Sophie Watson, 08.20.2019

The Price of Love: What Does a Typical Date Night Cost?

JLo once sang about how her love don’t cost a thing, and the Beatles famously declared that money can’t buy them love. However, for most people in the dating game, it turns out that romance does, in fact, come at a price – our latest data analysis has shown that a typical American date night in 2019 will set you back an average of $116.

Calculating the cost of a date night

In 2017 and 2018, EliteSingles dove into the cost of love and discovered how much Americans could expect to spend on a typical date night.

Now, the 2019 figures are in - and that means we know how much dating currently will cost you in the USA and around the world.

Defining a 'typical date night' as one that includes a mid-range dinner for two, a shared bottle of wine, two cinema tickets, and a 5-mile cab ride home, we looked at the average prices for each item and determined that a date night in the US in 2019 will set you back $116.That's cheaper than the $117 Americans would have paid in 2018 - one dollar cheaper, that is! 

We then applied the method above to find out the average cost for a date in 21 of America’s leading cities..

How much does it cost to date in America in 2019?

America’s priciest big city for romance in 2019 is….San Francisco

That's right, San Francisco has knocked New York off the #1 position that it held in 2017 and 2018 - but only just.  A 2019 date night in San Francisco will set you back $143. The cost of the same date night in New York is $142. 

That means a date in SF costs $27 more than an average date in America, while NYC is $26 more expensive. And they're not the only cities sitting above the middle line. Dates in Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis, Miami, Honolulu, and Philadelphia all cost more then the average.

At the other end of the scale is Omaha, Nebraska. Indeed, for those looking to save a few bucks, Omaha might be the dating destination of choice: an average date night in the city is only $83. Not only is that $33 less than the average, it also means those dating in Omaha are spending a whopping $60 less per date than those in San Francisco. That’s enough left over for a lunch date the next day!

Other wallet-friendly cities that cost less than $100 per date are Kansas City ($91) and last year's cheapest city, Indianapolis ($95). 

The cost of a date in 21 American cities:

  1. San Francisco, CA: $143
  2. New York, NY: $142
  3. Washington, DC: $135
  4. Boston, MA: $131
  5. Los Angeles, CA: $129
  6. Seattle, WA: $129
  7. Minneapolis, MN: $126
  8. Miami, Fl: $125
  9. Honolulu, HI: $125
  10. Philadelphia, PA: $118
  11. Chicago, IL: $114
  12. Atlanta, GA $112
  13. Denver, CO: $112
  14. Houston, TX: $110
  15. Phoenix, AZ: $106
  16. Portland, OR: $104
  17. New Orleans, LA: $103
  18. Salt Lake City, UT: $100
  19. Indianapolis, IN: $95
  20. Kansas City, MO: $91
  21. Omaha, NE: $83

​Figures are rounded: a date in LA is $0.18 more than one in Seattle, a Miami date night is $0.35 more than Honolulu, and Atlanta is $0.16 more than Denver.

The cost of a date night around the world

As well as analyzing American dating costs, we decided to make a global comparison. For 2019, we've examined the average cost of a date night in 30 capital cities from around the world.

To make the comparison a fair one, we used the same criteria to describe a ‘typical date night’ (the meal, the wine, the movie, the cab) and converted global prices into USD. Doing so we discovered that the average cost of a date worldwide in 2019 is $85. That’s $31 less than the American average of $116 - but still a little more expensive than a date night in Omaha!

The world's most expensive city for dating

It seems that, Omaha aside, Americans are paying a hefty price for dating, with the average cost of a date night in most US cities well above the international average. However, American romantics can still be glad of one thing  - at least they're not trying to pay for a date in Norway!

Those who are dating in Norway will soon discover that the capital city, Oslo, is the world’s most expensive capital city for a romantic date night. In fact, a typical date in Oslo costs an eye-watering $159, making it more expensive than any city in the study - capital or not!

In second place is London, UK, where a date night costs $142 - on par with the likes of San Francisco and New York. Washington DC is the world's third most expensive capital city to date in, with a night out setting you back $135. Tokyo, Japan takes 4th place with $134, and Stockholm, Sweden, rounds out the top 5 with a $127 date night.

Finally, the least expensive capital city to date in is Ankara, Turkey. A romantic night in Ankara is just $36 - less than the price that Americans typically pay for dinner alone. Other wallet-friendly capital cities include Hanoi, Vietnam ($37), New Delhi, India ($39), Manila, The Philippines and Cairo, Egypt (both $41). 

The cost of a date (in USD) in 30 capital cities

  1. Oslo, Norway:  $159
  2. London, UK: $142
  3. Washington DC, USA: $135
  4. Tokyo, Japan: $134
  5. Stockholm, Sweden: $127
  6. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: $126
  7. Dublin, Ireland: $124
  8. Canberra, Australia: $117
  9. Paris, France: $111
  10. Ottawa, Canada: $104
  11. Rome, Italy: $102
  12. Wellington, New Zealand: $96
  13. Berlin, Germany: $94
  14. Madrid, Spain: $84
  15. Singapore: $82
  16. Seoul, South Korea: $80
  17. Nairobi, Kenya: $73
  18. Taipei, Taiwan (ROC): $68
  19. Lima, Peru: $65
  20. Beijing, China (PRC): $64
  21. Moscow, Russia: $61
  22. Brasilia, Brazil: $59
  23. Cape Town, South Africa: $54*
  24. Bogotá, Colombia: $48
  25. Mexico City, Mexico: $44
  26. Cairo, Egypt: $41
  27. Manila, The Philippines: $41
  28. New Delhi, India: $38
  29. Hanoi, Vietnam: $37
  30. Ankara, Turkey: $36

* Cape Town is South Africa's legislative capital.
​Figures are rounded: a date in Cairo is $0.38 more than one in Manila.

This piece was originally published in August 2017, and updated in October 2018. Most recent update: August 2019.