Romantic relationships are often enviable from afar, but challenging once you are in them. It’s often “God when” until you start dating.
Well, that paradox is because in addition to the emotional effort it requires, a relationship is mostly an added expense. In the hilarious words of Stanley Okorie, “I love you na money.”
The financial cost of romantic relationships is why some young people have refused to date. In fact, 30% of millennials feel their financial stability affects their dating life. Dr. Helen Fisher, a relationship expert, sums up this struggle best: “Millennials are very ambitious. However, they are terrified of catching feelings and getting into relationships that they can’t (financially) manage.”
This begs the question: How much does being in a relationship really cost?
We spoke to some Nigerians to find out. They tell us how much their relationships cost monthly on average.
“I spend at least ₦500k” — Chinedu
I believe strongly in spoiling my woman. This is probably due to my Igbo roots [Laughs]. Every month, I spend at least ₦500k getting flowers, new clothes and hair for my girlfriend. We also go on dates twice a month to keep the flame burning, and we’ve been dating for a year now. I don’t regret spending on her because seeing her happy makes me happy, and she also reciprocates. For instance, she bought me a PS5 last month.
“I spend at least ₦100k” — Kemi
I don’t have an exact figure, but I spend at least ₦100k on my boyfriend in a given month. The bulk of this expense mostly covers clothes, food and random gifts. Regardless of my efforts, I feel I’m not doing enough. My boyfriend is rich, so attempting to spoil him can sometimes feel like dropping a cup of water into an ocean. He appreciates my efforts, though, but I constantly feel I’m not doing enough.
“My relationship costs me between ₦20k to ₦50k monthly” — Jonathan
I’m a struggling young man, so I don’t really have much to spare. My girlfriend understands this and doesn’t mind. However, I try my best to take her out to affordable restaurants. I also save up occasionally so I can buy her favorite fiction books and book a spa treatment. My woman loves reading and relaxing. Overall, my relationship costs between ₦20 to ₦50k monthly. I spend way less on months when I’m broke.
“I sometimes spend up to ₦1 million” — Fikayo
My partner and I have a culture of gifting each other at least once a month. Although unspoken, there is a competition of who can buy the better gift [Laughs]. We also have planned trips outside the country. For this reason, I don’t have a specific figure I spend on my partner per month. But just know it can be as high as a million or more. We’re both tech bros who earn dollars, so spending isn’t a problem.
“I send my partner ₦150k every month” — Emeka
I’m not a very romantic guy, but I understand the importance of making your woman happy and comfortable. After buying her a few gifts at the start of our relationship that she didn’t really like, I decided it was better to just give her the money. A few of my friends think it’s weird, but my babe likes it. I mean, she knows what she wants, so why not just give her the money to get it herself.