Throughout history and pop culture, we've been taught to see men who impress women with money as attractive, powerful and even the ideal partner. Spontaneous vacations, fancy dinners, designer clothes — money plays a big role in love stories, from Millionarie Matchmaker to The Great Gatsby. But how important is splurging when it comes to dating, really?
It turns out, your money matters a whole lot. But not in the way you might assume. For those looking to get into long-term relationships, it's not what's in the wallet that's important — it's how you handle it.
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In an experiment where participants had to evaluate dating profiles, University of Michigan Ross School of Business researchers discovered that savers are considered better dating material than big spenders. On a scale of 1-7, penny pinchers ranked at 5 in terms of sex appeal, while spenders lagged behind at 4. Yep, all that budgeting could actually be making you a better catch.
And, it makes sense, too. Just like how bad credit scores can be a dating dealbreaker, it's less about the actual money and more about what the behavior implies.
As thrilling and dreamy as spontaneous trips to Europe may be, they, along with flashy cars, can show a lack of self-control. Smart budgeting shows discipline — and commitment, even. People who manage their cash well aren't limited to just having self-control with money. They display it in other areas of their lives.
And sure, money-saving doesn't sound like the most romantic characteristic on the surface, but certainly a desirable trait in a partner for the longterm.
My ex-boyfriend was the best non-stingy, money-saver I've ever known. At first, I had a hard time grasping the fact that he'd never impulse-buy when he could afford to and that he'd buy the store-name brand yogurt over all of the delicious (yet more expensive) choices at the supermarket. Yet, the discipline and consistency he used to manage his money was also evident in his commitment to his family, healthy lifestyle and our relationship.
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"Must love piggy banks" very well may be the new "tall, dark and handsome."
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