Your entire relationship can be predicted with a single number and yes, it could be 69!

There are all sorts of unconscious, behind the scenes predictors of compatibility in a relationship: whether your pheromones match, how much you like each other's friends … whether you can stand that they named their belly button "Prince Deepy."

But thanks to a new study by economists Jane Dokko, Geng Li and Jessica Hayes, it appears there's another, very-unsexy silent predictor of relationship strength: your credit score.

Oh god … as if we needed another area of our lives for our credit scores to mercilessly destroy. Maybe next our credit score can predict whether daddy loves us? Looking at our bank accounts now, it appears he does not.

The researchers made the following conclusions from the study:

  1. People with higher credit scores are more likely to be in a committed relationship and stay together longer. People in debt are pretty much fucked, and not even getting fucked.
  2. People tend to form relationships with others who have a similar credit score as them. The rich get richer and the poor get … debt-er.
  3. The strength of the match in credit score is predictive of whether or not a couple is more likely to break up for reasons pertaining to finance and household spending.
  4. Credit scores are indicative of trustworthiness in general, and couples with a mismatch in credit scores are more likely to break up for reasons not necessarily related to credit.

However, although there's a correlation between high credit score and relationship strength, that doesn't indicate causation. Good relationships aren't good because both people have lovely credit … they're good because nobody's naming their belly button "Prince" anything, and because there's trust, passion and communication. It just helps to be in a similar financial situation.

Researchers also found that people with higher-than-average credits scores were more likely to begin a new relationship, probably because there are only so many hours in a day you can literally roll in dough. If you're a person that's not drowning in student loan/ jet ski debt, chances are you can afford to spend some of those hours leisurely ambulating through a rose maze where you'll inevitably find your equally rich counterpart daintily wiping their bum with $100 bills after just shit on a patch of beautiful flowers. Isn't that how people with good credit meet?

In other words, if you've had trouble clawing your way out of the depths of hell debt,  your ability  to stay current with someone else's life is probably suspect.

Major imbalances between people in committed relationships — such as when one person is hot and the other has face AIDS, or when one person makes way more money than the other — tend to be a potential source of conflict in any relationship. A vast difference in credit scores is no different.  A chasm between credit scores suggests that a couple's access to loans and financing could be impeded, something that could easily be blamed upon one individual. It's a perfect storm for tension.

These findings conveniently support the theory of relationships known as "assortative matching," which maintains that individuals in similar situations match the best. The old "opposites attract" adage has no bearing under this theory. And at least in in the animal kingdom, assortative matching holds true;  individual members of a species tend to mate because the copulation process is easier. For us humans, this can also hold for nonphysical attributes, like mutual religious affiliation, similar level of education, or, apparently, credit scores.

But perhaps the most compelling revelation from this study that the researchers noted was that "credit scores matter for committed relationships because they reveal information about general trustworthiness." Makes sense; a poor credit score could be a possible indication of someone with a low fear for consequences, or someone who finds risk-taking easy. Using that line of logic, you could extrapolate that your credit score differential  could indicate whether or not you can trust your partner to be honest about their needs or not to cheat.

Does that mean someone with a credit score of 69 will cheat on you or mislead you about how they feel? Not necessarily … but if you're the type to judge someone based on a number, a credit score is probably the most accurate number you could get your grubby little hands on.

That being said, we'd stay away from shouting things like "Your credit score is 211!" during a fight about where you want to have dinner.  Instead, we'd stick with more realistic excuses like "I HATE THE WAY YOUR BODY SMELLS AND YOU LIKE RAISINS." Ah, much better.