The Cost of Dating in America
Between all the cocktails, coffees, and meals, the
According to Match's annual "Singles in America" survey , unmarried Americans spend about $1,596 on dating every year. The 100-question survey went out to over 5,500 singles all over the country, and asked them how much they spent on their dating life every month in 2016. The total price tag includes typical stuff like coffee dates, event tickets, bars, and meals, as well as things like dating site memberships, dating event fees, and matchmakers. Date preparation like haircuts, clothing, and manicures were included as well.
$1,600 a year might not seem like a ton of money-and it's a small price to pay for love-but it's a big jump from the same survey's results three years ago where the average was less than half that . It's unclear if the old survey included date preparation costs, but that's still quite a difference. Of course, the average also varied depending on where survey participants lived. Singles in metropolitan areas like New York, for example, paid more than $2,000 on average. Those in rural areas spent much less.
Spending also varied according to gender, but not by much. Men said they spent closer to $1,855 on average, while women claimed to spend around $1,423. That small gap is likely attributed to singles " going Dutch " more often, paying their own way when out and about meeting people. Roughly half of the men surveyed said men should pay on dates, but only 36% of women agreed, so it seems a majority of singles are leaning toward split checks these days. It makes sense, especially for women who don't want to feel obligated in any way to get physical or have another date-78% of women said they preferred splitting checks for those very reasons.
Here's where things get a little confusing, though: 47% of women also said they offer to split checks as a way to be polite or assert independence. This works out great at first, since most of the men surveyed found that practice attractive. But when it came to actually paying, most women in the survey did not find it more attractive when men let them go through with it. Then again, who wouldn't enjoy being told "No, no, I appreciate it, but this one's on me," right?
So, what can you learn from all this data? First off, don't forget to include dating costs in your budget if your single and ready to mingle. A little over $130 a month will do. You might find somebody immediately, or it might take a while ( maybe five and a half years ). Either way, you'll be financially ready. Second, don't forget to include pre-date items and activities in that budget, and account for where you live. And lastly, splitting the check is the way to go. In fact, it's the norm now. At the very least, you can't ever go wrong offering.