If you were going to marry someone, would you pick a smart person or a rich person? Why?If you were going to marry someone, would you pick a smart person or a rich person? Why?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think it would be great if the person you (or I) marry turns out to be both rich and intelligent. But I'm not sure that either of them are the two most important aspects of choosing a mate. I find a compatible personality and a finely tuned sense of humor to be far more desirable traits in a companion. I agree with one of the other posts that an uneducated ("stupid") person would probably not find a highly intelligent mate a very good fit; although, again, if the personality and sense of humor clicks, the rest is moot. The same could be said for a person's wealth; if you are wealthy, why would you necessarily desire a wealthy mate? There are many other aspects that can come into play, depending upon the individuals--religion, occupation, physical attraction, etc. Each person will look at the many character traits of their better half in a different light, so viva la difference.


mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How much better this would be if this question were merely a rhetorical one.  Sadly, it seems a reflection of the materialistic times in which we are immersed.  Certainly, there have been movies made about women or men who have sought mates who qualify solely on the one criteria of being rich, but they usually are comedies.

The famous director, Elie Kazan, said that it is the struggles in life that give people their mettle, that "makes them."  Profoundly true.  The cliche, "money does not buy happiness is also true."  If you are intelligent, you will be compatible with an intelligent person.  If you have common sense and "smarts," you will be compatible to one who also have pratical sense and wisdom.  Think how much prouder you will be of yourself--what a better person you will be for the struggle--if you earn what you achieve and acquire in life.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You will receive different justifications on each side of the issue.  If all things were able to be considered equal, one could have both and not make a specific choice.  I am going to collapse down to the predictable one and say that choosing a smart person might be better.  One particular reason would be that money is transitory, as the individuals who might be wealthy today could be poor tomorrow.  This is only heightened with the current economic crisis where there are few people who are immune from the loss of money.  Choosing someone smart would be important because this is a characteristic which is not necessarily contingent on economic conditions.  If one wanted to be cynical and jaded, choosing the smart person would be the best because they would have the "smarts" to figure out how to become wealthy.

jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I married a young lady who definitely was not rich. She is smart, but even in the heat of my infatuation I never thought that she was exceptionally smart. The fact that she agreed to marry me also tended to make me question just how smart she is ;). We are still happily married 24 years later. We only disagree 2-3 times a day, raise our voices once or twice a week, really feel like killing each other once or twice a year. As far as I can tell, this is an excellent record. By the way, we have not become rich over the years, but hard work has helped us move ahead financially in a very significant way. So, it's not smarts or wealth, or even looks that make a good marriage. It's love and patience and tolerance. Oh my, what a LOT of patience and tolerance! But the love makes it worthwhile.
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't think either of these is the right answer because what you really need is a person who is right for you.  And if you're stupid, a smart person might not be right for you.

But of the two options given, I would definitely take a smart person.  I think that having someone who is relatively smart to share your life, who can think and talk about things is much more important than being rich.  Of course, that comes from the point of view of someone who is not poor.  If I were really poor, I imagine the money would seem more important.

jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Well, there's that old line that goes something like this; if you're going to be unhappy and down on your luck, it's better to be so with a lot of money. That said, I will add this recommendation: marry someone from a good family, a happy family, a family that is intact and loving. Does the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with get along well with his or her mother, father, sisters and brothers? Is there genuine love, caring and kindness in the family? When you marry an individual, do you marry a family? In many ways, yes you do.
kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If by smart you can include witty then being smart is a better basis for a relationship than money. My husband and I have gone from having lots of money and no time together to little money and a great lifestyle together. We have existed through some very bleak times but have weathered each storm with laughter and humour. Time together is better than money or anything it can buy - if you are with the right person.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I would pick the person that I most cared about. Although I would want someone who was my intellectual equal so that there was not strain in the relationship, that is not necessarily important. It depends on the people. I would not marry a person just for money, but I also would not marry a person with a bad track record with money. Nothing causes strain in a relationship more with issues of money.
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Admittedly, my first answer was to say "money" simply because I was under the assumption that the person who makes a good fortune does it because he was smart enough to make it happen. I will just for the moment still stick to my answer, and I completely eliminate potential heirs, ugly, unloving, violent, or weird individuals.

Just the entire package, please?

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would pick the person I fell in love with and who loved me, whether rich or poor, smart or not so smart. Love doesn't care about bank accounts or IQs. Love just happens. I'm still waiting for it to happen!!

samsir | Student

Love speaks the last word.

 " When you love someone/

you do anything

 you do all the crazy things

that you can't explain

you shoot the moon, put out the sun,

When you love some one..!"....

So no calculations please.I want to marry the girl whom I love. It's not the matter if she looks like an angel or she is from the Gates family.Beauty is transient and money is volatile. All we need is LOVE. So, I would select a person who does understand me the best.And financial factor?..

...."when we are hungry,

Love will keep us alive"

clfwbm | Student

A person can work to change their monetary station or place in life, so a smart person would hopefully use their intellect to better themselves and pick a financial career where they could make an adequate income.  You may be best to marry the person you are most compatible with, as this will withstand money and other adversary issues you may face.  Money is not everything as it does not prevent loneliness or unhappiness, but compatibility does.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Smartness and financial resources are both important considerations in life in general, and most certainly both are valid consideration in choosing a life partner. But most certainly these two are not the only considerations for choosing a life partner. More important than both these criteria is the extent to which the nature and culture of the husband and wife are compatible with each other. Compatibility does not being similar, though some commonality is essential for compatibility. Compatibility also means that husband and wife should be able to complement each others strengths and weakness.

Coming to financial status, it is important that most of the people get married when they have lived about one third of their lives and two third is still ahead of them. A lot of things can happen during this time - rich can become poor and poor can become rich. Also money is only one of the contributor of happiness. For example, once a person has sufficient money to lead a reasonably comfortable life, other things like a supporting and interesting life partner may be more important than just a rich partner.

jmestanley | Student
Well, let me first say that there are some rich smart people out there... You can create both. It depends on how you are making the determination of someone being smart. Are we talking book smarts? Street smarts? Bill Gates smart? At some point you will have to evaluate how the "rich" person became rich. Inheritance or investments....I personally wouldn't care to be with a smart broke person, or a non-intelligent rich person. If they are rich, but not smart, the money will not be there for long... I would probably choose a smart person, BUT, they would need to be intelligent to my level. If you have someone in a relationship who is far more intelligent than the other, it will never work. That will always be in the back of your head that you are either smarter than them or vice versa. I chose to marry for love/intelligence... I know it sounds cliche, but money isn't everything. It can be taken away from you or lost at any time... Intelligence is yours forver.
mkcapen1 | Student

Can't I have both?

I have difficulty with this question because of my age.  When I was young I knew that love was the only reason to choose a mate.  Indeed, it was probably more lust and attraction that led me to my mate.  Humans are attracted to mates when they are younger for different reasons.  Since I like to learn, of course, one might believe that attraction to an intellectual mate would be the due course.  However, smart people do not always want to be around smarter people.  It makes them feel dumb sometimes.  I would probably choose a mate who is smart but in topics in which I am not as well developed.  In that manner I can be the smart one on my topics, and he can be the intelligent one on his topics.

Wealth can disappear as fast as it came, but intellect is more of a lasting quality.  An unintelligent man might well lose his fortune and  one would end up with a dumb poor mate.  This being said, I have friends who have married for money to men that are not all that intelligent.  One actually inherited his money complete with a person who guides him with his money and allots it as one would a teen's allowance.  Neither of my three friends are unhappy, and they all have had some great plastic surgery, something as the wife of a smart man that I will never be able to afford.