There’s a piece on the front page of The New York Times today that’s inspiring lots of “dating is hell” commentary from around the Internet, because in this piece, writer Jessica Silver-Greenberg tells of Jessica LaShawn, a flight attendant from Chicago, who went out with a seemingly pretty great guy (with great teeth!)—until he asked her the “decidedly unromantic question” of our time: “What’s your credit score?”
Ah, love in the early aughts, a time when you might meet a super girl or guy, fall in love, and then find out that person has a subpar credit score and have to dump them. In order to prevent that sort of emotional bellyflopping, you should just ask first, right? Those four little words, so easy, so important, so relationship-killing:
“It was as if the music stopped,” Ms. LaShawn, 31, said, recalling how the date this year went so wrong so quickly after she tried to answer his question honestly. “It was really awkward because he kept telling me that I was the perfect girl for him, but that a low credit score was his deal-breaker.”
But wait, this is not just one weird dude with aspirations, and his flummoxed date, who did not match up, for whatever reason. This is a … trend. “According to interviews with more than 50 daters across the country, all under the age of 40,” credit scores can make or break a possible relationship. (Note: 50 daters is hardly a conclusive sample size). But still, people think this way, to the extent that the credit score test has become “the dating equivalent of a sexually transmitted disease test,” according to “Manisha Thakor, the founder and chief executive of MoneyZen Wealth Management, a financial advisory firm.”
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You can treat that STD, apparently—you know, with some antibiotics—but a bad credit score is far harder to fix. Really? The Times blames this on the recession, because, of course, there’s no real quantifiable data on this stuff, but suffice it to say, more people are concerned about credit scores nowadays than they used to be. But let’s not look this gift conversational horse in the mouth: Credit score talk is a great ice-breaker, and can lead to all sorts of fascinating revelations about you and your dining companion, who is probably going to have his credit card rejected once he tries to pay for your meal, just so you know!
Read more: Jen Doll, The Atlantic Wire