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A couple of times a month the wife and I schedule a “date night.” It might be dinner out, a movie, or some other fun activity we both enjoy.

I was thinking way back, and it’s a long way back, to my dating days. When I was in high school, I could buy a half tank of gas, take my girlfriend to the drive-in, and feed both of us for less than $5.

I know that sounds remarkable and very economical by today’s standards.

The Cost Is All Relative

But how much did $5 buy then compared to today? Five dollars in the 60’s would be almost $40 in today’s economy.

And I guess that works out about right.

Back then I was making about $1 an hour working in the family business. Which would be $8 an hour in 2015 dollars. So it would take a little less than a day's pay to date someone — once.

But, if you are talking about a date on Friday and Saturday, and maybe even Sunday, you are slowly getting into big bucks territory.

No Wonder Kids Still Live At Home

My dollar an hour paycheck didn’t have too many constraints. No rent since I was living at home during high school, no car payment since I had access to our very stylish Ford station wagon, no food bills although my parents should have at least charged me for food.

But if you are a college student in today’s society you do have some bills. You might have a credit card, a car maybe, hard to date on a bike.

You might walk everywhere but there is still those $8 movie tickets plus another $5-6 for popcorn and Junior Mints.

Even an average restaurant will run you $30-$40 including tip to impress your significant other. Suddenly $8.10 an hour doesn’t go very far.

A lot hinges on this, especially if you expect a second date.

Some Final Thoughts

Heading toward 32 years of wedded bliss, I can appreciate the challenges of what it would be like starting over. I doubt I would have it in me to go to the effort and expense of dating if it ever came to that.

But when you are young and in love, sacrifices have to be made and I guess young millennial’s are making them.

I can’t recall too many news stories about raising the minimum wages to make dating more economical. Perhaps that message wouldn’t have the traction of living in poverty.

Does dating cause poverty? I guess that’s a story for another blog. Happy dating.

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