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-   -   Dating and money (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22845)

MyWifesNerd 04-04-2012 04:14 AM

Dating and money
 
My wife and I are somewhat new to Poly. We're a few months in, and things have been pretty good so far... though not without their difficulties.

She' has a boyfriend that she's been with for the last few months. I only recently started dating another woman, and it raised an interesting question.

Money's tight, and when they go out, my wife's BF pays for their dates. So, that's worked out pretty well.

However, now that I'm dating I feel like I should pay for dates with my girlfriend. I'm not much of a traditionalist, but this is a hard expectation to break. We don't have a lot of money for me to be spending. How have some of you handled similar situations?

km34 04-04-2012 04:45 AM

Why not try to find free or low-cost activities?

I'm a huge fan of going to free concerts in parks, picnics, renting a movie (or watching one someone already owns) and staying in, local comedy clubs or something of that variety, etc.

I personally hate having other people pay for me unless I've known them for a while and feel like it's fair (as in, both of us pay for things or provide each other with meals or whatever at random, without really keeping track). It makes me feel uncomfortable to think of one person always taking the responsibility for our activities together - whether it be financial or the planning aspect. So, when I first start dating someone, before I feel confident that the relationship is going to last long enough to be mutually beneficial, I try to keep the activities low-cost so that if he/she insists on paying, I don't feel guilty about it. It also keeps me from stretching the budget if he/she agrees to my preference that we go dutch. lol

Most people are pretty understanding that finances get tough sometimes. I'm sure if you're just honest with her that you don't really have the money to be doing fancy dates often, she will understand. If she's anything like me, she'll love the more relaxed, low-key things just as much. It's the time together that counts IMO. :)

MindfulAgony 04-04-2012 07:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by km34 (Post 131373)
Most people are pretty understanding that finances get tough sometimes. I'm sure if you're just honest with her that you don't really have the money to be doing fancy dates often, she will understand. If she's anything like me, she'll love the more relaxed, low-key things just as much. It's the time together that counts IMO. :)

This. Be honest about it and relax. You'll both have more energy to be creative on how you connect once you can do that.

Scott 04-04-2012 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MindfulAgony (Post 131383)
This. Be honest about it and relax. You'll both have more energy to be creative on how you connect once you can do that.

I agree with Mindful; being open about your financial situation with your girlfriend is very important I think. Honestly, I think one of the most important things to figure out in any relationship is, what is it that your partner(s) need? Do they need financial support, or are they fine? If she, you, or both can't afford to be going out on dates too much, then as someone mentioned, perhaps it'd be best to go to each other's places instead, cook up a meal, something like that. If you think about pure economics and the relationship is serious enough, one thing that you might consider is all moving in together; accomodation expenses are generally cheaper that way. This, ofcourse, is seeing things purey from an economic perspective; it may not work well in many situations.

CielDuMatin 04-04-2012 12:54 PM

You have identified something that is often an issue in poly relationships.

One of the mantras about poly is that love isn't a zero-sum game - that a poly person believes that they have an infinite capacity for love. The problem is that when it comes down to practicalities there are two "zero-sum games" - money and time. It'd be nice if we had an unlimited supply of both, but 99% of us don't have unlimited money and nobody has unlimited time.

So at some point you reach what I and others call "poly saturation" - you are using either all your time or money (or both) on the relationships. This either means that you have to have a "no more relationships" or you have to spread your limited resources thinner. That can be an emotive issue, and one that needs to be worked on with everyone involved, so that expectations are managed, and synergies found.

I don't think that there is a "one size fits all" solution to this, either - it has so much to do with your own situations, boundaries and needs, and those of your partners. But if it is not dealt with, then it can become a major show-stopper issue.

Cleo 04-04-2012 03:08 PM

I stopped buying clothes a while ago, as an experiment (I was buying a LOT) and so far, it's going great.
But, all the money that I used to spend on nice new outfits now is spent on drinks with lovers, dinners with lovers, weekend getaways with lovers, dinners and weekend getaways with husband (because we want to have fun too :p) and traintickets, since both lovers live in another city.

nycindie 04-04-2012 04:20 PM

You can both go over your budget and see where costs can be cut. Then each of you can have a "dating fund" out of whatever you might have after your basic expenses. Keep this separate and use for any dates, travel, etc. related to your lovers.

We're in a recession, possibly even a depression, although since most people getting public assistance are getting it electronically, we don't see the "bread lines." It isn't unreasonable nor odd in this economy to need to be frugal.

Also, I gotta say, since I started dating again after my separation, I haven't met very many men who treat for every date. I always wind up going dutch for the most part. It seems to cost me a lot to date anyone as a woman, as well.

YouAreHere 04-04-2012 08:54 PM

My partner and I used to put picnics together and found a really cute spot at a park on a lake. Beautiful sunsets, a cooler with sammiches and dessert, and some nice together time. Plus, it was nice to have a spot that was "ours". :)

So that may not fly so well in Winter, but we kept going longer than you'd expect! :D

clairegoad 04-05-2012 12:08 AM

We went to a flea market... cost nothing.. but we had a great time looking at a wide variety of things.

I learned a lot about my partner...

Look for things that don't cost a lot... Even an hour together at Taco Bell can be a great date ...with the right person!

DevotedGeek 04-05-2012 02:34 AM

Before opening up our marriage, my wife and I used to co-mingle all of our money and do everything from the same financial pot. But about a year after becoming poly, we decided to establish individual monthly budgets as follows:
  • We use a shared budget for family essentials, e.g. food (from the grocery store, not dining out), mortgage, insurance, medical, kids (clothing, games/toys, school supplies, books, etc.), home repairs, and so forth.

  • We use our individual budgets for personal and luxury items, e.g. clothes, eating out, dates, gifts, books, electronic gadgets, etc. It's up to each of us to determine how to balance our personal budgets.
This approach has worked really well for us so far. Of course, we mutually agree to adjust our individual budgets as needed to reflect our financial situation, such as decreasing it during months when income or property taxes are due.

BTW, I love everyone's ideas about picnics, parks, outdoor activities, and other fun things to do together that don't cost a lot of money. I'll steal some of those ideas myself! :D


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