The cost of happy relationships: Research shows how much happy couples spend

True love is priceless, we all know that. But to be realistic, relationships can't be maintained by simply staring into each other's eyes.

You go out for candlelight dinners, embark on romantic getaways - things that cost good money. But how much, exactly? What are the spending patterns of happy couples? We did the research for you, and found you some numbers.

The Dating Phase

Photo: Pixabay

As the world's most expensive city to live in, it is hardly surprising that dates in Singapore burn deep, scorching holes in wallets. Sure, you could head to the hawker centre for date night, but where's the romance in that?

For a dinner at a mid-range restaurant, and a movie (without popcorn), you're looking at a minimum of $100. If you go for a proper romantic dinner with a bottle of wine, it'll definitely cost more. If you see each other just once a week, you're looking at a minimum of $400 per month. An online article found that Singaporean men in their 30s spend between $400 to $2,000 per month on dates.

A study from the University of Texas, which followed couples for 13 years, found that on average happy couples date for two years before getting hitched. This means you're looking at spending at least $10,000 before you start paying for your wedding.

The Wedding

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The solemnisation. The wedding banquet. The bridal package (meaning gowns, photographers, and videographers). And the honeymoon. Happy relationships culminate in a wedding. Alas, these do not come cheap. Unless you both are courageous enough to sign your papers at the Registry of Marriages (ROM), and be done with it, risking your families' wrath forever, you will likely need to shell out money on the list above.

Weddings in Singapore cost on average $30,000 to $50,000. If you don't do it at Shangri-La, a wedding banquet for 200 guests can be, say $20,000. But you'll still have the bridal package, and the honeymoon to budget for.

And did we mention, this excludes the engagement ring, which, from what we hear, is conventionally three months of the man's pay? Hopefully, this part is reasonably negotiable - so ladies, try not to be too hard on your man.

For a Lifetime of Wedded Bliss

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A study reported in The Telegraph says a lifetime of wedded bliss costs over £250,000. This is after the dream wedding and honeymoon. We know. Our jaws dropped too. And considering that life in Singapore is more expensive than in UK, we're probably looking at a slightly higher figure.

But this is over a lifetime. The study shows that happy couples have regular date nights (averaging at three a month), one trip each year without their children, and buy gifts for their partners, among other things. That means spending quality time together, and showering love on your partner - sounds about right.

Of course, the study also recognised that it's not just about the dollars. An overwhelming majority of the couples studied emphasised that putting in equal effort into the relationship was more important than the dollars spent.

Photo: Pixabay

While these numbers may sound astronomical, they do stretch out over a long period. Plus, each relationship is totally different, so this is just a look at the average picture. Use this as a reference, and go forth bravely to create your own happily ever after. Happy spending/saving!

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