The hidden cost of romance in the modern world

The pursuit of romance can be a costly one in today’s modern world and gone is the mantra ‘love doesn’t cost a thing’.

A survey conducted by OnePoll shows that single Brits are spending an average of £1,349 on dating each year.

PRICE OF LOVE: Many Brits are ‘over-spending’ on first dates

This staggering amount includes the price of the date, which the poll found is on average £106 each time.

And daters are meeting potential partners around 13 times a year, according to the poll, so this can also pile on the pounds, both physically and financially.

Elsewhere in Europe, the cost of dating is dramatically cheaper.

in France and Germany the average date costs £46, while in Italy it was £47 and in Sweden it was £41.

But in the US, it gets even worse as 29% of people aged 18-34 were found to be $500 (£375) in debt from overspending on dates, according to MarketWatch.

The costs of dating across Europe

MarketWatch also claims that 29% of the people who responded to the survey said that they go above their means to impress their date.

Who should pay?

Another issue that has come up in regards to dating is who should pay the price for the outing.

Some people believe it should be split evenly, while others believe the man should foot the bill.

When asked who should pay for a date, Edwin Matumba, 31, who is a football coach said: “I don’t think the onus should always be on the guy, if the girl is actively indulging in activities on the date, she should get her wallet out too.”

But accountant Emily Watson, 28, begged to differ.

She said: “If I’m getting all dressed up for a guy, the least I expect is for him to pay for my time, I mean, what type of gentleman doesn’t want to pay for his missus anyway?!”

Regardless of who pays for the rendezvous, what is clear is that someone will have a dent in their pocket by the end of the night.

Extra costs

But the spending doesn’t end there, as a cost neither sex can avoid is pre-date planning, as a lot of time and effort is spent on looking the best they can when meeting up.

It is said that the average Brit spends £60 on new clothes, hair and make-up in the build up to the meeting.

In terms of time daters spend around an hour getting ready, according to a survey conducted by dating website Plenty of Fish.

With so much emphasis on the spending and prep of a date, it can be easy to forget the quality of the pairing.

How to save the pounds

Getting to know your potential future husband or wife doesn’t have to cost a penny if the focus is switched to focusing on someone’s personality rather than their outfit or what’s in their pocket.

Meeting up in a park and having a picnic has been suggested as a good way to get to know someone without all the hidden costs.

Matumba added: “The last woman I met, we both brought our dogs to the park as we lived in the same area and had a great conversation while the pets played.

“It was the first time that I genuinely clicked with someone without going home upset about the amount I spent and I think this is my plan of action for the future.”

If a lot more people followed this theory, the economic stress would be removed from the situation, allowing people to enjoy someone’s company guilt free.

Dating experts also think costs should be reduced to a minimum when getting to know someone.

HANDS FREE: Dating experts believe that dates don’t have to be expensive

Chicago based dating coach Bela Gandhi said: “Dating is a long haul. Don’t expect it to go on five dates and then you’re going to be done kissing frogs.

“Don’t make it epic — a drink and an appetizer is fine. Go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee. Get creative without breaking the bank.”

This sentiment was backed by UK based dating coach Rebecca Darkin who said people should get to know each other before pulling out their wallets.

She said: “There’s nothing wrong with meeting, having a coffee and a slice of cake and just finding out if you really like somebody first before you go out and maybe take them on a little bit more of a dinner date.”

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