Joshua Snodin

Finding love – what influences your route to the one?

Finding love online certainly depends on a few key ingredients: compatible personalities, some effort and luck, and maybe a stellar profile. But how about the power of your pockets?

In our most recent survey, we asked 500 members for their opinions on the role money plays in their choice of partner, and how they would deal with sharing finances when they do find their match. Taken straight from our members' mouths, although the cliché ‘money can’t buy you love’ still rings true, the results show finances are nonetheless a consideration for many finding love.  

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Attractive singles expect more

Our survey also asked respondents whether they think they are attractive or not, and then asked for their opinion on how they prioritise key partner characteristics, such as their sense of humour, job, education and wealth. It was revealed that people rating themselves as 'attractive' do indeed expect much more of their future partner than those who do not. For example, while 83% of 'attractive' singles think their partner should be wealthy, just 63% of respondents who didn't tick the 'attractive' box think the same. Likewise, almost 70% of 'attractive' singles expect a future partner to be intelligent, in contrast to just 42%. 

Read more: Choosing a partner - are political opinions important? Our member survey reveals all

Men and women unmoved by money?

With the votes counted, the most encouraging lesson from the survey is that money can’t, or is at least highly unlikely, to buy love on its own. Our members rightly see that finding love – for the long-term – depends on more important factors. Just 7% would date someone just for their cash; a fact well-explained by both sexes pointing to a bulging wallet as the least effective way to be attractive. A partner’s behaviour and humour were, rightly, chosen by our members as the most important characteristics of an attractive partner

The genders also agreed on their preferred type of partner. 70% of women and 79% of men told us that financial sensibility is a more attractive trait than lavishness. 

Read more: How to make a long distance relationship work

Women more wary

Despite emphasising that they’re most interested in a partner’s intrinsic qualities, such as their humour, behaviour and education, female responses in the poll nonetheless show a degree of caution. 69% consider a partner's income important, a large number particularly when compared to the 19% of men who felt the same! Though women may be unmoved by wealth in their initial partner selection, that such a number think income is nonetheless important suggests that finding love still may be somewhat tied to finding security. 

The gender differences don’t end there, either, as the majority of women wouldn’t consider marrying someone earning less than them. Even self-described ‘successful’ women appear worried by the thought of out-earning their spouse – 45% think their partner should have a higher salary, while only 1 in 4 wouldn’t see this as an issue. 

Read more: How to choose the right life partner for you - The three traits of a strong partnership

Seeking independence, not support

Though at face value this might imply some truth to the outdated clichés of women chasing the wallet, answers elsewhere in the poll suggest a good reason for this desire for relationship security. While 58% of men told us they expected to support each other financially, just 8% of women wanted to rely on their partner and the majority (55%) prioritise independence. So, while it appears that finding love for women means finding some level of security, it’s clear they don’t want to be supported – it’s more that they don’t want to be the one supporting their partner. 

Dr. Wiebke Neberich, resident psychologist at EliteSingles, points to women’s recent achievements in finding social and financial independence as a basis for these opinions. “Women rightly treasure this achievement”, she argues, so it’s natural for them to have a vision of a couple as one in which both parties can support themselves. But Neberich also points out that, from an evolutionary perspective, “The female desire for security...can be explained by women’s natural role as the more dependent person during the phase of starting a family”. What woman wouldn’t see their partner’s income as important, then? 

Read more: Matchmaking - how we support your partner search

Finding love in spite of it all...

While a bulging wallet may not be the route to meeting your match, it could hasten the speed at which you lose them. The survey also asked what sort of financial habits most irritate our partners. Top of the list of offenders for both men and women was the classic: borrowing small amounts of money without paying back. 

But the sexes don’t agree everywhere, it seems. One common cliché appeared in the list of most-hated money habits – men’s annoyance at their partner ‘lying about the cost of things’. For the women, they know exactly why these cheeky white lies are needed: high on their hit-list was their frustration with men ‘telling me how to spend my money’. 

So, according to our members, money may matter for finding love – but it’s not about paying for everything and flashing the cash. 

Looking for your love? Try EliteSingles today

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