Want Long-Lasting Love? Maybe It’s Time to Combine Your Finances

Source: Cornell Chronicle

The Big Takeaway: The more dependent you are on your partner, the more aligned your goals and interests are. Studies have shown that by pooling finances, couples become more interdependent and think collectively about money and goals, leading to a stronger relationship—especially for low-income couples.

The Details

Many of us aren’t always comfortable feeling dependent on someone else, but when you’re in a long-term committed relationship, it can actually strengthen the bond with your partner. 

According to research from Emily Garbinsky, associate professor of marketing and management communication at Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management (Cornell University), and her co-authors, combining your finances with your partner can lead to a higher level of harmony, commitment, and satisfaction. In other words, combining your finances may indeed lead to long-lasting love.

Should couples have married or separate financial accounts? Dr. Matt Morris, LPC, LMFT, and Erik Garcia, CFP®, dive into the pros and cons of each – as well as some of the underlying psychology.


The study is based on the classic social psychology interdependence theory. This theory states that relationships are defined based on interpersonal interdependence. The more invested you are in someone else, the stronger the bond.

Garbinsky and co-authors analyzed survey data across the U.S., U.K., and Japan to see how combining finances affected couples’ relationships in different cultures. 

In all regions, couples who combined their finances showed a stronger connection and were more positive and stable overall. They also tended to use words like “we,” “our,” and “us,” along with team-based words like “connect,” “friend,” and “agree” more frequently compared to couples who don’t combine their finances. 

This research suggests that by combining finances, couples become more dependent on one another, strengthening their bond and the quality of the relationship. They begin to think in terms of “we” instead of “I” and make decisions and goals together. 

Although combining finances appears to strengthen relationships for people of various cultures and income levels, it seems to be especially true for low-income couples. 

When we work together with our partners toward shared goals, we feel a stronger bond through interdependence. Combining finances could be one way to increase dependence in a relationship and build a long-lasting bond.

Want to compare your financial wellness with your significant other’s? Take this test, and share the link to compare results.

About Erik Garcia

Hi there, I'm Erik. How you manage your money and other resources impacts practically every aspect of your life. I help individuals and families invest plan for a more secure and predictable financial future. Thanks for taking time on my site!

Visit my website →