Look, dating, especially for men can be quite expensive (woman’s lib anyone?,) and there isn’t that much you can do about it, especially in the initial stages of courtship.
BUT, let’s say you start to get serious about someone. if your goal is freedom, financially, then it really helps to have someone on the same page as you. If you have a partner who is a spend thrift, who wants you to spend a large percentage of your income on them, whether it be to “show me you love me,” or just because they “appreciate the finer things in life,” then this pressure has the potential to crack your nest egg open. It certainly acts as a major drag on your goal.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t spend money on them, or enjoy your life. After all, you don’t get to take your money with you. But it’s necessary to be aware of this trend, and either set a budget- “I’m putting away 20% of my paycheck no matter what and I’m comfortable spending the rest,” or if you don’t think you can keep up with their demands, then perhaps it’s time to move on.
Harsh reality: A lot of the reasons people feel they continuously need more, the newest, or the best, are deeply psychologically rooted, and no matter what they tell you, such patterns are unlikely to change when certain thresholds (like marriage) are reached. I’m sure that you have a friend who is either like this, or has had a partner who continually demands more and more, and have seen first-hand the strain and pressure this puts on a relationship.
I bring this up so you can be aware of it, and look honestly at your own life to see if someone serves or detracts from your goal of financial freedom.
Awareness after all is a first step.