I’m talking about a lot of debt. Like, $40,000+ in student loans, or thousands of dollars in credit card debt – without a solid plan to get themselves out. Or what if you’re a saver, and they’re a spender?
It’s obvious that the financial habits of your significant other can play a huge role in defining what kind of life you would have with that person – both short-term and long-term. But are poor financials a big enough reason to eliminate someone as a potential mate? According to a new survey by Match.com, almost half of Canadians would not date someone who is in debt. At all. That’s huge.
Now, I usually don’t write about press releases or surveys that I get sent, but I thought this one was fun, and also pretty interesting. Here are a few more results:
- 57% of singles have stopped dating because of their own lack of money.
- 50% of singles have stopped dating someone else because of a partner’s lack of money.
- 75% of singles would not borrow money from a partner
- 42% of singles say they have lent money to a partner in the past
Related: Could you ever marry for money?
I’ve dated guys in the past with wildly different financial histories and ways of managing money. One was extremely frugal, to the point where it was sometimes frustrating. One was incredibly bad with his money, and didn’t seem to think it was an issue. One had a weakness for expensive cars. One had more money than he knew what to do with.
I think that I could date someone with a moderate amount debt, as long as they had a reasonable plan in place to get themselves out of debt.
But there are definitely big differences in the type of debt that someone has.
For example, maybe you’d date someone that had $12,000 in credit card debt, but had a plan to be debt-free within a year.
But would you date someone that had just $5,000 in credit card debt (and was currently sinking further into debt), but had no plan (and no means) to pay it off? Maybe. Maybe not.
Would you date someone with $100,000 in student loans, knowing that their debt would likely have a significant effect on the timing of buying a house, getting married, having children, travel, etc?
When I was $20,000+ in the hole, I hope nobody would have dismissed me as a potential match just because of my financial situation. I knew my debt was a burden, but I had a plan to get myself out of that mess. And it definitely would have been nice if I had found the courage to confide in my partner at the time about my debt (and the serious stress I had because of it). But instead, I hid it because I was ashamed. However, if I had $200,000 in debt, maybe that’d be a different story. I would never want my debt to hold someone else back from achieving their goals in life.
And it’s not just being in debt as a potential factor in determining whether someone is (financially) compatible. Debt is just part of it. I think it’s important to have open discussions about money, debt, and goals on a regular basis – and if that doesn’t happen, regardless of the person’s financial situation – in my opinion, the relationship is likely doomed from the start.