Author Topic: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?  (Read 12121 times)

Ricky

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Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« on: September 14, 2014, 07:34:39 PM »
I go back and forth between yes and no to this question.

In short, do you feel like you can attribute much of your success thus far to your wife/girlfriend (or opposite)? I'm defining S.O. as anything from companionship to marriage by the way.

Also, let's define success as career peaking or entrepreneurship (things necessary to retire and "settle down").

On the one hand, I feel like the lack of a S.O. gives you the time to study and build your success. Conversely, I think it might be the S.O. who gives you the motivation and confidence to make your own success in the first place. It seems like such a vicious circle, as if both arguments should not even be contradictory, even though they are.

So, two arguments:

A. Having a S.O. gives you the confidence and motivation to pursue what you want since you're not worried about finding someone.
B. Not having a S.O. gives you the time and freedom to focus on what you want whilst answering to no one.

For instance, most here are high income earners, smart with money, and generally educated. Is there any correlation to these attributes and relationships? Sometimes I don't feel like I would be where I am without a S.O. so I tend to lean towards "A."

I'm highly curious on how others would answer.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 07:54:47 PM by Ricky »

brooklynmoney

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2014, 07:45:58 PM »
Really interesting question. I am #foreveralone (joking) but I am long term single and I feel part of my success is because I have been able to devote SO much to work including travel, work weekends etc. when  I did have a partner I felt overall more balanced because he gave me a reason to not work all the time. That's just been my experience.

abhe8

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2014, 07:48:25 PM »
depends on how you define success. do you mean wealthy? if so, no, SO is not necessary. but it does often come in very handy and i think really help one to FI/FIRE or financial "success." DH and I have had a nice dance of sorts, as we have gone from career to school to career to career between the 2 of us. we love living and working together. i would not be as happy or fufilled without him. (or as wealthy - read that post about MMM ruining your marriage, that would be me. haha.)

Elderwood17

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2014, 08:03:05 PM »
Necessary?  Not at all.  My DW are best friends, on the same page about everything of importance and most that aren't, and truly enjoy each others company.  We have complimentary strengths ( and weaknesses), which have helped us both grow.  I am much more successful with DW, although would have been FIRE sooner without

However, I have several friends who are completely successful - regardless of how you define it - on their own. 

Ricky

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2014, 08:11:01 PM »
Necessary?  Not at all.  My DW are best friends, on the same page about everything of importance and most that aren't, and truly enjoy each others company.  We have complimentary strengths ( and weaknesses), which have helped us both grow.  I am much more successful with DW, although would have been FIRE sooner without

However, I have several friends who are completely successful - regardless of how you define it - on their own.
By more successful do you mean career wise? That's the question I'm asking. And why do you think it's not necessary if you arguably don't know what would have happened without your DW in the picture? Do you know of other examples where it wasn't necessary for certain people? Just curious on your perspective.

By the way - I was in Asheville today. Checked out the new Whole Foods!
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 08:12:59 PM by Ricky »

Prairie Stash

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2014, 09:24:21 PM »
My situation, I increased NW fastest without a significant other. I spent more time working. Now I spend time with the family, I enjoy life more.

Astatine

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2014, 02:37:33 AM »
My answer is, it depends. An unhappy/unhealthy relationship with an SO is a very different scenario to a happy, healthy, supportive, brings out the best in you, type of relationship.

My guess is that for questions like this, people will always be able to give examples to support or disagree with the question.

pom

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2014, 05:38:43 AM »
Not necessary, for sure.

I married late at age 40 and it didn't change much for my career one way or another. It has not been a hindrance either, I would say it has been neutral.

It has increased my happiness so overall it has been positive for me.

happy

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2014, 05:56:46 AM »
Another vote for not necessary, for sure.

If you have a SO with whom you have a good working relationship and common goals then I think you can be more efficient and effective than a single. If your SO is not on the same page, or pulling in a different direction then its a disadvantage.

