Here’s a heartening fact for those celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget: Only about 5% of surveyed OkCupid users say money and wealth are “very important” factors they look for in a partner. So there’s no need to spring for the Dom Perignon.
NerdWallet partnered with OkCupid to learn how people view the wealth and earnings of romantic partners. Below are a few highlights from an online, voluntary survey of thousands of the dating site’s users during 2015 and 2016. Consider them conversation starters for Valentine’s Day dinner.
Interest in a partner’s wealth varies by city and gender
While about 5% of OkCupid users nationwide who were asked about the importance of a partner’s wealth answered that it was “very important,” nearly 39% said it was “somewhat important.” About 36% said it wasn’t important at all, and around 21% skipped the question.
Among the 50 U.S. metro areas with the largest numbers of OkCupid users, Tulsa, Oklahoma, had the highest percentage of users who professed that money and wealth weren’t important at all (48%). Miami, New York, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas tied for the highest percentage of users who said those things were “very important” (about 7%).
The chart below shows the differences in how men and women answered this question.
Surveyed users care more about career ambition than money in a partner
Overall, OkCupid users were less concerned about a potential partner’s bank account than his or her career trajectory. The site served some members a hypothetical: “Your significant other is perfectly content with their minimum wage job and has no plans to look for more challenging/better paying work. Is this a problem?” About 31% of those surveyed said this was an intolerable problem, and about 31% said that this was “somewhat” a problem, but “it’s their life.”
Of the 50 metro areas, Washington, D.C., had the highest percentage of members who said this was a deal breaker (38%), and Buffalo, New York, had the lowest percentage of users who said the same (24%).
Partner earns more? No problem, surveyed users say
Some 73% said they’d be either “very” or “somewhat” comfortable if a partner made more than they did. Break down these figures by gender, and about 76% of men said they’d feel “very” or “somewhat” comfortable; almost 70% of women feel the same. Less than 1% of men and women said they’d be “very uncomfortable” in this situation.
Laura McMullen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @lauraemcmullen. Courtney Miller is a data analyst at NerdWallet. Email: [email protected].