The Relationship Supermarket - What's the true cost of finding a soulmate?

Published on 28. September 2018


The Relatonship Supermarket - What's The True Cost of Finding a Soulmate?

Finding a soulmate is often a personal goal for many of us. Our intentions dictate how long this journey will take but searching for the one remains at the core of our existence. The happy ending instilled by rom-coms, episodes of Sex and the City re-watched again and again, or Jane Austen’s romance novels for those few remaining old-school idealists, flicker in the back of our minds. 

“The Princess and the Frog”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella” have convinced us that happiness is waiting for us around the corner. However, rather than having to kiss a frog, spit out a poisoned apple or put on a glass slipper (even if a pair of Manolos would fit much better these days), all we need to do is swipe our finger on a dating app and activate our online profile.

Someone, somewhere, is peering at their smartphone, watching out for our signal. Turning your phone on is all you need to do to let the virtual magic get to work. A single swipe is all that is keeping us away from our soulmate. It’s a shortcut for relationships, which in one fell swoop eliminates emotional barriers and negates physical distances, providing us with the key to love! However, this key only opens one door and finding the one requires trying several locks. It’s a real slog that requires a significant amount of investment and that’s not all! You must have patience, time, money and hope!


The dating apps - True love a la carte

Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo,, eDarling... how can we choose? At first glance, they are free, easy to access and they all promise us, true love, à la carte. However, on closer inspection, it becomes clear that they have a number of paid features and that you will incur extra costs if you stray even slightly from the standard service.

Tinder offers a basic free service but also the “Tinder Plus” and “Tinder Gold” options.  You should expect to incur a monthly charge of between £3.99 and £27.49, depending on the length of your subscription and your age.

Bumble, is a free dating app that puts women in control. Ladies must make the first move and have 24 hours to start chatting with their chosen beau. The same thing applies to the gents: it’s going to cost them if they want more time for their crush to write them a message. Although the app is free, a paid subscription is available. Bumble Boost costs between £16 and £23.99 each month, depending on the length of subscription. If you want to avoid monthly deductions, you can buy Bumble coins to spend on services as and when you need them. Each Bumble coin costs £1.99.

OkCupid is another free app. The options that give you the ability to create profiles, send messages and view photos can all be accessed without incurring any extra fees. A-List includes features that are not free. These enable you to have more search options, filter messages, change the username and also remove adverts. A-list Basic will set you back between £4.95 and £9.95 each month while A-List Premium costs between £19.90 and £24.90 a month. is arguably Britian's most popular dating app boasting over three million members. Being in the longer run will cost you less, as the subscription gets considerably cheaper. 6 months will cost you just £9.99 a month, while a single one month subscription will set you back a whopping £29.99 a month meaning it's better to start slow in the dating game.


Apps - options with a charge

Apps such as Parship are more expensive and therefore deemed more serious, are free to download. However, things escalate as soon as you want to take these further. In order to view the profiles of other participants in the lottery of love, you need to consider the Premium version. It will cost you between £34.90 a month to make full use of these apps’ services. It’s a major investment in terms of money, but also time as you have to fill out a detailed questionnaire immediately upon starting the registration process. You’re thoroughly put under the microscope to better connect you with your kindred spirit. 

Dating/geolocation app
Social discovery app
Dating app
Dating website based on compatible couples
Dating/Matchmaking site
Dating Site
Tinder Plus (over 28)
Tinder Gold (under 28)
£7,49month (1 month)
Bumble Boost
£8.49/week (1 week)
Bumble Coins
£1.99/1 coin
€9.95/month (1 month)       
A-list Premium
€24.90/month (1 month)
£9.99/month (6 months)     
Premium Comfort
£34.90/month (24 months)     
Premium/Super Powers
£8.49/month (1 month)
IOS, Android, Web
IOS, Android, PC
IOS, Android, PC
IOS, Android, PC
IOS, Android, PC
IOS, Android, PC
A large community,
App aimed at women
Detailed questionnaire
Personality test, 24 profile photos
Personality test, lots of users
Dating site + Social network


Patience is a virtue..making the right choice

Once you have sifted through the apps and selected the one(s) you want, you will be presented with a string of profiles. You need a fair chunk of patience to get to the next stage. Like, a lot of patience! Closely scrutinising photos, analysing the descriptions of every profile that caught your attention, pinning down their personalities. It’s enough to truly make you feel like Sherlock Holmes, knowing all the while that lady luck will have the final say. However, if the search has been successful for both sides and they match, then a new and challenging chapter is about to begin.

Second round

Excelling in the art of conversation is the focus here. The first rule of online dating is not to reveal too much. Bombarding your potential date with texts is a fatal error that more often than not will lead to an unavoidable knockout! End of the line for blabbermouths! The golden rule to follow when chatting on online dating sites is to retain an air of mystery at all times so that your suitor or suitress will feel compelled to meet you. By the same token, you should also avoid giving monosyllabic answers!

Giving the impression that you have nothing interesting to say is not very attractive and you will be shown the exit door before you have even got started. So how do you go about it? Well, you need to appear measured and be able to censor what you say. Providing an insight into your life in a serious yet funny way is a breath of fresh air, provided you do it with tact and finesse. In other words, become a master of conversation and of providing an insight into your thoughts in a rather funny way! Not too much to ask for! And you're still not done. Let’s suppose that you execute your game plan intelligently and land a date. This too requires a lot of time, money and effort on your part. That’s right! Paying for the apps’ services is not the only strain on your wallet; you’ve got to pay for drinks as well!


Dating IRL

So, you’ve got the art of conversation down pat and, being the smooth sailor that you are, you successfully made it to the next stage. The date is about to happen, which raises a new question. Where should you meet up? Café? Restaurant? Bar? In the park for a stroll? Going to a restaurant is not the most advisable option for two reasons:

First, paying for a full course meal is expensive, especially for two. And secondly, at least three hours will be wasted if your hot date turns out to be a damp squib! So not only will you be out of pocket, you will have also wasted your time. Meeting up for a coffee or a beer is a far more savvy choice. Scheduling a date during happy hour is no bad thing! It’s quick yet effective: you won’t break the bank (a small glass of rosé, or two at most if you have the overwhelming urge to treat yourself) and then you have the time to objectively assess how the date went at home. Smart, right?

Investment on love?

Let's talk about return on investment. Who can guarantee that we will find our soulmate after this effort?  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that we will find love, even with the apps. However, the more we try, the more likely we are to succeed. We can keep going out on dates until we find the right person or until our stamina runs out. If that happens, we stop for a moment and then take a backward step to help us get back on the horse. And we plow on, convinced that happiness lies in wait around the corner.

Despite the risk of its users becoming disillusioned, online dating now has a monopoly and has become the main supplier to the relationship supermarket. We shop there, we fill our baskets and closely inspect the packaging. With butterflies in our stomach, we’re eager to discover whether our choice is the right one. Have we found Mr or Ms. Right?

Even if we’re unlucky this time, we can always return to the supermarket and keep looking as it’s always open for business. Don’t forget - suspense builds up excitement. 

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