There are a few single parents on here who have substantial net worth's (if thats how you define success*), showing that its possible to not only be single and successful, but single and raise kids and be successful.

*I'm assuming you mean success on the road to FIRE, but of course there are many other definitions of success. We could also debate whether "success" is  the right goal… some of us here are interested in happiness as much as career/financial success.

zinnie

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2014, 06:07:29 AM »
I don't think a SO is necessary, no, and as others have pointed out it depends on how you define "success."

To me there are two sides to this--personally, we both probably would have gone farther in our careers more quickly if we didn't have another person to think about/ plan around. I don't attribute confidence or motivation to my SO and I know he doesn't to me, either. On the other hand, the dual incomes certainly make it possible to save more as we have quite a bit of savings housing and feeding two people in one household instead of two people in two separate households. We are more financially successful together than we would be with the same jobs living alone.

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2014, 08:45:15 AM »
I think it's not necessary. I've had success both with and without a SO. But what is a sure recipe for disaster is the wrong SO. Disaster financially, personally, etc. The wrong SO can wreck your life. But the right SO can be an amazing addition that boosts success (however you define it). I've had both the disaster (which I fortunately avoided a lot of the costs from, but still suffered many) and the amazing. The amazing is pretty great.

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2014, 08:56:27 AM »
No, both have advantages and disadvantages. With "double the income and half the expenses" it's definitely easier to save money coupled up, but you also lose a certain degree of flexibility that can drive down expenses dramatically if done right.

catccc

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2014, 09:18:36 AM »
I have to say no, having an SO is not necessary for success. 

That said, I appreciate my SO very much.  But the extent to which we help one another with 'success' could be debated.  As others have noted, there are both advantages and disadvantages.  And often couples have babies, they can make FI a teensy bit harder.

firelight

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2014, 09:47:57 AM »
Not necessary, but having an SO has speeded up my FI journey. I take more risks in my career because I have my DH as safety net and those risks pay off well. Also its awesome to have someone to bounce off ideas for FI all the time.

arebelspy

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2014, 10:44:55 AM »
Necessary is a very absolute word.  I don't think you'll find many who will claim it's necessary.

But it sure can be helpful (or a hindrance, depending on the partner).

There's a reason why it's part of what Joshua Kennon calls a "magic formula":
http://www.joshuakennon.com/government-benefits-tied-behavior-decisions/
Quote
the economic data is crystal clear that you can practically assure that you will never fall into poverty if you do three things, and only three things: 1.) graduate from college (preferably with little or no debt, even if it means going to a low-cost state school), 2.) get married, 3.) do not have children until after you are married.  That combination has such overwhelming success, it’s like a magic formula.
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dragoncar

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2014, 11:48:35 AM »
No

Kaspian

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2014, 11:53:35 AM »
So...  People without a significant other are destined to be unsuccessful?  There's never been a single person who's achieved success?  That's what "necessity" means in this context--a requirement.   

If I hooked up with a shallow, materialistic spendthrift I am absolutely guaranteed to be less successful than I am without a SO, right?

pachnik

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2014, 12:43:32 PM »
I fall into the "it depends" camp.  I am assuming by "success" we are talking about financial success MMM-style.

I think if you have a spouse who isn't on the same page as you financially, this would be a huge drag on your progress.  But if you have similar financial goals, a S.O. would be very helpful.

For myself, my husband and I got together in later middle-age, in our 40's.  We have lived together for the last year and a half.  Three months after we got an apartment together, i stumbled across this website and I have been around ever since.  I began to make some changes - more conscious spending, less consumerism.  I asked him to make some changes with me such as eating out less and he agreed.  Actually, on the eating out point, his excellent cooking has been a huge help.  We never go out for Chinese food anymore, since his versions of it are so good. 

Plus, of the two of us, he loves going to Costco which I don't like - it is just too big and crowded for me.  So he goes and does the shopping for us there.  Of course, if I was on my own, I would just suck it up and go. 

