The Business of Dating

Karley Sciortino, Christopher Ryan, and Dr. Jessica Carbino discuss the money behind dating—what it takes to meet the right person, and how to navigate the world of dating without destroying your finances.

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Consider these numbers.

One in three American
marriages begin online

but in online dating,

less than 1% of replies actually lead
to the exchange of phone numbers.

We actually know now

that online dating does not
work out well for most people.

Online dating on sites like Tinder

work really well
for a small percentage of people

because you have to be better than
average to be worth swiping on.

So you have to be, like,
have more social status,

be better looking than usual,
make more money,

have a better job,
have a better education,

and then people who are
just, like, basic and normal

don’t do well
on online dating actually.

You actually have to be
a little bit better than average…

I completely disagree.

If we look at the first statistic,
one in three marriages begin online.

Those aren’t necessarily
the elite class of people

who are the one in three marriages.

These are individuals
who come from all walks of life

and Tinder really represents
the democratization of dating.

You have people from
every educational background,

almost every country in the world,
who are dating online,

and so many people
are finding success online.

These are the definition
of success?

Is marriage the definition
of a successful relationship?

Well marriage is, for the vast
majority of the American population,

marriage is what’s considered
to be the gold standard

in terms of relationship success.

I think a lot of people just
don’t want to get married.

To me, I’m just like,
what does marriage get me?

Like, nothing.

First of all, actually,
the wedding is very expensive

and it’s very expensive and
annoying for all of your friends.

I don’t feel like women need
the financial security of marriage

like they used to,

and also,
divorce is really expensive,

and I just don’t see, you know,
from a personal perspective,

I don’t see my relationship
being more likely to last

because we have
this piece of paper.

I think that
having a child together,

to me, seems like
a far greater commitment,

buying a house together,
those things, to me,

seem, just, like, more valuable
than the marriage itself.

I think that marriage
confers benefits

that are not necessarily
solely economic in nature.

If we look at studies, obviously,

the benefits for men are much higher
in terms of health, long term.

Men who are married

tend to be healthier than their
non-married counterparts as they age.

Karley, do you think
women think less of a guy

who’s willing to split the bill or
is even willing to let the woman pay?

I’m not sure. I feel like,
as someone who is, you know,

fighting for gender
equality for women,

I think that we can’t pick
and choose when we want to be equal.

I always offer to split
the bill on a first date

because you don’t actually know what
financial situation the guy is in,

especially for the millennial
generation, like,

I don’t want to assume
that a guy I meet that’s my age

makes more money than me.

I guess women do still make
a little bit less on the dollar,

but I think as, for young people,

I assume that I’m just
as successful as a man,

like, I would feel like I owed him
something if he paid for my dinner.

But do you think guys think that
they owe you something if you pay?

Yeah, I mean, I think that,

what Tinder and these apps have
done is they’ve really, I think,

helped level the playing field
for men and women

in terms of dating and casual sex.

I think that we are more equal
on a setting like Tinder.

I think we’re starting to understand

that women don’t want to date in
the same way that men want to date.

Consider these numbers.

One in three American
marriages begin online

but in online dating,

less than 1% of replies actually lead
to the exchange of phone numbers.

We actually know now

that online dating does not
work out well for most people.

Online dating on sites like Tinder

work really well
for a small percentage of people

because you have to be better than
average to be worth swiping on.

So you have to be, like,
have more social status,

be better looking than usual,
make more money,

have a better job,
have a better education,

and then people who are
just, like, basic and normal

don’t do well
on online dating actually.

You actually have to be
a little bit better than average…

I completely disagree.

If we look at the first statistic,
one in three marriages begin online.

Those aren’t necessarily
the elite class of people

who are the one in three marriages.

These are individuals
who come from all walks of life

and Tinder really represents
the democratization of dating.

You have people from
every educational background,

almost every country in the world,
who are dating online,

and so many people
are finding success online.

These are the definition
of success?

Is marriage the definition
of a successful relationship?

Well marriage is, for the vast
majority of the American population,

marriage is what’s considered
to be the gold standard

in terms of relationship success.

I think a lot of people just
don’t want to get married.

To me, I’m just like,
what does marriage get me?

Like, nothing.

First of all, actually,
the wedding is very expensive

and it’s very expensive and
annoying for all of your friends.

I don’t feel like women need
the financial security of marriage

like they used to,

and also,
divorce is really expensive,

and I just don’t see, you know,
from a personal perspective,

I don’t see my relationship
being more likely to last

because we have
this piece of paper.

I think that
having a child together,

to me, seems like
a far greater commitment,

buying a house together,
those things, to me,

seem, just, like, more valuable
than the marriage itself.

I think that marriage
confers benefits

that are not necessarily
solely economic in nature.

If we look at studies, obviously,

the benefits for men are much higher
in terms of health, long term.

Men who are married

tend to be healthier than their
non-married counterparts as they age.