Financial security is one of the most attractive traits to have in a partner, according to new research.
A new study polled 2,000 Americans in a relationship to find out what the new normal is and found financial security (42%) is one of the top three most attractive traits to have, following a sense of humor (44%) and intelligence (44%).
Eight in 10 respondents also agreed it’s become more socially acceptable for women to earn more than their male partners and 77% agreed relationships no longer need to have one “breadwinner.”
Sixty-six percent of respondents said they’re comfortable bringing up finances to their partner, but they would feel uneasy if the tables were turned and their partner was to bring up topics related to finances.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Life Happens, a nonprofit educating consumers about the importance of life insurance, for their annual Insure Your Love campaign, the survey found it takes five months for couples to feel comfortable talking about their salary and overall financial status. Respondents even reported they’d talk about money before even saying “I love you,” which takes an average of nine months.
The top discussions respondents have when they’ve been seriously dating for a year included debt (31%), salaries (31%) and joint bank accounts (29%).
Americans may be looking to get serious quickly as 70% said they discussed or plan to discuss getting married with their partner less than a year into a relationship.
The results found the most taboo topics to talk about with your partner were prenups (31%), joint bank accounts (21%) and taking on each other’s debt (18%).
Respondents noted that the “right time” to talk about joint bank accounts (29%) and debt (31%) is after about a year of serious dating.
In fact, 73% of respondents are even willing to help their partner pay down their debts.
For topics like wills and life insurance, half of respondents said the right time to discuss them is before marriage (50% and 51% respectively), with just over a quarter (27% and 26%) saying they’d wait until after marriage.
“Everyone gives and receives love in different ways, but a universal way of proving your love to your partner is by securing their future financially,” said Faisa Stafford, President & CEO of Life Happens. “In fact, 59% of people would feel more secure in their relationship if they discussed getting life insurance. There’s no time like the present to have these important financial conversations in your relationship and show them you care about them today and all their tomorrows.”
The survey also sought to find out the new ways people are showing their love in line with their self-identified love languages and found words of affirmation was the top love language for respondents to show their love (34%) as well as receive love (40%).
Men were also more likely to receive love with words of affirmation than women (46% vs. 36%).
In fact, those who prefer to show their love through words of affirmation were the most likely to show their love to their partner by purchasing a life insurance policy (41%), whereas those whose love language is acts of service were the most likely to show their love through paying down mutual debt they hold with their partner (55%).
Two in five (39%) respondents overall said saving money is the top way they show their love to their partner, and 67% agreed that there’s nothing sexier than saving money.
“This Valentine’s Day, I encourage Americans to show their love beyond words,” continued Stafford. “One way of doing this is by taking control of your finances. In fact, over 35% of survey respondents said purchasing a life insurance policy or making end-of-life plans is a way of showing love.”
TOP FINANCIAL WAYS AMERICANS SHOW THEIR LOVE
- Saving for a home - 44%
- Paying down mutual debt - 41%
- Saving for a child’s/children’s college fund - 40%
- Saving your partner money - 39%
- Purchasing a life insurance policy - 36%
- Making end-of-life plans - 35%
TOP LOVE LANGUAGES FOR HOW AMERICANS SHOW THEIR LOVE
- Words of affirmation - 34%
- Quality time - 27%
- Receiving gifts - 17%
- Acts of service - 11%
- Physical touch - 7%
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