He's a keeper! He's got a great smile, a hilarious sense of humor and the strongest ... credit score you've ever seen.
It's no joke: A new survey of 2,000 online daters found that 58% of people say having those three digits in good shape is more attractive than having a nice car; 50% say it's more impressive than having a good job title; and 40% say they prefer it over a buff body.
And when asked about which qualities they'd like in a mate, financial responsibility rated higher than having a sense of humor, attractiveness, ambition, courage and modesty, the survey, by Discover and Match Media Group (which owns dating sites like Match.com and Tinder) found. That's in part because people equate being good with your money with other positive traits, like being trustworthy and smart.
Before you do a spit take with your coffee, keep in mind that arguments about money are often a top predictor of divorce. Bloomberg also reported on a Federal Reserve study that found the bigger the mismatch in credit scores daters had when they met, the more likely they were to break up. How a potential partner handles his or finances should be a concern, at least if you're looking for something long-term.
But let's face it — putting your credit score on your profile would make you feel like a tool. That's probably why only 7% of online daters said they would disclose their financial details before meeting someone in person — although most said they would be willing to talk money within the first six months of a relationship.
If you're ready to get intimate with your partner's finances, here are some pointers to help ease into the conversation.
Ask about early money memories. How people deal with money is often influenced by how their families handled it. Ask your significant other if he grew up earning an allowance, how his parents spent and saved money or how old he was when he got his first job. This can give you a sense of the money values that he may have inherited.
Offer a compliment on something she does well financially. If you notice that your partner is good at finding deals or staying on top of her spending, then bring it up and ask how she got to be that way. That can help you feel out her financial priorities. Plus, you can use it as a segue to what she feels she doesn't do well, and then reciprocate with the same information.
Share your future goals. Chances are good all your big dreams will involve money, whether it's growing in your career, going on a trip or buying a home in a few years. Talk about what you aspire to achieve, as well as how you think you're going to get there. Ask your partner about those same goals and share pointers for what each of you could be doing better.
Be straightforward. If all else fails, then it might be time to just say upfront that you'd like to talk money as the relationship progresses. You could use an article or a current event as a starting point. For instance, "I was reading a story the other day about how couples should talk about their money situations, and I realized we should probably have that conversation." Yes, it'll feel awkward at first, but a financial DTR is worth having to help figure out if money will ultimately be the cause of a breakup — or help bring you closer together.