Now, if I'd gotten attached to someone who said no, he wasn't interested in coming on board in any way, I am not sure how this would have worked out.  I guess I just would have kept working on it on my own or been sucked back into the consumer vortex.

Bob W

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2014, 12:51:00 PM »
No is the correct answer.  Next question.

CestMoi

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2014, 12:56:07 PM »
No, an SO is not necessary for success.

Spartana

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2014, 01:41:16 PM »
SO's can add extra financial assets, or they can reduce them. They can mean you have to compromise on certain things - both spending/saving-wise as well as career-wise. In my case, ex-DH and I had jobs that, had we not been together, we could each have been more successful because neither of would have had to compromise on our jobs so that we could be together. We could have taken transfers, promotions, etc... that lead not only to greater financial and career success, but greater personal job satisfaction if we were not together and making compromises for each other's careers.

ETA: Even though we divorced, because we were both financially Mustachian (really Jacobian in that we were more like Jacob from ERE) we both able to attain FI fairly young (40) separate from each other. I chose to retire, he chose to continue on in a career. I think we were both successful together as well as apart.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 01:45:24 PM by Spartana »

mozar

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2014, 04:24:26 PM »
My last SO both helped and hindered my journey to FI. Helped when I quit my job and I could rely on them to pay the other half of rent. Hurt when they started making more money and they wanted to go on fancier vacations etc.

deborah

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2014, 07:10:39 PM »
An SO can be a wonderful addition to mustachianism.

Sometimes, you are not on the same page. When I bought a house, it was old and rundown - needing a lot of work. I didn't know how to do the work, but I gradually started to do things. The first things were simple - fixing door handles... I didn't ask for help. He didn't help - and he didn't have skills either. I still remember the day I bought a sander and a circular saw - "What did you buy them for - you'll never use those!".

However, as soon as I started to try to do things that really needed 2 people, he volunteered to help. Then he started to do things on his own (like pulling down the old garage - men really like demolishing things).

And that has been how we have always done things - if we are not on the same page, we don't stop the other doing things (unless we have real objections). The other will help even when we are not on the same page. Over time, we usually both get to the same page.

The whole experience has enriched us both. Neither of us would have the skills we have today without the other's assistance. Even back in the beginning with the house, he didn't block my learning.

MMM is not only about financial stuff. He is about growing as individuals to become more "badass". I think the right SO really assists.

Elderwood17

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2014, 08:07:26 PM »
Necessary?  Not at all.  My DW are best friends, on the same page about everything of importance and most that aren't, and truly enjoy each others company.  We have complimentary strengths ( and weaknesses), which have helped us both grow.  I am much more successful with DW, although would have been FIRE sooner without

However, I have several friends who are completely successful - regardless of how you define it - on their own.
By more successful do you mean career wise? That's the question I'm asking. And why do you think it's not necessary if you arguably don't know what would have happened without your DW in the picture? Do you know of other examples where it wasn't necessary for certain people? Just curious on your perspective.

By the way - I was in Asheville today. Checked out the new Whole Foods!

Maybe I cannot articulate this very well, but the optimist in me thinks that you really can't hold good people down, and they will find success - regardless of how you define it -- with or without a SO.  Of course, we cannot do randomized double blinded control studies on this but again I see a lot of good people succeeding around me with all kinds of different circumstances, current relationships, past relationships, good bad and indifferent.  And I observed miserable failures of people with all the same kinds of circumstances too.  No expert here, but my gut tells me good people find a way to thrive with or without a SO. 

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2014, 09:18:23 PM »
I have seen so many instances of a Mustachian spouse yoked to a consumer spouse that I would say, no, the average situation would be better to be alone.

But when 2 Mustachians work together, it is an awesome thing. The money accumulates quickly.

devan 11

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2014, 09:22:13 PM »
I have seen so many instances of a Mustachian spouse yoked to a consumer spouse that I would say, no, the average situation would be better to be alone.

