Love and Money: What Your Finances Say About Your Relationship
Life + Money

Love and Money: What Your Finances Say About Your Relationship


You’re probably considering gifts like roses or chocolates for your significant other this Valentine’s Day. But balancing your checkbook or creating a retirement savings plan may be more meaningful in the long run.

Money may not buy love, but it plays a large role in a relationship’s success, according to several recent surveys on personal finances and love. Disagreements over money issues can end up destroying both new romances and decades-old relationships.

Related: Lazy? Needy? Bad Sex? The Top 13 Relationship Deal Breakers

How does your financial compatibility stack up? Here are key money factors that could affect your relationship. 

Breaking Up in a Hurry

Financial recklessness is a big turn-off and could end a first date faster than any faux pas. More than three-quarters of Americans think that someone who is single should be concerned about the amount of debt held by the person they’re dating.

  • More than half would end a relationship if their partner wasn’t interested in managing finances.
  • Nearly half of Americans would be less interested in dating someone who had credit card debt.
  • Thirty-eight percent said a large amount of debt is a deal breaker, while nearly the same percentage said overspending was.

Top Money Qualities in a Partner

Romantic appeal isn’t limited to good looks, a sparkling personality or a sense of humor. Many Americans also factor in financial success and willingness to talk about money.

  • Seven in ten Americans prefer to discuss finances with their partner within the first few months of a relationship, if not sooner.
  • Fifty-eight percent say one’s credit score is a big consideration when choosing a partner. Recent research has shown that couples with similar credit scores are more likely to stay together.
  • Just over half consider income level a big factor when looking for a partner. 

Related: 7 Ways Money Can Wreck Your Relationship

Long-Term Financial Harmony

Even though nine out of ten Americans believe it’s important to discuss finances with each other, couples often remain in the dark or disagree about key financial aspects.

  • A third of Americans said secretive finances was a deal breaker, but one in 20 have a credit card or bank account hidden from their partners.
  • Two in five Americans couldn’t say how much their partner earned, with one in ten off by $25,000 or more.
  • Almost half of couples don’t agree on how much they will need in retirement.