NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Go to a dating site and you'll see a zillion lonely hearts who yearn for long walks on the beach and cuddles before a fire, and the sites' new-member questionnaires are full of queries on exercise habits, political views, feelings about children and other, well, irrelevant issues.
Because what really matters is credit scores.
At least, that's one implication of some research on what makes for a solid marriage. People who enter a marriage with similar credit scores have a much better chance of going the distance than partners with scores that are very different, according to a study by two Federal Reserve Board researchers, Jane Dokko and Geng Li.
It's long been understood that money and children are hot-button marital issues, but until now there's been no rigorous academic research on credit scores.household dissolution." That doesn't mean people are asking their dates to sign credit-release forms, but it suggests that one way or another prospective spouses look for mates with similar financial habits and views. The researchers also found that spouses who start with very different credit scores have a better chance of staying together if their scores become similar over time than if they don't. easy-to-use, stress-free financial system using money-tracking programs such as Quicken and Mint.com. That will work even better with online bill paying and alert services that use text messages and email to tell you when bills are due and accounts are running low or nearing credit limits. What do you do if you cling to the romantic notion that opposites attract? Before the wedding, the researches suggest, get some counseling -- the financial kind.