• How much is too much debt for marriage material?

  • Does Debt signal Character Flaws?

  • How Couples Can Overcome Pre-Marital Debt?

In today's economic environment, finding a potential dating partner isn't just a matter of swiping left or right but of swiping their credit card to check the balance.  Financial compatibility has become an essential aspect of modern relationships.

A recent national survey showed Washingtonians the line in sand beyond which a person fails to materialize as marriage material!  Evergreeners will find the line at an average debt of $54,000. Suiters may be forced to ask for their beloved's hand by asking an accountant rather than their parents!

iStock via Getty Images
iStock via Getty Images

Debt: A Relationship Killer?

Love can move mountains but how about a mountain of debt? For some it comes down to judging a book by the cover of the financial report. Many survey respondents believed that a significant amount of debt could affect a person's character, honesty, and their ability to contribute to a shared future.  On the other hand, by writing off potential partners with debt as unsuitable for marriage, people risk perpetuating stigma and limiting their relationship opportunities based on a single aspect of a person's financial life.

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The Importance of Honesty and Transparency

Another interesting discovery from the survey was that a majority of respondents viewed lying about money as worse than lying about their age! (online swipers here) Money matters are among the many tough topics couples have to tackle pre-marriage to build a foundation of trust in the relationship because there is more to money management than just debt. Couples need to share their financial plans, budgeting, and goals to get "buy-in" from their partner.

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Separate Bank Accounts: A New Norm?

More than half of those surveyed think married couples should have separate bank accounts. Experts say this emerging trend can be attributed to an increasing desire for autonomy and financial independence. Note:This isn't your grandparents dating scene. Couples may choose separate accounts to maintain personal financial freedom while still contributing to common expenses.


It is important to remember that debt does not define a person's character or ability to contribute to a successful partnership. By addressing financial matters early on, openly, prioritizing trust, and finding a balance, couples can climb that mountain of debt and find firm footing on the path to satisfying future together.

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