Being in a relationship with someone can result in two scenarios: complete joy or a difficult struggle. Yes, popular belief has convinced us that "the best things in life are free". But are they? Of course, we don't have to pay to enjoy a beautiful sunset at the beach, and as it is said, money cannot buy love. But as we analyze situations in an economic way, we realize that the best things in life are not entirely free. Economists use money to measure the cost and benefits of things or actions. But there are different costs for "free" things. .
Every decision we make in our lives has an opportunity cost, and being aware of that cost is just as important as knowing the benefits of our options. The opportunity cost of something is everything that we must give up in order to get what we want. For example, if I decide to buy a pair of shoes for $100, the opportunity cost of the pair of shoes is the second best alternative product or action that I could have performed using those $100. So when we apply this economic theory to the dating and relationship area of our lives, and the "free" thing that love is said to be, it becomes clear that it can turn out to be much more expensive that we imagined. .
So imagine we are trying to decide whether or not to be in a relationship. For our analysis, we will assume that people are rational: they make decisions based on the cost and benefit. This means they perform an activity only if the benefit outweighs the cost of starting it and if they must choose between two alternatives, they will choose the one with the most benefits and less costs. In other words, the person in matter would want to stop being a lone wolf when being with someone else provides more benefits than being alone. .
Let's start with the costs, and more specifically, the explicit costs of dating. Explicit costs are the ones that require an actual outlay of money from the company, which in this case will be us.