Infla-dating is on the rise, and experts want to flip the script on the new trend

Experts say infla-dating is 'a great opportunity to change up your typical dating routine'

couple on an outdoor date at a market
(Image credit: ViewApart/Getty Images)

"Infla-dating" has entered the chat, and singles are a bit concerned about the toll it will take on their love lives. 

As costs continue to rise, we could all use a few financial wellness tips, even in the romance department. An evening out doesn't come cheap, especially with two in tow. So, how will we be able to find love and stay afloat fiscally? The 2023 dating trend just might crack the code.  

"My primary hope for singles who want or need to Infla-Date is for them to know that they’re not alone," says Shannon Smith, resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish (opens in new tab). "As one step further, I’d suggest that we abandon the assumption that this trend needs to be negative, and view it as a great opportunity to change up your typical dating routine."

So, what does infla-dating entail, exactly? Allow us to explain.

Meet the expert: Shannon Smith

Shannon is the resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a Match Group dating app with personalized connection options that help "create the same magic online that you would IRL."

First thing's first: what is infla-dating?

Infla-dating is opting for less-expensive outings with a romantic partner during these uncertain economic times. According to research from Plenty of Fish, a whopping 48% of millennial and Gen Z singles are embracing the trend. 

"While operating on a budget isn’t always ideal, we’re all in this together," Smith adds. "Not only are you saving money, you’re partaking in a cost-effective shared experience that’s letting your date know more about who you are and what matters to you."

What are the pros of infla-dating?

The idea may seem like a bummer—though it doesn't come close to the likes of ghosting, haunting and so forth—but infla-dating actually has its perks. For one, it allows you to be more creative than the quintessential "dinner and a move" routine. And it provides you an opportunity to get to know someone on a deeper level.

"We also believe this trend could result in more meaningful connections, which is how dating should be," Smith notes. "[Daters] may be more impressed by a thoughtfully planned, down to earth date where you go on a hike, spend time getting to know one another and have a chance to show off your favorite view of your city."

*Takes notes*

What are some infla-dating ideas?

A lobster dinner might not be in the cards (at least right now), but that doesn't mean the outing won't be fun and the sparks will fade. In fact, this just opens up more opportunities for two people getting to know each other.

"Offer to cook a simple, but delicious dinner for your date at home and watch an episode of a TV show you both like," Smith suggests. "Review your community calendar for outdoor festivals or events, pack a thermos of hot cocoa and go check one out. Volunteer together or have a game night."

Options are really endless, but if you need a few more tips, have a look at our favorite outdoor date ideas (just bundle up for that winter campfire) and stay-at-home date ideas. When the time comes, and you're ready for that seafood dinner, perhaps it'll be alongside the person you've been "infla-dating" over the past few months. Who knows? (Yes, we'll take extra butter for the lobster, thank you.)

Danielle Valente

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos, new TV shows and relationship trends.  


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)