PHOENIX — Finding a partner to share your life with doesn’t have to be an expensive task but inflation is making the pursuit of love a challenge for Valley singles.
“I’m a girl that likes to order a lot of little things. I like to try it all,” said Sarah Miller of Phoenix.
The "little things" could quickly add up in a time when nearly everything is more expensive these days.
Miller says her first date with her boyfriend was at a high-end sushi restaurant cost him $300, and that date was before inflation.
“You know, my boyfriend knows I’m slightly expensive,” said Miller with a joking smile.
Parts of dating has become slightly more expensive amid inflation.
Recent data from the Bureau of Labor statistics consumer price index shows a an over 2% increase in alcohol, meaning a $20 bottle of wine would now cost about 50 cents more.
A $100 dinner for two outside of the house is slightly up 0.8%. A $30 outing to the movies is actually down 1.3% saving consumers just over 40 cents.
Overall, inflation is higher here in the Valley than in most big cities. The U.S. inflation rate was measured to be over 9% whereas the rate for the Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa area is over 12%.
Depending on distance, a big cost for singles dating in the Valley is getting to the date.
Key drivers for the Valley’s higher inflation rate are housing, energy, and gas.
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the price of gas increased by 12%, as of Monday, the price of a gallon of unleaded continued to fall to $4.83 cents, according to AAA.
The cost of date shouldn’t be a ‘deal breaker’ for a perspective relationship.
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, a relationship expert tells ABC15 “if people are worried about money with dating, it tells me they’re focusing on the wrong thing.”
So, if money is too tight for five-courses under candlelight along the water, Dr. Bobby suggests sharing time with someone doing something you like, that brings you energy and comfort – even if it is inexpensive.
She suggests free date ideas like volunteering time somewhere, going to a humane society or going for a hike.
“When you suggest an inexpensive date and someone turns you down, they just did you a huge favor because they showed you what they care about and that’s what I’d like to leave with people. It’s an assessment of them, not a statement of you,” she said.