Login to your account

Home Blog UK Singles Spend £4bn a Year on Dates

UK Singles Spend £4bn a Year on Dates

Wednesday June 3, 2015

Main Image

According to one analysis, daters in the UK are the most romantic in Europe. Another reading would have it that we rely too heavily on money to pave the way to dating success. Either way, UK daters spend almost three times more than their European counterparts over the whole dating process.

The numbers alone are staggering. Including pre-date purchases such as clothing and makeup, the Italians – our closest rivals – spend £43 per date, the French £31 and surprisingly the Germans just £39. In contrast, daters in the UK spend a whopping £120 per date.

Karl Gregory, managing director of UK & Ireland, puts it down to the huge growth in mobile dating increasing the number of potential partners available to daters and thus increasing competition. But given there isn’t a similar 3X larger user base of dating apps in the UK this is perhaps an optimistic reading.

Cost is obviously a factor, particularly in London where the ratio of single folk per capita is the highest in the country. But what exactly are we spending the money on?

It seems that most spending is on the date itself. Nationally we spend around £2.2bn per year on bars, restaurants and pubs followed by around £1.3bn on what’s been called ‘date bait’ - things such as clothes, cosmetics, haircuts and pre-date gifts. Even transport gets a look in with just under £350, 000 spent travelling to and from dates. The estimated total benefit to the economy is said to be in the region of £4bn with the average UK singleton spending £1300 on dating per year.

Whether you follow the ‘most romantic daters’ line or a more cynical approach, the industry is without doubt growing significantly. Notwithstanding outliers, £120 per date is a large amount of money to spend on such a potentially risky pursuit.

And now we get to my personal bias. I say, be frugal and look after your money. Come to one of our events and you could spend a sixth of that amount having up to twenty dates (or 100 at our Summer in the City party). Granted they only last four minutes but that’s plenty of time to work out whether you like someone. And if you don’t it’s not too long to be stuck in their company.

Just don’t do what a good friend of mine did a few years ago. After getting a rather healthy bonus from work, he persuaded a potential partner that a trip to Madrid was just the thing for their second date.

Their first date had been a rather drunken affair somewhat skewing their combined recollection of the evening. Let’s just say that in the cold light of a sober weekend they quickly discovered they had very little in common. Total cost for date number two? £1340.

Do your bit to help your finances and check out our events here.




The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.