Does more money lead to better relationships and more lasting love? Here’s some interesting research.
There’s a famous expression: “It’s as easy to love a rich man as it is to love a poor man.”
There’s also a not-so-famous expression (because I’m making it up!):
“It’s as easy to complain about a rich man as it is to complain about a poor man.”
Although the total absence of money might bring its share of stress into a relationship, adamantly seeking a marital partner who’s a multi millionaire won’t necessarily guarantee you a lifetime of bliss.
Studies show prioritizing money over close human connection makes you less happy.
Sociological researcher H. W. Perkins surveyed 800 college alumni, and discovered the following…
Those who reported “Yuppie values” (preferring high income, job success, and status over enjoying truly close friendships and highly-connected love relationships) were twice as likely to describe themselves as “fairly” or “very” unhappy.
Interestingly, a similar correlation appeared among 7,167 college students surveyed in 41 countries. Those who prioritized love over money reported higher life satisfaction than their money-obsessed pals.
And what about that rumor…
Money problems are a top cause of unhappy relationships and divorce…?
Mere hearsay – according to Jan Andersen, associate professor at CSU Sacramento. Andersen did extensive sociological research on money, relationships and lasting love. Andersen even wrote a doctoral dissertation on this very subject.
“As a predictor of divorce, money problems are … so minor,” Andersen says. “If we look at all the causes of divorce, financial problems can only account for 5% of the effect.”
On an interesting note, when Anderson first embarked on his research, his goal was to prove a cause and affect link between money and divorce.
Andersen was both a child of divorce and a teacher of personal finance. So he liked the concept that improving money managing skills might improve relationship skills and thereby marriage success rates.
However to Andersen’s surprise, the only research he found showing an actual link between money, unhappy love relationships and divorce was one mere survey from long ago in 1948. This money and relationships study was done with postwar divorced women who were asked what led to their divorce.
Their leading response: “nonsupport.”
Translation: Hubby wasn’t providing enough money.
However, Andersen clarified this about money and relationships
- “Nonsupport” was one of the only grounds you could use to get a divorce back then.
- This survey focused only on wives’ opinions — not husbands.
Recent money and relationship research, however, consistently showed money playing a far lesser role in divorce.
Money ranked about fifth in the blame line-up for ending a relationship, behind…
Money is a more socially acceptable reason for divorce than abuse or sexual problems.
So people claim it out loud more often.
Another essential point to keep in mind: Even when couples in a relationship fight about money, they’re often really fighting about more important underlying problems — reminds Olivia Mellan, a Washington D.C. therapist.
“It’s always what the money represents: dependency, control, freedom, security, pleasure, self-worth,” explains Mellan.
The lesson to be learned from all this:
All the money in the world won’t make you happy.
But a loving, highly-connected relationship just might.
Advice about Money, Relationships and Lasting Love
1. When in the courting phase, make sure you and your love partner do a range of activities having nada to do with moola.
- Go for a picnic in the park.
- Eat in a greasy spoon diner.
- Make home cooked meals together
- Stay home and binge watch Netflix
- Suss out how much you enjoy each other’s company while merely putting cheese-whiz on a Ritz – and not putting on the Ritz!
2. Talk directly about money with your love partner. How much do you need to be happy – and why?
What do you prioritize spending money on?
- A fabulous home.
- Charity events.
- College Education.
- Plastic surgery.
- Saving rainforests.
Do you share the same monetary priorities? Are you both compatible when it comes to being high vs. low spenders?
3. Discuss with your love partner how each of you relates money to self-worth, pleasure, freedom, security, dependency, control.
Do you both share compatible attitudes about the underlying “value” and “role” of money?
4. Buy a bunch of gossip magazines, and read all about the troubled relationships of the rich and famous.
Obviously money is not buying guaranteed happiness amongst the jet set.
5. If you insist on marring rich, make sure your love partner has a diversified “good character values” portfolio.
Meaning? Make sure your partner has the full appealing gamut of valuing…
- good communication
- true friendship
- love for family
No doubt about it. A night spent with the right intimate partner eating tuna fish sandwiches is far more enjoyable than a night spent with the wrong love partner eating lobster and caviar.
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