It’s easy to fall in love with someone who’s broke. But if they’re in debt, that love won’t last.

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Here’s one big lesson I’ve learned from being on Housewives while also owning an insurance company: You don’t need money to fall in love, but you definitely need money to stay in love.

I was reminded of this last week, when Match.com – you know, the dating site – released its Singles in America poll of 5,000 men and women. They asked dozens of questions about finding the perfect mate, but I was most interested in what wasn’t in the answers.

Namely, no one cared if their perfect mate was rich. Or even well off.

Here are the Top 5 traits singles are looking for – and remember, these are both men and women responding. They want someone…

  1. they can “trust and confide in” (94%)
  2. who’s “comfortable communicating their wants and needs” (92%)
  3. who’s “emotionally mature” (92%)
  4. who can “make them laugh” (92%)
  5. who’s “comfortable with their own sexuality” (89%)

Nowhere on there is, “someone with a big salary” or “someone with a prestigious career.”

While there were a handful of financial responses – which I’ll get to in a minute – the surprising fact is that money problems rank way down the list of relationship deal-breakers. Far ahead of finances are politics. For example, “Two out of three single women will not date a partner who has opposing views on abortion.” And more than half say “it’s a deal breaker if a potential partner isn’t open-minded on key issues.”

So how you feel about social issues matters more to singles today than how you feel about financial issues. In fact, inflation has had a silver lining for singles…

A rocky economy won’t stop the desire to find love but it has made singles more aware of their spending and how to make a good impression while sticking to a budget – 23% of singles are now more appreciative of frugal people, and 30% of singles overall say that inflation has made them more eager to find a financially stable partner.

Notice the wording there. “Financially stable.” That’s still not “filthy rich.”

Now I know what some people are thinking, especially those who don’t know me very well: “Hey Vicki, I’ve seen you on TV, and you’re always soaking up the luxury lifestyle. What a hypocrite to talk about frugal love!”

That’s only half true. Yes, I love luxury. No, I don’t love it more than love itself.

Someday, I’ll tell you the untold story of my first husband, but he wasn’t rich at all. I wasn’t, either. I met him when I was a cashier at a grocery store.

What breaks up relationships – and has broken up some of mine – isn’t the amount of money. It’s the lies about money. It’s all the men who hide money from their wives. It’s the dishonesty about what else they’re buying (and for who).

You’ve probably heard that fighting about money is one of the leading causes of breakups and divorces. That’s not quite accurate. It’s actually debt that ends relationships. It’s not the money you have, it’s the money you don’t have.

A Debt.com poll earlier this year showed a third of divorced couples say money woes were a “primary factor” in the breakup of their marriages. But when you drilled down, you learned it was the constant stress of falling behind on their bills. The fights resulted from spending money on either reducing that debt or having a good time. Each partner had different priorities.

And that leads me to the most compelling part of that Match.com poll: “96% of singles feel like having similar attitudes about debt and spending is an important partner trait, at an all-time high over the last decade.”

That’s 4,800 out of the 5,000 singles Match.com questioned. Only 200 singles don’t think this is a key factor in a successful relationship. I can tell you this: Those 200 probably will get divorced someday. I know that sounds harsh, and I hope I’m wrong. But when you consider that nearly 8 in 10 Americans carry a balance on their credit cards, it’s just a matter of time before they fight with their significant other about their significant debts.

Now that you’ve read this far, you’ll understand why what I’m about to say isn’t outrageous: Calling Debt.com and getting yourself back in the black isn’t good for your finances, it’s good for your love life.

Call Debt.com at (844) 844-2543 for a free debt analysis from a certified credit counselor and for more information, check out: debt.com/vicki

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About the Author

Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki Gunvalson

Before Vicki Gunvalson starred on Bravo TV’s hit series “Real Housewives of Orange County” – which launched the franchise in 2006 – she was already a financial expert. Gunvalson has owned and operated Coto Insurance for three decades. Based in Irvine, California, Coto has been ranked among the top 1 percent of insurance companies nationwide, with more than 10,000 clients in those 30 years. Coto’s success helped Gunvalson become a member of the Million Dollar Round Table – which represents the top life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 70 countries. She continued to grow Coto during 16 salacious years on the hit show and subsequent celebrity projects. But it wasn’t just Coto that has earned Gunvalson praise and awards for her financial acumen. Licensed in every state not just as an insurance agent but also a retirement specialist, she has made it her mission to help people – especially women – become financially independent. She has partnered with Debt.com to help even more of them. “I’ve counseled thousands of Americans who experienced their own melodrama – over money,” Gunvalson says. “Debt.com is in some ways exactly like me – and in other ways, unlike me. We both care deeply about getting good people in better financial shape. But unlike me, they do it quietly!”

Published by Debt.com, LLC