Inflation is Disrupting Our Budgets and Our Dating Lives

With record-high inflation and fears of a recession, singles are cutting back on expenses, including spending on dating

Today – part of the Dating Group, the company behind over 30 online dating sites, with offices and dating experts in seven countries – revealed survey findings about the impact rising inflation and economic uncertainty are having on the dating lives of many singles.  In fact, within the past three months, 47% of respondents reported that they have held back on scheduling a date to save money. 

“The increase in prices of food, gas, clothing and many other products and services has left singles rethinking their usual dating habits and patterns as they make an effort to save money,” says Maria Sullivan, Dating Expert and Vice President of “We’re seeing that inflation has also led to many couples choosing to move in together within an accelerated timeline to help cut living costs in the short term. In some cases, this happens before couples are truly ready to take this next step in their relationship.” 

Key survey findings include: 

No date? No problem: 52% of respondents reported that they are content with holding back on scheduling dates to prevent themself from spending money on clothing, gas, public transportation, dinner and drinks, outings, and more. 

Taking it slow: Findings included that 58% of respondents reported wanting to get to know potential partners better before putting excessive amounts of money into activities, dinners, and more to avoid wasting their time and dollars if it doesn’t work out. 

Common cutbacks: found that 67% of respondents reported that they cut back on their typical romantic night out for simpler, cheaper date options. 

This is a huge shift from the company’s July 2021 spending survey that found that 75% of singles had planned to spend more than $100 on a meal. 

Now, 83% of singles are looking to spend less than $50 on a first or second date. 

Romance turned roommates: With rent prices through the roof, especially in big cities, many newer couples are rushing to move in together to cut the cost of living. About 45% of respondents have noted that they’ve talked seriously with their partner about living together, despite not being ready for it, to save money. 

“The increasing price of dating has made it even more of a challenge for singles to enjoy dating and putting themselves out there, but there are ways singles can still meet new people and have fun dates without worrying about how much it will cost,” continued Sullivan. She provided the following tips for ways to save money and still have an active dating life: 

Simplify your night out: Spending a night out with a date doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of making a reservation at an upscale restaurant, opt for a cheaper, more affordable choice that is known for being fun and for having a good time.  If your date is interested in making a genuine connection, then a more casual bar or restaurant should work just as well as a fancy one as you’re getting to know each other. 

Get creative: A free date can be a fun one. – Casual activities such as taking a walk in the park, bike riding, hiking, or a game night are great ways to spend quality time with someone as you’re deciding whether your connection with them is worth the current cost of dating.   

Save up for later: While inflation is hitting everyone’s wallet, it doesn’t hurt to get funds together for a special experience or a quick trip soon. Couples new and old can benefit from having something to look forward to, but they don’t have to break the bank right away. 

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Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.