Financial Stability Is Important in a Mate

Respondents to two surveys weigh in on how long it takes to be comfortable talking about finances and the worst type of money problems for relationships.

Financial security is one of the most attractive traits to have in a partner, according to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life Happens.

The survey of 2,000 Americans in a relationship found financial security is among the most attractive traits in a love interest, selected by 42% of respondents. This followed sense of humor and intelligence, selected by 44% of respondents each.

Meanwhile, a survey by WalletHub found that, compared with last year, 37% more Americans say they wouldn’t marry someone with bad credit. In addition, 54% say they would break up with their significant other if he or she spent money irresponsibly. Nearly the same percentage (53%) say irresponsible spending is a bigger turnoff than bad breath.

Nearly one-third report that money matters more to them in a relationship now than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Life Happens survey found it takes five months for couples to feel comfortable talking about their salary and overall financial status. Respondents even reported they’d talk about money before saying “I love you,” which takes an average of nine months. The top discussions respondents have when they’ve been seriously dating for a year included debt (31%), salaries (31%) and joint bank accounts (29%).

Asked about the worst type of money problem for a relationship, 30% of respondents to the WalletHub survey chose “financial secrets.” This was followed by irresponsible spending (25%), high debt level (16%), not saving for the future (12%) and ruining your credit score (10%).

Thirty-nine percent of respondents say the best way for couples to avoid money problems is to have separate accounts, while 31% say it is to have joint finances. Twenty-one percent say couples should discuss purchases before making them. Nine percent believe a prenuptial agreement is the best way for couples to avoid money problems.