Let’s Chat About Money And Relationships
If your anything like me you may be interested in how money impacts upon relationships. I’ve been married 3 times and on each occasion money has interestingly played a different role. Today I thought I’d chat about money and relationships and how money impacts upon the decision we make.
Money can certainly be an issue when dating. While dating my first husband I was a young adult and university student. I did not have much money and my partner had a full time job. Money was tight and my now X husband usually paid the bill. It was nice when the man paid the bill and was quite a treat but this was quite a patriarchal thing and lead to money control issues later on in marriage. A power and control imbalance certainly resulted in my first divorce.
With my second relationship things were quite different. The man I fell in love with was unemployed and I was working. Therefore I happily covered the bills when we dated. At the time I was head over heels and didn’t mind, however this set an expected pattern which meant during marriage he also expected me to foot the bills and that lead to unrealistic money pressure and stress.
My husband John, with whom I have a healthy relationship was the best. He would pay the bill and treat me from time to time and other times we would split the costs of our dates in half. We each paid our share and it did feel right. According to Dr Becky Spelman, a psychologist and relationship expert, over 3/4 of women aged 18-29 believe that the bill should be split when dating.
Falling In Love
According to The Shepherd’s Friendly Society, how much someone earns is important in terms of pursuing a relationship. In fact when someone has more money it can be both appealing and attractive. When it comes to relationships I have always tried to focus on the person, on compatibility and love rather than money.
I remember one friend who only dated guys who were studying good careers. She dated a law student and said, “if he hasn’t got a big pay check and can’t afford the dream ring, I’m not interested”. The couple ended up marrying, however her partner began to drink and gamble and waste away the income and my friend ended up a single mother.
I met my lovely husband on Facebook. It was not expected or planned but our friendship grew into love and naturally developed over time. I had no idea how much income John had and vice versa. In fact after we fell in love and planned to marry and move in together we discussed money. John had debt. I did not. We worked together in our first two years of marriage to clear his debt and have been debt free ever since.
I do think having debt can add pressure to any marriage or relationship and once your able to clear money owed it is important to save. Working together, sticking to a budget and saving funds can give a sense of security and have a positive impact on a relationship. The Shepherd’s Friendly Society say a sense of security when it comes to money can have an impact on every area of life including love, romance and dating. I totally agree.
John and I have been chatting and we are going to begin working on a new budget. We hope to start a savings account so we can save for a family trip to New Zealand to visit my parents and siblings. That would be lovely. I could also introduce my lovely husband to all my old friends back in NZ. It’s a goal we have set. Following we hope to save for our first home.
Does money have positive or negative role in your relationship? Do you think the man should pay for dates? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
*In collaboration with Shepherds Family*