A recent study conducted by eHarmony estimated that Brits will spend £2 billion (about $2.8 billion) and 96 million hours on bad dates in 2018, while a 2016 survey concluded that the average American spent $1,596 on dating that year alone. When did dating become so damn expensive?
1. OPPORTUNITY COST IS REAL.
Let’s talk economics. If you’re not spending money on dating, you’re spending time searching for a partner: downloading dating apps and creating a profile, swiping left or right, and chatting up dudes online. While you may not be forking over cash to the Tinder and Bumble gods, investing time online means you’re forgoing other activities like strengthening live interpersonal relationships, honing a profitable skill, or even earning a few extra bucks with a side job.
2. ONLINE DATING SITES CHARGE MEMBERSHIP FEES.
While dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and OkCupid are free, many dating websites aren’t. eHarmony, Match.com, and JDate cost roughly $40 a month. Then there are more specific dating sites like Muddy Matches, Dating for Parents, and Christian Connection that cater to singles looking for partners with similar backgrounds or interests. Though those $40 are no small sum, you get what you pay for with these online dating services.
3. COFFEE DATES ADD UP…
Coffee dates are a great way to get to know someone in a casual setting. Much cheaper than a full meal and as long or short as you want them to be, a quiet hour or two at a cafe is the sensible choice—especially for couples who might have met at a party or other less intimate setting the night before. But those caffeine fixes add up. Even if you avoid Starbucks, all those $3- $4 lattes cost a pretty penny at the end of a year of dating.