It's official - splitting the bill on a first date is the way to go, according to new research. The study polled 2,000 Americans who've ever been in a relationship and found that 56% believe the bill should always be split on a first date. Even if respondents plan on insisting to pay - 68% expect their date to at least offer to split the tab. This new dating norm may be because respondents state they have less disposable income when they're single (66%) versus when they are in a relationship (34%). Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Affirm ahead of Valentine's Day, the survey reveals the hidden costs of relationships - costs that typically go unaccounted for - like paying for dates, gift giving and lending money to friends or partners. When it comes to spending and gifting in romantic relationships, respondents spend the most money on food (at an average of $406) and gifts (at an average of $314) for their partners. The most common types of gifts respondents buy their romantic partners are clothing (48%), perfume (43%) and jewelry (38%). And these trends will stay true this Valentine's Day, with respondents planning to spend an average of $270 on their partner's - with the top gifts being clothing (38%), perfume (37%) and jewelry (34%) for their partners. "Knowing that Americans are planning to spend a significant amount to make their loved ones feel special this Valentine's Day, it's not surprising that more than half (53%) of respondents are interested in using a buy now pay later solution to buy their gifts," said Silvija Martincevic, Chief Commercial Officer at Affirm. "Affirm provides consumers the ability to pay at their own pace! With no fine print and no late fees, consumers will never pay more than they expect, making this the perfect solution for everyday and special occasion purchases." The results also uncover that 58% of Americans are comfortable lending money to their friends and romantic partners. When it comes down to what this money is lent for - the top reason respondents lend money to both friends and a romantic partner is to help them cover an unexpected expense (23% and 29%, respectively). For friends, respondents shared they lend on average $70 at a time, and nine out of 10 respondents confirmed they were paid back. However, the same rules do not apply for romantic partners and exes - while respondents are comfortable lending more, an average of $96, to their partners at one time, 36% stated they were never paid back. Overall, respondents suspect that their ex romantic partners owe them an average $170 and more than half (57%) agree that they think badly of an ex romantic partner because they owed them money before their relationship ended.
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