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Survey: Post-pandemic daters spending big

Dating.com found 65% of respondents are planning to take their first date on an excursion or outdoor adventure, and nearly half plan to spend more than $500.

NEW YORK — Now that many pandemic restrictions have ended and virtual dating is no longer mandatory, it seems those who are looking for love are opening the purse strings and spending lots of dollars looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. 

A survey by Dating.com suggests people are ready to venture out and pay for the opportunity to make a love connection. Members revealed: 

  • 75% of singles plan to spend more than $100 on a meal.
  • 65% of respondents are planning to take their first date on an excursion or outdoor adventure. Of the 65%, 40% plan to spend more than $500.
  • 45% of those surveyed had made connections with people in other cities and plan to visit them to meet in person for the first time. Of that number, 25% would spend more than $1,000, 55% would spend between $500 and $999, and 20% would spend less than $500. 
  • 45% of respondents feel indifferent about who pays for the first date, while the majority feel the person who initiated the date should pay.
  • More than 20% of those surveyed are planning an international getaway for their first time meeting.
  • 78% of those surveyed plan on paying for their date’s car ride home after their plans wrap up.
  • 37% of singles plan to bring a gift – be it flowers or wine – and 20% of daters intend on sending the other person a gift the next day.

“It’s no surprise that singles are ready to spend this year,” says Maria Sullivan, Vice President and dating expert of Dating.com. “From museums to exclusive restaurants – and even island excursions – our members are excited about the prospect of impressing on the first date. A first impression is important in setting the foundation for a healthy and successful relationship and people from around the world are ready to explore and try new things.”

Sullivan says spending isn't the key to a successful first date, but making a first impression is. Among her suggestions are hitting the gym or working out before your first date - it helps get rid of nervous energy and jitters; have a glass of wine - just not too many; prepare some questions that might spark interesting conversation; and mentally put that date in the "friend zone," to take pressure off and remove expectations.