By John Kariuki
Dating can be a costly affair. History is replete with people who have given their date’s fabulous presents on the spur of love like yachts, aeroplanes, marques of cars and expensive jewelry.
Going by the flirtations in many entertainments, one notices that frequently no holds are barred in this new game in town. So, scores of hustlers and low and medium income earners, but pretending to be millionaires for the day, will go home broke.
Dating in Kenya often involves making a lasting impression, with true love coming later if at all! Thus love-struck men will hire or borrow the latest models of fuel guzzlers and take their dates out to exclusive clubs where food and drinks are priced way beyond their reach.
According to relationship counselors, prolonged and reckless spending, in the name of searching for love, can add up to a fortune with no guarantee that one will meet Mr or Miss Right. Such escapades may become a full-fledged career, which can derail one from his or her financial goals for the rest of his or her life.
Festus Muthama, an accountant, has been dating girls on the fast lane until he did the mathematics and reconsidered his wild ways. He regrets a loan that he once took to take his date on a holiday. “I am still paying the loan up to now and things never worked out for us,” he says.
In retrospect, Muthama now sees where he went wrong. “I started on high note, taking my date to expensive places from day one and I had to live that way till we parted,” he says.
Muthama’s date came from a well- to-family whereas he hailed from a rural one. She had never washed her clothes all her life while he had been doing all chores there are an in typical rural home. “Part of the dating arrangement was that I frequently paid for a cleaning woman to do her laundry and to keep her house,” says Muthama. Their fling was destined fro the rocks.
Peterson Lihanda, a civil servant, describes himself as a serial lover. But five relationships on, he has seen the love game for what it is. “Three of my previous girlfriends were more interested in what I earn and my share of my family wealth than in building a lasting relationship with me,” he says. He parted ways with them and changed his tact, he adds. “At one sitting I would pay a bill of drinks in excess of Sh3,000,” he says.