The Cost of Living Crisis Has Changed the Way People Date

17 Nov 2023

June 5, USA – Hily dating app conducted a survey among its users on how the cost of living crisis impacts dating and spending habits, as well as approaches towards sexual life and finance 

Hily, an online dating app with over 28 million users worldwide, has conducted a survey in the summer of 2023 to track how the cost of living has changed the dating patterns, sexual life, and financial decisions of people entering the online dating stage. The study includes almost 8,000 Hily users who were asked questions regarding their spending habits in regard to their dating lives. The main findings refer to budget-conscious dating activities, first date behavior, and the decision to pay for dinner on a date.

The cost of living crisis is believed to have a more significant impact on love lives than the pandemic did. When people face the need to significantly cut their expenses, dating new people – often a gamble with unpredictable outcomes – frequently becomes an easy casualty of the new limitations. Considering the strong connection of dating and drinking cultures, along with certain expectations about the “perfect date” and taboos on discussing finances in the early dating stages, the cost of living crisis is expected to trigger changes in dating habits, patterns, and approaches. 

The Hily survey shows that a higher percentage of male users (44.8%) compared to female users (33.3%) perceive the cost of living crisis to have impacted their dating lives. However, when it comes to tangible choices and decisions, the crisis appears to have a more pronounced effect on women. A significant proportion of users of both genders have switched to budget-conscious dating activities – but the percentage of women turned out to be a bit higher: 33.8% of women and 31.7% of men. This way, it’s relevant to conclude that the cost of living is indeed having a significant impact on dating perception for the majority of Hily users.

At the same time, the prominent dating culture should be taken into consideration while interpreting the results. Mostly, men take the most financial burden on dates. As spending habits review revealed, men generally spend more on first dates, with most men (40.5%) paying between $50-$100. With this tendency, only 15.3% of female users have ceased spending on dating. So, the dating partners are likely to feel the impact of change when it comes to the second date or when a woman is asked to pay only – otherwise, the strong first date culture won’t make the cost of living crisis impact that evident.

To break this habit, the approach to men bearing the greater financial responsibility should shift. However, opinions on who should pay for dinner on a date vary, according to the survey results. Among Hily users, 44.6% of men believe it’s their responsibility, and 43.7% of women think it’s up to the person who initiated the date. Thus, most men are still expected to pay on the first date and pay around $50-100 for that.

All in all, the survey from Hily demonstrates the significant impact of the cost of living crisis on the perception of dating – with a more budget-cautious approach and new limitations. However, when it comes to the first date, most partners are ready to follow the common dating pattern of a man paying over $50 on the first date with a woman he likes.

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