I would like to write about a topic that has been on a mind for a while. The reason I speak up now, is because I have just recently gone through this experience firsthand, which only caused me to believe in my point more strongly.
I’m referring to the costly expense of dating. As a 25 year old frum bachur, I am navigating the path of shidduchim like so many others. What many people don’t think about, is that if you don’t find your bashert relatively quickly, the cost of your dating life begins to accumulate quickly. While it is definitely a necessary expense, it can become rather difficult to bear. For many people, their parents will bear the cost. In my case, as I am a “working boy”, the cost is mine to bear. In either case, the financial strain lands on somebody.
To be clear, I am the last one to suggest reforming the system, as far as the expectations of the dating experience a bachur is expected to provide. I surely believe that one should entertain a shidduch prospect in a manner that shows respect. Of course it is also up to each individual to make sure that they aren’t going above their means. There are definitely solutions to going on respectable dates without breaking the bank every time. Nonetheless, after dating multiple girls, the cost inevitably begins to rise.
I personally just finished a parsha, during which I dated someone for 7 weeks. While I completely trust the Yad Hashem in all situations, the financial burden is definitely felt. Therefore my question to all of you is, why does the dating cost belong to the boy alone? I understand that it should be the boy’s responsibility to be the “man in the relationship”. This can include things like deciding where to go, driving, providing conversation etc. But as far as the money involved, aren’t the boy and girl in this investment together? Don’t they both have the same goal here? When the investment doesn’t lead to fruition, why is the boy the one that must swallow the cost of that?
I would appreciate some input from the community on this issue.