Survey looks for answers to a very complicated question.

Being in a romantic relationship requires you to be willing to give your partner your devotion, respect, and affection. But does it also require you to give them a loan?

Japanese financial services company Clamppy recently conducted a survey of 300 men and women, aged 20 and up, asking them under what conditions they’d agree to give their partner a loan, how much they’d be OK lending, and how they’d feel if they never got it back. Let’s take a look at where the participants would draw the (bottom) line in their relationships.

“If your partner said ‘Lend me some money,’ how much you be OK lending them?”

1. Between 10,000 and 50,000 yen [US$88-US$439] (33 percent of respondents)
2. Between 1,000 and 10,000 yen (20.7 percent)
3. Less than 5,000 yen (20 percent)
4. Between 5,000 and 10,000 yen (15.3 percent)
5. Between 10,000 and 20,000 yen (6.7 percent)

Naturally, respondents’ willingness to lend money largely depended on why their partner was in need of a cash injection. When asked what reasons they’d be most likely to agree to open their hearts/wallets for, the top responses were:

1. Living/lifestyle expenses (54.3 percent)
2. Meal expenses (48.3 percent)
3. Ceremonial expenses (43.7 percent)
4. Tax/utility payments (32.3 percent)
5. Shopping (79 percent)

The results run into some of the murky vagaries of the Japanese language. For example, the top response, seikatsuhi in Japanese, literally translates as “lifestyle expenses,” but people tend to have their own individual opinions on whether that means just the bare minimums of survival (food, shelter, clothing), or whether the term includes spending for entertainment and discretionary comforts. Meanwhile, the number-two answer, inshokudai, literally “drinking and eating costs,” refers to the cost of a meal out at a restaurant, not the expenses for groceries used for dining at home. Generally, though, Japanese couples treat one another when dining out, with one partner paying for the other’s meal. Even in those situations where couples did plan to go Dutch but it turns out one person didn’t have enough cash on them to cover their share, it’s far more common for one side to say “That’s OK, I’ll take care of it this time” than to loan the other person money so they can pay their half.

▼ This dude is going to get a receipt from the restaurant, but not an I.O.U. from his date.

Oddly enough the number-three response, kankonsosai, “ceremonial expenses,” is actually pretty straightforward, and mainly refers to monetary wedding gifts and bereavements, since giving an envelope of cash is the custom at both weddings and funerals in Japan, and in the case of the latter especially the sudden expense is something that can’t easily be planned for ahead of time.

Moving to the other side of the coin, when asked what reasons they would not want to loan their partner money for, the top responses were:

1. Gambling (97.7 percent)
2. Repayment of debts other than student loans (59.7 percent)
3. Dating expenses (36.7 percent)
4. Mobile phone bill (31.3 percent)
5. Tax/utility payments (26.7 percent)

There was near-universal opposition to loaning money for gambling, and there’s an important distinction in that debt repayment was a separate response. In other words, “gambling” here is referring not to giving your partner a loan because they lost big and need help paying their rent this month, but to giving them a loan ahead of time so that they can make a bigger bet than they can with just their own money, something nearly every respondent was opposed to. Surprisingly, though, two of the 300 respondents actually chose “gambling” as something they would be willing to lend money to their partner for, suggesting they’re either extremely accommodating or especially confident in their partner’s luck and/or handicapping skills.

Next, respondents were asked what they’d do if their partners didn’t pay them back by the time promised, and their answers were:

1. I’d set a new deadline for them to pay me back (58.3 percent)
2. I’d give up on ever getting my money back (22.7 percent)
3. I’d look into my legal options against them (5.3 percent)
4. I’d tell their family about the situation (4 percent)

And last, if all else failed and they never saw their money again, would they continue dating the other person?

1. I’d keep dating them, but possibly breaking up would be on my mind (65 percent)
2. I’d break up with them (22.7 percent)
3. I’d continue dating them just like I had before the loan (12.3 percent)

So after sifting through all this data…the whole situation looks really messy and murky, which sounds like a very good reason to, whenever possible, avoid adding a debt element to your relationship. Of course, as anyone who’s dated more than one person in their life can attest, every relationship is unique, and really the most important thing is to be upfront and honest with each other, and figure out what is and isn’t acceptable for you and your partner specifically.

All the same, though, you should probably be very careful about asking for some cash because you got a tip about a horse that just can’t lose.

Source: PR Times
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2), Wikipedia/Pastern
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