The Value of Finding the Right Partner

I · June 21, 2021

Finding the right romantic/life partner is a big deal.

Everybody knows this, and thanks to the Internet we have the ability to cast a wider net and evaluate more candidates than ever before.

Thus, we can be pickier than ever in finding someone highly compatible, meaning finding the right person may be a bigger deal than ever due to the expected higher compatibility.

I realized a few days ago that beyond the obvious benefits of having a life partner (love, companionship, etc.), there are also substantial economic benefits, at least from having a partner who is aligned with me on matters of personal finance.

The crux of my realization was that if the economic benefits are high enough, it may from a monetary perspective alone be worth devoting much of the energy I’d spend trying to make additional money to finding the right partner. Couple that with the primary, truly important benefits (rather than the instrumental benefits of money), it might be a no-brainer to devote a significant amount of my spare time to dating.

I’m starting this article before actually carrying out the rough estimates, so let’s figure out together whether this realization is important or not.

Rough calculations:

Since it’s pretty much everyone’s biggest expense and one of the easiest to split, I’m going to focus on housing expenses for this post. If I had a vehicle, this would also be a good candidate for analysis.


If I lived on my own, I’d probably end up spending about $900 per month on housing, although that’s a fairly optimistic number. This is decent lower bound, though.

Living with another person would probably require a bigger place, maybe one that costs $1200.

Splitting this two ways would result in cutting my expenses by $300/month compared to living on my own, or needing about $90,000 less in order to retire.


Assuming a normal house costs $300,000 (optimistic these days), then this would result in needing $150,000 less to retire, roughly equivalent to cutting costs by $500/month.

On the other hand, a smaller and more cost-optimized setup might involve something costing closer to $100,000, roughly equivalent to saving $333/month.

Possible takeaways:

It looks like finding the right person would be at least as good as saving up $90,000.

This is equivalent to working 1800 hours at $50 per hour. Even if I were to cut this in half to be conservative I think it’s likely that most people devote substantially less time to finding a life partner than this. Due to my unorthodox goals, I should expect to have to work harder to find an aligned partner, but still probably not 1800 hours.

So it looks like the prize for finding the right partner is love and companionship plus roughly $300-$500/month, and I would be able to get this level of financial benefit faster by finding the right partner than by working part-time at $50/hour.

With these financial benefits in mind, it seems as though I should be willing to spend hundreds more hours looking for the right partner than I would have decided to spend if I were only thinking about the non-financial aspects.


The same argument could be made about just finding a roommate, which is considerably easier to do. This wouldn’t straightforwardly apply to the house scenario, but it does reveal that a roommate is probably a good idea until finding a partner. I could, however, imagine some people not being as willing to live with a non-romantic partner as they would with a romantic partner. Roommates would probably also need a bigger place than a couple in most cases due to not sharing a bed and/or less desire to be as close all the time.

It’s also true that finding a partner may result in equal or higher costs if I were to pursue even more unconventional ways of living, such as camping most of the time.


The results of this rough analysis have mostly made me realize the value of even the ancillary benefits of increased social capital. Many of the benefits of finding the right partner can be had from having the right friends to share a dwelling with. Either way, the value is pretty high and I’ll be increasing my efforts to find new aligned friends and a partner.

Thus concludes a very unromantic post. If my future partner ever happens to read this, rest assured that I would genuinely still be with you if there were zero or even negative financial benefits. I just think it’s useful to try and quantify the side benefits.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts. I’m only one random person, so adding some more voices could help bring out some additional useful thoughts in this area.

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