Skip to main content

Here's How to Make Money on Your Awkward First Dates

If you're single and begrudgingly mingling, investing in dating services might reinvigorate your search.

We're officially making our way into another cuffing season. If you're unfamiliar with the term, cuffing season is the time of year when single people start to secure a relationship for the cold winter months.

The season is typically thought to begin sometime in September and last until February of the following year. That's when those cozy holiday relationships face the long-term commitment ultimatum. 

If you will find yourself swiping for some seasonal cuddling in the coming fall months, the process can be a slog. Maybe you've kissed more than your fair share of frogs, and it's starting to feel like you're not getting any juice for the online dating squeeze. You're investing in dating emotionally -- but are you investing in it financially?

Online dating apps have revolutionized the dating experience. About one out of every five people on the internet right now are currently using a dating app. Nearly a third have used one to find romance in the past. Whether you're looking for love or just a good time for the weekend, there's a specialized app for every kind of person with every kind of preference. 

The use of smart phones as a tool to help our love lives is only growing in popularity. And if you're looking for lifestyle investments, there are a few major players in the landscape of online dating.

Dating Apps Lead

Publicly Owned Dating Apps

Match Group  (MTCH) - Get Free Report is the mega-collector of online dating platforms. The company owns more than 45 worldwide dating app services. You've probably heard of -- or even used -- services Match, Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, or PlentyOfFish. 

When it comes to casting the widest net, Match Group catches huge numbers of users. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported 16.3 million paid users across multiple platforms. The company has also been making moves into the Metaverse, taking online dating to a whole new level.

Of course, just because Match is gobbling up online dating apps left and right doesn't mean they're the only name in the space. If you're a woman, there's a good chance you're familiar with Bumble, the professional, personal, and romantic social app catered to the female experience. 

The company was created by a former Tinder exec whose alleged sexual harassment experience caused her to part ways with the company. Her company, Bumble, allows for your typical swipe-right experience, but only women are allowed to send off the first message. Bumble has also made its own acquisition to help grow its market overseas.

If you're looking to the future, gay dating and hookup app Grindr is currently in the process of going public, according to reports in May. LGBTQ dating apps are tailored to specific queer experiences, but few brands have the pop-culture status enjoyed by Grindr. If and when Grindr separates from its parent company Tiga  (TINV) , it'll be the first exclusively-gay dating app to go public.

Other Lifestyle Brands You May Be Using on Dates

Of course, a successful dating life doesn't just happen on the apps. That's just the beginning. If you're been out there in the single world, you might have some wild date stories. While dating is always about rolling the dice when it comes to people, there are some important ways to play it safe.

In 2021, popular sexual wellness brand LifeStyles pulled off a very clever marketing move to help with safe sex education. Using Google analytics, the company uses data from STI-related searches to directly influence the price of their condoms.

 If a lot of people are using Google to search for STI symptoms, the price of LifeStyle condoms goes down. Followers can keep up with the rise and fall of condom prices and even set a price alert for when the discount reaches their ideal price. The company got the idea from the realization that STIs are "publicly traded" when people have unprotected sex.

LifeStyles as a company isn't publicly traded. But there are options for investing in safe sex. Church & Dwight  (CHD) - Get Free Report makes the well-known condom brand Trojan. Reckitt Benckiser  (RBGLY)  makes Durex, and the company also recently acquired KY.

Dating and sexual wellness can be lucrative businesses, and might help you engage with dating in a more exciting way. Whether it's investing in the stock market or your love life, who knows? Maybe you might get lucky.