My mother calls me a dinner whore. I call myself a serial first dater. Either way, it feeds me. Or at least, it used too. I once fed myself by going on first dates for 2 months straight in an employment lull. I didn’t spend a dollar on lunch or dinner and only had to shell out dough when on the rare occasions I decided to eat breakfast. And because it was a first date, there was never any opportunity to have expectations of sex in exchange for dinner. I left happy and full, and he left none the wiser.
It is 2009. I am 24, and hitting my stride in the dating world, and along comes the recession. My dinner rotation was hit hard. All the sudden, men wanted to meet for drinks, but drinks didn’t fill my stomach. We also started going on “creative dates”. Dates that would be considered charming had dinner been a prelude to the evening. Walks in Central Park or trips to the bookstore were great, but I couldn’t focus on them due to the rumbling in my stomach. The classic combinations “dinner and a movie” or “dinner and dancing” was now just a movie or just dancing.
I know the recession had worldwide bigger implications than my dinner schedule, but my life and budget were hard hit causalities of the economic downturn. Now as the calender turns, and the economy doesn’t improve, I feel that I may miss out on the best dating years of my life. I no longer put forth the effort to even go out on dates. They are now a bad return on investment. I get dressed, I take a cab, all for a chat by the Seaport. So I have made the collective decision and advise other women to do the same– until we are out of this recession, put your dating life on hold.