Ergh, money. It is problematic enough when you’re single and trying to live alone, eat dinner, and live a comfortable life. Now throw away another person into the equation and you’ll notice things start dangle a bit and become dicey. Money, despite what you want to believe about love conquering all, really matters when you’re dating someone.
Money matters a lot because of all the expectations that come with it. It dictates not just what you do with your life but what your limitations are as a dating couple. If you ever decide to join forces financially, sometimes the needs and wants of individuals are subsumed by what is best for both of you.
When you’re in a serious dating relationship, it isn’t unusual for the majority of your money to become “group money”. It doesn’t always happen but there are many instances when it does.
There are couples that go through the dating phase and even marry with near financial independence. However, for many couples, money can become a vaguely joint effort as the relationship moves forward.
But there are consequences to this too. If you live with your better half, you’ll have to pay bills, house rent, buy new furniture, silverware, and more. Your financial priorities will become the financial priorities of the relationship. You might have to spend not just on yourself but on your partner as well. Who doesn’t love gifts and treats?
Now, before you start saying That is my money! I earned it!. Here are some of the reasons why money matters in a relationship.
1. Relationships must be equal and you must decide what that means for you
Relationships need to be equal and that will mean different things to different people. For some people equal might mean a 50-50 split in finances but that isn’t always realistic for a couple.
This is possible especially if both the parties don’t earn the same amount of money. Money can become important if one party cannot keep up with the other one financially but they’re still expected to.
You’ll have to clarify what both parties are expected to contribute to the relationship. If you don’t, one of you might end up feeling out of depth or exploited.
2. You wouldn’t want to feel the unexpected need to support someone
Having adequate knowledge of how much money your better half makes is important. Now you don’t need to go on dating sites and start asking for their bank statements during your first conversation. However, if you have been together for some time you should know about the financial conditions of your partner.
You wouldn’t want them to surprise you with “Can you please loan me $10,000? I’m broke!” It is normal to support your partner in their tough times and expect them to do the same for you. However, they can’t just wake up one day and expect you to carry them financially.
3. You might also have to be prepared if you have to support someone unexpectedly
There are times when you might have to unexpectedly support your partner in your relationships. Everyone goes through tough times. People lose jobs, bills have to be paid suddenly, and during these moments, you should be there for your partner.
Such moments will help you learn that relationships are as much financial partnerships as they are romantic ones. You must understand that if you’re in a serious relationship with someone, you’re in it together.
4. Plan a financial future together as it is important especially if you live together or get married
A stable relationship starts from the dating phase and before you even realize it, you’re planning a future together. It can involve things like getting married, buying a house, having kids, and more.
Whatever the path you and your partner choose, the money will be important. Where you spend your money dictates the standard of your living and how you’re going to achieve your collective goals.
5. You’ll need to have similar financial priorities
Try to focus on finding out whether your potential partner is someone whom you can trust with money. You must make sure that both you and your dating partner are capable of being respectful, reasonable, and communicative.
Even more so when it comes to everyday spending. Look for partners with whom you share the same goals whether it is related to spending or saving in general.
6. It is very easy to fight about money
If you stop paying proper attention to the way money functions in your relationship, it can become destructive. If you don’t communicate about your finances with your partner, you’ll quickly find yourselves fighting about money.
Money is used on a daily basis and it affects everyone no matter what their way of living. Of course, it’ll also affect the way a couple shares their lives especially if they live together. It is important that you pay attention to the way you and your partner spend money.
Make sure that you both are clear during your financial discussions so that they don’t end up causing unnecessary friction.
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Money might seem like it doesn’t matter when you’re in love but it certainly does. In the beginning, your judgment might be clouded because you’re still trying to attract the other person. However, there comes a time when money matters especially if you both don’t share the same financial goals.
If you are genuinely in love and want your relationship to be smooth, have an open discussion, and figure out your financial plans and don’t let money become something that affects your relationship.