10 Ways Dating Changes When You’re Broke AF

10 Ways Dating Changes When You’re Broke AF ©iStock/Skynesher

When you’re living paycheck to paycheck and don’t have much cash (or any) to spare, life is stressful AF and way more complicated — and that includes dating. As if it wasn’t hard enough navigating the search for love, navigating the dating world when you’re broke as hell is even worse.

  1. Your dating pool is somewhat limited. When you have no money, it’s very rare to see someone who is well off that wants to date you… unless they want to be a sugar daddy. That situation aside, you’ll probably only be able to date guys who are broke too. If you’re lucky enough to meet someone who is well-off and interested, well, you found one in a million.
  2. Being broke means that you often have to rely on personality to get a date. Oddly enough, this is a lot harder than you’d think it is — particularly if you’re female. Being thin, having high fashion outfits, and even keeping a small purse are things that guys take for granted. When you’re too broke to afford nutritious food, healthcare, or even matching outfits, you’re not going to look your best.
  3. You end up lowering your standards a bit. When you’re broke, a home cooked meal and a night of cuddles is more than enough for a good date night, and a pair of sneakers or even $20 is a good enough gift idea. Somehow, I don’t think that Kim Kardashian would feel the same way.
  4. Dating tends to be more money-focused than it should be. Small things like splitting the check or covering a hotel room become much bigger issues for you. In a lot of situations, you might even begin to think of your date as a way out of poverty. Though it’s not fair nor right, it’s a sad reality of being broke — you’re forced to rely on others more than you’d like.
  5. Money becomes a major issue during a major breakup. Anyone who’s been a stay-at-home mom and has gone through a divorce knows what I’m talking about here. When you’re in a serious relationship but broke, you often have to worry about how you’re going to be able to make it on your own. (Note: This is why you need to save up money in case of a breakup.)
  6. Your dating options are limited. Going out to dinner is traded in for takeout Chinese because you can’t afford a restaurant. Instead of going to the movies, you pick an old one on Netflix. Sucks, but it’s true.
  7. People assume you’re a gold digger if you date someone who actually makes money. It seems to make people really uncomfortable to know that someone might actually like someone despite them not making too much money. It takes a lot of effort to get people to believe otherwise.
  8. People try to take advantage of you more often. For reasons beyond my understanding, poor seems to equate to gullible in mainstream society. I can’t name how often guys would try to dangle money like a carrot in front of me, primarily due to my financial situation. Oddly enough, all that ever did for me was make me repulsed by them.
  9. Dating while broke puts things into perspective. The only things you really need to be happy are food, shelter, water, and love. If you have those four things, you should consider yourself good to go. At the very least, being broke allows you to realize how much you have, even if it’s not much.
  10. The one upside? You never have to worry about people being with you for your money if you’re broke. You never have to worry about people only being with you because you financially support them. Being broke means it’s literally just you and them against the world, and that can be pretty liberating.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.