4 Great Financial Qualities To Look For In An S.O. That Aren’t “Having Money”

I’m not going to be corny and say ~good sense of humor~ is the only thing that matters in a relationship, (although I’m sure a similar sense of humor it is a non-negotiable for most), but when talking to people about relationships (as I often do), I find that money often comes up in the conversation. It makes me wonder how much it actually matters. It is unclear whether or not money in general should be a deciding factor when choosing a romantic partner.

If you ask some, they’d say hell no, and argue that if you love someone, you won’t be worried at all about their financial situation in any way. Others might argue that a part of being attracted to/falling in love with someone may have something to do with admiring and respecting the way they view and handle money. I, as a TFD writer, tend to think it should be a part of the conversation. Not to say that I would blow off a dude based solely on the fact that he doesn’t make enough money, because that is not at all true. But the way that someone views money in general, and handles the money they earn, says a lot about who they are — the personality traits that go along with a financially responsible human are ones that I find myself very drawn to.

With that said, I know some gals who refuse to date a man who earns less than six figures. And that’s their choice, and it isn’t necessarily a bad one. But there are a few things money-related that I think are more important than salary when choosing a romantic partner. Here are great money qualities to look for in a partner, that aren’t just “the amount of money they have.”

1. Motivation and ambition.

Choosing a romantic partner looks different for everyone. But the fact that your partner (or potential partner…eeep!) has some sort of drive to do something with their life to earn money is one of the most important things you could know about them. It doesn’t matter so much if it is an entirely financially-driven goal — they may not have money yet, and they might not be quite sure just yet how money will play into it, especially if they’re still very young. But for the most part, if they have the motivation and ambition to chase certain dreams, set and work towards certain goals, and make money along the way to support their journey, you know you don’t have someone who is going to sit on the couch and hope you hit it big so you can financially support them.

2. Financial goals.

This can come in the form of wanting to earn a certain salary someday, wanting to save a certain amount to have in savings/an emergency fund, wanting to save a specific amount with a certain goal or purchase in mind at the end, etc. The actual amount itself doesn’t matter as much as the fact that they are thinking about money in a thoughtful way that encourages productivity and progress in their lives. Swipe right!

3. A desire to learn new things.

One of the most important qualities to look for when choosing a romantic partner is someone who wants to keep improving (in whatever way this means to them). Getting new degrees, learning new skills, climbing the corporate ladder within their company, developing new dreams and creating new goals are all things that let you know that your partner isn’t going to settle comfortably into a stagnant career that leaves them both emotionally (and possibly financially) unfulfilled. The happiness of your relationship will ultimately rely heavily on their own personal and professional satisfaction.

4. Respect for your passions and/or career (and understanding of the fact that the two might be very different things).

I know of (and probably have dated) the ~artistic~ folks who will put their partner down for not doing work that they are particularly passionate about.

For me, while I do have a lot of personal and professional interests, and I do have the motivation to work towards professional goals that I think will make me happy (i.e. TFD), I’ve also always understood that sometimes, you need to just do something to earn money that you won’t particularly love. And I’m totally okay with that, and don’t think it discredits my career ambitions, or my commitment to certain things I feel passionate about. One of the best qualities I tend to search for while choosing a romantic partner is that they are someone who respects all of the choices I make and all of the work I do, understanding that some of it is for passion (TFD), and some of it is just for cash to support myself while I work towards other goals.

It goes the other way around, too. It is also important to find yourself with somebody who understands that “making a shit ton of money” may not be your motivation, and you may be more comfortable and happy in a career that you love, even though you’re never going to make six figures. Understanding and respecting each other’s career goals, financial goals, and desired lifestyle is the thing that will make or break your relationship above anything else.

Mary writes every day for TFD, and tweets every day for her own personal fulfillment. Talk to her about money and life at mary@thefinancialdiet.com!

Image via Unsplash

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