And yet in the economically uncertain post-recession era, many surveys and studies have shown that being responsible with money—perhaps even to the point that you might be considered cheap—bodes well for your love life. The results of one survey from last fall indicated that more than one-quarter of adult daters have used a coupon (most likely, a daily deal “Groupon”) on a first date, and 73% of those surveyed said that they would continue dating someone who whipped out a coupon to save money on their outing. Other studies show that it’s common for the seemingly unromantic topic of credit scores to now play a role in romance, with a decent score increasingly being considered a prerequisite to be deemed a worthy date.
More recently, a working paper from University of Michigan Ross School of Business researchers indicates that savers are viewed as more attractive dating material than spenders. The study, cutely titled “A Penny Saved Is a Partner Earned: The Romantic Appeal of Savers,” explores the theory that “saving behavior may be diagnostic of broad self-control.” The thinking goes that someone who is disciplined and has a high degree of self-control with money will also have the self-control to commit to something (like a relationship) and to not impulsively say hurtful things or cheat on a romantic partner. People with good self-control may also be more physically attractive because they’re capable of sticking to diets and fitness regimens.