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Have Capitalism and Inflation Officially Ruined Dating?

~ SEPTEMBER 2022 ~

There’s a running joke in major cities like Los Angeles and New York that people stay together for split rent.

According to experts, with the steady rise of inflation, capitalism will only find more creative ways to influence your romantic relationships.

As a sex and dating editor, hundreds of pitches reach my inbox daily and in the past two months, the amount of “cheap date” content has been sickening. Full disclosure, I say this as a former sex worker who gags at cheap and date being in the same sentence. This isn’t to say I’m the richest person in the world, I just enjoy the likes of men who are. So you can imagine the feelings the current dating discourse has created.

Crystal Cansdale, in-house dating expert for the Inner Circle dating app, shared: “Right now, romance is at risk. Singles are cutting back on dating because they think they can’t afford it.” Dates are important not only for relationship building but maintenance, as well.

Experts have seen such a shift in dating patterns, that the dating app gave 250 cheap dates in the month of July to curb capitalism’s chokehold on love.

According to DPRA‘s study, 90 percent of Americans have stopped going on dates to save money. Of those in relationships, 46 percent “feel that their relationship is less important since they began going on fewer dates.” To make matters worse, 50 percent of respondents reported lowering their date standards due to inflation.

But even though the government chooses to gaslight us and act like a recession isn’t taking place, it’s important to realize most people are struggling financially. And that’s 100 percent going to affect your dating life — if you allow it to.

There’s already been a rise in “cash candid dating,” a trend where people are more open about their financial situation early on. This can be off-putting if someone prefers “dating up” but honesty about finances is always good for a relationship.

Inflation might also encourage women to practice hypergamy or “dating up.” But with time, the available pool of mates you can date up with will only get smaller. After all, they’re called the one percent for a reason.

As much as I hate to say it, cheap dates may become more commonplace for people who want romance in an unaffordable world. Cansdale shared: “A cheap date doesn’t have to be sub-par or low effort. Our research shows singles actually prefer dates when there’s less pressure.” These dates should be fun enough to enjoy while also allowing you to learn about the other person.

If inflation is negatively affecting your cash flow, keep reading for the top five ranked cheap dates as a starting point for your next creative date.

  1. Coffee and wander dates
  2. Picnic in the park
  3. Pint in the sun
  4. Night in with wine
  5. Artsy dates

A version of this article originally appeared here on

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