Tinder members turn to ‘affor-dates’ as frugal flirting catches on

Singapore, 11 August 2022 - Love might not cost a thing, but young singles looking to date as prices rise are definitely feeling the pressure. 


Tinder called it early last year in March: in The Future of Dating report, the world’s most popular dating app noted how post-pandemic, singles increasingly preferred more casual and creative first-date activities to the traditional wine-and-dine. Amidst the heat of “hot vax summer” last year, affordability was a major benefit with 6 in 10 young adult singletons# saying that going “outside was expensive”. 


And affor-dates (affordable dates) are about to stay attractive. 


Mentions of “inflation” in Tinder bios increased almost five-fold (4.6x) year on year, and is only looking to grow further as it hit an all-time high this July*. Some young daters have taken the pressures of rising costs with a good dose of humour, inspiring bios such as I used to consider myself a 6 but due to recent inflation I’m now a 10.** 


But there’s only so much laughing-through-the-pain can fix. To help the dating hopefuls, Tinder speaks to Dr. Angela Tan, intimacy coach and founder of the Academy of Relationship & Sex, on “affor-dating” (affordable dating). 


“With going out becoming more expensive, young adult singles now need to get more creative when planning for dates. The upside is that this is an excellent opportunity to check the couples’ compatibility when it comes to making practical decisions,” said Dr. Angela. 


Papri Dev, Head of APAC Communications at Tinder added, “As young singles return to connecting IRL post-pandemic, we have seen them vibing to dates far more creative than the standard fare of dinner, drinks and a movie. From cozy watch parties and mahjong games to outdoorsy picnic dates and long hikes, Singles in Singapore and across APAC are putting more imagination into courtship. In fact, Tinder members can go to Explore, a newly launched section on the app to find someone to go on a coffee date with, or meet someone who is an animal lover for a visit to the dog park, or a fellow nature lover.”


Tinder member Faye (25) shared that she reacted positively to matches who have suggested more affor-dates. “Especially for first dates, I’m more likely to say yes to meeting up if it does not require much spend. I'd much rather go for a simple bike ride in my neighbourhood park than a serious sit-down dinner! I find that it takes the pressure off of my match, too, so we can focus more on our connection.”


With inflation breaking more banks than hearts, here are our two-cents on top creative affor-dating ideas:  

  • Simple pleasures - Tinder members have increasingly opted for the small joys in life that cost them little to nothing. “Simple pleasures” grew in mentions by 21%* with pastimes such as cloud watching and crocheting cited. 
  • Hit the thrift shop - If you’ve only got 20 dollars in your pocket, thrifting is freaking awesome. In fact, that’s probably why mentions of “thrifting” in bios have grown by 26% year on year* on Tinder! 
  • Go for the free stuff - Do you know that museums are free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents? Otherwise, think outdoors and outside the box! Explore hidden gems like the Clementi Forest on bikes, or go on the Tree Top trail. 
  • Walk the talk - Rather than taking your match for a ride, why not board the love train (or bus) and then walk them home? Dr. Angela says, “Not only does this save you petrol or taxi money, the longer journey home also gives you more quality time together.”
  • We volunteer! - One of Dr. Angela’s favourite date activities, look for opportunities to contribute to causes and take “better together” to the next level. Find a fellow animal lover on Explore and head to the animal shelter for a meaningful day out.
  • Master trending dance challenges together - For the true young adult (or young-at-heart), this is the ultimate test of teamwork! Can you nail the beat without losing it? 



# Tinder conducted a survey of 1,000 US dating app users

* Based on a comparison of Tinder bios globally between April to June 2022 and April to June 2021. 

** Bios quoted have been editorialised.