You ever wonder what potential mates on your favorite dating sites were thinking when you reached out to them, or when they sent you a message? Well, it might have been a bit of this and that, and it’s likely that money crossed their mind.
Money matters in sex and love to both men and women, according to Marina Adshade, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia. She authored “Dollars & Sex,” and learned a bit about online dating in the process. She learned, though, that money played a bigger factor for women.
“Dating markets don’t have currency, so they depend on other mechanisms to operate, much like a barter system,” Adshade said. “It all depends on what you are bringing to the table. Some of those qualities might be age or attractiveness — and some are financial.”
Popular dating sites include search options for income levels. A Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization published study analyzed data from a popular Chinese online-dating website. Higher income male profile earned on average ten times the number of viewers. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely found similar online-dating preferences.
“Men and women prefer high-income partners over low-income partners,” the authors wrote in the journal Quantitative Marketing and Economics. “This income preference is more pronounced for women.”
East coast financial planner Douglas Kobak says: “Someone’s income will almost always factor into the equation.”
He adds. “When you are becoming serious, you need to consider what your partner is bringing to the table besides love and a good time. The question becomes one about the potential to earn the income needed to build wealth and live a lifestyle you want.” It’s how you spend the money you make, ultimately, which might be most important.
“Money itself is not nearly as important as are money habits,” says Robert Braglia, a financial planner in New York.
Adshade recommends considering people from all income levels instead of “artificially reducing the size of your search sample.
“That is the biggest mistake.”