For some people, the idea of polyamory seems taxing on the wallet, or bank account. Thinking about paying for dates with multiple different individuals can seem overwhelming. You might think it’s cheaper to just stay single. Or, you might worry you’ll never find someone, or never be worthy or deserving of anyone, until you have the money to back up your desire of dating them. Let me stop you right there and throw a brick of knowledge at your face, hehe, but seriously folks…it isn’t all about the money.
The Finances of Dating
In monogamous culture it has been a longstanding tradition, or custom, that the man in the relationship will pay for a date. This has caused complications in logistics of same-sex couples, as there is no road map to explain who is supposed to do what. Top that with the fact that a notable portion of the population now identities as transgender…what do these customs even really mean anymore? I’d like to point out that this old tradition dates back to a man’s ability to buy a woman from her father, as well as the idea that women are weak, and incapable of earning their own living or taking care of themselves. Of course, it is not an issue if a man pays for a woman’s meal, but the assumption that this will be the case is problematic for both men and women alike.
A lot of more progressive individuals have become accustomed to new ways of deciding who pays for things, such as splitting the bill, everyone paying for themselves, or agreeing to “whoever is the one that asks a person on a date is also the one who pays for it.” These updated algorithms for dating have made it a lot less stressful for the individuals involved, and have brought a lot more communication into the process of dating. Gone are the days when everyone simply assumed they knew what would happen. We now take responsibility for ourselves and our thoughts and our actions, and make sure we thoroughly talk things through with someone before forming any expectations (if we decide to form expectations, at all).
Cheap or Free
All that being said, money really shouldn’t matter much. A cheap date, or even a free one, can be just as worthwhile as an expensive date, and sometimes becomes even more meaningful. You, by no means, need to be rich in order to be polyamorous. And you definitely don’t need to count your money before decided to ask someone on a date. A date is about getting to know someone, hopefully forming a connection with them, and just having some fun. There are plenty, really endless, options for those looking to date on a budget. It’s all about finding something that will allow you to spend quality time with your partner, or potential partner. Even those whose love language is gift giving/receiving can appreciate something cheap, or free, especially when it’s handmade or holds special value to the one who is giving it. There is always, with a very few exceptions, a way to find a cheap or free option that will allow you to express your love in the way your partner best receives it.
Take, for example, a nice walk on the beach or an evening under the stars. There are a plethora of free events in bigger cities, as well as in a lot of smaller towns. You can find beautiful outdoor and indoor locations all across the world. And if you’re really strapped for cash, you can always have a simple home cooked meal together. Homemade is always cheaper than going out. However, breathing is free, looking is free, walking is free. Your ability to find something free is really endless, sometimes it just takes a little bit of imagination. With some thought you can turn anything into a date to remember.
More Than Money
Polyamory is SO much more than money. Dating, in general, is so much more than money. Good communication is way better than a pearl necklace, and 1,000x more vital. If you focus on interacting with someone, opposed to finding something they can do or have, you’ll gain a better understanding and appreciation for who they are. Combine other healthy activities, or foods, into your date and you’re just quadrupling the healthy start to your relationship. But I won’t sit around and tell you to get out and exercise, or act like your mom and tell you to eat your vegetables. That’s all up to you.
What I will say is that a solid connection with someone is better than anything money can buy. So, stressing yourself out about whether or not you can financially afford to be with someone is basically completely pointless. It isn’t about what’s in your bank account, it’s about what’s in your heart. If you think that is too much of a cliche then think of the alternative here. If your date is only accepting of you when you have enough money to take them to do fancy, or expensive, things then perhaps they’re love falls more towards your money than your personality. The words gold digger ring a bell? Don’t get caught in a relationship where there is an expectation of you to be more glamorous or openhanded with your money. Make sure you find someone who likes you for YOU.
If you feel like paying for someone, that’s fantastic! But the other person should never learn to expect that from you. They should always be grateful, not entitled. In the same respect, don’t mooch off of others either. If your date takes you out and pays for everything because they genuinely want to – WOOHOO for you! It’s your lucky night. But be appreciative. Never let someone’s gestures go unrecognized, whether those gestures are related to money, or not. Take time to show care to those in your life. That’s what polyamory is all about – spreading the love. Don’t get caught up on prices. You aren’t purchasing partners. Win them over with what’s inside of you. That comes first. All else comes second. Good luck!