Credit and Relationships, Plus Money and Dating Roundup

by TTMK on January 17, 2013 · 13 comments

The topic of money and relationships is something that simply fascinates me.  What people say, and what they actually do, can be two very different things.  Some people might dream of meeting a rich person, but then fall for the proverbial “starving artist” type and live happily ever after.  Yet others may declare that they don’t care about money (and might convince themselves of this), but then actively seek a mate based on financial resources.

Then you have the people who come right out and say what they want, and apparently mean it.  Even to the point of demanding to see credit scores before getting seriously involved with someone.  There have been some articles around the blogosphere about dating and credit scores, but this quick writeup caught me eye with the concept of seeing credit scores being a point of discussion.

In it, a story is told with a paraphrased request which suggests that a guy posted on Twitter that women could impress him by posting their credit reports.  Further, the post goes on to discuss that there are dating websites that let people sign up and leverage their credit score for their benefit.  In other words, your credit score becomes a selling point and a marker of your attractiveness.

Frankly, I don’t think very many people really think like this – nor are they open about money when dating.  However, while my initial reaction was to laugh, I think this actually has some sense to it.  If you’re a financially responsible person, who has worked hard and continues to work hard to be responsible and save money, would you want to risk getting involved with someone who has a history of major financial irresponsibility?

If a question was asked about how much money somebody made or what they had, that might be more off-putting.  However, a person of modest means could have a great credit score, while someone with more money might be irresponsible and in the process of squandering it.  Besides, marrying for money itself seems shallow to me (see post on avoiding gold diggers), but valuing financial responsibility seems smart.

People care about numbers such as age, height, and weight.  The first two can’t be controlled, the third can be to some degree. But one’s credit habits can be controlled.  As such, those numbers tell more about what the person is really like, thus making credit scores good information to help make an informed decision on compatibility.

I’m curious what you think.

  • Are we on to a new way of looking at relationships here, where it becomes more mainstream to actually ask someone about their credit score?
  • Do you think this type of compatibility is important in a relationship?

Money and Dating Roundup

Speaking of money and dating, it’s interesting to read the perspectives of fellow bloggers, as well as stories they write.  Along those lines, here are some posts to check out!

On Which Date Do You Display Financial Information, at Reach Financial Independence

Financial Disclosure Before and After Engagement, at Evolving Personal Finance

Fun, Cheap Date Ideas, at Tackling Our Debt

52 Free or Cheap Date Ideas, at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Yes, My Boyfriend is Paying Me Rent, at The Happy Homeowner

How to Avoid Online Dating Scams, at One Cent at a Time

You Have No Idea How Much I Paid for This Room, at The Free Financial Advisor

Dating + Money = Awkward, at Punch Debt in the Face

The $10,000 Dating Budget, at Well Heeled Blog

You Gotta Get a Prenup [Music Video], at Thousandaire

 

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Pauline January 17, 2013 at 9:14 am

I am not a gold digger but won’t last with someone who is not financially smart, whatever his salary. I had an online dating profile that said I don’t care about your job title, as long as you are financially independent and able to enjoy life once in a while. The credit score site sounds like a nice idea, although there are hints about financial behavior on the first few dates. Thanks for the mention!

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TTMK January 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Pauline – financial responsibility is a big thing. I think that male or female, it doesn’t matter…nobody needs to be brought down by someone who has no regard for financial responsibility. Agreed that salary doesn’t matter.

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Sicorra @TacklingOurDebt January 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Thanks very much for the include! My husband and I did talk about money when we were dating and I remember feeling uncomfortable about it.

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TTMK January 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Sicorra – you’re welcome, I liked the post. I can understand how such conversations can be uncomfortable, by the way.

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Christian L. January 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Asking somebody about their credit upfront seems rude and pointless. Why not find out if there are other more legitimate turnoffs?

It just makes no sense to write off an incredible person who might have $20,000 in debt. I get a little too worked up when people base relationships — platonic or romantic — on money.

-Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

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Matt January 18, 2013 at 3:54 am

When it comes to dating, I think I’m with Christian on this one, although marriage is a different prospect entirely. I remember our vicar sitting us down before he married us to talk about asking each other difficult questions, like what we would do if each others parents got sick or started to suffer from dementia, what our expectations of each other were and other such things. That’s definitely a point to look at money. Having said that, we did talk about money, but neither of us was particularly financially savvy back then, and although my missus is terrible with dosh, I still wouldn’t change her for all the cash on the planet. You see, even if you are financially savvy, you can still be a victim of circumstance, and then you may need a partner with other qualities.

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TTMK January 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Matt – money isn’t everything, and it’s most certainly not the most important thing. If people can compromise, and see the value of being responsible, it doesn’t matter if one person is rich and the other isn’t. At least, hopefully not. Though bad habits and reluctance to change bad habits can be detrimental….who wants to be brought down by someone irresponsible?

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AverageJoe January 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Can you imagine strolling up to someone at a bar and saying, “Hey, I’m a 724…how about you?” Is 724 a sexy-enough credit score? 760? What’s the magic number for credit-score love?

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TTMK January 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Average Joe –

I can see it playing out now…

Him: “Hey there, baby….psst….I have a big credit score number….it’s a 780″
Her: (thinking:) “Ooooohhh….780???…Yummmm!!!
Her: “We should go out sometime…”

LOL

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Suba January 18, 2013 at 3:46 pm

If I logically think about it I can’t survive long with someone who has the exact opposite habits when it comes to finances. But I am married to someone who is the exact opposite of me in almost every single way. He cares about me so he changes things that bothers me too much and I change if something is very important to him. I know it is naive to think anyone can change another person, but we have changed so much in the last 10 years we have been together. To answer your questions, yes, logically I believe compatibility, not just in finances, in a lot of things is essential for a relationship. But we are in no way compatible other that we want the other person to be happy so it works for us.

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TTMK January 19, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Suba – that’s great, it sounds like you guys understand how to compromise and mutually think of the other person’s needs.

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Mochi and Macarons January 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I’ve never done this, but I will admit to probing lightly if someone has warning signals with the way they deal with their finances.

If I hear a lot of red flags in the way they talk about how they live — values, spending, what they like to spend on, what they think about how someone should live… it’s not that I would write them off completely if they say things like: I LOVE to drink coffee daily at Starbucks!

It’s more that it’s an incompatibility in our lifestyle, and if we ended up together, I don’t want to be on the opposite side any more. Been there, done that.

I want someone who shares my values, and that includes how we spend our money.

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TTMK January 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm

MM – that makes sense. Sharing values is important, and if one person is a spender and the other is a saver, then there’s an issue. The art of compromise is a great thing to have, but it takes two people!

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