Love and Inflation: The Cost of Dating

Dating is an expensive proposition, no matter where you live. For Black singles in America, the cost of dating has increased dramatically over the years. From movie tickets and dinners to flowers and weekends away, the cost of courtship can add up quickly. And if you’re looking for love in a major city like New York or Washington, D.C, those costs can be even higher! In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how inflation has impacted the cost of dating over the years – and offer some tips on how to keep your love life affordable.

Dating has always been a costly endeavor – but the price of finding love has risen faster than the rate of inflation over the past few decades. In 1970, the average cost of a date was $12.50 – which would be about $77 in today’s dollars. By 2000, that number had nearly tripled to $35.00. And in 2019, the average cost of a date was a whopping $116! That’s an increase of almost 500% over just 46 years. We estimate that with the rise of inflation, the average cost of a date is now around $175-$200. That cost will for sure double if you add in a concert. According to, the average ticket price of a HipHop/R&B concert is $82.76.

Y’all wanted $200 dates, and well, y’all got them now.

So what’s driving up the cost of dating?

Inflation, that’s the answer. Inflation is making the pursuit of love a challenge for most single Americans. Your favorite restaurants are paying more for food, and therefore customers are paying more for dinner. New data finds that food costs rose 10.4% in June from a year ago. What’s a date without a cocktail, a glass of wine, or champagne, alcohol prices have increased also, and It’s no longer surprising to pay $25 for a cocktail at your favorite bar. If you decide to buy him/her a bouquet of roses, those costs are up also; flower prices up 14% since 2020.

Another factor driving up the cost of dating is our increased focus on appearances. Thanks to social media and online dating, we’re now more aware than ever of how we look to potential mates. And that means we’re also more likely to spend money on clothes, haircuts, and other grooming products to make sure we look our best.

Four dates in a month can quickly run someone $1,000 or more, so it’s no surprise; that there are so many singles in large cities because people have to decide whether to date or pay their bills. 

So what can you do to keep your dating costs under control? One option is to date outside of your city. If you live in a major city, the cost of dates can be significantly higher than in the suburbs.

Here are some low-cost date options in the DMV:

Free Museums: National Air and Space Museum National Portrait Gallery Glenstone Museum  National Zoo

Events: DC Black Food & Wine FestivalStand-Up Comedy ShowTrivia Night ThursdaysJazz in The ParksJazz in the Garden

1 comment
  1. Agreed – went on a “chill” date in DC last night at a non-fancy establishment. Couple of drinks, sliders, an appetizer and small order of steak satay – $115 w tip

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