Hot take: money can buy you love.
And when you’re dating, love can feel expensive.
It doesn’t matter if you’re dating someone new or you have a regular date night out with your spouse of many years. At the end of the evening, the bill will always come—and those costs can really add up.
Here are some interesting historical facts about the cost of dating—from 100 years ago, to just a couple of years ago, to today.
Before 1920, dating was all about courtship. You only dated to get married. And you always needed an escort. When the Roaring Twenties came along, dating was as much about having fun as it was finding a partner.
Not everything was cheaper though: in 1920, gas was 30 cents per gallon, which with inflation is just under $4 today. In general, that’s more than most of the country is paying today.
Just like everything else, dating has changed over the last 100 years - imagine explaining “swiping right” twenty years ago! But no matter the decade, going out on dates still makes a dent in your wallet. As dating continues to evolve through the pandemic, we see a silver lining: getting to spend quality time with your honey, while spending less money.
In the years leading up to COVID, the national average for a “typical” date in the US was about $102. That included dinner for two, one bottle of wine, and two movie tickets. Add in a 5-mile taxi or Uber ride, and the cost rose to about $117.
But ultimately, the cost of a night out depended on your state:
Fast forward to late 2020. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, there are fewer options for a night out with your bae, and far more safety concerns.
As a result, more people are meeting virtually or hosting date at home (and saving a lot of money in the process):
We can’t be sure what’s to come in the dating realm. Once COVID is no longer frontpage news, will people return to dating like they did in 2018-19? Or stay in more? And how will this affect everyone’s wallets?
Regardless, here’s something to mull over: you can save major dating dollars if you meet someone online versus in “real life.”
From meeting online to the first date to walking down the aisle, the average timespan is 18.5 months. But if you meet someone outside the digital world (like at work or through friends), that average time is about 42 months.
Let’s do a bit of math. Using the lower-end pre-pandemic average mentioned above for a typical US date (dinner, wine, and a movie) of $102:
No matter the era, love comes at a cost. But you don’t need a lot of money to spend quality time with someone.
It is absolutely possible to date within your means:
Have some money-saving dating tips? Want to share your COVID love story? Or just shoot your shot at love? Hit us up in the comments below: