I’ve ditched dating during the cost of living crisis to focus on me... here's why

A lot of the time the date goes well, you spend the money to stay longer and get good vibes, then it doesn’t end up going anywhere. After yet another dead end date and repeating the same cycle, I decided to come off all dating apps.

Phillippa Koushk-Jalali

Tell me about yourself

I’ve just turned 30, living alone in a 1 bed flat with my cat and dropped out of a nursing course last summer due to funding (or lack of) and now working in a role helping Ukrainian refugees. I’ve deleted all the apps to focus and work on myself during this time. Dating is expensive and I’m comfortable with being on my own so I’d rather not spend the money on having my time wasted.

What’s been your dating/relationship history?

I’ve been single the last 6.5 years, dating during this time. My last relationship was always split equally financially when going out on dates. We didn’t live together so it wasn’t that much of a financial toll. Now I’m older and been dating this long it’s becoming more about knowing what I don’t want, as well as what I want in a partner. I’ve met people who have potential in the last 6.5 years, but it never seems to work out.

Did you find dating expensive?

Dating has always been expensive, in both time and money. I admit, usually the date will pay the first date, though I always offer to split it. Then if we go on a second date I feel I have to insist on paying so it’s balanced if things don’t work out. Activities for dates tend to be dinners, drinks etc. where you can chat easily and get to know one another and the cost of this can quickly build up- particularly if it goes well and you get a couple more drinks to stay longer. A lot of the time the date goes well, you spend the money to stay longer and get good vibes, then it doesn’t end up going anywhere.

What did you decide to do instead?

After yet another dead end date and repeating the same cycle, I decided to come off all dating apps. I would like to meet someone, but I can’t keep investing the time and money into empty relationships that aren’t serving me, particularly in the current climate. Instead I’m investing in myself, my health and my career.

Has the cost of living crisis impacted your decision?

The cost of living has had a massive impact on my decision. I used to have far more disposable income to be able to date and not worry too much about the cost, and put failed dates merely down to gaining experience and meeting new people. That’s impossible now, as I’m on the best salary I’ve ever been on (£25k) and due to rising living costs I’m now living month to month. Anything extra at the end of the month goes into savings if I’m lucky. I’ve had to change a lot of things, changing where I shop, getting a cheaper gym membership, using the local library more, cutting back on beauty treatments. Dating costs are very low on my priority list at the moment.

How are you feeling about your decision?

It’s been a few weeks since I deleted dating apps and a few months since my last date and it’s been quite refreshing! I’ve been able to focus more on myself and my own well-being. However, it gets really lonely, particularly as all my friends are in relationships. Of course, I’d love to meet someone but I don’t feel it’s financially worth dating at the moment when the majority of dates don’t go anywhere, so I’m trying to spin it into a positive and use the time to better myself. I’d probably re-download apps in the future if I felt I was in a position to date, though I’d never pay for a dating app- the less money I can pay towards failed dates, the better!