YOUR MONEY-Savers are sexy: Why thriftiness can attract a partner

Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:59am EDT
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By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK Aug 16 (Reuters) - In the world of dating, there is one common assumption: That a fancy car, a pricey dress, and a willingness to splurge are all things that will help you impress and snare your ideal partner.

"You would think that spending would be more attractive, because things like flashy watches or purses are so visible," says Jenny Olson, a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and co-author of the working paper, "A Penny Saved is a Partner Earned: The Romantic Appeal of Savers".

"Those things can also be perceived as wasteful and lacking in self-control," says Olson. "And self-control is a very desirable quality in a potential mate."

In fact, when Olson ran an experiment where participants had to evaluate dating profiles, savers were deemed the better catches. On a scale of 1-7, savers ranked roughly at 5 in terms of attractiveness, while spenders lagged behind at 4.

That jibes with similar findings elsewhere. New York Times money columnist Ron Lieber once asked the dating site eHarmony to dig through its 30 million matches made in July 2010, and found that users who labeled themselves as savers rather than spenders were contacted 25 percent more by potential mates.

So what is behind the allure of the Sexy Saver?

Allison Markin thinks she knows the answer. The wine-industry marketer from Penticton, British Columbia, has been dating a fine fellow for about nine months now.   Continued...