Forget Gas Prices: Dating Is Why People Are Going Broke In 2022

Zinger Key Points
  • Nearly 20% of people say they are dating less due to inflation.
  • 1 in 5 millennials say they are likely to take on debt from dating.

It’s not breaking news that gas prices, rent, food and virtually everything else are more expensive than it was just a year or two ago.

Despite some items getting less expensive, such as chicken wings and used cars, inflation remains sticky in other areas.

Dating is one of the costs that have yet to normalize, driving more young people into debt. 

According to a study from Lendingtree Inc TREE, nearly 1 in 5 respondents (19%) said they were going on fewer dates because of inflation. Additionally, 22% of millennials and 19% of Gen Zers said they were likely to take on dating-related debt. 

"Dating has always been expensive,” LendingTree’s Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz said. “Throw rampant inflation into the mix and it can make an already challenging situation even tougher. However, with a well-thought-out budget and a little bit of creativity and planning, you should still be able to have plenty of fun without drowning in debt."

SoFi Technologies Inc SOFI published a blog post breaking down LendingTree’s findings, and offered readers recommendations to combat the rising cost of dating. According to SoFi, men spend on average $104 on a night out compared to $81 for women. 

SoFi said most costs that could be involved in a first date — a new outfit, flowers, drinks, dinner — are all not very expensive on their own, but compounded can make for a very pricey night out.

One tip SoFi gives is to allocate a certain amount of money each month for a “dating budget.” Once the budget has been reached, no more dates for the month. 

Some publicly traded companies could be impacted by a drawdown in dating. Examples include restaurant companies Darden Restaurants Inc. DRI, One Group Hospitality Inc STKS, The Cheesecake Factory Inc CAKE, Bloomin' Brands Inc BLMN, Brinker International Inc EAT, Dine Brands Global Inc DIN, Kura Sushi USA KRUS, Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. RUTH, as well as concert names such as Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. LYV and Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. MSGE

While rising inflation certainly has an adverse effect on the dating world, there seems to be no quick available solution: a Fed-driven recession will likely be even worse for those looking to meet new people. In fact, during both the Great Recession in 2007-2009 and the Great Depression in the 1930s, birth rates declined as people had less money to spend dating and meeting people. 

Photo: Nicoleta Ionescu via Shutterstock


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