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

So, never settle on a partner who lies to you or plays games about how they feel or what they want. Life is too short to live with someone who doesn’t know how to be direct and honest with you.

See also: 5 Smart Money Management Tips for Couples

Trait #4: Openness

Openness is a trait that’s similar to honesty, but has more to do with emotional intelligence. An open person is aware of his or her feelings, can express them, and wants to communicate in order to keep an emotional connection.

Being open can seem risky because you make yourself vulnerable to another person. For instance, telling your partner that you’re worried about your financial situation or are unhappy with your career path.

He or she may accept your concerns and want to explore it further with you or completely reject what you say. Being open can take some maturity and we’re all wired very differently when it comes to our comfort level with emotions.

What’s important to remember is that choosing a partner who tends to be closed emotionally could make communication about many issues, including finances, very difficult.

In order to share an authentic life with a partner, each of you needs the ability to share your emotions openly and with ease.

See also: 3 Money Mindset Tips and Tools for Surefire Financial Success

Trait #5: Curiosity

Being curious means that you’re interested in life, new ideas, and other people. You might enjoy adventure, learning new hobbies and skills, or asking questions to dig deeper into topics.

Curious people usually enjoy personal growth and want to look beneath the surface to see what’s possible for their lives. You want to learn new concepts and become a better person and partner.

I’ve found that curious people don’t assume that they have all the answers. They’re open to new ideas and the possibility of relearning something or changing their mind about it.

On the other hand, someone who isn’t curious probably views learning as a burden. Having a partner with little curiosity could mean that they don’t get interested in personal finances and never want to improve their ability to manage money wisely.

To sum up, high self-esteem, responsibility, honesty, openness, and curiosity are my top 5 recommended traits to look for when you’re choosing a life partner. Of course, there are many more traits that many of us want such as intelligence, sense of humor, positive attitude, common interests, and similar backgrounds.

Free Resource: Laura's Recommended Toolsuse them to earn more, save more, and accomplish more with your money!

Character Traits to Avoid in a Life Partner

When it comes to traits that I recommend you avoid in a potential partner, some are much more serious than others. For instance, untreated addictions, abusive behavior, or uncontrollable anger.

When you see these traits rear their ugly heads in a potential partner, and they aren’t willing to get help immediately, I wouldn’t continue the relationship under any circumstances.

Remember that people always show you exactly who they are. It’s your job to handle that information appropriately. You’re responsible for having the relationship and the financial life that you want.

So never settle or fool yourself into thinking that you can change someone’s core character, because most people are happy being exactly who they are and really don’t want to change. Consider a potential partner a package deal because you’re going to get both the good and the bad.

My biggest recommendation when choosing a life partner is to really know yourself first. Figure out your own values, wants, and goals so you can choose someone who’s capable of understanding you.

Then be patient and take as much time as needed to get to know someone’s character, personality, personal history, and goals, so you’ll know with absolutely certainty if you’re well-suited for a lifelong, quality relationship.

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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.