But when 2 Mustachians work together, it is an awesome thing. The money accumulates quickly.

+1000.

two Mustacheans are exponential.

pom

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2014, 08:17:11 AM »
Quote
the economic data is crystal clear that you can practically assure that you will never fall into poverty if you do three things, and only three things: 1.) graduate from college (preferably with little or no debt, even if it means going to a low-cost state school), 2.) get married, 3.) do not have children until after you are married.  That combination has such overwhelming success, it’s like a magic formula.

I have never been in agreement with this because correlation does not mean causation.

My point is that it is very difficult to establish if
1. Married people have more chances to be successful, or
2. Successful people have more chances to find a spouse, or
3. Personality trait that increases the probability of becoming successful also increase the chances to find a spouse

Just a dumb example, take someone who has a pleasant personality, interesting and fun at the same time. It is quite conceivable that this helps him/her both in their career (lets say it is consulting) and in their chances to find a spouse.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2014, 09:05:26 AM »
I ran numbers last night, this question intrigued me. 

If I was still single I could be retired in 2-3 years, given what I use to spend/earn.  Having a SO its closer to 12-15 years, given my new lifestyle.  I earn 2-3 times more than my SO, it changed the savings rate, by myself it was 60-80% (depending on the year), now its closer to 40%.

The biggest gain from a SO is you automatically have a roommate, I had one or two when I was single so I didn't see the difference.  The biggest downfall of a SO is I need more to retire, 2 peoples food, clothing, travel costs (2 flights are more expensive than 1). So although NW increases faster as a couple it's still worse for me; the more important "% savings" has decreased.  It's not about how much you have its how much you spend that determines FIRE.

To answer this question more accurately people need to say whether the savings rate increase/decreased with a SO. NW is misleading because 2 people generally spend more than one on core expenses like food.

arebelspy

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2014, 09:18:34 AM »
Quote
the economic data is crystal clear that you can practically assure that you will never fall into poverty if you do three things, and only three things: 1.) graduate from college (preferably with little or no debt, even if it means going to a low-cost state school), 2.) get married, 3.) do not have children until after you are married.  That combination has such overwhelming success, it’s like a magic formula.

I have never been in agreement with this because correlation does not mean causation.

My point is that it is very difficult to establish if
1. Married people have more chances to be successful, or
2. Successful people have more chances to find a spouse, or
3. Personality trait that increases the probability of becoming successful also increase the chances to find a spouse

Just a dumb example, take someone who has a pleasant personality, interesting and fun at the same time. It is quite conceivable that this helps him/her both in their career (lets say it is consulting) and in their chances to find a spouse.

I don't see that as a big issue, given the overwhelming success of someone who does those three.

If you're willing to do those three things (work hard enough to graduate college, not be so much of an asshole you can't find a partner, and delay kids), you should be okay.

Yes, the person who is willing to do those things may have been successful anyways, but the data is clear that someone who is willing to do those things is very very likely to not fall into poverty, so why not value those things?
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Elderwood17

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2014, 10:12:03 AM »
Quote

I have never been in agreement with this because correlation does not mean causation.


Agreed.  Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are huge factors in working well with people, which bodes well for a good career and a good marriage.  Both of those things bode well for the finances.

pom

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2014, 10:25:31 AM »
I don't see that as a big issue, given the overwhelming success of someone who does those three.

If you're willing to do those three things (work hard enough to graduate college, not be so much of an asshole you can't find a partner, and delay kids), you should be okay.

Yes, the person who is willing to do those things may have been successful anyways, but the data is clear that someone who is willing to do those things is very very likely to not fall into poverty, so why not value those things?

I don't disagree with you, I was just pointing out that maybe, as far as point 2 is concerned, it is the other way around: financial success increases the chance of getting a spouse as opposed to the spouse increasing the odds of achieving financial success.

As far as my own opinion goes, I think that certain individual qualities (nice, smart, funny, good looking ...) increase both the chance of financial success and of finding a spouse. If I am right and that it is the case, getting married will change next to nothing to your chances of financial success as long as you have these underlying qualities.

