Single people who are actively seeking a new partner spend nearly £1,350 a year on dates, new research suggests.
Single Brits spend an average of £106.06 on a date, and go on up to 13 of them a year, according to a poll of 2,000 people by a leading dating website.
Interestingly, Plenty of Fish's research found that people spend more on pre-date prep than the date itself. On average, men spend £74 on preparation costs such as personal grooming, new clothes and haircuts, while women spend an average of £53 ahead of the date.
On the date itself, men spend an average of average of £62, compared to an average of £36 spent by women.
"As this research shows, going on a date isn’t just about the event itself – a huge amount of money and time goes into the planning and preparation," said Plenty of Fish's resident dating expert Shannon Smith.
"Purchasing tickets for events or activities is a big trend, not to mention that both ladies and gents like to turn up to a date feeling confident and looking their best. However, once on the date, a modest meal out or trip to the pub doesn’t have to cost the earth."
One in 10 men who responded to the poll said they'd borrowed money to pay for a date, and one in 20 admitted they'd had their card declined when trying to pay. However, nearly half of the 2,000 people polled said that cheap dates such as a bike ride, a walk in the park or grabbing coffee and cake in a cute cafe can actually be the best dates of all.
Shannon Smith added: “While we can feel under pressure to sweep new love interests off their feet with lavish date ideas, it’s clear from our research that some of the simplest and cheapest activities can be the ones we enjoy the most."
Of course, the cost of dating is just one part of everyday life which adds up to the so-called "single tax". Renting a one-bed flat, train travel, hotel rooms, utility bills and monthly subscriptions such as Netflix and Spotify can all come in cheaper when they're split equally between a couple.
Oh, and if the expense of single living ever gets you down, remember to check out those recent comments from a happiness expert about how single, childless women are actually happier than the rest of the population.