Are higher-cost dating websites worth the money? And how much do men and women actually spend on dating and for Valentine's Day? Have you ever noticed all of the song lyrics about love and money? When you imagine your ideal partner, you probably think of general characteristics you find desirable, not the financial implications of starting a new relationship.
But there are usually a lot of dinners, movie tickets, gifts and flowers involved in the journey from single to happily committed. To quantify the cost of love, let's look at the typical expenses associated with dating over a one-year period, along with lower-cost ways to woo your sweetheart. The cost of meeting somebody new If you've tapped out your real-life social network, you might consider online dating, and you might get good results. You're also likely to receive less spam from mildly interested potential matches on paid sites.
A more frugal suggestion? Branch out by joining new groups and organizations. Always wanted to take up trail running? Find a group that meets in your area for 5 a. See if your city has a young professionals membership to the symphony. Or consider online social networking, which is the 21st century way of letting your friends hook you up. Facebook, for example, allows you to check out your friends' friends, and your mutual friend can set up a casual group date.
Dinner and dancing It's Just Lunch , a dating service for busy professionals, surveyed 3, singles nationwide about how much they spend on dates. In bigger cities, those figures are higher. Women, on the other hand, spend significantly less. But, according to an ING Direct survey, most women aren't expecting a fancy dinner and expensive bottle of wine on the first date. The poll found that on average, men overestimate how much is expected of them.
Flowers and gifts Flowers and gifts are still a big part of the relationship equation. According to the University of Bath survey, exchanging gifts is the best way to ensure commitment in the relationship. In addition, online daters who exchanged gifts before meeting in person reported a "more committed and deeper relationship. Then there are holidays, such as Valentine's Day. After all, you probably don't want to launch into a tirade about how Valentine's Day is a materialistic Hallmark holiday when you've only been dating someone a few months.
As for gifts, plan ahead so you have time to be more creative. Your significant other will appreciate something thoughtful, like baking his favorite kind of birthday cake or making her a romantic dinner at home, more than picking up the obligatory and overpriced dozen roses, chocolates and stuffed teddy bear from the Valentine's Day aisle.
So, what's the grand total for one year of dating, from matchmaking to flowers?