I don't have dating worked into my budget. After a failed attempt at a relationship a few months ago I decided it would be more cost-efficient to stay totally single until my debt is paid off.
I guess the dating gods have other plans for me because I have been receiving (and accepting) invitations for casual coffees, lunches and dinners. Oh yes, and beer-events too but they aren't as frequent (although sometimes twice as expensive).
So I have been dipping into my Miscellaneous category to pay for all the extra coffees and meals that go hand-in-hand with getting to know someone new. A friend recently asked me why I am paying at all? My response is that I am a modern woman who has always looked after myself (and others too, but those days are over) and I have my money out and spent before my dinner companion can say anything.
I've also noticed that most men my age are not used to paying for a woman, because they have heard - and probably seen - their whole lives that women support themselves. It's a catch-22, because we want to be able to look after ourselves, but we also want others to pay for us. Where is that line that gets blurred or crossed, that enables an independent woman to accept someone else paying her bill?
I also insist on paying my way because that is what I do with friends, or we take turns covering the bill. Why would I do anything differently because there might be some kissing later on?