Are Relationships Expensive? A New Study's Findings Might Surprise You

Relationships are a lot of things. They're beautifully romantic. They're sometimes stupidly dramatic. They're sometimes boring and sometimes absolutely tantalizingly exciting. But are relationships expensive? A new study by GiftCards.com found that they are, in fact, pretty pricy — though perhaps not as expensive as you might think.

In order to conduct their study, the researchers over at GiftCards.com surveyed over 1,000 men and women to get an idea of what the typical date costs and how much they spend on special romantic occasions, based on their particular demographic (whether it be relationship status or gender). The study compared single people, people in relationships, and married people.

First, they looked into how relationship status affected spending. Can you guess who spent the most money? It honestly surprised me to find that single people were the ones who spent the most money on dating every month. The study found single people spend an average of $146 on dating every month, while people in relationships spend an average of only $139 on their partners each month. In fact, based on the study, it seems to appear that the more committed we become, the lower our spending becomes. When people got married their spending decreased even more, reaching an all-time low of only $130 a month on their relationship.

That being said, things work in a reverse order when it comes to how much these people are spending on each individual date. It turns out that married people spend the most on date night with single people spending the least on their dates (people in relationships fall in the middle). More of a numbers person? Let me break it down for you this way. Married people spent an average of $54 on date night, people in relationships spent $44 on dates, and, finally, single people spent only $43 on each date.

Another interesting finding? The more you spend on special occasions, the more likely you and your partner are to marry. For example, couples who spent an average of $144 on their anniversaries were likely to get married. On the flip side, couples who only spent $50 on their anniversaries were unlikely to get married. Same went for birthdays and holidays. Couples who spent $155 on birthdays were likely to get married, while couples who spent $99 were not. Couples who spent $166 on holidays were likely to get married were likely to get married, while couples who spent $129 were not.

Now, of course, this is all subject to the specific couple and how much money is being earned by the individuals. Just because you and your bae can't necessarily afford to spend hundreds of dollars on holiday gifts for each other doesn't mean your relationship is doomed.

But, if you can afford it, it wouldn't hurt to splurge on your bae every now and then to show them just how much you care.

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