Singles play the long game as a result of the cost-of-living crisis
31st October: Singles say they have less disposable income to go on dates so will be spending longer getting to know someone online before agreeing to meet in person. According to dating expert Match, 40 per cent say the cost-of-living crisis means they aren’t able to date as frequently as they used to so want to invest more time establishing a connection with someone before meeting in real life.
Singles will spend almost six hours chatting to someone online before agreeing to a date – 13 per cent say they are more reliant on voice notes and virtual dates to test their compatibility with someone.
It’s no surprise that singles are being more selective about who they meet when the average date now costs £233.90, with food (£43.10) and a new outfit (£37.50) the biggest expense. Activity-based dates have also been popular with singles forking out £31.60 on this alone. With travel to and from a date costing on average £21.10, over a third (34 per cent) say they wouldn’t want to date someone who lived too far away as they’d need to spend more on transport. A further 28 per cent now tactically arrange their dates around pay day so they know they’ll be able to afford it.
And with everyone feeling the pinch, one in five (22 per cent) say they’ve been put off when someone has suggested an expensive date, assuming they aren’t financially compatible. However, on average it takes two months to talk about money and your financial situation with the person you’re seeing.
The age-old debate about who pays for a date is still prevalent – 29 per cent say since the cost-of-living crisis, they feel more awkward about this part of a date than ever before. However, savvy spending is a turn-on for 14 per cent of singles, who say they’d find their date more attractive if they used a money-off coupon to pay.
To help Brits meet someone special, Match has introduced new features to its platform, including Live Rooms – an engaging new video chat experience that enables singles to safely join an audio and / or video chat room with people matching your age range and interests. Members can also now use Match Voice to update their profile with a voice note, providing an additional, entertaining way to express themselves and give a greater insight into their personality. Hearing someone’s voice is a strong indicator of potential compatibility and helps to create more trust with potential matches.
Match’s dating expert, Hayley Quinn, says “Voice notes are great at helping you decide who to go on a date with – they let you convey personality and build an emotional connection with someone. No more having great banter over written messages, only for your real life connection to be lacking. If after that you’re still feeling a connection, you can feel (relatively) confident that you’ll share a sparky date.
“And it’s cheesy but it’s true: what makes a great date isn’t about the money you spend, it’s about the connection you share. So, during the cost of living crisis, think about how you can get maximum impact for minimal spend. If the sun is out, make a picnic for the park, or head out on a bike ride. Focus on spontaneity and fun – it can be a lot more memorable sipping shop-bought wine on a lawn than sitting in a crowded bar.”
The average cost of a date
- Food £43.10
- New clothes £37.50
- Drink £31.70
- Activities and entertainment £31.60
- Hair and beauty treatments £22.40
- Transport £21.10
- Gifts £17.70
- Contraception £11
- Other £17.80