44% of Daters Say Talking Money Ruins Chances of Second Date

Survey shows inflation causes daters to spend less, tolerate cheaper dates more

A young couple enjoy street food, and one another's company, at an outdoor market.
Photo:

Michael Heffernan / Getty Images

Money talk will hurt your chances at a second date with more than 40% of people actively dating, the new Love & Money Survey from Business World Tips has found.

Debt is the biggest taboo money topic, the survey found, turning off 25% of daters. Only discussions of marriage or children were more likely to squash your chances at a second date. For 36% of those surveyed, marriage talk was off limits on the first date, while 28% said conversations about children were a turnoff.

Business World Tips surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 to 40 who described themselves as dating or seeking partners.

Key Takeaways

  • Talking about money on a first date ruins the chances of a second with 44% of daters.
  • 85% of daters said inflation impacts their behavior when they go out.
  • 41% of daters are interested in having a prenup, if things progress that far.

Daters should avoid other money discussions on date number one if they’re interested in getting a second chance. More than 20% of daters said they wouldn’t go out with a person again if they mentioned wealth or income. Talking about your investments would ruin your second date chances with 16% of those looking for a partner. 

Higher income earners making more than $75,000 were less interested in talking about money on a first date, with debt, wealth, income, and investment chatter causing 54% of them to decline a second date, compared to 41% for those earning less than $75,000.

So when do people think it is OK to bring up money while dating? According to the survey, if you want to talk about debt, you should wait until at least the 10th date. Mentioning your income can happen on the fifth date. Survey respondents were more receptive to discussing wealth between the 10th and 20th dates.

If you want to play it safe, talk about your job or express your intentions around dating. Those were the most popular topics of conversation, with 80% and 46% respectively mentioning these subjects on the first date.

Who Pays Counts and So Does Who Asks

Scoring a second date isn’t just about what you shouldn’t do, but also what you should.

Survey respondents told Business World Tips that how much a person pays and who initiates the first date impacts their chances of getting a second date. A higher number of people this year—40%—said that being asked out would increase the chances of going out for a second date, up from 33% last year.

Cheap Outings Are Fine by Many

And while 42% of those surveyed said they were more accepting of a cheap date, ponying up more cash is more likely to get you a second date, especially for women. For roughly 20% of daters, how much you pay is important, while a quarter say picking up the check matters. In total, more than a third of respondents pay attention to whether you pay for a date, and how much you spent.

Women and wealthier individuals were more likely to care, with 43% of women granting a second date based on if the other person paid, compared to 29% of men. More than 40% of respondents who earn more than $75,000 per year were interested in a second date if the other person paid, compared to 28% of daters making less than that.

How much should you pay for a date? Anything more than $50, if you want to increase your chances of securing a love match. Nearly two-thirds of daters say that anything under $50 is a cheap date, while Gen Z daters (respondents aged 18-24) said that $40 or less constitutes a cheap outing.

But sticking to a date budget of $40 might be difficult, as persistent levels of inflation continue to hammer wallets and make everything more expensive.

Dating, Inflation, and the Economy

More than 80% of respondents have noticed an increase in the price of everyday items, impacting over half. A third said they’ve been extremely impacted by inflation, which is currently running at 7.7% since last year. As a result, 85% of daters say that inflation has changed their dating behavior.

More than a third of respondents said dating is getting costlier this year compared to last year, with 41% of higher income earners saying they spend more on outings. While some (27%) said they are spending less now than they were last year, 12% of daters said they are spending less this year because of a worse financial situation. That’s up from 9% last year.

First Date Affordability

With inflation making things more costly, a fifth of people surveyed said they are saving up to go on dates. A whopping 91% said they are trying low-cost dating tactics, like staying in, or going on virtual dates. In fact, two-thirds of U.S. adults who are dating said they saved on costs by staying in and watching a movie, a trend particularly true for Gen Z daters and those earning less than $75,000 a year.

Other popular inexpensive date options include cooking a meal for their date, going on a walk or hike, or a visit to a park. And fewer people are interested in paying $15 or more for dating apps this year compared to last year, dropping from 25% to 18%.

Despite the change in dating habits, plenty of people surveyed are willing to spend money to impress a date. Nearly a third of daters are spending $100 or more on their first date with 46% of higher income earners willing to spend more than $100 dollars, compared to a fifth of those who earn less than $75,000.

Over a third of those surveyed spend more than $250 on dates each month, while 33% of daters who earn more than $75,000 said they shell out over $500 a month to go out on dates.

If All Goes Well, Don’t Be Surprised by a Prenup

With so many paying close attention to their finances as inflation remains persistent and recession fears loom, 41% of respondents said they want to have a prenuptial agreement in the future. An additional third said they aren’t sure how they feel about such a legal arrangement, while nearly 10% said they’ve gotten one in the past.

Some 20% of daters said they aren’t interested in a “prenup” while close to half of Gen Z would like such an arrangement. Unsurprisingly, U.S. adults earning more per year are more likely to be interested in a prenup.

Methodology

Business World Tips surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 to 40 from Nov. 4-14, 2022. The survey was fielded online via self-administered questionnaire to an opt-in panel of respondents from a market research vendor. To qualify, survey participants must be currently dating or seeking new romantic relationships. Quotas were used to ensure representation to match U.S. Census estimates for gender, race/ethnicity, and region, as well as Gallup estimates for LGBTQ+ respondents among those ages 18 to 40.

Research and analysis by
Amanda Morelli,
Amanda Morelli, Director of Brand and Market Insights at Dotdash
Amanda Morelli is the senior director of data journalism at Dotdash (Business World Tips's parent company), and she oversees development of data journalism projects for publications across the company. She designs and executes original research and analysis, and identifies opportunities and strategies for exploration.
Sanskriti Sharma,
Sanskriti Sharma

Sanskriti Sharma is a Manager in the Consumer Strategy & Insights team at Dotdash Meredith. She helps in executing consumer insight projects for multiple Dotdash Meredith brands by converting data into actionable insights that help simplify brand decisions.

and
Neetu Gupta
Neetu Gupta
Neetu Gupta is the Director in the Corporate Research & Insights team at Dotdash Meredith. She leads a team of survey programmers, data analysts, panels managers, and researchers
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Sources
Business World Tips uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Consumer Price Index Summary."

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