Maybe it’s his strong, tall, big, and handsome figure that blew you out of the water. Or her flowing midnight-black hair coupled with her irresistibly cheerful character. Or his shiny goatee. Or even her shiny, halo-white teeth. Or ……
The thing is, you have finally met your Romeo/Juliet. Congratulations!
I know that feeling- its sheer bliss and unsurprisingly, love is blossoming.
But even as you take the plunge and bet on living happily ever after, here is a scary statistic: as much as a whopping 35% off all divorces are triggered by money issues.
Sure, many partners start off on cloud nine but financial friction soon removes the shine from the relationship.
Indeed, the divergent views on money have put an end to even the most promising romances, sometimes only a few months into the union.
The Biggest Elephant In The Room: Money In Romance
See, every life partnership has towering dreams: Gorgeous babies, masterpiece homes, a nice car, frequent family vacations to exotic destinations, good health, and every other goodness that the World has to offer.
Now to the hard part:
Each of these vision milestones needs financing. And some of them will require truckloads of cash.
Money which you need to raise. And, crucially manage. From the very beginning.
Yet, while couples talk about their deepest feelings on any matter, some fail to realize the importance of financial openness in successful matrimony.
The greatest blunder is when lovebirds keep procrastinating on the sensitive money talk resulting in constant arguments and suspicion on finances.
I’ll explain shortly.
Discussing Your Finances
Two darlings living together but hiding the spending receipts from one another, a partner who blows $1000 on a dress because “it’s my money” but won’t pay rent when you’re dead broke, and a boyfriend who can’t save a coin no matter what.
If this isn’t a recipe for an avalanche of chaos, tell me what is!
Couples need to be reading from the same script as far as finances are concerned. And first and foremost, it means having quality conversations about your money.
Forget the coffee dates. It pays big to have regular “money dates”. Here, you will be meeting periodically to have that not-so-sexy talk about your finances.
Remember relationships can attract money opposites. Just like they do sex opposites.
You can be a saving hero as a result of your upbringing while she/he seems to enjoy swiping his credit card at every juncture and is always in debt.
Crazy, Huh? Definitely!
As a new couple, you need to make the money dates a culture if you will be traveling this romantic journey together.
The Dollar Chats: What To Tackle And How
Recall your first encounter? Commonly, the date was perhaps awkward, even shy as none of you wants to look overzealous about the affair.
Heck, you weren’t even sure if it wasn’t another joyrider and you had to play the waiting game.
The same applies to the cash dialogue.
Start by broaching the less controversial topics then progress gradually to the big questions when comfortable.
Chiefly, share initially about how each of you personally views money to help you learn your partner’s money personality.
What’s a money personality?
Now, the things he/she does for you are dictated by his ‘Romantic personality’. That explains why he will pull out all the stops to buy you that expensive bracelet.
Similarly, your friend’s monetary habits will be determined by their opinion on cash. He could be a spender or a saver. She, on the other hand, may be risk-averse, a gambler, or even a flyer- you know, the type that never pays too much attention to cash flows.
His/her money side will have a massive impact on your money, and eventually, your relationship’s destiny so learn it at the earliest opportunity.
Let’s speak about the kids:
Are you aware that raising your bundle of joy to 18 years will burn a $300,000 sized hole in your pockets?
Additionally, living expenses for one person (excluding rent) comes to about $13,200 per year. This, to say nothing of residency where U.S. housing rents recently hit record-highs of $1,405 monthly.
Then, besides budgeting on expenses and agreeing on who will be paying for what, there are issues like:
- Running joint accounts.
- Handling mortgages.
- Family investments such as cars and a retirement home (there is a lot of pride in having assets that you two have jointly sweated for).
- Further studies if one of you has such dreams.
Benjamin Franklin once equated failing to prepare to preparing to fail and for couples, sitting down at a table and talking openly is a sign that you care about creating a bright future.
When is the right time to talk finances?
There are things that sweethearts can borrow from champion business managers. Chief among this is proper timing and confronting unpopular decisions head-on.
You see, smart business administrators will never postpone critical pronouncements just because they are disliked by the powers that be.
Your love is no different. It’s better to make the hard decisions during the early days rather than wait when it’s too late to salvage things.
Well, don’t expect it to be smooth sailing but it’s a devil that needs to be faced so the earlier the better.
It can be after 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, or much less…the precise timing ultimately depends on your bond.
What To Do If Your Partner Is Reluctant To Speak About Finances
Nothing is frustrating as a mate who refuses to engage on a debate about your financial goals. The worst you can do, however, is to give up on them.
Instead, you should be strategic in your approach to the theme.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Brag or Blaming is a No-No!
The other person can have guilt talking about money because of some past history. For instance, they may have been divorced and left financially battered by the separation and hate to relive the experience.
The solution: Even if you are not conversant with their background, avoid blaming or bragging about your financial management prowess.
Make it clear that it’s a fresh beginning and that the bygones are bygones and have no bearing on the discussions.
- Begin Light
Discussing any large financial goals such as retiring early may sound premature during the preliminary debate.
The solution: Speaking on light things like how to save on recurrent expenditures will open the doors for detailed talk as time goes by.
- Don’t Be Random
Texting her in the morning that you have scheduled a cash chatter later that day feels like an ambush and can be a turnoff.
The solution: Have a set time schedule and inform your colleague well in advance to allow them to prepare.
- Acknowledge Your Attachment
The language of numbers can easily degenerate into a heated debate. If not checked, this could crowd out the liking you have for each other and put out the love fire.
The solution: The secret to financial intimacy is the fondness you have for each other. So keep reminding your significant other about your unending affection amidst the testing numbers.
- Respect is King
Your dear will also shy away from this type of debate if they find the language used intimidating and disrespectful.
The solution: Address them respectfully and show genuine adoration. It’s not easy, yeah, especially if you have discovered some dark information like a secret debt he/she has been repaying, but it’s very worthy.
A new glorious sunrise is on the horizon every time couples enter into a new relationship but the honeymoon is soon over if you turn a deaf ear to the issue of cash.
As a matter of fact, statistics have proven that after promiscuity, money is a second leading source of fights in relationships.
Certainly, don’t do it if you feel it’s not the ripe time, but talk about your feelings towards money at some point. This way, you and your lovebird will be on your way to the seventh heaven.