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How much does having a girlfriend actually cost?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 November 2017) 15 Answers - (Newest, 14 November 2017)
A male United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

So, I was telling my roommate about my plans to build a new computer and media center for the living room, and he told me I should get a girlfriend (instead of appreciating my contributions to the house). While he might or might not be right, I realized that if I did have a girlfriend, I probably wouldn't have the time or money to tackle these important projects.

Then I started wondering, how much does having a girlfriend actually cost? Obviously, this depends on the girl, and part of the relationship you happen to be in, i.e. early in the relationship, you go out on dates more, later in the relationship you stay in.

So, in this particular case, I'm wondering how much money and time it would cost, on a monthly basis, for a guy in his late-20's with a full-time job, to start dating a late-20's aged woman who is the type of woman that would turn into a longer-term relationship.

Personally I do not know because the last time I dated a girl was in college, and I certainly didn't have any money to do anything other than coffee, and she didn't mind. So, that was nice. But since then, I have not had an actual adult relationship. There, I admitted it...

Maybe those of you with long-term girlfriends could elaborate how, over time, these costs change as the relationship moves into a more long-term setting.

I really am just looking for a quantitative breakdown of dating on both sides. I understand that it depends on the lifestyle.

View related questions: get a girlfriend, money, roommate

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (14 November 2017):

chigirl agony auntI hate these kind of questions. Women aren't objects for sale. We don't cost money. Get over that idea. We are human beings. Ask yourself how much it "costs" to have a friend. It's the same price. You put in time and effort, that's what the "cost" is.

How much it costs to keep YOU entertained is another question. If you like to go to the movies every week. If you like to go on amazing adventures abroad twice a year. If you like expensive activities, then you are costing yourself money. If you want to treat another human, such as a friend or a girlfriend, that's up to you, but what you choose to do for an activity and what sort of things you like to do, is entirely up to you. And if you want to invite someone to do something on your cost, that is also entirely up to you. There is no such thing as you "have to" invite along x amount of friends and treat them each time you go out. Same for a girlfriend. No law says you have to invite and pay for her every time you want to do something. But if that was the case, then it is entirely up to you to decide what cost level you want to be at.

Really. This is a no brainer.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (14 November 2017):

chigirl agony auntI hate these kind of questions. Women aren't objects for sale. We don't cost money. Get over that idea. We are human beings. Ask yourself how much it "costs" to have a friend. It's the same price. You put in time and effort, that's what the "cost" is.

How much it costs to keep YOU entertained is another question. If you like to go to the movies every week. If you like to go on amazing adventures abroad twice a year. If you like expensive activities, then you are costing yourself money. If you want to treat another human, such as a friend or a girlfriend, that's up to you, but what you choose to do for an activity and what sort of things you like to do, is entirely up to you. And if you want to invite someone to do something on your cost, that is also entirely up to you. There is no such thing as you "have to" invite along x amount of friends and treat them each time you go out. Same for a girlfriend. No law says you have to invite and pay for her every time you want to do something. But if that was the case, then it is entirely up to you to decide what cost level you want to be at.

Really. This is a no brainer.

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A male reader, VitaminZ United States + , writes (13 November 2017):

Depends on your dates.

If you can get her to Netflix and chill then dates would be pretty cheap (under $30 for fast food or food made at home). But on the other hand, one date to an amusement park could easily set you back $300-$400 on tickets, food, parking etc.

It also depends on how much time you spend together. If you spend Friday to Sunday together you're going to have to feed her. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together (plus visiting places) and you could spend a couple hundred per weekend.

If you only do your typical dinner dates and a movie once a week you're looking at $200 per month as your minimum.

Lesson in all this, choose cheap dates. Hikes, picnics, walks, Netflix, make dinner, museums etc.

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (13 November 2017):

Anonymous 123 agony auntAll these years on DC and yet a question that stumps you!

OP... You can't quantify relationships in this way! You might argue that it's only practical to ask, after all there are people who calculate the cost of having a child so it's only acceptable that you try to figure out how much having a girlfriend costs. It's still just somehow a very odd thing to think about! Other than normal things like going out for coffee and dinner where I'm sure you'll ensure the bill is equally divided, what else do you think will be expensive?

Are you a really stingy person? Like Uncle Scrooge? Because I can imagine only someone like that to calculate something like this!

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia + , writes (13 November 2017):

femmenoir agony auntUnless you're dating a so called "Gold Digger", you've nothing to worry about.

It's too hard to tell you EXACTLY what it would/wouldn't cost to have a gf.

It could cost you much more than you currently spend, or it may cost around the same and this will depend upon the person you're with and the type of relationship you both have.

If she's willing to contribute here and there, that's great for both of you, but if she's the type to demand that you pay or else, then this isn't good.

Most women wouldn't expect you to pay all the time, however, there are always exceptions to the rule.

In the beginning, many men still choose to be chivalrous and that's nice and just about every woman will welcome/love/appreciate this.

