A Richer Understanding: Flex Date

Brian Tramuel helms this series. He lives with his wife Michelle, their children Geneva and Brian, and their Cocker Spaniel Maestro in Charlotte, NC. They, along with his two older children from a previous marriage, Davina and Aaron, provide a constant source of inspiration. Aaron lives, works and plays in Charlotte and Davina lives, works and plays in Roanoke, VA.

Being single or not being single.

Among my single friends, dating is a popular meme. I’ve written about not dating and that most, if not all, of my relationships started because of a propinquity effect. Outside of friends I usually stay away from the social discussions surrounding relationships.

RS A Richer Understanding

My work involves options trading. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) offers customized equity or index option contracts or Flexible Exchange ® Options (FLEX Options). The core of my peers are young (under 30), single and dating. There are discussions daily concerning dating apps, initiating conversation, bloopers, blunders and hook ups. I do believe most are looking for more than the latter as evidence by the overall theme of the conversations.


I use to believe that the popular twitter discussions; two hundred dollar dates and fly outs were exaggerations by some to gain retweets and hearts; literally and figuratively. However, at work I am able to witness both firsthand. One peer while discussing a recent meet up stated that he uses “flex” dates. Flex Options provide investors with the ability to customize key contract terms, virtually eliminate counter-party risk, and an ability to alter positions before expiration. I get it, initially it was met with thunderous laughter, however it makes so much (dollars and) sense.

His process is to meet for coffee, tea, or drinks to determine if there is an interest (for either person) to proceed to an actual date. You are not responsible for others feelings only how you advise them of your disinterest. Spending money when you are not romantically interested in a person who is interested in you is not a good way to advise someone of your disinterest. It wastes their time and most importantly your money. It is much easier to extend coffee to lunch or drinks to dinner if everything is flowing well. Attempting to get to know someone in a dark theatre, loud concert hall or while they are stuffing their face places you in the awkward position of price discovery in a competitive dating market. See what I did there?

I believe anyone can spend a full day with quality relationships offline and online, engage in work they love and spend time in solitude and be completely happy until a romantic partner comes along.

I remain,


Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. I was single for five years before I rekindled my relationship with my wife primarily because I was broke and I hadn’t been by myself for a very long time prior. It was good to find out who I Am.

    I’m not sure how I would make out in today’s dating world. I hope love finds you when you’re ready.

    • “I believe anyone can spend a full day with quality relationships offline and online, engage in work they love and spend time in solitude and be completely happy until a romantic partner comes along.” Indeed.

      It was five years, post-divorce, before I got seriously involved with someone and subsequently married … another three years later. My mother still jokes that I swore to her, soon after the divorce, that I would never marry again. She just laughed and noted it would take some time to work through all the things that transpired because of the divorce. As usual, it turns out she was right. As you note, it is important to find out who you are – or find out what needs to be different in a new relationship – prior to making a commitment. Proceeding cautiously with relationships, particularly with respect to when/how money is spent is wise and ultimately in an individual’s best interest.

  2. That’s pretty much my plan. Lately I decided to just stay single for however long I feel like it. I’m not searching so it would have to be from a propinquity effect (I had to look that word up, thanks). I never thought paying for a first date can give the impression that you’re into someone you may not be, seems obvious when you say it.

    • The idea of a flex date or flex dating certainly provides some food for thought.

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