Here's How Much a "Good Date" Really Costs, New Research Shows
A new survey shows how much people are spending, and the results may shock you.
We all have our own ideas as to what constitutes a romantic date. For some people, it's dinner for two at a candlelit restaurant, while for others, it's something more out-of-the-box, like a picnic in the park or an activity. Archery class or salsa lessons, anyone? Depending on your preferences, you'll have a different budget. But while you're figuring that out, you might wonder how much other couples are shelling out.
Well, a recent survey by market research company OnePoll has the answer. Read on to learn what people are spending on date night, as well as other romantic pursuits.
A recent survey found the average date costs $196.
For the OnePoll survey, experts asked 2,000 American adults about the finances that dictate their dating lives in Nov. 2023. When asked what a "good date" should cost, the average response was $196. However, one in eight respondents expected even pricier outings that cost more than $300 each.
That data lines up with what people say they're actually spending. According to the survey, the average person has gone on eight dates in the past six months at a cost of $189 per date, which adds up to about $3,025 for dates over the course of the year.
The survey also found that men and women had different ideas of what a "good" date costs. Men believe top-tier dates run around $220, and women believe they cost about $170. That might be skewed by the fact that men are more likely to foot the bill for these outings: The poll found that 54 percent of men typically pay, while just 12 percent of women do. About 27 percent of respondents say they split bills or take turns paying for dates.
But just because people spend so much on dates doesn't mean it's advisable. A 2022 survey by LendingTree found that 22 percent of millennials and 19 percent of Gen Z'ers had gone into debt from what they've spent on dates, according to CNBC.
The survey also looked into the average amount spent on gifts.
It's not just date nights that are taking a financial toll on couples. The OnePoll survey found that the average person spent nearly $360 on gifts for their partner over the past year; one in five said they spent more than $500.
And the data experts found these gifts are hardly optional: The survey revealed that 35 percent of respondents said they'd judge a partner if they didn't give them a gift for a special occasion, no matter how long the couple had been together. Again, men are spending a bit more here, paying about $430 for gifts throughout the year, while women spend an average of $272.
Many people say the price of dates has increased recently.
The price of many goods has gone up in recent years, and date nights are no different. About 66 percent of people said dates have become more expensive over the past year, and 37 percent see themselves going on fewer dates in 2024 to save some cash. Sixty percent will make a budget for relationship spending to prevent things from going off the rails.
"In the dynamic landscape of modern relationships, where 'infla-dating' is reshaping connection costs, we encourage couples to redefine their approach to love's expenses," said Luka Matutinovic, chief marketing officer at LELO, which sponsored the report. "Stretch your budget wisely, opting for meaningful moments over extravagant expenses, and watch your relationship thrive without financial strain."
Daters have a few tips for saving money.
Fortunately, the survey respondents had some ideas for decreasing their dating costs. Forty-two percent plan to go out to eat at places that are budget-friendly, 40 percent plan to buy gifts on sale, and 35 percent say they'll go out for meals at less expensive times of the day.
Those still on the dating circuit are somewhat cleared to do this, too: Just half of respondents said they'd judge their date for taking them somewhere "cheap." Women are less likely to judge someone for doing this—just 45 percent say they would, compared to 55 percent of men.
Of course, no matter your budget, money can't buy love. Two in three respondents said that some of their favorite dates were places like parties, their homes, and the movie theater. As long as the connection is there, the activity may matter a whole lot less!
For more relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.