Dating and Money: How to Talk About Money in Your Relationship

Today we’re going to talk commitment and
what you need to know about your partner’s finances throughout your relationship ‘Commitment’ means different things to
different people. For example, that point may come after a month
of dating for some people , for others it might be 6 months in, for some, it might be when you move in
together. At its heart though, the commitment point
is the moment you decide you want to have a serious future with your partner and they
feel the same way. And it’s in that moment that you need to
start digging into the financial details and start talking numbers with each other. I know it’s not as exciting as apartment
hunting or redecorating, but believe me, you’ll enjoy the new furniture way more (and way
longer) if you’ve had an honest conversation about your financials first. As you start digging in, be on the lookout
for any financial details that might require a discussion. For example, vastly different incomes, debt
loads or bad credit can all point to broader conversations around money that need to had. Essentially, any financial detail that has
the potential to affect both of you needs to be discussed. For example, if your partner has bad credit
and you’re going to be moving in together, you’ll want to know that before you go apartment
hunting and start filling out lease or mortgage applications where your partner’s bad credit
could hurt your likelihood of approval. Reviewing your credit reports together can
also tell you whether your partner is making an effort to improve their financial habits,
or whether missing payments and skipping out on bills is a persistent problem. Sharing this kind of information can point
to potential pain points in your financial future together and give you an opportunity
to work through them as a team. It’s important to remember that this process
isn’t about judging or criticizing your partner, it’s about figuring out ways you
can help each other and your relationship grow. If your partner fears judgment or shame around
their money habits, you can help them open up by sharing your own financial fears and
mistakes. While you can and should look out for patterns
of potential harmful financial behavior, for example consistent use of cash advances or
payday loans or calls from collection agencies, what ultimately matters is your partner’s
commitment to improving their financial future and and how they’ll do it in partnership
with you. The only true deal breakers are refusals to
share financial information, a complete lack of willingness to change bad financial habits,
shaming or blaming around money decisions, and flat out dismissiveness of requests to
talk money. While it may be uncomfortable and vulnerable
when you start having these money talks, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. By sharing your numbers, you’re building
a foundation upon which you can create hypotheticals about how you would handle money if you were
to take things to the next level – whether it’s moving in, getting married, buying
a house or having children together. The process of full financial disclosure can
be a valuable way to make sure your values, priorities and expectations align, especially
as you move forward in your relationship. And if they don’t align, this is an opportunity
to start the process of getting on the same page. So stay away from blame, be compassionate
and avoid trying to convince your partner that your way is the ‘right’ way. Instead, thank them for being honest so that
you can make an informed decision about your future. The reality is, we’ve all made money mistakes,
these conversations are about figuring out how to tackle the consequences of our past
poor financial decisions as a team and work together to create better financial habits
going forward. So what happens when you and your partner
can’t get through a talk about money without it turning into a screaming match? To be honest, it’s probably more common
than you think and it’s not a clear sign that your relationship is doomed, so don’t
give up hope yet. First, set yourself up for success. Make sure to pick a time and place that is
conducive to having a calm conversation. Most couples only talk about money when they
have to or when one person gets upset – like when the bills come in the mail or after an
emergency expense or a splurge purchase. Those can be emotionally heated moments and generally
don’t end up in healthy or happy agreement. Second, make a verbal agreement that neither
of you is there to shame or blame the other and then hold each other to it. And don’t discount the option of working
with a therapist or financial counselor to help you talk you through your differences. In order to navigate these differences and
talk about money constructively, we have to bring the conversation back to our values
– identifying what is important to us in terms of how we earn our money, how we spend our
money and the quality of life we wish to build with our money. When we shift our framework from trying to
be ‘right’ about money, to our values, that is, what we believe is important, we
can go from arguing about money to coming to a mutual understanding around it. Try replacing statements like ‘we have to’
or ‘we should’ with ‘it’s important to me’. It’s hard to argue with what’s important
to another person. And remember, you don’t necessarily have
to agree with each other to come to an agreement. Yes, talking this openly and honestly about
money can be tough, and these conversations may reveal things that you don’t want to
hear. In some cases they talks may even reveal what
turn out to be relationship deal breakers. But building the skill to talk about money
is invaluable. No matter how tough the conversation gets
and no matter what the outcome is, it’s not time wasted, it’s practice building
a skill set that will continue to get easier and serve you the rest of your life.

One comment on “Dating and Money: How to Talk About Money in Your Relationship”

  1. sapna suryavanshi says:

    thanks a lot for your valuable information 🙂
    by the way love your shirt !!

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