How to Choose the Right Partner for Life and Financial Success

Money Girl recommends 5 important traits to look for when choosing a life partner (plus many to avoid), so you have a happy relationship and a successful financial life together.

Laura Adams, MBA
8-minute read
Episode #402

I met my husband in college and we got married right out of school. I feel very lucky that our relationship has remained super strong, even though we got married so young. I’m certain that I could never have achieved a fraction of my career or financial success if our relationship hadn’t turned out so well.

Not only can a bad relationship prevent you from making good decisions and reaching important financial goals, getting divorced can be a huge financial setback. Splitting up can leave you with a financial mess that’s extremely stressful and could take years to recover from.

I hear from divorced men and women all the time about financial struggles that resulted from their splits. So, my goal for this episode is to get you thinking about how to pick the right partner to begin with or how to turn around an existing relationship that isn't going as well as it should. 

In the beginning of a relationship, you generally have romantic chemistry with someone because of his or her physical traits or perhaps how they interact with you. It’s important to separate those who are fun to date from those you’d want to marry or settle down with for good.

So, what I'm recommending is that you don't get serious with someone unless they have a basic set of character traits that will also be good for your financial life together.

Here are 5 important traits to look for in a potential life partner:

Trait #1: High Self-Esteem

Having self-esteem means that you take pride and value yourself without being arrogant. You don’t let other people mistreat you or take you for granted.

People with high self-esteem might be described as confident, self-aware, and cooperative. But they can also say “no” when it’s appropriate.

Someone with high self-esteem typically has a good sense of his or her strengths and weaknesses. They accept their mistakes and try to learn from them so that they never happen again.

On the other hand, having low self-esteem means you feel unworthy and incompetent. You may depend too heavily on other people to make decisions for you, have a fear of taking risks, or tend to blame others for your mistakes.

Having a life partner with high self-esteem could translate into him or her being motivated to move up in their career quickly and seek more lucrative job opportunities.

They may also have the confidence to negotiate for a higher salary or seek out help with your personal finances when you need it.


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.