Lovebirds tell Moneyish what they spend to go the distance
Love has a price.
Especially when you’re in a long distance relationship. An estimated 14 million couples date from far away, and even more are open to it, with 58% of singles saying they’d date long distance, according to data from StatisticBrain. The average pair lives 125 miles apart and sees each other once a month.
14 million couples are in long-distance relationships. Here’s the staggering amount it costs some https://t.co/QPgmyp6H19
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) October 13, 2017
Budgeting for date night can add up quick when you’re also paying for plane tickets, gas, buses and train rides to see your loved one. Just ask Ashlee Austin, 26, a gym teacher from Westchester, New York, who drives more than 400 miles spending $70 round trip on gas to see her boyfriend Garrett Simms, 26, in Pittsburgh. When they both make the trip twice a month, that’s roughly $1,680 a year just on gas. The duo met in 2013 while studying physical education at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. After they graduated, Austin moved back to New York where she works in The Bronx.
Date nights are simple for the Giants-loving football fans: burgers, beer and wings for around $55 bucks. When Simms visits Austin in New York they’ll buy cheap soccer tickets to see the Red Bulls play in the Bronx for $35 each.“We do our best to keep things fun and exciting,” Austin tells Moneyish. Their frugal spending habits allow them to save for travel. Austin and Simms are both undecided on where they ultimately want to live, so for now, the distance is doable.
“Sometimes you just want to hang out on the couch with your boyfriend and eat pizza and drink beer,” Austin admits. “Every time we say goodbye to each other our next questions is always, ‘When will I see you next?’” Luckily, next time will be in Mexico for a three-day vacation. The couple’s getaway was $3,000 for hotel and airfare — a splurge they treat themselves to once a year.
The average round-trip flight costs $208, according to Hopper Research and the average date is $50, a Match.com study found. For just one weekend trip including two date nights per month that’s $3,696 a year. In comparison, a couple living nearby who goes out one night per week spends about $2,600 annually.
Three in four (75%) of engaged couples have been in a long distance relationship. When they end up working out, they’re a great investment. Unfortunately, it’s not always a happy ending for many who decide to go the distance. The average couple living more than three hours a part will break up in four and a half months while those living closer together will last about six months. The key to making it work, according to relationship expert Justin Garcia, a scientific advisor for Match.com, is setting a plan of when and where to eventually live together permanently.
“Ask yourself, ‘is there any plan to try to reunite?’ If there’s not you psychologically have one foot in the relationship and the other’s out the door. That starts to erode the bond that’s at the core of the relationship,” says Garcia.
Sadly, that was the case for Kristina, who declined to give Moneyish her last name. She met her former boyfriend in Washington, DC during law school. When she graduated, she moved into New York City while her boyfriend stayed to work in DC. “I always had a plan to come back here and had my job before we started dating. He really wanted to make it work so in the beginning he visited almost every weekend,” she says.
This tale of two cities cost around $850 per month with $300 plane tickets, $250 Uber rides and $300 on dinners. “It just wasn’t sustainable because he had no plan to return to New York anytime soon,” she says of the eventual break up. “It’s hard to know how much to invest without knowing what the future holds.”
Sometimes a lifestyle change is necessary. After a year of dating an Irishman she met at a bar while vacationing in Dublin, Andrea Palmentiero, 26, eventually decided to move from her small suburban town of Yorktown Heights, New York to Europe to be closer to her man.
“A long last day of what should have been packing ended up being drinking, at around 1 a.m,” she recalls.
Before the big move, they stayed in touch, calling and Facetiming for a year and spending around $4,000 to see each other. Palmentiero dished out another $3,000 on moving costs and $300 for a visa. She says it was priceless decision.
“Little did I know it was the best decision I would ever make.”
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