Sophie Watson

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 totals up to an average of $117.

Calculating the cost of a date night

With cuffing season upon us, we decided it was time to delve into the cost of love and to discover how much Americans can expect to spend on a typical date night.

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 taxi ride home, we looked at the average prices for each item to determine that a date night in America will set you back $117.1

Of course, there are places in this country where dating is a bit more costly. We applied the method above to find out the average cost for a date in 21 of America’s leading cities – and the most expensive city came as something of a surprise!

How much does it cost to date in America?

And America’s priciest big city for romance is….New York City

A typical date in New York costs $144, making a date night in the city $27 more expensive than the average. It’s not the only city to break the $120 mark either: the aforementioned date will set you back $140 in San Francisco, $130 in Boston and $129 in Miami

At the other end of the scale is Indianapolis. Indeed, for those looking to save a few greenbacks, Indianapolis might be the dating destination of choice: an average date night is only $100. That means those dating in Indianapolis are spending around $40 less than those in New York – that’s enough left over for a lunch date the next day!

Other wallet-friendly cities that cost less than the average include Salt Lake City at $102, Denver at $103, Kansas City and Portland where a date night is $105 and Phoenix and Atlanta, where it's $106!

The cost of a date in 21 American cities across the country:

  1. New York, NY: $144
  2. San Francisco, CA:$140
  3. Boston, MA: $130
  4. Honolulu, HI: $129
  5. Miami, Fl: $129
  6. Washington, DC: $128
  7. Los Angeles, CA: $127
  8. New Orleans, LA: $123
  9. Minneapolis, MN: $122
  10. Seattle, WA: $118
  11. Chicago, IL: $117
  12. Philadelphia, PA: $114
  13. Houston, TX: $109
  14. Omaha, NE: $106
  15. Phoenix, AZ: $106
  16. Atlanta, GA $106
  17. Portland, OR: $105
  18. Kansas City, MO: $105
  19. Denver, CO: $103
  20. Salt Lake City, UT: $102
  21. Indianapolis, IN: $100

The cost of a date night around the world

As well as analyzing American dating costs, we decided to make a global comparison, and so we examined the average cost of a date night in 25 of the world’s most interesting cities.

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 taxi) and, converting global prices into USD, we discovered that the average cost of a date worldwide is $92. That’s $25 dollars less than the American average of $117!

The world's most expensive city for dating

While the overall averages are quite even when it comes to a city-by-city analysis, it seems Americans are paying a hefty price, with their average cost well above the international average. However, at $117, an average date in a city like Chicago is still cheaper than the same date in many other global cities, including Oslo, London, Stockholm, and Tokyo.

Oslo is, in fact, the world’s most expensive city for a romantic date night. A typical date in the Norwegian capital costs an eye-watering $170, making it $9 more expensive than the runner-up, London, where a date night costs $161. Coming in third place is New York, whose $144 price tag makes it North America’s most expensive city to date in, with Stockholm, at $123, following after.

Of course, there are also global cities where dating is much cheaper than America. The cheapest city is Istanbul, where the typical date night is only $31. Second-cheapest is Mumbai, where the cost is $35, and third place goes to Mexico City, where a night out comes in at $45. 

The cost of a date (in USD) in 25 major global cities

  • Oslo, Norway:  $170
  • London, UK: $161
  • New York, USA: $144
  • Stockholm, Sweden: $123
  • Tokyo, Japan: $122
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands: $116
  • Paris, France: $114
  • Sydney, Australia: $113
  • Toronto, Canada: $109
  • Auckland, New Zealand: $105
  • Hong Kong: $104
  • Berlin, Germany: $101
  • Seoul, South Korea: $87
  • Singapore: $85
  • Barcelona, Spain: $85
  • Nairobi, Kenya: $74
  • Rio de Janerio, Brazil: $70
  • Taipei, Taiwan (ROC): $68
  • Shanghai, China (PRC): $67
  • Moscow, Russia: $61
  • Cape Town, South Africa: $55
  • Bogotá, Colombia: $52
  • Mexico City, Mexico: $45
  • Mumbai, India: $35
  • Istanbul, Turkey: $31