A few months ago I bookmarked an article in the The New York Times, “Even Cupid Wants to Know Your Credit Score,” about the newest trend in online dating: matches based on credit scores.
I set about investigating the details—mostly because I couldn’t believe this was not an article in The Onion—and found out that it’s not a satire. In fact, it’s a very serious matter.
The most interesting thing to me is the appeal factor of this trend. At first, I thought this was made for people who had run into financial crisis as a result of a prior relationship.
Not so, says this latest trend. Credit score dating makes it very clear—even in the face of compatibility, attraction, shared values and lifestyle—that financial stability is the primary determinant in a successful relationship.
It turns out that there are a plethora of websites catering to financially-minded singles. One site is actually called “Credit Score Dating.” I tried not to judge, but when I saw the catch phrases: “Credit scores are sexy!” and “A perfect 850 is a perfect 10!” I paused. Really? REALLY?
This method contends that if people are willing to share their credit score with potential dates, it shows they would display trustworthiness, integrity and honesty to bank lenders. It stands to reason, then, that this is a person who would extend those same qualities in a serious relationship. Anyone who proves their financial smarts is deemed solid spouse material.
According to one site, putting this information front and center at the beginning of a search eliminates unwanted problems later on.
Maybe these website have a point? No one wants to be led into thinking the person they’re dating is not as stable as they might appear. And it does make sense that someone who is financially irresponsible is likely to be irresponsible in other areas of life.
But in making finances the first criteria in dating, it shows how wealth-obsessed we’ve become. And that does not sit right with me, especially as a Catholic.
That isn’t to say that poverty is the only way to live the word of our Savior. It also does not mean that attaining financial status is wrong. But putting so much emphasis on money as a way to define love and commitment is evidence that our priorities are misplaced.
I know that many marriage-minded singles are concerned about finances, and it is a valid concern. Over the years, I have seen this issue raised many times in the CatholicMatch forums. But I think many would agree that focusing on a credit score takes all the attention away from a Christ-centered partnership.
If a credit score is the highest measure of compatibility, it’s obvious that finances trump love and if any of these credit-score daters are marriage-minded, could a pre-nup be far away?