According to a recently published study of 2,000 US adults, there is one topic that is really taboo when it comes to dating, and that topic is money.
The statistics show that the vast majority are unwilling to discuss this, with most claiming they would much prefer to discuss other taboo subjects, such as politics and religion, in order to avoid talking about it altogether.
Helen Fisher, the chief scientific advisor behind the research, suggested that online daters just don’t want to have that all-important money talk, with the only associated topic they’re comfortable discussing being their career.
Keeping quiet about our cash
The study in question focused on respondents who were either actively using a dating platform or had met their partner online at Badoo or something similar. When questioned about the subjects they felt comfortable exploring, the vast majority felt similarly about their finances i.e. that they were ‘not comfortable at all’ sharing this information with those they met.
The numbers were revealing, with 69 percent claiming they would not wish to disclose information about any debts, and the same number clarifying that they would want to keep their credit score to themselves. 64 percent also said that they weren’t comfortable sharing their income, with 53 percent saying the same of their spending habits.
Even more revealingly, perhaps, 18 percent believed that discussing their finances had led to previous break-ups. Fisher suggests that this is because money tends to be a very personal topic, one that “says so much about you.”
Expanding on this statement, the study’s lead posited that, for all of us, it is a way of getting clues about our partner, helping us to build a better picture of what they’ll be like as a parent, friend, and significant other.
A close-lipped society
Given the importance of the topic, one might argue that – discomfort aside – it is essential to talk about it, yet one in five Americans never have such a conversation with their other half. Unfortunately for them, this can have a highly detrimental impact on their monetary health.
As expert Greg Heller explains: “The major benefit of speaking about money is getting the subject out in the open.” He argues that this can help to engender a sense of relief, in that people are able to not only discuss their situation, but also any fears or financial insecurities they might have. This sharing can help them to make better decisions, set obtainable goals, and work together as a team to build a stronger financial future.
This is a view that Discover’s Kate Manfred agrees with, suggesting that it’s vital to talk about money early on in order to ensure your outlooks align. With it playing such a large part in serious relationships, it means that you can get onto the same page from the start and don’t have to worry about running into problems further down the line.
How would you feel about discussing such a topic with your partner? Let us know in the comments below.