The Cost Of Courting: How Much Do Single Americans Spend on Dating-Related Activities?

February 8, 2014  |  

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, a survey released by Match.com explores how much cash singles shell out for dates. As they strut around saying “I’m single and ready to mingle,” America’s bachelors and bachelorettes barely spend over $60 a month for their romantic excursions, USA Today reports.

That’s about $738 a year per person — this includes expenses on event tickets, admission fees, clubs, hobbies, religious activities, and of course, food and drinks. Among those surveyed, 88 percent didn’t spend a dime on dating services like Match.com or eHarmony to initiate a hot rendezvous. But those who did only spent an average of $5.69 a month.

As Rutgers University’s Helen Fisher points out, these numbers are pretty low.

“A lot of singles are not dating at all,” Fisher, co-author of the study, says. “I suspect that all of these singles who are not dating are radically reducing the average dollars spent on dating.”

But the numbers are no way near as low Match.com’s 2011 survey results. Only spending $38 a month, singles were a lot more tight-fisted with their cash back then.

In fact, in 2011, singles spent more money on enhancing their physical appearance than they did on the actual date: “65 per cent spent $50 or more on pre-date grooming and new outfits,” Daily Mail reports.

The survey also delves into dating preferences before, during, and after their encounters: 59 percent of singles prefer to plan the first date together, 51 percent fantasize a future with their date during the excursion, and 51 percent prefer a call, not text, after the date.

Eighty-percent disagreed with those who said that sex on the first date is “somewhat” or “very appropriate.” Thirty-one percent admitted that their one-night stands morphed into a committed relationship. Only 28 percent who had a “friends with benefits” arrangement could say the same.

Match.com went even further and analyzed the stability of today’s relationships finding that many unions considered taboo are doing “fine”: Interracial marriage (86 percent), interfaith marriage (80 percent), long-term, cohabiting partners (76 percent), and same-sex marriage (65 percent).

“While they may be shirking cultural convention,” says Wendy Walsh, an Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist, “the research that shows people want bonded relationships that are based on love and healthy attachment.”

Relationships that aren’t doing so well are sexually open marriages, married couples sleeping in different bedrooms, and long-distance marriages.

The study entitled “Singles in America”a surveyed 5,000 singles over the age of 18 in 2013.

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