The true cost of love

The true cost of true love

Dating over the last year or so has been… tricky. With the UK hopscotching in and out of lockdown, finding love was a long shot for a lot of people. But now that things seem to be on the up and up, we’re taking a look at the state of dating in the UK. For everyone that feels like they lost a year out of their love lives, we ran a survey to ask the big questions – like how long does it take people to find ‘the one’? And now that we can go back out on dinner dates and cute chats over coffee, just how much are you likely to spend in the search?

Why people have put a pause on dating

There are plenty of reasons to take a look at the whole dating scene and go ‘no thanks’. From the 3 in 10 people who want to avoid meeting people because of COVID to the 25% who think it’s just too stressful, it’s hard out there for hopeful (and hopeless) romantics. You’d think that dating apps like Hinge, Tinder and Bumble would make it easier, but in fact 35% of the people we spoke to think dating apps are awful.

Plenty of people have put a pause on pursuing a romantic partner, and 8 in 10 Brits go on less than a date a week – so if someone ghosts you or breaks off your chat by saying they’re ‘focusing on themselves’, it might not just be an excuse. According to our survey, 40% of people are taking a break for just that reason.

How long it takes to find ‘the one’

If you’re feeling like you’ve swiped left on every eligible single in your city, you might be wondering just how long you’ve got to keep dating to find the one. Well, good news! For 57% of people, it took 2 relationships or less to find their significant other, and 60% knew their partner was ‘the one’ before 3 months.

Dating costs romantics £2,220 annually

So just how much are people spending in their search for ‘the one’? Well, Brits who are dating spend an average or £185 per month, meaning they are spending £2,220 yearly to find their true love! The most popular dates are coffee, drinks, lunch, and dinner, with activities like walks, beach trips and movies proving less popular, and reserved for family and friends. And despite the popularity of a casual brunch, a whopping 70% of the people we surveyed say no to brunch dates.

And when it comes to the age-old question of who foots the bill, turns out we’re still thinking pretty traditionally: 1 in 2 people still believe men should pay for the first date. 40% think it should be split equally – and only a tiny 5% think that women should pay the whole bill. There are some small signs of changing attitudes in younger generations, though: 4 in 10 Gen Z respondents think you should split the bill, compared to just 3 in 10 millennials. Want to find out how much you spend on dating? Check out our true cost of love calculator!

Dating and the generational divide

It seems like that old chestnut about young love holds true – 70% of gen Z knew within 3 months that the person they were dating was the one, compared to just 50% across every other age group that we surveyed. 78% of Gen Zers also said that they had 3 or less relationships before they found their special someone, compared to 71% of millennials.

When it comes to not dating, there’s also a generational divide. 72% of millennials are either focusing on themselves, or getting over an ex. In fact, 1 in 4 millennials are currently getting over an ex! And when it’s time to find a new love, millennials are also facing a struggle – 42% of them think that dating apps are awful and that it’s hard to meet people in general, while just 30% of Gen Z think the same. It’s the 35-44 age group that really hate getting out there, with 31% saying that it’s too stressful to date, compared to a tiny 9% of Gen Z!

Best locations for love

It’s cheaper to find the one in some parts of the UK – in fact, anyone looking for love should maybe head north. Compared to the average of £185 per month spent on dating, in Newcastle you can expect to pay just £145 a month, and in Manchester £166. That’s a lot more affordable than London, the dating capital of the UK. In London, speed is likely to be of the essence when it comes to dating… because you can expect to spend an average of £3,084 every year!

Are you comfortably coupled up, getting back out there after the love lockdown, or dreading dating again? No matter where you are in your love life, thortful are always here to help you sweep that special someone off their feet with a cute romantic card or last-minute flowers.