How much does it cost to find love?

Ever wondered how much money it costs to find that special someone?

We've been crunching some numbers and the average single adult in the UK spends a whopping £1,652 before finding a partner.

We conducted a study which polled individuals across the UK to reveal how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting the pursuit of love...

The cost of dating soon adds up

The average person goes on 15 dates before entering into a relationship. Let's tot up how much that'll cost over time...

  • The most people spend is around £60 per individual date
  • While men and women tend to splash out at almost the same rate, men spend slightly more (an average of £68 per date)
  • 13% of people admit to spending more than £100 on a first date

And that's before we start to add in the cost of pre-date prep including new clothes, haircuts and more - setting individuals back an extra £40 per date in total.

  • 35% of daters go shopping for new clothes or accessories for a first date
  • 25% of women and 37% of men have treated themselves to a pre-date haircut to help them look and feel their best

How has the cost-of-living crisis impacted the dating landscape?

As we've discovered, dating isn't cheap, and the rising costs has caused single people to become more selective.

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of single respondents have had to reduce the number of dates they go on - or postpone them entirely - due to high living costs.
  • 52% of single people said they've had to make sacrifices or postpone plans to save up money for a date
  • Nearly 30% admitted to delaying paying bills or cutting back on necessities to continue an active dating life
  • 18% have chosen to put their love life on hold completely due to mounting financial pressures

The best ways to get a discount on your date

61% of daters are on the lookout for ways to cut costs, with 69% of men and 55% of women actively trying to get a discount on a date.

Our study found that thrifty singletons are discovering all sorts of ways to bring the total cost of a date down:

  • 18% pre-book through an app to get a discount
  • 17% choose a specific date and time to receive a special discount (such as happy hours, set menus etc)
  • 9% remove the service charge from their bill in order to save

Other popular ways to save money on a date include sharing a dessert, splitting the bill, choosing a BYOB restaurant or skipping the booze altogether.

'Dawn dating' is another way for daters to save some cash. Meeting for a walk or coffee in the morning or working a date into existing day-to-day activities (such as going to the gym) is a more cost-effective option for daters. In fact, one in five singles have enjoyed a first date at the gym!

Once you've settled down, your bills might too...

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis continues to impact spending power across the UK. And those who aren't in a relationship have been hit particularly hard.

In fact, single people spend an average of £1,851 on monthly bills compared to £991 for those in relationships.

Love's not just an emotional investment - it's a financial one, too

We are undoubtedly seeing changes in dating habits over the last year or so, with many single people more aware of the cost of dating than perhaps they were before.

This has led to daters being more conscious of their spending - with many postponing dates in order to save, putting their search for love on hold entirely or finding ways to date with a discount.

But the cost of living isn't stopping some Brits from splashing the cash in their pursuit of love!

For more interesting facts and to hear about our latest survey research, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Methodology of our study

The findings in this article are the result of an Opinium omnibus research study conducted from 16 March to 20 March 2023.

During this time, 1,000 UK adults (750 who are single and 250 in a new relationship) were surveyed.


Written by

Stephanie Reid

Stephanie Reid is a financial services expert with over eight years of experience writing money-saving articles at Novuna Personal Finance. She has written hundreds of articles on a variety of topics including interior design, home improvements and weddings - with a keen eye for spotting money-saving opportunities and passing these tips onto readers. As a mum of two, Stephanie knows how important budgeting effectively is for parents and often incorporates family budgeting tips into her guides.

Friday 28th April 2023