The Real Cost of Dating in America: Don't Bank on Assumptions

Right on time for Tax Day, Match.com, one of the nation’s leading dating websites, has new insights for singles when it comes to money and dating. Survey reveals a significant disparity between men’s and women’s expectations and behaviors regarding finances and dating.  The survey reveals how singles feel about how much to spend preparing for dates, the cost of a first date and the effects of debt on a relationship.

“When it comes to dating, men are three times more likely to think there are high expectations on how much money they need to spend,” says Whitney Casey, Relationship Expert for Match.com. “But that isn’t the case.  Women said it doesn’t matter to them how much men spend on a date. In fact, most women don’t want expensive dates; they’d prefer something more casual.”

Specific highlights include:

  • Men Put the Pressure on Themselves: Men are three times more likely to think there are expectations on how much they need to spend on dating and more likely to consider cost a factor when planning the date. However, a majority of women (58%) don’t want a expensive date.  They’d rather their date keep it casual by meeting up for coffee.  One third of women said that they have shared expenses with their date in a relationship.
  • Budget-Chic is OK: 46% of woman said it doesn’t matter how much their potential partner spends on a date, and in fact, surprisingly 46% of women would be fine if their date used a coupon to pay for the date.
  • How Much is He Spending? Over half of men are spending more than $50 on a date. Women, on the other hand, are three times more likely to only spend $25 or less on the actual date.
  • How Much is She Spending? Women spend more money on activities to prepare for their dates than men. 53% said they spend money in advance on new outfits and pre-date grooming. 65% of women spend more than $50 on preparing for the date.
  • Money Turn Offs: 57% of singles say debt has an impact on how they view potential partners, and it would cause them to reevaluate their relationships. 74% of singles said more than $5000 of credit card debt is a turn off.
  • Sexy Spending: A majority of singles (82%) that are surveyed said that financially generous actions like tipping, donating and tithing would increase their interest in their date.
  • Single Spending Habits: Singles are being smart with their money.  76% of singles are saving for retirement and 45% of singles are planning to use this year’s tax return to pay off bills/debt while 10% are planning to invest their return.

Additional results and tips for the new rules of dating are available at http://blog.match.com/cost-of-dating. This data was pulled from a national survey that issued by Match.com over its network, and represents the attitudes and behaviors of the over 550 single men and woman that completed this poll between March 28 to March 31, 2011.

For more information on the Cost of Dating in America, see the link.