Paying for a date on Valentine’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning.
A dating website that lets you bid on the chance to spend a few hours with someone has been popular among San Franciscans leading up to the holiday. And as the big day approaches, the price is increasing.
According to the dating website www.whatsyourprice.com, men and women are offering to pay someone to be their date more often in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day than any other month of the year.
The study compared the average price people were willing to pay for dates from Jan. 11 to Feb. 7. During that time, San Franciscans were willing to pay someone $131.70 for a date, up from $80 on average during any other month of the year.
More than 500,000 people have used the site to help them set up a first date, and more than 5,000 people in San Francisco used it for Valentine’s Day.
Leroy Velasquez, a spokesman for the Las Vegas company, said whatsyourprice.com offers men and women an opportunity to date someone they might not normally be able to. How it works, according to the site, is that members create a profile and start bidding on dates. The person being sought can either accept the bid or make a counter offer. Then both members work out an actual date. Payment comes when daters meet.
The website suggests that half the money be paid upfront and the rest at the end.
Velasquez said the model is intended to create open-mindedness when dating.
“Men and women pay to go on a first date with someone they are attracted to,” he said. “If attraction is there then they go on subsequent dates. If there is no attraction or chemistry, then at least the other person doesn’t leave empty-handed.”
Thirty-one-year-old Cassady Monsen said he experienced just that. He went on one date with a woman he had agreed to pay $40. Though he thought the date was a success and anticipated another would happen, he never heard from her again.
“I think of myself more as a money-baller. I don’t look good on paper, but if you can get me in front of her I can charm her,” the San Jose resident said. “So I thought I’d pay $40 and then impress her. We met for brunch; I thought it went well.”
Monsen said he isn’t too brokenhearted, though. He has not used the website again, but he said he still uses other dating sites.