Survey: Cost of finding a mate adds up quickly

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If you’re single, you know: Dating is expensive. All those cups of coffee and drinks with strangers add up quickly. The average unmarried American spent $1,596 on their dating life in 2016, according to a Match survey of 5,500 singles around the country. Of course, in some cities the average is higher. For example, in Washington, it was $1,788; in New York, $2,069.

This average includes bar tabs and dating site memberships, but also includes haircuts, manicures and new date outfits; entrance fees to dating events and money spent on matchmakers.

When that $1,600 average is divided by gender, men spent more ($1,855 on average) than women ($1,423). But the male-female gap isn’t that large. Perhaps that’s because, increasingly, men and women are splitting the checks on dates. About half of men, according to the Match survey, think men should pay on dates; 36 percent of women agree.

If a woman offers to pay, it might mean she’s not interested. Seventy-eight percent of women said they split the check on a date because they didn’t want to feel obligated to go out again or to get physical. But 47 percent of women said they offer to pay to be polite or to assert their independence. This shift is generational: Millennials are more likely to offer to split the check than are Generation Xers or baby boomers.