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Dating & Dollars: How Money Affects Millennials' Love Lives

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What's scarier: Seeing a GIANT spider next to your head while you're in the shower, or bringing up the topic of money with your SO?

I don't know about you, but I friggin' hate spiders. Still, talking dinero with bae takes the cake here.

That may be because I, like many Millennials, have a super awkward relationship with money: I love to make it, but I don't like to spend it; I'm still making less than my male co-workers, yet more of my fellow girl bosses are becoming breadwinners. (Awww yeah, get it!)

Add this to the confusing, touchy, emotional and vulnerable dynamics of oh, you know, BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP (or even finding one) in 2016, and yeah... you could say things get complicated.

To find out just how complicated, Elite Daily recently surveyed 223 of our readers, including men and women ages 18 to 34, to find out what's happening in singles' and couples' love lives when they're thinking with their hearts AND wallets.

Check out our intriguing findings below:

Elite Daily

If you find pie charts to be just as scary as spiders, I'll break down the full results using very non-scary bullet points.

When it comes to...

Couples and their incomes:

  • 45 percent of women say their SO makes more than them, "but it doesn't bother me."
  • 9 percent of women say their SO makes less, and "It bothers me."
  • 43 percent of men say their SO makes MORE than them, "but it doesn't bother me." 
  • 7 percent of men say their SO makes less, and "It bothers me."

Couples and their money talks:

  • The majority of men (64 percent) and women (53 percent) say they talk about money with their SO "only when necessary."
  • The majority of men (36 percent) say their number one money concern in their relationships is "how much my SO and I save." The majority of women (26 percent) say “how little my SO and I save."
  • Talking about money with their SO makes the majority of men (50 percent) feel "confident;" it makes the majority of women (34 percent) feel "comforted."

Couples spending their money:

  • The majority of people in relationships are more likely to spend their money on dinner out (49 percent), followed by a weekend getaway (16 percent) and a week-long vacation (12 percent).

Couples and Venmo:

  • The majority of people in relationships (55 percent) don't use Venmo in their relationships.
  • 30 percent use it to pay/charge their SO for dates only.
  • 28 percent use it to pay/charge their SO for shared household bills only.
  • 4 percent use it to secretly stalk their exes.

The most surprising takeaways here?

There are a lot of coupled-up guys whose partners are making more than them — a fact that doesn't affect them one bit.

And while twosomes feel all the positive vibes when discussing dinero, they're only doing it when they feel it's needed.

Finally, instead of saving up their dough, couples are most likely going out to dinner — and a significant chunk of them are nickel and diming each other on Venmo on the ride home.

Giphy

Now, on to the singles scene.

When it comes to...

Singles and their cash concerns:

  • The majority of single men (50 percent) say their number one money concern in their love lives is "How much I spend on a date."
  • The majority of single women (53 percent) say they "don't have any concerns" when it comes to money in their love lives.
  • The majority of both men (96 percent) and women (83 percent) would date someone who made less than them. Only 17 percent of women would NOT.

Singles and money on dates:

  • The majority of both men (88 percent) and women (96 percent) do NOT bring up the topic of money on dates.
  • When the check comes on a first date, the majority of men (73 percent) "assume I should pay."
  • The majority of women (54 percent) "offer to split" on a first date, while 30 percent of women "do the fake wallet reach, but don't actually want to split."

Singles and Venmo:

  • The majority of both single men (69 percent) and women (67 percent) do not use Venmo in their love lives.
  • 27 percent of men and 26 percent of women use it to pay/charge their dates.
  • 8 percent of men and 11 percent of women use it to stalk their crush or ex.

It looks like single girls are not discriminating against dates with smaller paychecks, which is totally awesome (no gold diggers here!).

Although, unless they can guess by their job, singles have no idea how much their date makes — and they're certainly not going to ask.

Finally, it looks like the good ol' "wallet reach" trick is still alive and well. But there are more guys these days who are taking up their dates' offer to split AFTER the date is over with a nonchalant Venmo charge.

Giphy

(How rude.)

Over the next two weeks, we'll be dissecting these survey results, as well as more relationship-related money issues, even further with reader input and expert interviews, so check back here for all the green goodness.

Kylah Benes-Trapp