MILLIE'S CORNER

Three-Sums

moneyanddating

I’m back, it’s Millie with Millie in the City with the number one dating and relationship forum in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area.  Now that we have gotten that out the way, I want to discuss Dating and Money.  So in honor of that, this article is appropriately titled: Three-Sums (My Money, Your Money & Our Money)

The internet is overflowing with money tips and articles for newlyweds i.e. open a joint account, talk about your money values, and budget for date night. These tips and advice are all fine and dandy however, these articles and tips forget to mention the main simple fact: your money relationship doesn’t begin when you walk down the aisle–it actually starts on your very first date.

Rather than discussing finances in romantic relationships, I truly believe we tend to hastily and silently adapt to our beliefs about how the other person wants to deal with the issue. Let’s say for instance that Mr. Fantastic pays for dates one, two, and three, his dating partner may assume he is happy to pay for dates four through fifty.  Sometimes this line of assumption leads to sheer frustration from at least one party. Just maybe, like most millennials, Mr. Fantastic cannot actually afford to treat every time or perhaps his date feels guilty for not contributing financially.

In your mind, you are probably thinking, ‘just say something already’—the chances are that you wouldn’t say anything.  I truly believe that we are all somewhat funny about money- no matter how much or how little money we have.  And, in case you don’t know the statistics, about 70% of divorces are due to money woes.  You see, we often or generally marry ourselves, we usually go out and find someone who mirrors the things we like about ourselves.  Unfortunately, when we do that, these commonalities are initially the attraction but eventually become less fun when you need to make decisions of economic consequences.

Last year a trend of young adults are asking for their love interest’s credit score to determine if he or she is worth pursuing. A good friend of mine who is a Real Estate Agent was quickly disenchanted when a suitor asked about her credit score on their very first date.  Much like our dating lives, a person’s relationship to money cannot be boiled down to a single statistic. With that, it might be best to wait a few dates in to bring up nitty gritty details like credit scores and 401k balances. Instead, you should see if the relationship “has legs” and keep an eye out for red flags like: Does one partner always pay? or Are you are being overly generous, while your partner is being cheap and How does that make you feel?

If you are unhappy with your money conversations, instead of possibly sounding like you are criticizing, try to come to a mutual understanding of why you each behave the way you do about money.  By observing your love-interest’s spending habits you can get to know him or her better. If you, for example, notice that the girl you have gone out with a few times is careful with her coins you can give her a compliment about her discipline. Now, if you notice she throws spending caution to the wind you can ask about her non-financial escapades. When you are dating you really have to take this opportunity to see what you are about to get into.  Knowing the contents of someone’s bank account doesn’t necessarily mean you understand his or her relationship to it.

Some warning signs to look for are:  you might want to rethink the relationship if someone is unwilling to discuss money, lies about their finances or does not pay you back the money you loaned them.  Please don’t let red flags go because once you develop feelings for someone or you are in love, we can come vulnerable to taking care of someone in ways that are not healthy.

In conclusion, having different approaches to money can strengthen your finances and relationship but only if differences are acknowledged.  There is still a very strong taboo against talking about money but that does not mean you should not try.

 

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Millie Holmes

15 Comments

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  • K Lowery said: This is indeed a very important topic. I just watched a video called Love and Credit this morning. I agree that you should start having discussions of finances way before marriage. But people have to be comfortable where they are and honest in having these discussions. Some people won’t be honest because they are not comfortable with their current situation. It can deter someone if they know your credit is messed up. However, people need to have in-depth conversations about what affected their credit/finances and if they are planning to work together. Two people with average credit and end up building an EMPIRE together if they are on the same page.

  • Roderick Dunston Money is the leading source of disagreement for couples, whether they’re dating, just hitched or have been married for decades, and in extreme cases, tensions about household finances can even lead to divorce.

    To prevent that from happening, couples need to have a serious discussion about their finances long before they say “I do.” Everything should be put on the table, from current income and debts to attitudes towards money and
    how to approach financial goals like buying a house or saving for retirement.

    Build an Empire Together

  • K Lowery Moore I typically date from my “friend” pool so I usually know a lot about the person, including finances long before we get romantically involved. I need a solid friend foundation, but many people don’t have that kind of patience with getting to know someone. The video I watched earlier mentioned having “money” dates where you just pick a day to see where you are and how to move forward…because once people get married, many stop communicating. I don’t get that part…you need constant communication.

  • K Lowery Moore we are constantly evolving…and communication is needed to grow together

    Cassie Gainey II Yesssss

    Roderick Dunston Communication is Key.

    K Lowery Moore and we should specify “verbal” communciation because some folks expect you to have mental telepathy…lol
    Like · Reply · 1 · 4 mins
    Cassie Gainey II
    Cassie Gainey II Exactly

  • Millie Holmes – This is a tough one for me Cassie Gainey II, Roderick Dunston, K Lowery Moore and Sharon, because I must admit I made some bad financial choices and I am now extremely literate on how to fix everything and I decided to share that with someone I was dating and I was judged harshly so now I tend to say nothing about my finances. One of my exes told me if I didn’t buy so much one one thing I would have more money, The thing is that he owed me a great deal of money smh so y’all have to forgive me if I am not forthcoming at all.

  • K Lowery Moore – the people you date should make you want to be better… that is why I bought a house in 2005…because the man I was dating made me want to be better. He never judged my situation, but somehow I didn’t feel good enough because of where I was and I walked away. One of my only regrets in life… who you are today is not who you have the opportunity to be tomorrow. We all can be unemployed tomorrow and then what….

    Millie Holmes K Lowery Moore You see my point tho right?

    K Lowery Moore Yes, I see it…but I guess whoever I end up with need to know the truth. I’m going through toudh times now and if a man can’t handle it, he doesn’t need to be there. Instead some positive reinforcement should take place instead of being judgmental. But that’s just me

  • Ms. C commented – How far into the relationship are we talking? Dating? I see no reason to let you know any of that. Talking marriage? Then yes we need to know what we’re getting into. But as Millie knows, my stand is ALL women, and/or men for that matter, need to have some money some where that is not accessible to their partner. And I’m not talking about “blow” money, I’m talking emergency, get out of town money. No one gets married or in a long term relationship with the idea it’s going to fail but when it does or someones true colors come out, you need to be prepared. I’m also not talking $50,000 I’m saying maybe a couple thousand. Enough to leave and have a safe place to stay for a minute and money to get there. My take on his, mine and ours is pretty much, OURS. I don’t break it down into who’s paycheck pays for which things. As a matter of fact, while I was typing this, Charlie just came in here and said he needed $400.00 to pay for some supplies he bought and I handed it to him. I don’t expect it back. When he has money in his pocket and I need it he will more than happily give it to me. I think this is the page that we are all talking about.

  • Darryle A. Carter – I am the type of man that believes that the man should pay the mortgage and the lady takes care of the rest if she is working. Also if it plugs in the wall its my choice and everything else is up to her.

  • K Lowery Moore – well, I have a friend that paid his mortgage in 15 years and now his wife still pay bills… LOL! I just don’t like defined roles so maybe that’s why I’m single.

  • K Lowery Moore – I think he pays propery taxes, but that is it…I just thought it was funny since she was adamant that he paid the mortgage LOL

  • JV Jones – I am the type of woman that believes in equal sharing and what’s left over is yours to spend how you please. Partnership is what it’s called and that way no one feels like they are doing more or less.

  • K Lowery Moore – That’s what I want…if it cost us 6000 a month for expenses, then we both put in 3000 or whatever the amount. But I need my own money to do the things I want to do. If I want $30 lipstick, please don’t question it if I’ve done my share towards the household.

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