HOWEVER, if you cannot afford to always pay and you notice you're always having to do so, then this can be an issue, but i believe it can be worked out, especially if your gf is mature and understanding and the two of you sit down and have private, realistic chat regarding money and expenditures within your relationship.

Having read your post, i think you aren't exactly ready to have a gf, so for now, you should focus on what truly makes you happy.

If/when the time comes for you to start your search for a nice lady, then you'll know and you will.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (12 November 2017):

N91 agony auntI've been with my gf for roughly 2 months now and I wouldn't say I spend a ridiculous amount of money as opposed to being single. It really depends on what we decide to do.

We see each other 1-2 times a week, sometimes it's just hanging out at each other's house which we won't spend anything, maybe go to the cinema or a similar activity and spend around £20-£30 or a meal/out drinking which could be anywhere between £50-£100. She doesn't like me paying for everything and is very eager to put her hand in her pocket so I really don't spend as much as I was anticipating which is obviously a bonus.

Even if I was still single I still think I'd spend as much money on eating out and drinking over the period of a month so personally I'd say I haven't really noticed much of a difference.

I really don't think many girls these days care about how much you spend on them. I think as long as you are eager to spend time with them and make them feel valued that's more important than the amount of money you spend on them.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

It depends on which subscription you take and if you opt in for excess cover. I personally would take put the $1,000 excess option in. Do not pay for the warranty though. It is a scam. Goodluck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

If your reaction to having a girlfriend is that you might have to spend $ on her or that she'll take up your hobbies time, maybe you're not boyfriend material. You're not thinking of a potential girlfriend in terms of personality or compatibility, you're thinking, "how much do I have to give up and when does the wooing/courting get to stop so we can stay in, have sex, and call it a night?" Really, you're sounding like you like being single too much for dating. Your roommate was saying you need to get laid or at least get out more. Maybe he's jealous of your freedom.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

To be honest I’m from the uk but I have friends who date and most girls here do not like paying . They see it as you take them out so you pay . a modest night out here for 2 say cinema and popcorn drinks, pizza i@Pizza Hut will set you back around 80 pound . So work that into a weekend z your taking about 130 pounds or more .

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A female reader, NORA B Ireland + , writes (12 November 2017):

As you did not have or feel the need to have a girlfriend since your college days or as you stated any adult relationship in your life.I am just wondering would you consider maybe going ahead with your special project that are important to you.However re your question on costs of having a girlfriend....this would be impossible to answer because it would depend on jobs, lifestyle ect.No doubt if you meet someone special,then both of you can sit down and work it out in a fair fashion.Best wishes.NORA B.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

Do you really expect a figure to be thrown at you? You seem to be a very logical and left hemisphere dominant type of guy. So the answer to your question logically, you're right... Anywhere from 0 to a gazillion dollars. Can't really put a price on love.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 November 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYou planning on renting a GF?

Having a partner can definitely be more expensive than being single but it doesn't necessarily COST a lot more. Unless you are of that notion that the guy MUST pay for everything.

If you date a girl who is financially stable and just the LEST bit "modern" she will want to contribute and pay too.

The reason it CAN be more expensive having a partner is because you spend money on things you might otherwise not spend money on. Like weekend getaways, vacations, eating out, cinema, shows, nice clothes, etc. etc. Becuase when you have a partner you might want to do things you have in common and both enjoy.

It DOES depend on the kind of girl you date, your own attitude towards dating, what you do together etc. So it IS impossible to set an amount it "costs" to have a GF/BF.

My question to you is, are you really sure you WANT a GF? Or was it your roommate statement that made you think, uh I should have a GF....?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

I am just dying to see how the aunts and uncles are going to answer this one.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 November 2017):

This question is hilarious!!

The question is: do you want a girlfriend?

Im sure you can have both and enjoy your at home project with a girlfriend too!

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (12 November 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntOP, there's no formula to work this out. For a few dates, you may be paying for it all, but you may go dutch or swap who pays when.

You say you understand it depends on the lifestyle, but you still expect an answer.

You go for coffee or a picnic when you can't afford to do more. You go to a restaurant or dancing when you have a bit extra or split the cost.

There is no "it costs between $$ and $$$ per month".

Are you on the autistic spectrum, by chance? Or otherwise socially "odd"? I only ask because most people, while possibly curious, wouldn't expect an actual estimate or treat it quite so much like a financial transaction.

You don't have to save up for a girlfriend, at the beginning (later on it's more saving up together for holidays/mortgage), just make sure you leave enough in the budget to go on a few nice dates per month but, after the first one or two, she should be happy to pay half each or even cover one herself.

After the first date, it's important to make sure all other dates are within budget for both of you - so not talking about who earns what, but making sure neither of you will be broke after a date.

Also, you say you want to "build a new computer and media center for the living room, and he told me I should get a girlfriend (instead of appreciating my contributions to the house)", but perhaps he doesn't want a new computer and media centre? It seems like a specific contribution to the house that isn't necessary and, to be appreciated, has to be wanted. You clearly want it, but does he? I doubt he wants it half as much as you, if he's encouraging you to date someone instead.

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