This Is What Your Partner Wants More Than Romance

marital document
Photo by Roman Motizov / Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for love or want to be a better significant other, start by learning how to talk money with a partner.

Most Americans — 56 percent — prefer a partner who provides financial security over one who provides “head-over-heels” love, according to the fall 2018 Merrill Edge Report.

This semiannual report by the brokerage service of Bank of America Merrill Lynch is based on a nationwide survey that explores the financial concerns and priorities of some 1,000 Americans whom Merrill Edge refers to as “mass affluent.”

They range from members of Generation Z — defined as those born between 1996-2000 — to seniors born before 1946. But most of these folks have investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000. That includes the value of their cash, savings, securities and retirement accounts, but excludes real estate property.

Among these survey respondents, both women (57 percent) and men (54 percent) were more likely to say they prioritize money over love in a partner. Only the youngest respondents, those in Generation Z, prioritized love over money.

The survey also found that, overall, respondents are more likely to prefer a significant other who is:

  • Career-focused (63 percent) more than one who is socially focused.
  • Frugal (55 percent) more than one who is philanthropic.
  • A saver (83 percent) more than one who is a spender.

Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking and Merrill Edge at Bank of America, says of the survey findings:

“Americans are saving money at record rates, and yet we’re seeing people of all ages look to their current and prospective partners to secure their financial futures. Economic uncertainty and a lack of financial planning seem to be creating this burgeoning trend of dependence on others for financial security.”

Despite this situation, Americans are reluctant to talk about their finances with their partners, judging by the Merrill Edge survey results.

Respondents ranked the following relationship milestones above discussing their finances:

  • Meeting the family
  • Being intimate
  • Traveling together
  • Discussing politics

Most respondents said they rarely talk about their:

  • Debt
  • Salary
  • Investments
  • Spending habits

These are some of the very topics we cite in “7 Money Mistakes That Can Mess Up Your Marriage.”

So, what about you? Is financial stability or head-over-heels love a more important quality in a significant other? Sound off by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Find the right financial adviser

Finding a financial adviser you can trust doesn't have to be hard. A great place to start is with SmartAsset's free financial adviser matching tool, which connects you with up to three qualified financial advisers in five minutes. Each adviser is vetted by SmartAsset and is legally required to act in your best interests.

If you're ready to be matched with local advisers who will help you reach your financial goals, get started now.

Read Next
How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things
How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things

Find out where to sell, donate or recycle items — and feel good about it.

5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

How to Invest in Real Estate for as Little as $500
How to Invest in Real Estate for as Little as $500

If stock market volatility has you looking for other investment options, here’s a way to diversify — even if you don’t have tons of money.

10 Ways Anyone Can Earn More Income
10 Ways Anyone Can Earn More Income

Looking for additional cash? Here are a bunch of options that are accessible to anyone with internet access.

3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances
3 Ways a Health Savings Account Can Improve Your Finances

Open an HSA in minutes to help you save on taxes, cover medical expenses and grow your retirement nest egg.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.