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Match.com Presents The 4th Annual Singles In America Study: Love And Money

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Match.com's Singles in America study, now in its fourth year, examines the attitudes and behaviors of over 5,300 American singles from all walks of life in order to get a glimpse into how love and relationships are viewed today.

Dating is many things, but cheap often isn't one of them. In fact, according to Match.com's 4th Annual Singles in America study, singles spend $82 billion on their dating lives. Spoiler alert: that's a lot of billions. To find out exactly where all of them are going, Match asked singles to break down their spending habits per month.

Traditional dating (think bars, sports, religious activities, entry fees, drinks, tickets, and food) looked something like this:

  • Min: $0
  • Max: $3,044
  • Mean: $55.84

Modern dating (which includes online dating, matchmakers, speed dating, dating apps, and dating coaches) looks more like this:

  • Min: $0
  • Max: $1,250
  • Mean: $5.69

So not only are online and mobile services making dating more convenient, they're also making it easier on our wallets. Score!

The total dating cost, when you add traditional and modern methods together, comes out to $61.53 per single per month. That means $738.36 a year per single, and when you multiply that by 111 million singles (a number that comes from the 2013 U.S. Census CPS data), you get the $82 billion figure. That's a hefty chunk of cash.

Wondering what we're spending it on? The top three date expenses for men are personal entertainment (like movie or concert tickets), dining or going out, and personal electronics. The top three date expenses for women are new outfits, dining or going out, and personal electronics. So even though online and mobile dating may be cheaper in the long run, the initial cost of the device is going to set you back a bit.

And here's a fun fact: Match.com has an especially interesting history where money matters are concerned. When the economy crashed in 2008, Match.com had its best quarter to date. "To have your best quarter in the worst economic times I think is an astounding realization," said Whitney Casey, a Match.com relationship expert. "Sometimes the first things to go are gym memberships because people have lost their jobs. But it seems the last thing to go from their budget is love."

Secretly we're all romantics at heart, it seems.