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

Trait #2: Responsibility

Responsibility means that you follow through on promises and don’t let other people down. For instance, a responsible person will feel compelled to show up to appointments on time because they respect other people’s time and feelings.

Being responsible is taking care of yourself without relying on other people to remind you when to be somewhere or what to do. Responsible people know they’re in charge of their lives and get things done on time, like showing up for work, paying bills, and managing finances.

Another aspect of responsibility is to avoid saying what you shouldn’t. In other words, if someone tells you something in confidence, keep it to yourself. Otherwise people will figure out that they can’t trust you.

See also: 5 Tools to Manage Money and Fix Your Finances

Trait #3: Honesty

One of the biggest financial problems a couple can face is dishonesty about money.

Honesty is a fundamental character trait in a life partner that’s non-negotiable, in my opinion. If you catch someone in a lie and they don’t have a really good excuse, like not wanting to spoil your surprise birthday party, I’d be ready to move on.

Now, I’m not talking about a white lie, like telling a friend that her new haircut looks great if she asks what you think. We all tell those kinds of half-truths from time to time to avoid unnecessary conflict.

But if someone is deceptive about places they go, people they’re with, how they spend time, or their personal history, that’s a major red flag that you should never ignore.

One of the biggest financial mistakes couples make is being dishonest about money. It’s not uncommon for one partner to hoard it from the other, open up secret credit accounts, or lie about their spending. This kind of behavior can obviously devastate your financial future.

It’s possible, but pretty unlikely, that a dishonest person could do a 180 and completely stop lying. The reality is that building your life around someone who just isn’t honest will probably end in disaster, so I’d steer clear.

One of the biggest joys in my relationship is having 100% transparency. Knowing that my husband and I will always be honest with each other, no matter what, gives me a huge sense of peace and happiness.


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.