Virtual dating could save UK singletons £3,224 a year

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2 min read
Only one in 12 would continue to virtual date when life is safe enough to date in-person again, according to a study. Photo: Getty
Only one in 12 would continue to virtual date when life is safe enough to date in-person again, according to a study. Photo: Getty

As Valentine’s Day approaches, and lockdowns continue, many will be looking at how they can celebrate the day virtually this year.

And a study has shown that it could tot up to be cheaper than last year, as people move online.

Overall figures from last year, according to research by Ocean Finance, have shown that dating under lockdown has on average saved singletons up to £3,224 ($4,442).

By swapping your usual in-person dates for virtual alternatives, you could spend a lot less – £51.99 to stream a new film in both you and your date’s homes, dinner, drinks and half a new outfit, since only half of you is visible on screen. That’s a total of £675.87 if you date 13 times a year.

The loans, credit and mortgage business compared the cost of 20 popular dating sites and apps, and found that the average cost of an online subscription to be £139 per year, per app.

Alongside this, pre-pandemic, the average date cost £300 taking into account theatre tickets (£140), a new outfit (£52), dinner (£57), drinks (£36), and a taxi home (£15).

With the average singleton going on 13 dates per year, the above date would amount to £3,900 over a year.

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Ocean Finance also found from a survey of 1,000 singletons that despite singletons being able to save money from virtual dating, almost 2/3 (64%) would prefer to date in-person – suggesting that money doesn’t matter when it comes to finding love.

The research also showed that only one in 12 (8%) would continue to virtual date when life is safe enough to date in-person, again.

Sarah Neate, editor-in-chief of Ocean Finance, said: “While the mere thought of meeting a date for the first time via video chat may seem scary, it’s worth reminding yourself of the positives.

“Plus, once upon a time finding a partner via a dating app seemed like a weird concept, but that stigma is far from over. It’s now the norm.”

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