The Aussie love economy
When The Beatles had a hit with “Can’t Buy Me Love” back in the 60s, they weren’t to know the song would make a perfect anthem for singles today. People looking for a great relationship are spending up big on dates, not just in terms of money but in time too. For many though, the return on their investment amounts to little more than disappointment.
New research by eharmony gives an insight into the costs of dating, and the figures are surprisingly high given there has never been so many ways to meet a wider variety of people.
But while the growth of free apps and websites has given singles access to potential dates on a scale unimaginable in Lennon and McCartney’s day, those online dating tools provide you with little more than a name and a photo.
You still have to do your due diligence, and that means going on a date. That’s where the cost comes in.
A survey of active daters across Australia has found that on average people were spending nearly $1000 a year on their quest for romance, with a staggering 174 hours of time invested as well.
If you put that much time and money into community projects year in and year out, you’d get a knighthood.
The survey of 1046 people indicates that Aussie singles are fully committed to the search for companionship. They’re dating more frequently than ever – over a quarter (27.6 percent) said they go on at least a date per week, and the average Australian single goes on more than one date per fortnight, or 31 dates per year.
But so much of that is wasted effort because both parties are starting from scratch in determining whether they are suited to each other.
eharmony’s relationship expert and psychologist, Sharon Draper, says the new research highlights a fallacy that Aussie singles have fallen for – that using swipe-dating apps or meeting the old-fashioned way, instead of investing in a premium dating experience, is “free”.
“Singles can wind up going on more bad dates with suitors they aren’t compatible with, forcing a repetitive pattern of expensive outings, new outfits and grooming costs over and over again,” she says.“When it comes to finding love, the nation’s singles should consider investing their time and funds into quality experiences, over quantity.”
Dr Draper has a point. The survey respondents indicated they spend about $50 on average getting ready for a date – buying new clothes, shoes or getting a haircut – and then around $55 on the date itself.
For the 15 percent of Aussies who said they go on two or more dates a week, that’s a big hit to the budget, and it’s even steeper for the third of Australians who buy gifts for their prospective partners.
Some people make a connection with their perfect partner early in their dating careers, but they are the lucky few. For many singles the search for a meaningful relationship can be an exercise in futility and, as the figures above show, a costly one.
An online dating service, such as eharmony, can be a very effective tool in limiting those costs, because its core task is to screen potential dates and narrow the field, so that there is already an element of compatibility before you commit time and money to a meeting.
eharmony uses a Compatibility Matching System, that was developed after researching tens of thousands of successful relationships and working out what makes them tick. It essentially does a lot of the groundwork for you through its extensive compatibility questionnaire and staged communication options that allow you to gauge whether you have things in common with a potential suitor.
Sure, there is a cost involved in using this premium service, but compared to the expense of going on one bad date after another it is a wise investment.
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