Think back to the last time you were really serious about someone as a potential spouse or partner. What were the qualities you were looking for in that person? What was really important?
While many women would want to think that a kind man with good looks and a great sense of humor topped the list, the reality is that while those types of qualities are important, what’s really topping ladies’ lists are money and social status.
The hard numbers of marriage and money
In fact, according to Daily Mail, “64 percent [of women] said they aspire to find a husband who brings home a larger pay packet than they do. None wanted to marry a man who earned less. And 69 percent said they would prefer to stay at home to look after their children if money were not an issue.”
When it comes to long-term relationships and marriage, money matters. Yet, as you think back on your last serious fling (which might still be going!), how often did you talk about money?
The reality is that only a small percentage of couples talk about money before they get married, and even after they are married, only 38% of couples say they plan together for retirement.
Yet, as we all know, money is the biggest stress point in a relationship, and not surprisingly, the number one cause of divorce.
So, it’s pretty important to talk about before you make one of the biggest commitments of your life.
Getting down to money matters
When money talks do happen, they usually revolve around things like income and hard work. These are qualities that women often view as important. Unfortunately, these are still superficial things. After all, a good job can go away, and so can the big salary that comes with it. And hard work, while admirable, is not a promise for financial success.
So, what should women looking to land the right partner be searching for when it comes to money? The answer is in mindset.
When Robert and I were dating, we did a fun and helpful exercise together that helped us discover whether we were a good match for each other. One night, we each had a 3×5 index card on which we wrote the top ten values we thought the other had as a person.
When we were done, we compared our lists. We had some that were in common and a few that were not in common. But importantly for both of us, the things in common were big ones: money, business, and investing. (This is a good thing since the first birthday gift Robert ever gave me was an accounting class!)
Discovering that we were both in alignment in our values, especially regarding money, business, and investing was a big point in our relationship, and it sparked an important conversation. I can guarantee that if we had not been in alignment, the relationship wouldn’t have lasted.
The things that attracted me to Robert weren’t his social status and how much money he had (because he didn’t have any!). Instead, it was the way he thought about money. I knew that he was eager to learn, and someone I could spend my life with because of the way he approached these important topics.
Together, with our shared passions, we’ve built a wonderful life.
So, the question is, does money make a happy marriage? The answer is yes and no. Certainly having money can make things a lot less stressful. But ultimately, what makes a happy marriage is alignment.
Find someone who shares your values, especially about money, and you’ll find someone you can spend your life with in every circumstance.