Love Or Money?

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated April 29, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

There can be various reasons to enter a romantic relationship, but two common motivations that are featured in a relationship may be love and financial stability. It is possible for relationships with varying motivations to be positive and healthy or negative and unhealthy, and the underlying reason for a relationship may not be as important as the health of the relationship. In both cases, it may be helpful to consider the possible dynamics these differing motivations can create when trying to assess your own preferences in life. 

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Which factor should you prioritize in a relationship: Money or love?

Should you prioritize love or money? It may seem like a strange kind of question, however, determining whether you should prioritize love or finances when entering a relationship largely depends upon your personal values and what you hope to gain from the relationship. It is also can be challenging to get this information from your friends or family members because they may be projecting their lives onto you based only on an initial impression of your possible partner. 

Regardless of your decision, it will likely have an impact on the resulting relationship’s dynamics after you have formed a couple. The dynamics of a love-based relationship are likely to differ in some ways and feature different characteristics from those of a relationship grounded in financial matters.

In many relationships, both love and money play a role and the link between the two may be inseparable, and finances can be one of the most common topics of disagreement. Entering a relationship mostly for love or mostly for money is generally a decision that each person must make for themselves, though family and cultural factors can sometimes impact an individual's choice.

What happens when you enter a relationship mostly for love?

Many people view love as a very important factor for entering a relationship, most aren’t sold on entering a relationship without having a form of true love present. In many cases, love-based relationships have various themes, including the desire to emotionally connect, the enjoyment of each other’s company, and a deep affection for each other’s personalities and soul.

Entering a relationship for love may not always guarantee happiness, though, as over time feelings may fade or one or both partners may engage in infidelity or other forms of betrayal, even if the relationship was built on a basis of love. This is a risk that individuals may take whenever they become emotionally attached to and invested in another human being.

The way the individuals involved choose to conduct themselves may ultimately determine the relationship’s happiness and longevity.

What happens when you enter a relationship mostly for money?

When money, becoming rich or the comfort of material items is the primary motivation for a relationship, certain dynamics can be produced, however it doesn’t refer to a loveless relationship, it just means that in this type of relationship, creating financial insurance in the partnership may be more important than feelings of love. If you meet someone that makes references to their financial wealth and it draws you in, then you may want to consider if entering a relationship mostly for money is the right thing for you.

A relationship rooted in money may have a higher likelihood of feeling transactional and less emotionally charged than a loved-based relationship. Sometimes relationships based in money are working because of a partner’s career choice, which can change if they need to change careers. Some individuals may view this as a negative factor, whereas other people may find that this dynamic works well for them. Even when entering a relationship for money, it is important to remember that neither partner is released from other aspects in the relationship.

How to determine which relationship model is best for you

Only you can determine whether love or money should serve as the dominant factor for entering a relationship and while you may ask a family member for advice, the decision is yours to make. Regardless of the decision you make, it can be your comfort level, needs, and priorities that matter most. This may take some introspection and possibly conversations with someone you trust to figure out. 

One strategy might be to put on some music that you like, or a favorite song and write in a journal. When you are finished, you can look at an archive of your recorded thoughts and decide which model is right for you. If you and your partner are in a consensual relationship with healthy boundaries, and both of your needs are being met in healthy ways, then the motivation behind why you got together may not make or break the relationship.

Be aware of your expectations

Before entering any relationship, knowing what you want can be critical. Many people find it difficult to develop a concrete understanding of what they're searching for in a relationship, whether it's love, financial, companionship, having a family, or something else entirely. When trying to determine what you’re looking for, it can be important to know who you are, what your standards are, and the relationship dynamics that are acceptable to you. This way, you may be more likely to find a relationship that is compatible with your preferences.

Often, the main reasons for entering a relationship may not be so black and white, and a variety of factors may play a role—it is possible for both love and financial stability to be motivations in one relationship. In some relationships, one factor might be far more important than the other, in others, they may be equally significant, and in others, there could be just one factor at play. Wherever you stand, knowing the degree to which love or financial matters in your relationship may help you determine the best balance for you.

Understand that relationships may not always be perfect

Unlike the movies or love songs, many relationships are not perfect. Regardless of the primary factors at play in your relationship—whether it’s love, financial, or a combination of the two—you may find that issues arise at some point, so having reasonable expectations can be important. Encountering challenges or disagreements can happen in any relationship; entering a relationship with realistic expectations may help to reduce friction or frustration when issues arise.

Discuss your relationship expectations with an online therapist

Online therapy may help you examine the role of love and money in relationships

If you are having difficulty determining your thoughts regarding love and money in relationships, online therapy may be a helpful tool. Discussing love and money can often feel very personal and vulnerable. In such instances, a benefit of online therapy such as BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples is that you may be able to get individual or couples therapy from the comfort of your home, depending on your needs and preferences.

In addition, research has shown that online couples therapy can be effective in improving relationship functioning. For instance, one such study examined the efficacy of an online therapy program for couples experiencing relationship distress. The study found that the couples who did the program reported “significant improvements” in relationship satisfaction and relationship confidence, as well as significant improvements in multiple areas of individual functioning.


Many relationships involve aspects of both love and financial stability. The varying importance of these factors in a relationship can be up to you, your preferences, and your expectations for romantic relationships. If both your and your partner’s needs are met in a healthy way, then the primary motivation for the relationship may not matter as much as the satisfaction you may both gain by being together. If you have encountered relationship challenges that are proving difficult to navigate or if you are finding it challenging to sort through your thoughts on the role of various factors in your relationship, online individual or couples counseling may be able to help.

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