by Dr. Helen Fisher
Are you asking a potential life partner the right questions? I have come to think something is missing: his or her credit score. It’s nice if he or she has a fancy car, is physically fit, went on an interesting vacation or watches the same TV shows. But these attributes signal who you are today. They say nothing about who you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. And when I spoke with the folks at Match and Discover about their current questionnaire on finance and romance, I clearly saw the merit of a potential partner’s credit score. Money talks. And unlike a fancy car or one’s taste in TV programs, their credit score is an honest signal of their “mate value;” they legitimately earned it; it shows who they were in the past. But it also illuminates their future, because 69% of singles believe that those who are financial responsible are also reliable, trustworthy, conscientious and smart. And down the road, these traits are likely to make a financially responsible person a continually trustworthy friend, diligent partner and reliable parent too.
What interests me is how reluctant singles are to broach the topic of money in their early courting days–given that almost one in five relationships end due to financial pressure. Moreover, a good credit score plays a huge role at life’s critical moments, as when buying a home. And from the anthropological perspective, it’s natural to know the financial stability of a potential mate. For millions of years, our forebears lived in small hunting and gathering bands where everybody knew everything about everybody else, including whether they honored their obligations and paid their social debts.
Credit matters. So maybe we should start a fad. Next time you are on a date, pull out your Credit Scorecard and say: “This is mine; what’s yours?” This will trigger feelings of respect, perhaps even devotion.
Why? Because the world is witnessing a sea change in male/female relations. Foremost, women are piling into the job market, creating the double income family. So “her” credit score is becoming just as valuable as “his.” Men want to know. Moreover, we are living in the era of (what I call) “slow love.” Today singles want to learn everything about a partner before they tie the knot. Where marriage used to be the beginning of a partnership, now it’s the finale. So, as you flash your credit score to a potential partner, you not only elevate your “mate value,” but you may also trigger in your partner one of the primary brain systems for love: attachment. And thus win life’s greatest prize–a fiscally responsible, conscientious, long term sweetheart.
This post was created as part of a paid partnership with Discover. The opinions and statements are my own.