Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


I believe in love.

Alright, I believe love exists.

How, though, might it affect your entrepreneurial spirit?

More than once, I've heard tales of brilliant, business-savvy human beings having unerringly terrible taste in members of their target sex. They lurch from one fight to another, one reconciliation to another and one divorce to another.

It sucks up time. It sucks up money. It sucks the life out of their entrepreneurship.

How can you, if not ensure, then at least feel hopeful about your relationship making a positive contribution to your ambitions?

Or, at least, not a negative contribution.

Or, at least, lasting in a serviceable way.

As in so many things to do with successful human relationships, I turned to America's finest repository of love facts.

No, not Oprah. Certainly not Dr. Phil. And most definitely not any shrink at all.

I'm talking about that discreet, but sensitive institution known as the Federal Reserve.

You'll think I have lost contact with a large portion of my marbles.

To counter this heinous slur, I present you with a working paper from the Federal Reserve.

It points to what it suspects is one of the great factors in creating stable relationships: Credit scores.

The Fed's Division of Research and Statistics went on a date with its Division of Monetary Affairs.

They talked. They cuddled a little. They exchanged phone numbers. Then they went on another date. It went at a reasonable pace, with neither side going too far too soon.

Before they knew it, they were harmoniously working together on exposing a significant factor in keeping the flame of love burning bright and not burning a hole in your pocket -- or, worse, your heart.

Here's something they discovered: "Individuals in committed relationships have credit scores that are highly correlated with their partners' score."

It's as if there's a subliminal sense, the minute you've locked lips with another being, that they're a 650 just like you.

If your scores don't match, better take a match to the relationship: "We find the initial match quality of credit scores is strongly predictive of relationship outcomes in that couples with larger scoregaps at the beginning of their relationship are more likely to subsequently separate."

So here's a first date question you should be asking. Well, it's slightly better than asking about IQ, dress size or inside leg measurement, isn't it?

That wasn't all these fine brains unearthed.

People with higher credit scores are more likely to be in a committed relationship. Their relationship is also more likely to last.

Money can, it seems, buy you love. But not quite in the way you thought.

One might imagine that a mismatch in credit scores might incite arguments about money, leading to a permanently broken relationship.

However, the researchers went further, as all good researchers should.

They said where two people have mismatched credit scores, the reasons why their relationships end go far beyond the way they spend money or secure credit or have $30,000 outstanding on their credit cards at 29.4 percent.

I know it's not easy to ask someone to share their spreadsheets before you ask someone to share your sheets. But listen to the Fedheads.

They have your interest at heart. Your love interest, as well as your loan interest.

Ask your lover tonight, over a glass of wine or two. Go on, ask. Your business might depend on it.

Published on: Oct 5, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.