7 February 2017

Tinder economy worth £11.7bn

Dating boosts the UK economy by £14.5bn each year, with dating apps accounting for £11.7bn

Singles finding dates through ‘lonely hearts’ newspaper adverts spend the most

40% of Brits think men should pay for the first date

Love it or hate it, dating boosts the UK economy by £14.5bn1 each year with the popularity of dating apps swiping almost a third (£11.7bn2) of this figure, according to new research for TSB3.

With the average singleton going on two dates per month, it’s easy to see how romantic Brits can end up forking out a small fortune in their quest to woo ‘The One’. First dates are particularly pricey, costing around £41.20 (or £50 for men and £36 for women) as people push the boat out to impress potential suitors. However, the bar drops a little on subsequent dates, which cost around £28.83 – perhaps the reason why most people will see the same date just three times before going their separate ways.

While dating apps such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish are popular with 14% of the population, ‘app daters’ spend less than those answering ‘lonely heart’ newspaper adverts who fork out on average £39 and £54 respectively on a first date and 22% don’t even set a limit.  

Chivalry also appears to be alive and kicking when it comes to paying the bill – 40% of people think men should pay for the first date, a little over a third (34%) of women agree, compared with half (50%) of men. Almost half (47%) prefer to ‘go Dutch’ and spilt the bill following a first date, which rises to 62% when asked about subsequent dates.  

While it may seem trivial, money plays a part in finding love. A quarter (25%) of Brits would choose not to see their date again if they didn’t offer to cough up for some or all of the bill even if the date had been going well up until that point. For women this is more of an issue – rising to 30% while it’s just 17% of men.  

Dating apps have been ‘swiping’ almost 17 million singletons off their feet – creating 14% of all current relationships. Tinder is the most popular app (55% of Brits have used it) followed by Plenty of Fish (41%). But while most ‘app daters’ actively use two apps, the majority (58%) of Brits have had more dates resulting from offline encounters than online over the last 12 months. Half (50%) of Brits met potential love interests through friends, 42% through chance encounters on nights out and 32% indulge in office romances – compared with 33% connecting via apps.  

With so many ways of meeting new people, it’s unsurprising that almost half (48%) of people who had just starting dating someone confessed that they would keep their options open until it turned into a relationship, and more than a quarter (26%) would continue dating other people.  

The most popular first date (28%) involves heading out for a few drinks but others have been whisked off their feet with a helicopter ride, treated to a weekend in Paris, floated out to sea on a yacht, hot air balloon rides and even bungee jumping. However, more unlucky in love daters complained of dates in McDonald’s and even being taken to a strip club. 

TSB Manager Nicola Forsyth commented: “It seems romance is far from dead for Brits looking to meet that special someone. Chivalry is also alive and kicking, with most men willing to pay the bill on those all-important first dates, even though most women prefer to split it. While it may not always lead to the course of true love, the dating scene is definitely doing its bit to boost the UK economy, with bars and restaurants being the biggest beneficiaries – as well as the odd helicopter pilot!”

Notes to editors

1 According to TSB commissioned research, approximately 41% of adults aged 18+ are not in a relationship. The ONS UK adult population is 51,339,161, with those not in a relationship (41%) accounting for 21,049,056. The average spent on a date is £28.83 and the average person goes on two dates per month (£57.66), which as a total spend figure equates to £1,213,688,568 a month or £14,564,262,827 (£14.5bn) over 12 months.  

2 According to TSB commissioned research, approximately 33% of UK adults aged 18+ have used dating apps (Tinder etc.) to meet people. The ONS UK adult population is 51,339,161, with those having used dating apps to meet people (33%) accounting for 16,941,923. The average spent specifically on a date is £28.83 and the average person goes on two dates per month (£57.66), which as a total spend figure equates to £ 976,871,280 a month or £ 11,722,455,362 (£11.7bn) over 12 months.  

3 According to TSB commissioned research by OnePoll to a sample of 2,000 UK nationally representative adults conducted between 17-24 January 2017.  

About TSB  

TSB was built to bring more competition to British banking - to be a real challenger to the big banks and to deliver the kind of banking the people of Britain want. TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us.  

We have a simple, straightforward and transparent banking model and make clear on our website how we operate and make money. We offer the products and services people tell us they want, with none of the funny stuff people normally associate with traditional banks.  

Our five million customers, innovative mobile and digital banking, nationwide network of branches and 8,200 Partners mean we are big enough to make a difference, but small enough to be an agile challenger to the entire market.  

For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website www.tsb.co.uk.