Another Discourse on Dating

Anybody know the cost of a date? Fellas?

I wound up back at Tillman’s for a buh-bye party for a now-former editor. I bought a drink, the same one I’d had two of the previous evening. It was $12 for a chocolate martini. That’s about average for a NYC drink at a proper establishment in Manhattan (and it beats Bar 89’s $14 martinis) so I didn’t bat a mascara-ed lash at the price. It was only later when I realized Stars had to have dropped $60 on our date that I gained a sense of pause.

$60 for 4 drinks? Can that be right?? That’s ludicrous! And suddenly explains why some guys expect sex in under a month. I mean a good 30 days of dating is what, like 8 outings? So we’re talking a good $600 p/month easy, no? That’s a harem of prostitutes in Brazil for a week. If a guys is dating a woman who doesn’t “give up” the ass quick, the flight to South America, plus accommodations, and ho money might be more fiscally responsible. (I say that with the understanding that dates are about getting to know someoneand leading up to sex.) Suddenly, I’m beginning to understand Black men’s obsession with Brazil. (More on that later. A book about that topic just landed on my desk at work. Looking forward to reading.)

I bounce my newfound revelation off Patent, who informs me that my tally is grossly under-calculated. I’m only counting drinks and maybe occasional appetizers to end up with $600. He breaks it down like this—an average outing is dinner and a movie or dinner and a lounge. Dinner is $40 - $60 a person easy, plus a bottle or two of wine? (Are two people really drinking two bottles of wine? Two glasses has me done.) Just there you have approximately $150, not counting prior entertainment or a lounge after. For a full-out night, you could be talking $250 average! I checked with some more guy friends about the price of just a regular date, like a Wednesday night dinner with a drink- Jason reports $120 for DC, Tariq, also in DC says $100. Alan from ATL (*sigh*) says $70-$80. Is it just me or is this range crazy? I had no idea dates cost this much.

I think about my ex, a bourgoise negro if ever I’ve met one (said with love.) He loved good food as much as he did good service and I don’t cook so we ate out at nice places—a lot. The deal was that if the check was under $50, I’d pay. Over $50, he paid. At one point he was preparing to buy a co-op (he has five properties now) and so one of the ways we decided to save money was to not to drink out anymore. (We’d pop a bottle at home instead. My house= home.) Even with that caveat, I think I picked up the tab five times in the two and a half years we dated—and that was probably for brunch.

I think about the tabs when I go out with my girls—and largely I eat at the same places on my dates. (I like knowing the restaurant staff by name.) I prefer little known, cute-sie places with great food, service, drinks, décor, and energy. Foo-foo chi-chi places are reserved for dining with Daddy when he comes to the city twice a month and picks up the check. In BK, the tab runs $20-$30pp for brunch or dinner. Lower Manhattan about $40. Midtown? About the same. (I have no idea what Uptown is since my favorite restaurant closed in 2006.) But to go out to just dinner with my dude to my type of spot in the city is at least $80? No wonder men want women to cook more.

How the hell to guys keep from going broke with prices like this? I think I just gained so much more respect for a man with a decent credit score and home ownership. Suddenly I feel an urge to get a cookbook, if for no other reason than to keep my suitors out the poor house.


A note to the guys (who I feel sorry for right now): my very best dates have been cheap as hell. I know your heart is in the right place when you drop dough like this, and yes, you should take your lady out now and again. That said, if a woman really likes you, she will chill with you on a park bench. (Ladies, co-sign me on this one.) I ate at Whole Foods and drank Jamba Juice (I paid for the juice) with a “friend” recently. I couldn’t have been happier if for no other reason than I was there with him. Oh, and if the girl you’re digging is the wifey-type, you can’t spend to get her draws off quicker so don’t even bother.

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