How Money Affects Which Guys You Find Attractive (Even If You're An Independent Woman)

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how does money affect relationships

Is his bank account a dealbreaker?

Money has so much impact in this world. It is the cause of many stresses and problems, especially in our relationships. But how does money affect relationships?

Think back to your own past relationships. Has money been an issue without you even knowing? Has a bill ever come after a meal followed by an awkward reach for a wallet, not sure if he is paying or not?

RELATED: 11 Signs Your Attitude Toward Money Is Ruining Your Relationship

It does seem a bit taboo to talk about. Money is one of those forbidden cocktail party topics, along with politics and religion. But it makes you wonder if everyone else may have the same thoughts on the moolah as you.

Shepherds Friendly and Dr. Becky Spelman teamed up to put together a survey to ask those sensitive questions

Does money play a part in how attractive you find a man? Before you say no, think about it. It is almost subconscious for women to believe that a man who can provide for a family is more attractive. The maturity and the stable nature of the guy can play a huge factor in whether or not you agree to go out with him. 

“Traditionally, men have been seen as providers for the family. Consciously or subconsciously, women sometimes still look for indications that a man would be able to care for her — and possibly, her children too," Dr. Spelman says.

Surveying from different age groups — one from ages 18-29, another from 45-59, and another from 60+ — the results found that about 22.4 percent of men agreed that money played a big role in attractiveness, whereas 36.1 percent of women also agreed with that statement. 

Now, here comes the question of the awkward wallet grab that was mentioned earlier: Should men pay on date night?

While 68.3 percent of men said they should, 41.9 percent of women also agreed with that statement. How about splitting the bill? Only 28.5 percent of men agreed with that, and 56.1 percent of women felt the same way. As for same-sex couples, research indicated that most surveyed felt that whoever initiated the date should be the one who pays. 

Times are changing and more women are feeling less dependent on men to pay the bill. Men, on the other hand, still seem to want to be the ones who foot the bill. This could be a way to assert their dominance and manhood, or perhaps they are just gentlemen.

“Men paying on a date night is a traditional attitude that springs from the simple fact that our society comes from a very patriarchal past. Men still want to pay even though things have changed a lot in society, and this could be a way of exercising a degree of control in a relationship. Over three-quarters of women aged 18-29 feel that couples should split the bill, which indicates that younger women have grown up in a society where they feel more secure and able, and less inclined to look to male partners for financial security,” Dr. Spelman reveals.

Looking into salaries, the numbers begin to drop even lower when asked if what someone makes plays a role in whether you pursue a relationship or not: 22.4 percent of men said yes, as well as 31.4 percent of women. 

“A significant minority of both men and women feel that a partner’s earnings are an important element in a relationship. This view is slightly more commonly held among women, reflecting the traditional role of men as providers, and the fact that women still earn less, on average, in many sectors," advises Dr. Spelman.

Sure, it would be hard to date someone with no job and no ambition. But there is only a small minority who says that a smaller salary would deter them from a romantic connection. They would much rather be compatible with someone than deposit the money in the long run. 

When you first begin to date someone, disclosing how much you make right away might seem a bit strange. Asking how much they make on the first date can serve as a red flag.

But is it important to keep your salary a secret down the road? The survey revealed that 9.1 percent of men said yes as well as 13.3 percent of women. The survey also showed that same-sex couples seemed to be more inclined to keep their finances separate.

For many people, not knowing their partner's financial status after a while could serve as a problem if they are on the path of getting serious. When you are together, you are a team. If you are thinking about moving in together or even starting a family, knowing what your team accumulates together is a huge plus. 

But does being on a team means that individuals are responsible for their partner's debt? The survey found that 24.4 percent of men said yes along with 31.4 percent percent of women. Now, when you move on to the big B — bankruptcy — is that the end all/be all of the relationships? Is it breakup-worthy? 11 percent of men said yes, and so did 10.4 percent of women. 

RELATED: How Money Can Make — Or Break — Your Relationship

The numbers show that yes, money can play a role in attractiveness at first for some. But in the long run, financial hardships don't mean failure for a relationship. Qualities like trust and communication mean so much more. And 89.7 percent of men agree that saving long-term for your future is beneficial, while 92.3 percent of women say the same thing. 

“Saving for the future really stands out as something that most people agree on! Obviously, there are lots of practical reasons why saving money makes sense, but this is also an emotion-laden point of view. Knowing that we have some money set aside for a rainy day makes us feel more comfortable, at ease, and ready to accept a risk. These are all factors that most of us also find attractive in a potential partner, too,” Dr. Spelman says.

It's important to be prepared and have some financial security when planning for your life together. Life is tough enough as it is and having someone who will stand with you through the rough times can make all of the difference in the world. Money is important but it is not the most important thing.

RELATED: How To Talk About Money In A New Relationship (To Spare You Both A Lot Of Pain)

Molly Given is a writer and lover of all things to do with mystery and magic in life. When she's not writing her fingers off she can be found planning her next adventure in a new part of the world.