MandyM

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2014, 10:33:40 AM »
If you listen closely you can hear all the successful single people roll their eyes when they read this.

I think what most of the responders are trying to determine is if they would be more or less successful if they were single (skimming through and most here are in a couple). I'm not convinced that is a worthwhile question either: is your SO the wind beneath your wings or dead weight?

Kaspian

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2014, 11:34:19 AM »
Quote
2.) get married, 
2. Successful people have more chances to find a spouse, or
... not be so much of an asshole you can't find a partner

This needs to be questioned.  Why is it just so darn important to be hooked up?  Because that's what society and fairytales have said?  It will make you a happy, well-rounded individual?  Many have an assumption that this is what everyone must want for themselves.  Exactly how non-Mustachians assume everyone must want a giant house and three cars.  "Oh, oh--help me please, I need a partner!"  I've met lots of extraordinary individuals who pshaw the very idea.

arebelspy

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2014, 11:37:49 AM »
Quote
2.) get married, 
2. Successful people have more chances to find a spouse, or
... not be so much of an asshole you can't find a partner

This needs to be questioned.  Why is it just so darn important to be hooked up?  Because that's what society and fairytales have said?  It will make you a happy, well-rounded individual?  Many have an assumption that this is what everyone must want for themselves.  Exactly how non-Mustachians assume everyone must want a giant house and three cars.  "Oh, oh--help me please, I need a partner!"  I've met lots of extraordinary individuals who pshaw the very idea.

I don't think anyone needs a partner.  We were talking about Joshua Kennon's "magic formula" that makes it extremely unlikely you will fall into poverty.  It's certainly not required for success, or happiness.

Taking things out of context sure makes them seem different, huh?
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frugaliknowit

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2014, 11:49:15 AM »
Necessary, NO!

Can two heads be better than one, yes.

Can efficiencies be enjoyed, yes.

Can it backfire due to death, divorce or breakup, yes.

In the corporate world, painting with a very broad stroke, I do believe being married with children helps one's earnings, a possible measure of success.

Why:

People prefer people who are like themselves, so they (subliminally or not so subliminally) tend to hire, promote and pay married people with kids more than say, a single lesbian.  I am not saying this is everywhere, all of the time.  But I do notice a correlation between babies being born and raises and promotions.

pachnik

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2014, 12:06:23 PM »
I have seen so many instances of a Mustachian spouse yoked to a consumer spouse that I would say, no, the average situation would be better to be alone.

But when 2 Mustachians work together, it is an awesome thing. The money accumulates quickly.

+1000.

two Mustacheans are exponential.
+1   I love this!  Last weekend, my husband wouldn't buy cheese at our regular grocery store since he's going to Costco today.   Cheese is much cheaper at Costco than at the grocery store.  I was willing to buy the cheese at the grocery store but he said no way.  We keep each other from spending these day.

Jellyfish

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Re: Do you think a S.O. is necessary for success?
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2014, 01:54:52 PM »
Another vote for not necessary, for sure.

If you have a SO with whom you have a good working relationship and common goals then I think you can be more efficient and effective than a single. If your SO is not on the same page, or pulling in a different direction then its a disadvantage.

There are a few single parents on here who have substantial net worth's (if thats how you define success*), showing that its possible to not only be single and successful, but single and raise kids and be successful.

*I'm assuming you mean success on the road to FIRE, but of course there are many other definitions of success. We could also debate whether "success" is  the right goal… some of us here are interested in happiness as much as career/financial success.

Add one more to the "it depends" list.  My ex was status conscious and antimustachian. We divorced for many, many reasons.  I am financially and emotionally healthier and happier as a single parent.  I am much closer to earlier retirement now that I get to make solo decisions and am so much happier as well.  I like the idea of a 2 mustachian household but for me, being solo and financially independent (both ways you define it) works.