Picking Your Mate: Love or Money?

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For Love, Not Money
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I’m a bleeding heart for love.  I believe it exists.  I believe it trumps all.  I don’t believe it should be tied to the number of zeros on your paycheck.

In the personal finance world, I often feel isolated in my beliefs.  It seems that many have the opinion that love is contingent on their potential mate’s financial situation; if not their paycheck, then how well they handle the paycheck that they receive.  This is smart.  You want some security in your life.  The number one reason for divorce in our country is financial disagreements.  But I still believe in love as the joining of two souls.  And while lack of financial leverage is a weakness, I think there are tons of other comparable weaknesses that we all may or may not have.

So I was pleased to find out that I may not be the only one with my beliefs.  According to Pew Research, Generation Y is on my side, despite (or perhaps because) of the hardships they’ve faced early on with the recession and its effects.  Only 15% say that being successful in a high-paying career is one of the most important things in life, while 34% say that having a successful marriage is.

On the same note, marriage is on the decline.  I feel like the 34% may be a low-ball figure as more and more people are opting for relationships of cohabitation without the ring.  Yet even when only married people were polled, only 31% quoted financial stability as a good reason to tie the knot.  The percentage is the same for unmarried couples.

So I’m not alone.  Maybe most of the world still believes in love regardless of dollar signs.

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23 thoughts on “Picking Your Mate: Love or Money?

  1. Manda

    I’m with you 100%. Love trumps all for me. While obviously finances play a huge role in relationships, I think love should be (and it is for me!) the most important factor.

    In China there’s a saying that was popularized by a female contestant on a dating reality TV show that is something along the lines of “I’d rather be crying in the back of your BMW than laughing on the back of your bicycle.” I can’t even imagine having that mentality!

    Reply
    1. eemusings

      Bahahaha that’s an outstanding quote.

      Do you read Her Every Cent Counts? I am in a similar boat in that our partners are not high earners but, I guess, we’ve chosen money over love.

      Reply
  2. Budget and the Beach

    Although I think having strong financial values will hopefully attract the same kind of mate, what they earn does not make me attracted to them or would consider marrying them. yuck! I’m not THAT desperate! 🙂 I think that way of thinking is totally out. At least I hope so. This isn’t Downton Abbey.

    Reply
  3. Shannon @ The Heavy Purse

    Agreed! Love trumps money. But I think money can trump long-term love if you have vastly differently philosophies. But I absolutely do not believe LOVE is determined by the car you drive, the size of your paycheck etc. That’s not love; that’s a bad reality TV show!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      True, true. A lot of times people say that money is the top reason for split ups. I’d argue that it’s a break down in communication and a bit of selfishness on the part of one or both partners. Money is such a superficial excuse.

      Reply
  4. Mo Money Mo Houses

    I think love is the most important part, but it’s good to be cautious and practical too. Especially if you do plan on living with your partner or getting married, because you need more than just love to make those things last.

    Reply
  5. Mrs PoP @Planting Our Pennies

    I think part of love for us is wanting to choose our same adventures together – and the planning that goes along with that requires being in at least the same chapter of the “big book of personal finances”. Ya know, if that were an actual book. =)

    Reply
  6. John S @ Frugal Rules

    While I think being on the same page financially is very important, it pales in comparison to love. Without the love you really have nothing, especially if you’re looking to live with someone for the rest of your life.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Seriously! One thing I love about the boyfriend is that he’s always looking for ways to spend more time with us. Sometimes it’s not practical so we don’t exercise it, but the fact that he would choose us over work is something that makes me love him even more.

      Reply
  7. Ms. S

    Love is certainly most important! The size of the paycheck is not important for me as long as he is a hard worker and of strong character. What I definitely don’t want is someone who chronically mishandles their finances, lives on credit and sees no issues with it.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I’m with you. I think that if someone does mishandle their finances, it’s something you can work out if both parties are open to communication. I may be a sucker, but if he was my soul mate I may just be foolish and give it up. Good thing I already found one and he’s not a financial idiot lol.

      Reply
  8. jlcollinsnh

    I’ve been married 30 years. We never once discussed money before we tied the knot. Turns out we’re on the same page. we got lucky.

    would have been a much tougher ride otherwise.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      30 years! Congrats!!!! You guys really rock the finance game. I’m glad you were so lucky. I think it is important to chat finances before you make a huge commitment to someone just so you’re aware of if your love can survive the financial debate, but someone’s credit score isn’t going to make it or break it for me.

      Reply
  9. StudentDebtSurvivor

    I think (maybe I’m naive) that you can have both. I love my bf more than anything in the world and he’s great with finances. I wouldn’t marry him for money or lack thereof, but coming from parents who divorced because of money, my future partner’s ability to be financially stable (ie. not spend all of our mortgage money on video games or other women-ekk) is important to me.

    Reply

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