Sunday, December 4, 2011

What moral obligations do we have toward our date?


Business Insider reports a story of a 23-year old woman who used Match.com to pay for her meals. She and her roommates set up spreadsheets and created ground rules for how to get the most meals out of their dates. After a while, she was saving $1200 per month by having someone else pay for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She did it because she wanted to live more lavishly than she could afford.

We have all been taught that buying dinner does not “obligate” anyone to anything – no one should feel like they have to have sex because someone purchased their meal. But does the lack of obligation to hook-up remove the responsibility to be there for the right reason? Shouldn’t someone on a date have at least some intention of seeking romance, of acting in in good faith? In short, while some could accuse this woman of exploiting her dates, others could claim that she never promised her dates anything but company during a meal. This is what they received.

What do you think? Is the woman in question being unethical and taking advantage of people’s desire for love, or did she just find a loophole that doesn’t really hurt anyone else? Interestingly, this was such a hot button topic, that Business Insider shut down comments. They wrote: “Update: We've disabled comments on this post because they were getting out of control. We have also changed the name of the woman in the story because people were taking it waaaay too seriously.” Clearly, lots of people have very strong opinions on the subject.

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