Cha-ching: Relationship compatibility, income strongly linked, survey finds

NEW YORK — The heart wants what the heart wants. That is, until the subject of annual salary comes up. According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, relationships are incompatible if there is a $36,000 or more salary disparity between partners.

Commissioned by online dating service Millionaire Match, the survey investigated how a variety of factors influence dating decisions, including financial matters.

In total, 53% of respondents feel that it’s important to be on the same financial footing as their romantic partners. Amazingly, 38% even said they have had a relationship end because they weren’t on the same financial level as their partner.

Of course, money isn’t the only important factor when it comes to building and maintaining a healthy relationship. Among reasons why relationships end, different expectations among partners was the most frequent answer (45%). The second-most common reason was cheating (41%), followed by not having enough time for each other (39%), and simply realizing the love had vanished from a relationship (39%).

So, what happens after a relationship is over? The majority of respondents (69%) say they go through a period of “hopelessness” for an average of five weeks following a breakup.

“When you know the main reason for a relationship ending, it is especially important to be mindful of who you choose to date next,” comments Katherine Zhang of Millionaire Match, in a statement.

Here’s perhaps the most depressing statistic from the survey: A whopping 38% of respondents said they have “given up” on dating. But, why is dating so hard these days? Well, consider these numbers: after an average month of “active” dating activity, the average single American will have experienced six online matches that they never actually talk to, four “ghosts” (people who disappear with no warning), six unwanted sexual messages, and four flat out rejections.

During that month, the average single American will also reject six people themselves, think about giving up five times, and (hallelujah!) meet three people that they may actually be able to fall in love with.

As far as important qualities, a good sense of humor and personality were listed, by far, as the most important traits a potential partner can have.

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