So, dating is expensive, right? Do you have any clue how much it costs to find that special person nowadays?

CREDIT: Yastremska-bigstock

According to a new poll, it takes Americans over five years of dating before they decided to tie-the-knot. Over the course of those years, the average person spends $20,276 (£16,320) on dating.

The new survey of 1,000 married people across the country conducted by art event planners Paint Nite also found that Americans spend, on average, nearly five and a half years out on the dating scene before getting hitched – shelling out an average of $43.50 per date.

The most common dating activity is going to dinner, which 88 percent of 1,000 Americans named as one of their top picks, followed by going to the movies (63 percent), lunch (39 percent), taking a walk (38 percent) and making a meal and spending time at home (38 percent).

As for the ideal date, dinner and movies topped the list once again, followed by taking a walk, travelling and sightseeing. Three out of four people would rather enjoy a sedentary date such as dinner and movies over active/interactive or outdoor dates – with only 10 percent saying they like to play sports while out with their other half or a new love prospect.

When it comes to landing dates, a quarter have picked up a prospect in a bar or a nightclub, one in five have used online dating sites, and 35 percent have been set up by friends and colleagues.

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Sixty-five percent of respondents think the best way to greet a date is with a simple hi or hello, while almost two in five advocate a hug and 30 percent recommend a handshake.

“Making a great impression on a first date, whether that means covering the bill, a warm greeting or simply picking an interesting activity, can make all the difference in the early days of a relationship,’ explains Courtney Osgood of Paint Nite, a company that arranges art-themed nights at pubs and wine bars. ‘Mixing it up, and trying something new can also keep the spark alive between a seasoned couple.”

As for who should shell out on the first date, more than half think that the man should cover the bill, while just one percent of respondents thought the woman should pay the tab. Twenty-three percent of respondents said it should actually be the person who asked for the date who should pay.

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More than 40 percent of respondents say that they decide who will pay before the date even happens, while 24 percent say they figure things out when the bill comes.
One in five men admits to pulling the pretending-to-stretch trick on a date, while 22 percent of both men and women admit to touching an arm or a knee of their date to make a move.

Top keys to the best first impression on a date
1.    Good manners
2.    An attractive appearance
3.    A smile
4.    Great personality
5.    A sense of humour

Top date turn-offs
1.    Bad manners/Offensive/Rude
2.    Bad breath
3.    Too negative
4.    Burping out loud/other bodily noises
5.    Unattractive physical appearance
6.    Inappropriate/tight clothing
7.    Talks too much
8.    Indecisiveness
9.    Too much make-up
10.    Lack of confidence

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