Does Money Matter?
When dating and entering into a serious relationship, how much does money matter? In my personal experience, and the older I become- A LOT.
In my younger years I might have been more lenient on the money issue. My early 20’s was all about potential. Most of us don’t start out adulthood with a high paying job with everything figured out. Ambition and goals were more of a factor than money.
But once we hit late 20’s and early 30’s there is no such thing as potential. You either ARE or you ARE NOT. So I started a mental checklist:
Does he have his own car?
Does he still live with his parents?
Is he living on someone’s couch?
Can he afford to even take me on a proper date?
Do I have much more drive and hustle than he does?
If I was to get pregnant or fall ill, will he be able to support us?
The older I got, the more accustomed to a certain lifestyle I became. I have always had a car, my own place, and money for activities. Sure we all go through slumps, I’ve had my fair share, but they were short lived and met with an unstoppable hustle and determinations to rise above. A man who doesn’t have those same qualities is just plain unattractive to me, personally.
I’m not opposed to partnering with someone who makes less than I do, but how much less? Would I be sacrificing the lifestyle I want by being with this person? Will I be sacrificing the basic needs of my family in order for him to join me in this lifestyle- i.e. paying more in rent, paying more for vacations and outings. Will I go from eating well to pinching pennies trying to support us both? If any of these answers are YES, my kitty dries up like the Sahara Desert. #sorrynotsorry
I dated someone who wasn’t as financially set as I was at the time. I’d want to go to a certain restaurant and he’d reply with “I don’t have enough money” or “I’m broke until Friday”. Usually I would respond by paying for us both or supplementing what he could not pay. It wasn’t long before I became disinterested and ended up going out without him altogether. On the flip side, I was in a relationship with a penny pincher. He had money but didn’t want to spend it on nice dinners, nights out and vacations. So again, I would end up paying because I wanted to go and wanted him to go with me. I was a bit younger then and thought I was in love, but looking back I have the same feelings toward the situation… I can’t date a cheapskate. There was nothing about his extreme money saving habits that benefitted me. I ended up paying more….for what? Also I dated someone who didn’t have a job at the time. He lost it when we first got together so I did what any good woman would, I stood beside him and encouraged him to keep on trucking. That also did me no good because I never reaped any reward for my loyalty. In fact, I ended up paying my hard earned money and precious energy on a man who lied to me and had no intention of repaying me once out of his slump.
Now a days, I have a pretty strict rule- at least at the beginning of our relationship, we need to be on equal ground. I don’t mind pulling my own weight or chipping in on activities and dates. I, like most women, get turned on by being wined and dined. But at the end of the day, if I can’t see us building an empire together, then I will not pursue the relationship. Key word TOGETHER. If I made a substantial amount of money versus my partner and in return he did all the domestic duties, changed the oil and mechanical things on the cars, and was handy around the house…I might be inclined to be okay with it. But for the most part, I haven’t found this mythical unicorn in my realm of existence. Doesn’t mean they don’t exist, though!
At the end of the day, money is a reason why most relationships have problems. I believe it’s important for both partners to have an idea of what they expect out of a long term relationship and discuss it before becoming too serious. Be realistic, know in what ways you MIGHT compromise, and stick to your guns. No need to fall in love with someone who doesn’t have the money habits you expect and then go through or cause a heartbreak as a result.