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Love and money: He said...

He said

By Jessica Horton, Copywriter

The first part of the “Love and Money: She said, He said” series from last week focused on the traits women find attractive in a mate, specifically when it comes to finances. For the second part, we’re going to take a look at the male perspective when it comes to love and money.

There are a number of studies that have been conducted on this topic, and – though not particularly surprising – significantly more men significantly more men place a higher value on attractiveness in a partner compared to women.

According to MMI’s Love and Money survey, out of six traits, women ranked attractiveness sixth, while the rankings for men are as follows:

  1. Common values and interests
  2. Attractiveness
  3. Job security
  4. Low debt level
  5. A good credit history
  6. Adequate savings

However, various studies and research conducted on the traits men find appealing in a mate has shown that over the years, financial stability has become a more important factor for men. Researchers at the University of Iowa find that men increasingly are interested in intelligent, educated women who are financially stable.

And according to MMI’s Love and Money survey, while a “low debt level” is more important to women than men, more men consider a mate’s high debt levels to be a deal-breaker in a relationship.

These findings aren’t necessarily surprising when considering the fact that relationships are all about give-and-take. And whether you’re male or female, you will likely be wary of entering into a relationship where you feel you may have to “give” more than the other person.

On that same note, one trait men find universally unattractive is a partner who is “needy” – and that can mean financially needy as well. Men want to know that a woman can stand on her own two feet. And that’s a great quality to have – whether you’re in a relationship or not!

For more great Love and Money resources:

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Flirting with finances

You're guaranteed to fall in love our free eBook

Noticing the polarizing effects finances can have on the most committed of couples, the educators at MMI have addressed both. Part one is a fun, flirty take on love and money, while part two addresses the more pressing concerns of couples by offering advice on making finances a delight, rather than a drain, on your relationship. As a bonus, part three features ideas to spark conversation and candid talk from couples on love and money.

Love and Money eBook 


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Picking the perfect financial partner

Have a frank conversation to ensure you're both on the same page

Loves you…loves you not… Remember when finding love was all about picking the right petal? Today, finding and maintaining love is still about the choices you make, but the options are a bit more complex, especially when you are trying to pick the ideal financial partner. 

Because communication is key in any successful relationship, taking the time to talk can be a great investment in your joint financial future. Consider starting with the following five topics:

  1. How did your family handle money when growing up? Your financial style is based on years of experience. Think back to how your family handled money while you were growing up.
  2. What is your definition of a “financial crisis”? Different people have different thresholds for financial stress. For some people, getting calls from creditors is a minor irritation. For others, the mere thought of a credit card balance is enough to send them over the financial edge.
  3. Should we have one account or two? Different couples handle money differently. Having separate accounts can be a practical way to share financial responsibilities while maintaining individual freedoms. However, many couples who agree on spending habits find that a joint account works well for them.
  4. What do you consider a “big” financial decision? One key to a happy financial life is to vow to make all big financial decisions together. While that sounds good in theory, it is probably worth exploring in more detail. After all, one of you might consider a television a huge purchase, while the other might be thinking more along the lines of a car.
  5. What are your financial goals? Everyone, whether they’re in a relationship or single, should take the time to set financial goals. Setting agreed-upon short-, mid-, and long-term goals with your partner can help you both make smart financial decisions. Just be sure your goals are both realistic and flexible.

The answers to these questions should encourage a deeper discussion about your finances. Don’t forget to discuss areas such as debt and credit standing. They may be a bit harder to talk about, but they are vital to your financial plan.

After having an open and frank conversation about your finances, reflect on the following qualities you should consider (and some you should pass):

  • LOVES YOU: Someone who shares the same (or similar) financial goals and aspirations as you.
  • LOVES YOU NOT: Someone whose idea of good financial communication is a series of grunts, shrugs, and blank stares.
  • LOVES YOU: Someone who was raised with similar values. Because the way your parents handled their money has a direct influence on the way you handle yours, finding someone who was raised with the same values can be an asset in your relationship.
  • LOVES YOU NOT: Someone who buys a Ferrari on a whim; and you were thinking that the gourmet coffee you drink in the mornings were splurges!
  • LOVES YOU: Someone whose financial strengths and values complement your own.


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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
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