The Cost of Dating

Another Great Thing About Philadelphia: It's A Cheap Date

When eighty-year old Doris Drum began dating young men in the neighborhood, in 1932, a movie cost about 25 cents -- and that included a candy bar and a comic book. Grandma Drum reminisces: "My brother, Leck, was given a $1.00 bill from our dad to take a girl out on a date. Oh my... how times have changed." -- survey respondent

"I usually spend about $125.00 on a date. Can't really get around it. I guess you could save money with a picnic, but nobody does that stuff anymore." -- 30-year old from Los Angeles

What do you want to do? I don't know, what do you want to do? Well, let's get a bite to eat and hit a movie. Not so fast ... If you're in Los Angeles, you better have at least $90.00; in New York, make it $110.00. Philadelphia-based, one of the longest running Internet romance communities, just completed the initial phase of their cost of dating index designed to give a rough estimate of the cost of dating in American cities -- beginning with Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles. Of the three, Philadelphia turned out to be the most reasonably priced city. "We've got more than great hockey, history and hoagies.

"Here's yet another great thing about Philadelphia," said Jennifer Klein, President and Founder of "Cities like New York and San Francisco serve obnoxiously high restaurant bills. Sporting events in cities like Los Angeles can bring the cost of a date up to $300.00 or so (with cheap tickets). I wanted to see how Philadelphia compared to LA and New York."

Initial Survey Results
Here's a snapshot of initial survey results. The initial survey looked at 6 key areas: flowers, dinner, movies, sporting events, drinks and transportation. In April and May of this year, conducted a random phone survey of flower shops, movie theaters, restaurants, and more.

Dinner and a Movie In Los Angeles -- the average cost for dinner and a movie is about $95.00. The average cost in New York, however, reached about $110.00 because of higher dinner prices and transportation costs (i.e., cab fare). The good news: A dinner and a movie in Philadelphia, according to our initial survey results, averages only $75.00, a 20-25% difference. The cost of food by thieves behind movie concession counters was not included in our initial survey.

These figures were estimated from an index of flowers (single stem red rose), average dinner and tip (estimated from variety of restaurant guides), movie tickets (randomly selected movie theatres), two drinks and transportation (either cab fare or .31 per mile).

Sporting Events -- We also compared the average cost for a pair of basketball tickets (all three cities are big basketball cities). New York is the highest with $230.00; in Los Angeles, two tickets are $171.00; and, Philadelphia ranks third with $79.00.

How to Save Money On Your Next Date
In a conversation with, dating expert Connie Merritt argued against such unnecessary expenses: "It doesn't have to be expensive. Dinner at a restaurant? Expensive and unimaginative. Barbeque or picnic at the beach or a park? Now you're talking -- thoughtful and not that expensive."

Another expert on the subject of dating and romance told that both parties need to be open: "Make sure the place you are going to eat is within your budget, whoever does the asking. If the suggested place is too expensive for you to pay half or treat, then say something like, 'That's a great place but it's not within my budget.'"

According to Jennifer Klein, President and Founder of, the cost of dating requires a great deal of creativity for the financially challenged. Some ideas? Check out a poetry reading or other events at a bookstore; attend a student art show; and more. For a complete list of 10 Tips for Frugal Daters, go to LLC 2000 is an exciting online community for singles, couples and romance lovers. has romantic resources, advice, poetry, message boards, event postings, greeting cards, contests, personals, opinion polls and more. Featuring quality links, categorized in our search engine covering the topics of love, sex, dating and relationships. In-depth information on, gifts, matchmaking, personals, sexuality, health, things to do, travel, writings, and literature. Find everything from a date to an advice or a place for a romantic weekend. Stop on by and visit Dear Carol,'s own advice columnist and sign up to for your own free personal ad.



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