The price of love

Whether it’s dating app subscriptions or the cost of the dates themselves, love doesn’t always come free, so we’ve looked at how much a singleton can expect to pay in the search for that special someone.

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Our research reveals that a typical singleton goes on an average of 24 dates with at least nine different people before they find the one, spending an average of £42.37 a date – totalling £1,017 in their search for love.

And young people spend considerably larger amounts to find their perfect partner, as respondents aged 16-24 said they spend 38% more than those over 55. 

If you are planning on going all out on your next date, you could consider a 0% interest credit card to spread the cost. 

An ‘appy relationship

Analysis of the latest reports from Statista on dating app usage shows it’s not just the cost of the dates themselves that contribute to the price of finding love, with the number of paid users on dating apps increasing by a colossal 75% between 2017 and 2022. This outstrips the growth in the general number of dating app users in the UK, which has increased by 31% over the same period.

Image of woman holding phone showing a dating app

Given the high costs involved, many are keen to cut corners, with 15% of Brits searching for discount vouchers ahead of their dates. However, others are going to even further lengths to save their money as 15% reveal they’ve been forced to pay the whole bill for a date that has rather conveniently ‘forgotten their wallet’.

Brits’ most common experiences whilst paying the bill on a date

1Date ‘forgot their money’14%
2Date asked them to pay the whole bill11%
3Sent an itemised bill by their date7%
4Bill was put on Splitwise and they were asked to pay half6%
5Paid the whole bill because a date unexpectedly left6%
6Asked to send money after an unsuccessful date5%

Keeping it local

Despite an upward trend in people willing to pay more money in the search for love, our data shows Brits aren’t willing to spend more time – as almost one in five (17%) won’t travel more than 20 minutes for a date.

Brits are racking up quite the tab at dating hotspots though – despite the average singleton dating nine different people before finding a partner, 1% of the population have had to kiss at least 70 frogs before settling down. 

Brits’ attitudes towards splitting the bill 

Despite changing world views towards splitting the bill, 12% of men say they would still get offended if their date offered to pay, and three quarters of men say their views on bill paying haven’t wavered over time.

image of a man paying the bill.

We know that dating can be an exciting and thrilling experience, but it can also be a time of nervousness and worry. As the cost of living continues to rise, singletons may be feeling the financial strain of dating more than ever.

But with almost a quarter (21%) of Brits saying they spend money on first dates in the hope it’ll lead to a second, it’s clear that finding a partner ranks higher in importance. Finding love shouldn’t have to put anyone in the red and there’s no reason to splash the cash in order to impress someone. Whether it’s a date at a swanky hotel or a walk in the park, connections are formed on a lot more than your surroundings.

If you are worried about the affordability of dating, there are a range of credit card options available that can help you save money here.

Methodology and sources

  • Consumer research survey conducted by Censuswide between 28th September – 1st February 2022. The study included 2,033 UK adults who are not yet retired. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles

  • Statista Market Forecast – Online Dating – United Kingdom 2021

About James Andrews 

James is our senior personal finance editor and has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news. He has previously written for ReachPLC, was money editor of Mirror Online and Yahoo Finance UK, and has recently been quoted in City AM, Liverpool Echo and Daily Record as well as featured on national radio shows TalkRadio and the BBC

View James Andrews’ full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.

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About James Andrews

James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.

View James Andrews's full biography here or visit the press centre for our latest news.