But for those of us looking to go a cheaper route, there's a solution: the internet.
"It is very very difficult, if not impossible, to predict initial chemistry using variables assessed before two people meet each other," said study co-author Paul Eastwick, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
"To be sure, similarity on some dimensions, like race and religion, does predict relationship well-being," two of the study's co-authors wrote in The New York Times.
"However, the vast majority of people mate with demographically similar partners anyway, so such findings aren't especially useful in helping dating sites narrow a client's pool of potential partners." The Times piece goes on to say, "None of this suggests that online dating is any worse a method of meeting potential romantic partners than meeting in a bar or on the subway.
But they're good at what they do." And the stories are all too often the same. "They're running the same scam with 1,000 people at the same time." If you don't pony up the cash, the con artist could use your racy photos or adult-themed conversations to extort the money from you.
"You should be sharing only information you'd be happy to share on a 35-foot billboard above your home," Williams said.
The scams are easy enough to dodge — all it takes is 15 minutes. It's how much money can we make, so how little can we put out?