Love and Money….. now there’s a can of worms I didn’t feel like opening today (or any other), after all, I am the biggest romantic suck out there. So, writing, talking and thinking about relationships and money is a drag for me, especially on Valentine’s Day.
I choose to live in the bubble of true love with my head in the clouds, and then BOOM, a money conversation somehow just kills the romance most of the time – ya know what I mean?
Unless you have Thomas Crown as your money honey, for the rest of us not stuck in a movie, some real decisions have to be made about money every day with our beloved.
It’s funny how when you are single money decisions with yourself are made like this:
“Hi Lisa, you look smashing today!”
“Why thank you, Lisa, as always, we are rockin’ it! Why don’t we buy ourselves a pair of shoes today!”
“You mean our 197th pair? (slight split second of guilt) …. Just kidding! You are soooo smart! It’s a brilliant idea! Let’s go to the mall!”
And there it is… the internal financial dialogue of a single person!
Financial decisions made easy!
But as we know, the heart wants what the heart wants and most of us find ourselves HOOKED to someone.
The years pass by in our relationship and let’s continue that same scenario and make a money decision with your beloved, which years later may look something like this:
“Hey Bob, I’m going to run a few errands.” Woman says.
“Okay.” Man says sitting on couch watching sports.
“Bye.” Woman says and walks off and heads to mall to buy 197th pair of shoes, to which she will hide in the laundry room which her beloved rarely frequents, and pay half of the shoes with cash, and the other half with the VISA , so that if beloved actually does look at the visa statement this month, the amount spent at favorite shoe store won’t be so startling, plus it somehow ‘feels’ less expensive that way.
Whatever! Like you’ve never done this before!
Okay – so I joke, but not really! Much of the time we totally hide from money conversations because we don’t want confrontation.
Let’s just all agree that being in a relationship, making financial decisions and dealing with money – the good, the bad and the ugly (even if you keep everything separate) is much harder than when you are single, foot-loose and fancy free.
Did you know that in your relationship your money anchors were set back on your first few dates?!
If he always paid when you were first dating, chances are, years later, he still whips out his credit card at the restaurant when you are on a date. If you both always split everything, years later, chances are you still split everything.
That is “Relationship Money Anchoring” – a term that I just totally made up, but you know it’s true. As peoples we like norm, habits, and always choose the path of least resistance. This I have observed in my own life, and it rings so true.
Why change the status quo? If two people can make it work, then I say great. Whatever norms you and your beloved have around money it’s because of what causes the least resistance for both of you in your life. So if it ain’t broke don’t go fixing it.
Unless, of course, it needs fixing. Then you have to work on it!
The beautiful thing about relationships is that there is no right or wrong way to have them, and no right or wrong way to make agreements with your partner. You can be as totally conventional or unconventional as you want to be, as long as you BOTH agree on it.
I think that’s the good news here – you can create whatever you want with your partner! The bad news is that you still have to agree on the same things most of the time, and that is easier said than done.
Where the problems lie with so many couples is in the ‘how we are SUPPOSED to be’ versus just marching to the beat of our own drum as a couple. We are too worried about what our parents, fam, friends, society, church, neighbours think of us or how we have to present ourselves to the world.
I call this the “SOUPOZEDTO DISEASE”. I think the word ‘supposed’ should be banished! And yet it comes out in nasty forms, typically in the heat of the moment, “You were SOUPOZEDTO do the laundry yesterday!” SEE! No good comes from this disease!
Plus, we all too often feel like we are SOUPOZEDTO do this and SOUPOZEDTO do that. It’s a word that bears no fruit. End of story.
BOTTOM LINE: Making financial decisions are hard for all couples and the best way to work around it is an honest heart to heart while trying to minimize the SOUPOZEDTO’s so you can let LOVE triumph!