Is Dating A Luxury?

One of my fave blogs, Creole In DC, posts a series called "Would YOU Date Him?". Here was today's entry:

My first reaction was "we can be friends". Why? Because my first thought was that an unemployed father on food stamps has more important things to do & pay for besides going out on dates. There's child support, spending time with their child, spending time looking for work, going on interviews, etc. And of course, for most people, dating takes money. Sure there are lots of date activities that are free or don't cost much - but how many people do those things on a regular basis when dating? And even without the cost of the actual activity, how much does that time spent with someone else cost? Time that could be used doing something else, like working on their employment situation or with their child.

Luxury is defined as "a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity; free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being."

 So if a luxury is something that goes above and beyond the necessities in life, that begs the question: is dating/relationships a necessity or a luxury? Do you need to have a romantic partner, or at least 1-on-1 interaction of a romantic nature regularly? Or is it something that's just nice to have, but you can still function without it?

On first impulse, I think dating & relationships fall into the luxury category. I need shelter, though it would be nice to live alone instead of crashing on a friend's couch. I need food, though it would be nice to eat filet mignon instead of cheap Ramen. I need some way to make money, though it would be nice to have an office job instead of working the register at McDonald's. Get where I'm going with this?

Yes, as humans we all need human interaction & companionship. But doesn't it have to come in the form of dating or a relationship? I don't think so, at least not for me. Having good friends, family, and people to talk to, spend time with, etc will work for me. Would I like some of those things that come along with dating & a relationship? Of course. But it's not a need for me, especially when I know I need to devote time & funds to other things.

On the flip side, if I met someone who I really liked who was unemployed, my natural response would be to step back out of consideration for his situation. I wouldn't want to infringe on someone else's time like that, knowing that they probably are trying to be on the grind and also watch their pockets. May be a wrong assumption on my part, but that's just how I think.

 So for you, is dating & relationships a luxury or a necessity? Why? Would you be willing to date someone who was unemployed?