How Much Does a 1 Year Relationship Cost?

They say you can’t put a price on love. The math says otherwise.


There’s a stunning woman from across the bar/street/pumpkin patch and by some miracle of God, she laughs at your stupid joke and gives you her number.

You listen to your idiot friends and wait 3 days. Nervously you press the green call button and your breath catches in your chest as the call connects and on the other line you hear, “Hello?” 10 minutes later, you’ve got your first date — a small coffee shop that’s cute, intimate and great for people watching.

The bell above the door jingles as she walks in. Your heart skips a beat as you think, “I don’t remember her being this pretty,” or just “Does my breath smell bad?” You chat, you laugh and you’re both genuinely interested in each other — there’s chemistry, a spark, that ‘X’ factor. This could be the start of something beautiful… Or expensive.

Here are the numbers.

1–3 coffee dates to get to know someone; I don’t care what you say, qualifying that they’re not a serial killer is very important. $15/date (2 coffees and a pastry) x 3 = $45

2–4 lunch/dinner dates that are more robust to build on the relationship, plus, sushi is awesome. $40–120/date (2–4 beverages, 3 course meal) x 4 = $500

1–2 activities, something that tests how fun, open, and spontaneous she is. Movies $40/date (2 tickets + food), Go-Karting $120/date ($60/person for 4 laps), Aquarium $80/date ($30/person + food), Comedy Club $40 (2 tickets + beverages), Hockey/Soccer/Football match $200 (2 tickets + food/drinks), Biking $40 (2 bikes for 3–4 hour rentals), Kayaking $80 (2 kayaks for 3 hour rentals)

By now, you should have hopefully established if you’re an item. Assuming you’ve been seeing each other for 2–3 months before being exclusive here are the numbers leading up to the 1 year mark.

8–9 months of dinner dates: (Assume 1 dinner out a week x 4) x $100 = $400/month x 9 months = $3600/year

Miscellaneous activities: Approximate $600/year

Gas and transportation: (Assume $50/week x 4) = $200/month x 12 months = $2400/year

Gifts: Flowers $20+/bouquet (Assume 1 a month) = $120, Small gifts $50–200, 1 year anniversary (most likely jewelry) — basic cliche Tiffany’s necklace/earring/bracelet — $400+

TOTAL: $8365 Conservative, $10,038 Median, $12,547.50 Indulgent