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New dating trend sees men asking for refunds when they don’t see a ‘return on investment’ — how the rules of romance have changed amid high costs of living

‘I was in complete shock’: New dating trend sees men asking for refunds when they don’t see a ‘return on investment’ — how the rules of romance have changed amid high costs of living

Samantha Costanza went on a fairly unremarkable date last winter. She and her date grabbed hot ciders at a Brooklyn bar. When the bill came, her date slipped the bartender his credit card.

It was only a few days later when he followed up to suggest a second date that something remarkable happened. Costanza wasn’t interested in meeting up again and spent some time crafting a polite response to her paramour.

His response? A Venmo request for her half of the ciders.

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“I was in complete shock,” she told CNBC. “It made it seem like the only reason he would offer to pay for my drinks was that he expected something from me.”

Costanza isn’t the only single woman to run into an awkward moment like this. A new dating trend has been popping up, where men send money requests to women after they decline a second date. Some even express they’d like their date’s share of the bill back since they didn’t get a return on their “investment.”

In its coverage, CNBC found relationship experts and women were equally outraged by this trend — with one dating coach going so far as to call it “pathetic and unethical.” For her part, Costanza ignored her date’s Venmo request and blocked him.

A psychotherapist cited by CNBC pointed out that this new trend could be partially due to the skyrocketing cost of living. A first date costs an average of $77 according to LendingTree — a high price to pay in a time of wage stagnation and inflation.

But maybe it’s to be expected — changing economic realities create new rules around money and dating. Here’s what you need to know if you’re still playing the field.

First date talk includes money

Your mother may have told you that money talk isn’t appropriate at the dinner table, but that’s no longer the case. Singles today want to be more open with their dates — especially when it comes to money.

Dating app Bumble discovered that 28% of singles set “financial boundaries” in their love lives. A big part of this is openly discussing each other’s spending caps and financial expectations for dates. This would be an appropriate time to discuss how to split the bill on a first date, rather than sending a surprise Venmo request afterward.

Going Dutch has also become more common in dating. Bumble found that nearly half of men see the value in breaking gender roles in dating. Splitting the bill with your date or having the woman cover the first bill is no longer poor form, but a matter of embracing an equitable future together.

Read more: ‘Hold onto your money’: Jeff Bezos says you might want to rethink buying a ‘new automobile, refrigerator, or whatever’ — here are 3 better recession-proof buys

Financial compatibility is sexy

Not only do singles want to talk about money, they want to ensure that they’re on the same page as their potential partner. Bread Financial survey respondents even admitted to finding it sexy when someone pays their bills on time or has a financial adviser.

Millennials and Gen Z also tend to discuss money more frequently with partners than their baby boomer counterparts. That’s partially due to experience: nearly 1-in-5 young people blame “a lack of financial compatibility” for a previous breakup. And many (36%) of Gen Zers see making large impulse purchases as a red flag and potential deal breaker.

With 22% of marriages ending in divorce because of money issues, singles now want to know potential partners’ money personalities before committing. And more and more couples now sign prenups to protect their finances — even when they haven’t got a big trust fund to protect.

Talk credit score to me

TikTokers have gone viral after revealing that they post their high credit scores on their dating profiles. One TikToker even received a (joke) marriage proposal after a guy saw her 804 credit score.

If you have a low or medium credit score, you don’t have to tell your date about it. Instead, you can talk about how you’re working on improving your credit score and staying on top of all your monthly payments, like your student loan and credit cards.

As the Bread Financial survey found, many people find it attractive when a date has a responsible money attitude. Being candid might not get you an instant marriage proposal, but maybe it’ll be enough to score a second date.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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