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Are dinner dates off the menu this year?

February is upon us, and inflation may be to blame for changing your Valentine’s Day plans. First, inflation came for gas and fuel prices. Then, it came for our brunch by jacking up egg prices. Now, it’s coming for our dinner dates. Is nothing sacred anymore?! According to the Consumer Price Index, the price for dinner and drinks at a restaurant rose 17% compared to before the pandemic. A recent survey put out by Match, the owner of Tinder, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish found that singles spend about $130 a month on dates. That’s an increase of 40% compared to the past decade!

While it still plays a role in these changes, inflation isn’t the only one to blame, though, for changes in the way we date.

Modern attitudes and preferences have changed how we date over the years. Match’s survey shows that 84% of singles would opt for a casual first date so they’re not stuck in a significant time or expense obligation that may not be worth the investment. Queue the bad first date story you all probably have, where you wished you could have a quick exit. Coffee or drinks seems to be a much more approachable and economical way to figure out if you would like to hang out with said date again in the near future.

I can attest to the first coffee date since that was my first date with my (now) husband.

We went to a local coffee shop and ended up talking for hours. We both didn’t realize we had so much in common. Neither of us looked at our watches until the owner started cleaning up the tables around us. We looked down and realized it was 2:30 PM! We both were starving! We grabbed lunch at a nearby restaurant. Was it the connection or the copious amounts of caffeine? Both probably. Spoiler alert: we loved our coffee date so much that he proposed there a year and a half later too. I owe coffee for a lot of things in my life, but I digress.

Whether you’re on the dating scene or married and planning dates with your spouse, or just looking for something fun to do with a friend, you don’t have to break the bank.

In fact, Match’s survey discovered 30% of singles said they would be more open to doing free activities on a date. That could mean taking a walk in a park or perusing a local farmer’s market. Millennials and Zoomers may not be “killing” the dinner date, but we are getting creative about how we date!

February 2023

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