Dating During A Recession

It turns out economic hardship spawns more than “staycations” and at-home cocktail parties. It also has caused a boost in first dates. It seems that this type of uncertainty makes many of us desire companionship and support more than ever.

Searching For Healthy Relationships

According to MSNBC, some singles are now hunting for dates with the same fervor others are showing hunting for jobs. On matchmaking Web site eHarmony.com, membership is up 20 percent despite monthly fees of up to $60, and activity has soared 50 percent since September at OkCupid.com. If money talks, we’re saying that we are looking to quell the loneliness that’s all too common when chasing careers, financial security, our ideal life. When those things are called into question, we go back to seeking good ol’ fashioned relationships.

This should come as no surprise, as most of us have this inherent desire, but it can be played out in a negative way if we’re not careful through what I call the bio-chemical craving for connection. I discuss this more in my book, Make up Don’t Breakup – which encourages a healthy view of money both within our selves and with our partners. This craving starts when stress from childhood causes thrill-seeking behavior. This behavior can be in the form of financial or sexual conquests and infidelities. You’re looking for ways to self-medicate and to help calm stress levels down. Of course, this craving can be harnessed for good as well as evil! Instead of allowing the desire for companionship and intimacy take you to thrill-seeking behavior that results in a “high” and then a crash, turn the desire into a search for healthy relationships.

A Genuine Relationship

This can come through online matchmaking, saying “hi” to that person we always see in a coffee shop or through a simple friendship. But you don’t need me to tell you how to meet people! The point is, as the MSNBC article states, it’s not just the frequency of our dates that’s changing — it’s also the people we’re choosing to spend time with.

“They’re looking for something that’s genuine in a world that isn’t very secure,” said Bathsheba Birman, co-founder of the Chicago dating event Nerds at Heart. “ith headlines full of why you can’t trust established institutions that you thought you could … people are re-examining their own values.”

And seeking a steady relationship can actually result in SAVING money! The CEO at OKCupik figures a man can spend $100 buying drinks at a bar trying to pick up a stranger and leave with little more than a cold shoulder. But, when he’s in a relationship, a Saturday evening can be as simple as Thai noodle takeout and a movie rental.

So here’s to healthy relationships and sustainable finances!


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