Old dating habits in the new normal could come at a cost

Wednesday, May 05th, 2021

As hospitality price hikes are predicted, real-life dating in the new normal could come at a cost.

Old dating habits are starting to re-find their feet in the new normal as the roadmap to a life less locked down opens up popular first date haunts. Outdoor hospitality brings more opportunities to date in person, and now the nation’s urgency to catch up with friends and family has subsided, daters can start exploring the singles scene again.

However, a word of caution comes from hospitality experts, who suggest the cost of dating in person could rise as pubs and restaurants likely hike prices to claw back the costs of COVID.

Before lockdown last year, the average cost of a date in the UK was reportedly estimated at £106.06; with around £46 of this being spent on food and drink, and £60 allocated to getting ‘date ready’, such as grooming, gifts and wardrobe.

Whilst you can’t put a price on love, this figure, to woo potential partners, had already raised a few eyebrows. Now, as the roadmap picks up pace, price rises of between 25-40% are being seen, and felt, across the hospitality sector.

26% of popular first date haunts have already confirmed they are increasing prices on drink and 22% have raised food costs to counteract the impact of Coronavirus, according to a poll conducted by Hospitality Leaders. Another chunk said they would wait and see what the new normal brings but hadn’t ruled out revising menus.

The price of a pint has reported hiked by as much as 30% in certain establishments across the country whilst a 20-25% increase on a glass of wine – to take the edge of the first date nerves – is not uncommon right now. Add this all up, and it could raise the cost of dating in person to over the £130 mark, with food and drink bills topping £65.

With the average singleton reportedly going on average 13 dates a year in the old normal, it may now cost roughly £1690 a year to put yourself out there and let love bloom (or not); that’s over £350 more than in post-lockdown times.

After a year of ‘cheap dates’ such as walking dates in the local countryside and picnics in the park, that could well be somewhat of a shock to the system.

And that’s where online dating websites and dating apps come in. Whilst they have served as a form of social interaction and light entertainment in lockdown, when done with the right intentions, online dating makes it easy to whittle down potential suitors. A wholehearted commitment to online date can sort the wheat from the chaff so to speak, before taking things to the ‘costly’ next level.

With costs spiralling, that may well be a sensible move.

It’s little wonder too then that virtual dating and video calls are likely to hang around for some time yet as daters .

Online daters are telling us the pace of dating has slowed for the better, and the last 14 months has given people a chance to assess what they really want out of a relationship.  People are prepared to spend more time bonding online, exploring connections and exchanging messages before committing to a date in person.

Our advice; take your time and lose the urgency when it come to meeting in people so when the right one comes along, who ticks all your boxes, you already know there’s a ‘seedling’ of chemistry worth investing in.