Americans are becoming more comfortable talking about money with their partners, according to a recent survey. And money is more important than ever in a relationship. A poll of 2,000 Americans, all in relationships, revealed that “financial security” is in their top three for most attractive traits to have as a significant other.
It’s not all about the bottom line or love of money, though. A “sense of humor” and “intelligence” shared the top spot, with 44% of respondents saying these were the most important traits. “Financial security” was not far behind, however, with 42% of the votes.
Fortunately, with the importance people place on financial security as they enter a relationship, 66% say they are comfortable discussing finances with their partner.
Additionally, old societal norms of being the breadwinner are shifting. Financial security is an important trait for anyone entering a relationship — not just men. More couples today feel both partners can take responsibility for the financial wellness of their household. Eighty percent of those polled say it’s become more socially acceptable for women to earn more than their male partner in a heterosexual relationship, and 77% said that relationships no longer need to have only one “breadwinner” — expenses can be split equally or divided in whatever way seems fair.
The study was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LifeHappens, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating consumers about life insurance.
While Americans’ seem to be growing more open about discussing money, there are a few financial topics couples are still hesitant to broach. The most taboo topics included:
- Prenups (31%)
- Joint bank accounts (21%)
- Taking on each other’s debt (18%)
However, it might pay to break through that social norm and talk to your partner about debt, especially if you’ve been dating a year or more. Seventy-three percent of respondents polled said they would be willing to help their partner pay down debt.
Most couples said it takes roughly five months into a relationship to start feeling comfortable discussing their salary and overall financial status. In fact, there are some things that seem to be even harder. Couples polled said they waited an average of nine months before saying, “I love you.” Perhaps it is just more important to get those financial details out of the way before declaring life-long love.
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