Third of single Britons say the cost-of-living crisis has made them less likely to date
March 1st, 2023, Christien Pheby

Third of single Britons say the cost-of-living crisis has made them less likely to date

In Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2015 film The Lobster, single people are given 45 days to find a romantic partner – and if they fail, they are forcibly transformed into crustaceans. It’s a metaphor for how it feels to be alone in a world where it seems like everyone around you is coupled up (and it’s also a handy replacement lede for a survey about love and dating that didn’t come back in time for Valentine’s Day).

But whatever the social consequences of going it alone, there may also be a financial penalty – especially in these increasingly straitened times. New YouGov data shows that, when you ask single Britons whether the rising cost of living has affected them more or less than their coupled friends, more than two in five (43%) say it has had a greater impact, with just 7% saying the reverse.

What’s more, the increase in inflation, energy bills, and other day-to-day expenses has also made a third (33%) of the nation’s singletons less likely to go out on dates. A quarter say it has made them less likely to seek out a romantic partner altogether (24%).

Is living with a partner better for your bank balance?

Digging a little deeper, our data shows a correlation between living with a partner and finding it easier to afford your day-to-day expenses, as well as housing and energy costs. Cohabiting Britons were more likely to say they rarely or never struggled with their energy bills (57% vs. 41% of single Britons), housing costs (60% vs. 43%), or groceries (61 vs. 52%).

Beyond the expenses that are necessary for survival there are other benefits of being a cohabiting partner or spouse. Britons with a better half reported that they rarely/never struggled with affording entertainment such as going to the cinema or concerts (40% vs. 33%), socialising with friends (44% vs. 35%), and subscriptions (54% vs. 41%) in the past three months.


YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 15 February 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, social grade and education to be representative of [all adults in Great Britain (18 years or older), and reflect the latest ONS population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.