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Dating: It’s friggin expensive

According to’s fourth annual study on singles, $82 billion is spent annually on dating-related activities.

Photo credit: ONOKY – Julien de Wilde/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images recently released findings from its annual Singles in America study that illustrates the ways in which singles of all ages are viewing first dates, modern relationships, traditional beliefs on sex and more. Dr. Helen Fisher notes that “both sexes are entering new relationships slowly with the aim to make them last.” Fifty-one percent of singles said they imagine a future together while on their first date. Surprisingly (at least for me) 56 percent of these respondents were men. She says, “Today’s singles are forging new patterns of courtship and marriage in deeply humane and exciting ways.”

Dollar dollar bills

The survey also examined the significant impact of singles on the economy and how much they spend on their dating lives. The conclusion: Dating is expensive. Singles spend nearly $61.53 per month on dating-related activities, totaling about $739 per year. With 111 million singles in the U.S., we’re looking at $82 billion a year. Meeting online (cha-ching to sign up) was the number one way singles met their last first date, second to meeting through a friend.

Back when I was dating, I remembered dipping in both JDate and Just looking at eligible bachelors cost me close to $40 a month. Add that to my need for new outfits and keeping my situation situated, and the dollar bills just keep on adding up. Men said the top three dating expenses for them include entertainment (such as going to the movies), going out to dinner and personal electronics — you know — to keep up with all the communication happening. Women also sourced going out to dinner and personal electronics as top expenses, but new outfits topped the list. This shows that men and women might be splitting dinners, while men pick up the tabs on entertainment-based activities.

Modern vs. traditional dating

Modern dating and traditional dating show a great variation in the amount of money daters spend. By modern dating, I mean online dating, matchmakers, speed dating, dating apps and dating coaches. The most that some people spend per month is $1,250. This differs greatly from traditional dating that includes going out to bars, enjoying a sports game, religious activities, drinks, tickets and food. This ‘real’ type of dating (as I think it is) can run you close to $3,000 per month (with the average being $55).

All this, and you can be relieved that your orgasms are free, right?

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