A Match.com survey of 5,500 singles around the country found that the average single American spends $1,596 per year on their dating life. And that number creeps up in major cities: for example, New Yorkers spend an average of $2,069 on dating. To get an idea of what that spending looks like, we asked a 25-year-old single woman living in New York City to track her dating-related spending over four days.
I wake up with a bit of a hangover from last night’s date with Tom*, a guy I met on a dating app last year. We’ve been on and off for a while now (he has commitment issues), so I’m trying hard to move on. But old habits die hard.
When I finally get a break in the day around 1, I trek to Sephora, which is about a 10-minute walk from my office. I have a date tomorrow night with a guy who I’m actually excited about, and since I’ve been dying to try the Summer Fridays face mask everyone has been raving about, this feels like an excellent excuse. Supposedly it will brighten up my face, and I’m desperately in need of that right now. ($52.26)
I know full eyebrows are in vogue, but my eyebrows desperately need a tweezing before tomorrow’s date. I realized last night that my tweezers have mysteriously gone missing, so I pop into Duane Reade and pick up a new pair on my way home from work. ($3.49)
I’d planned on working out after said tweezer mission, but I definitely didn’t get enough sleep last night and am still feeling the hangover a bit. So I go home, order a pizza, and spend the evening texting with my date for Friday night. His name is Josh*, and he recently moved here from the Bay Area, which is where I’m from.
It feels great to wake up without a hangover. I notice that both Tom and Josh have texted me (awkward), but I only look at Josh’s text. Tom won’t kill my vibe this time around.
Josh asks if I can meet a bit earlier than planned — he wants to grab a drink near my office before we head to dinner. He’s incredibly thoughtful, and I want to go, but I’m starting to panic because this was not what I’d planned on wearing. After a morning of answering emails and frustrating phone calls, I duck out of the office and go to H&M where I find a cute top and skirt that I can easily change into in the bathroom before heading out. H&M is cheap, so I don’t feel too bad about it ($27.70).
I feel a little nervous walking over to the bar, but I’m thrilled to see that Josh standing in front, looking just as cute as he did in his picture. He greets me with a hug, and we head inside. It’s still happy hour, so I offer to grab our rounds of drinks because I know he’ll pay for dinner. He protests, but I insist ($44).
Tipsy and happy, we head to the trendy pizza spot Josh picked (I guess it’s two nights of pizza in a row for me). We order two pizzas and a few more rounds of drinks, and I don’t want the night to end. Josh offers to pay for dinner, and I let him.
We eventually leave the restaurant after getting a lot of not-so-happy looks from the restaurant staff, and Josh offers to pay for an Uber back to my place. When we get there, he kisses me goodnight. I stumble into my apartment and am happy to see a text from Josh telling me what a good time he had. Yay!
I settle in with Netflix and a giant glass of water. I’ll definitely be hungover tomorrow, but it was worth it.
Yep, I was spot-on about that whole hangover thing. I wake up way too late with a pounding headache. I lounge around for a while and wonder if I should text Josh, but decide against it.
By 5, I’m feeling bored and kicking myself for not making plans beyond seeing Josh this weekend. I’m annoyed that he hasn’t texted me, but I try not to read into it. Surprise surprise, I get a text from Tom — he wants to know what I’m doing tonight. I decide to make the healthy choice and ignore him. Eventually, I give in and text Josh. If we start one of our flirty conversations, it’ll take my mind off Tom.
When I haven’t heard from Josh for 30 minutes, I give in and text Tom back. I tell him I’m not doing much. He asks if I want to grab a drink near our apartments (unfortunately, we live a three-minute walk from each other), and I agree to meet him at 7. Josh still hasn’t texted me back, and I decide this is the right decision.
Tom picks up the first round, and he starts giving me one of his speeches about how he wants to be with me, but he’s just so screwed up in the head. I’ve heard this a million times, and I find myself rolling my eyes and checking my phone to make sure I haven’t missed any texts from Josh. Nada.
One drink turns into three, and soon Tom and I are at another bar. Then we’re ordering late-night pizza. I cringe when I check my credit card app and realize I ended up spending nearly $50. And still no text from Josh.
I wake up with Tom next to me (oops) and a text from Josh. He says he “got busy” last night, but asks if I want to grab dinner sometime this week. I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt and tell him I’d love that. My head is once again pounding, and I vow to never drink again.
I tell Tom he needs to leave so I can get a few things done today, and he agrees without much protest. I spend the rest of the evening meal prepping, catching up on the magazines I didn’t get to read this week, and vowing to be a little better to my body — and my wallet — this week.
Dating-related spending: $172.45
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of innocent daters everywhere.