Singles finally got past social distancing and back in the dating scene. Until record-high inflation threw another wrench in their love lives, that is.
Most adults, one survey found, say dating would be much easier if they had more money. But that doesn’t always matter. More than 32 percent of respondents would go on a date even if they couldn’t afford it, according to LendingTree.
Nearly 1 in 10 have taken a loan or credit card to pay for their dates.
A survey from Credello, a personal finance site, found that 41 percent of adults are willing to take on $2,500 in credit card debt for a new love interest.
“Not only are credit cards the top cause of dating-related debt among Americans,” LendingTree says. “But some daters have had their cards declined while on a first date, too.”
Go big or go home
Both studies came to the same conclusion: Men are more likely to spend big.
In a heterosexual relationship, men are more willing to go on a date when they can’t afford it. They also take on more debt.
“Generally, many daters prefer to spend less than three figures on a night out with a new match,” LendingTree says. “However, men might feel the pressure to impress more than women.”
Men are willing to spend up to $104 on a date while women will spend up to $81.
That pressure to impress also means footing the bill – and a lot of that pressure is self-imposed.
Over half (56 percent) of men believe it’s their responsibility to pay the bill. Only 36 percent of women feel the same way. More women also prefer to split the check.
Some men might be okay with taking on debt but they have higher expectations for those they date.
“Here’s an interesting double standard,” Credello says. “While men are more likely than women to use money they don’t have to impress their date, they are also more reluctant to date someone in debt.”
Find out: Is Debt a Relationship Deal Breaker?
Ignorance is bliss
Talking about money can feel really uncomfortable for many Americans. For one reason or another, it’s a taboo topic.
LendingTree even found that 12 percent of adults never want to know how much their partner makes. But conversations about finance shouldn’t feel dirty – even when it comes to debt.
The early stages of a relationship are important for building up trust. If someone finds out about their spouse’s financial problems well into the relationship, they could feel deceived. Being open about money can avoid issues down the road.
Over a quarter of survey respondents said they want to know how much their partner makes before getting into a committed relationship. There’s probably no reason to panic though. Most said that their partner’s answer wouldn’t make a difference.
“Financial transparency does matter at the end of the day,” Credello says. “Especially if you’re going to build a future and share your life and finances with someone.”