1 in 5 women say they wouldn’t date someone who makes less money than them

Many women say they won’t date a man over this one financial issue

Published: Apr 8, 2017 9:34 a.m. ET

The wage gap may be shrinking, but some women still don’t want to be the primary breadwinner
‘Does he make less than I do?’

Despite the shrinking gender wage gap and more women in high executive positions, many women still want their partner to be the breadwinner — or at least make the same amount as they do.

More than 1 in 5 women — 22% — say they wouldn’t date someone who makes less money than them, according to a new survey of 3,000 singles across the U.S. from dating company Plenty of Fish. That’s compared with just 4% of men and 11% of single people overall who said they wouldn’t date someone who makes less money than they do. The same study found 85% of singles tell the truth about how much they make.

Money issues are persistently important to people in relationships: More than half of Americans wouldn’t marry someone with significant debt, another recent study from legal industry site Avvo found, and 58% in the same study said they would feel uncomfortable being the main breadwinner in a relationship. The breakdown varied by gender in that study as well: 69% of women said they’d be uncomfortable footing all the bills compared with 46% of men. “People don’t want to be in a relationship that will economically disadvantage them,” said Moira Weigel, author of “Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating.”

And it doesn’t end there. A separate study of roughly 12 million consumers by researchers at the Federal Reserve Board, the Brookings Institution and UCLA found couples’ credit scores can predict how likely it is that their relationships will last. The higher your credit score, the less likely you are to separate from a partnerand for every 105-point spike in that credit score there is a 32% drop in the likelihood of them separating. However, money can’t buy love, as the old saying goes, and people who look only at financial profiles could be limiting their dating pool, said April Masini, a New York City-based relationship and etiquette expert and author.