On the surface, there’s nothing remotely romantic about discussing one’s personal credit, but recent research from financial giant Experian Consumer Services found that the majority of both men and women reported that regularly discussing their finances makes their spouse more appealing.
“A surprising 73 percent of [married] women and 60 percent of [married] men … said that discussing their finances with their spouse on a regular basis made their spouse seem more attractive to them,” Becky Frost, senior manager of consumer education at Experian Consumer Services, told TheBlaze. “The act of talking about your financial goals with your spouse [is beneficial].”
Frost said that many people spend their time refining and perfecting personal appearance, but that the survey results clearly show that communication also has a profound impact on relationships.
She added that the survey results specifically indicated that financial responsibility ranked higher for many people than physical attractiveness when assessing compatibility.
In fact, when asking married respondents about important attributes for seeking a spouse, 95 percent chose financial responsibility as an important factor. This compares to 86 percent who selected personal appearance and 77 percent who chose career ambition as important compatibility indicators.
“Survey findings show that once someone identifies a compatible partner, his or her next thought is about how that person manages personal finances, and credit plays a key role in that scenario,” read a press release announcing the results.
So, what’s driving the importance of finances in modern-day relationships?
It may be a traditional factor in contemporary relationships, but Experian’s research also found that the 2008 financial crisis had a seemingly profound impact on couples’ fiscal chatter.
“Sixty-one percent of couples who married after the recession said that they discussed their credit scores before getting married,” Frost said, noting that this jumped from 35 percent who married before the recession and reported doing the same.
And 82 percent of post-recession couples also reported discussing their financial goals at least once monthly. Frost said she’s interested in seeing how this trend changes over time.
“The recession changes the way that couples talk about credit and finances … after 2008 [people were] more willing to be open about their finances. It’s part of their regular conversations,” she explained. “That doesn’t mean that couples that came together before can’t change — it just means that those who came together after are more likely to talk about financial goals before getting married to a person.”
Read more about the results here.
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