Dating and money do not go hand in hand. It is a strange issue to discuss with your partner, especially if it is a new relationship. Our advice is to avoid that topic for as long as possible. Read on to find out why.
Most Millennials today are more open about their finances than previous generations and a recent study revealed that 33% likes to discuss finances on the first date. While it is great to have this liberated attitude, it can cause issues quickly in a relationship. The problem is that people get carried away with their feelings. While your heart may get bruised your bank account definitely will.
Think of it this way. In a mature, steady, long term relationship financial responsibilities are shared. Couples who have been dating a long time often only have one bank account, and whoever earns more money will pay for most of the expenses. This makes sense as you are a team battling financial woes and savings together. Who earns more really isn’t important as you both live the same life together.
Now when you start dating someone, if things go well, you can often fast forward to feeling like you are in a long term relationship. Things can get serious quickly. The love you feel for the other person will make you naturally want to help them financially (as you will think it is heading that direction anyway) and no matter how financially independent they are, they will listen to that story, because they believe in that love story too.
Yet being objective and realistic there are many obstacles you still have to cross together and you might not make it. With that in mind, it is better to hold off on revealing how much money you earn or how big your savings account is until later in the relationship. It is totally expected to tell them what your job is and this information alone usually conveys a certain amount of financial information. From there, if it is clear that you earn more and you want to pay the bill more than 50% of the time, go for it, but don’t feel any pressure to do so because you are not aware of each other’s financial position. Imagine if they have no savings and are earning minimum wage while you have a large amount put away, that you worked hard for, and earning a solid wage. You will feel the need to pick up the bill every time.
If that relationship doesn’t work out and if a number of relationships don’t work out then you are literally throwing away money on other people that in the end will mean nothing to you. We recommend waiting for about a year (of course it depends on the relationship) before revealing any more details about your financial position.
Of course, relationships are all about trust. We are not suggesting that your finances should be a closely guarded secret or something you feel you can’t trust your partner with. We are simply saying that that whole side of the conversation should be left to one side at the beginning. We had one reader who told us about a relationship she was in where her new boyfriend had a very small loan that he was struggling to pay off. She offered to do it for him and he said no. However, it meant that they couldn’t go on some trips and impacted the plans they were making. She paid the loan off for him and he was incredibly insulted. You must respect that sometimes even if you have more money at that point in time, people like being financially independent. If asked to stay out of finances, then we suggest staying out of finances.
Let your relationship have the room to grow without the issue of money getting involved. Once that happens, when you bring money into it, it won’t have the power to disrupt anything.