Swipe Right: The real cost of dating

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Jennifer Lopez’s love don’t cost a thing—but when it comes to the rest of us, swiping right can come at a price.

Whether you’re newly single, have been playing the field, or are thinking about putting yourself back out there, there’s more than just a witty description and flattering photo to consider. There’s also the financial side of things to think about.

According to an annual ‘Cost of Love Survey’, the full cost of love—from meet-cute to matrimony—is upwards of $72,000. While this figure includes things like a beach vacation, multiple fancy dinners, and a line item for just wardrobe, it does raise an interesting question: How do you keep your budget intact while you’re on the search for The One?

Ultimately, it comes down to planning.

Know your budget

Not to take all the romance out of things, but if you know you’re going to be active on the dating scene, include it as a line item in your budget. Chances are, you’re going to be going out a bit more than usual as you get to know people. Even casual drinks a few times a month can add up, so make sure you know what you and your budget are comfortable with and fill your dance card accordingly.

Go Dutch

There’s nothing wrong with offering to pick up the cheque when you’re trying to woo a potential partner. But it’s also ok to split the tab—just make sure you set expectations up front. After all, having honest, clear communication—especially when it comes to the financial side of things—is a hallmark of a healthy and successful relationship.

Get creative

Meeting up with somebody for a get-to-know-you drink is fine, but it’s also, well… boring. Show-off your creativity by suggesting something a little different. A walk in the park with a flask of hot chocolate could be a nice (and cost effective) idea. There’s also skating, snowshoeing, or impromptu-snowman making. Nature not your thing? There are endless options for low- or no-cost indoor activities to partake in like a free talk at the local library, board games at a local café, or an open mic night.

Quality over quantity

Ultimately, it should always be about the time you spend getting to know somebody and not how much money you’ve spent. So if your potential love-interest makes you feel like there’s a running tab, it might be a good flag that it’s time to move on. While dating might not be free, finding somebody who truly gets you can be priceless. So get out there, tiger!