnes and to be always in shape...

  • while its true that some of the very expensive specific stuff such as designers is our choice, i do agree with ur point that some men on here really like to downplay a womans effort into dating. dolling up and upkeep isn't taken seriously but women do it because it actually does make a difference in our chances. i dont get noticed unless i try. and by try i mean more than just looking clean and presentable. i wish that was enough. but o well, i accept.

    • Yes, absolutely. But I'm starting to realize that they just don't get it. It's invisible to them. But if we didn't do it they would notice.

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    • @schnipdip What abundance of attention? Only attention I get his comments on this site. Otherwise I'm invisible.

    • @schnipdip I can't tell a man he looks nice. That would be harassment.

  • Men don't even have to pay for dates!! But if a woman offers to pay or pay half, suddenly they are whining that she is "emasculating" them. Men whine if the woman does pay, and they whine if she doesn't pay, and they whine is she pays half. There is no way to stop men from whining and complaining, because even they don't know what the hell they want!

    • Pretty sexist of you to lump every man in the same category. As if we're all exactly the same. You could have said a lot of men but chose to say men instead to imply that all men do this because many men don't really complain and whine about this. Your sexism is unreal.

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    • I've never complained about any of those things. You need to date a better type of man.

    • @zagor I've been with the same guy for two years because he never whines like a child, but LOTS of guys do especially on this site. and this literally happened to my friend last night she paid to be nice and the guy yelled at her in front of the whole restaurant.

  • I have never dated, and I am never going to go on a date. I'll be surprised, flattered, if I were asked out on a date, but no, I don't see that happening any time soon. That said, I've never kissed anyone or had sex with anyone, and it is likely that I will never kiss anyone or have sex with anyone. :P

    • Just wait, when the time is right you will be surprised. Or rather don't wait because it's when you're waiting that it doesn't happen but as soon as you stop waiting it does happen. The universe is weird that way.

    • If you go to work, go home, and never make an effort to mingle that will never change.

    • @zagor How do you make an effort?

  • I think what you're saying is a valid response to the women hating men on this site who do nothing but dog women and say it's so easy for us to date or we don't do anything and we get men. It does cost us money to get ready. I think women put more money into their outfit/hair/body care/etc than men. So, I can see where you're coming from. It costs both sexes resources and time to try and get a mate. And I do think women do have hidden costs that some people don't think about. The flip is that some guys don't care that much, so a little make up and a curling wand will do the trick. But if you're into a high maintenance guy or douche that expects you to be a doll-yeah, that will cost a lot. The hidden costs for the guys would be that often they are culturally expected to pick up the tab. It's a very unfair system for both. And that's why I don't support rigid gender roles.

    When it comes to your big costs, I say try putting your dog in a crate/doggy safe bathroom instead of kenneling if possible. And make the guy meet you next time. That seems most fair.

    • But the effort and expenses you put into it aren't what we ask for, those are your decisions.

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    • @Coconutty I don't either.

    • @ManOnFire Well, I meant I haven't been with enough different men to have an opinion on size. Lol

  • ::cuts off music::

    Um yeah, y'all... am I the only one who's totally #sadface about the whole entire premise of this thing, here?

    I mean, I know some couples who live as though life has a scoreboard. They keep track of EVERYTHING. How many hours, minutes, and seconds did you spend on housework? Yeah, you totally bought gas the last 3 times, but I paid for the oil change, and that was $3 more in total! Aw shit, this restaurant costs $7 more than last week's, let's fight about it!

    This is... not how you win at life.

    Life doesn't have a scoreboard. Keeping track of every little minute thing can only lead to misery. I mean, srsly, y'all. The hell's the goal of all this cosmic accounting, here? Even if you get yr balance sheets to match up, penny for penny, once you depreciate the cost of that dress across a useful life of 10 dates... so what? What do you win?
    Certainly not any sort of harmony in the relationship!
    Do you win peace of mind? ... if so, is yr peace of mind really THAT fragile, and dependent upon such trivialities?

    And I mean, this take is almost worse, in a way, because it's tallying up the imaginary scoreboard for a relationship that DOESN'T EVEN EXIST YET.

    It's ALREADY assuming that it's you VERSUS him. That you have a balance sheet, with 2 opposing columns. That yr playing a game that's zero sum.

    ... Not how you win at life.


    The way you win at life is to stay in touch with yr feelings, and, if you start to feel slighted or marginalized... hey, there's this tool, called spoken language. Conversation. It's a cool thing.

    I mean, people are just all over the place, on this money issue. Some people thrive on generosity, and will actually be slighted if you DON'T let them pay. Others thrive on a sense of balance and equity, and need to feel like each party is contributing his or her equal share.

    This is not a "right" or "wrong" thing. It's just... a thing. The way you feel about this issue is the way you feel about this issue.

    You should just follow yr instincts. If you are totally incompatible, you'll find that out pretty soon. If not... just go with the damn flow, until if and when someone starts to feel resentment.

    If no resentment, then, win.

    If resentment, then, talk about it, and figure out how to adjust.

    But for God's sake, life does not have a scorecard. If you keep score like that, BOTH of you will lose.

    • My point is that the guys are already scoring like that. I was just trying to point out that we are not just mooching off of them. We are investing in dating also. That's all.

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    • "My point is that the guys are already scoring like that. I was just trying to point out that we are not just mooching off of them"

      Oh lol
      I wasn't even thinking about that. Never been in a dude-pays-by-default situation in my life, so, that didn't even occur to me.

      Still, I think this is weak sauce. I mean, come ON now girl. We get dressed and dolled up mostly for ourselves, let's be serious here.
      Even if we're dressing for a boy/date? We're still dressing for him for ourselves. LOL
      You know it's true.

      Dudes could care less if we showed up in workout clothes and a ponytail. In fact, almost all of them would actually PREFER that.

    • Actually, that's not true. I have been criticized for not looking nice enough. This particular evening was formal so it was an extreme example, but I was trying to show that there are hidden costs that the guys don't think about. My ex had two suits. A black one for funerals and a gray one for everything else. To change it up he might wear different tie. He showered, shaved put on his clothes and was ready to go.

      The dog... Don't even talk to me about the dog. I wanted so much for my ex to take him.

  • Not every woman. I don't have pets, I cut my hair once a year 14$ a cut at walmart, I don't mind the drive. I would do whatever it takes for true love. I am married now...

    • Some women can pull off long hair without trimming or shaping. It looks great!

      I was married and my ex would point out every flaw like it surprised him. "Do you know you have a pimple?"

    • I know that feeling. I dated someone who asked when I was going to get rid of my acne. I didn't date him for really long, but it is annoying and hurtful because I was suffering acne and couldn't get fid of it for a decade. He also made fun of my job and my friends. I am glad that I am not with him.

    • Yes, we're both better off.

  • I agree with you, in that I try my best to save money. I pay my own way when dating so sometimes I just take a break from it because I feel bad when I can't really afford it. I want to be the best I am able for my date, and sometimes it's difficult to achieve that on a very strict budget.

    • It is, and we have to compete with the women who spend tons of money on themselves. I feel so self conscious around the other women in my office. There's no way I can compete with them. I work at a media company, and most of them look like models.

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    • I got what you mean, lol! It does take effort, so saving up once in a while, but maintaining a healthy life is working so far for me.

    • Good for you!