Wednesday, June 19, 2024

5 Tips for Dating Someone Who Makes Less Money Than You.

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( No matter what you tell yourself or others, every relationship will involve money. Having honest conversations about money upfront will save the stress and drama of relationships ending badly due to money issues. Studies have shown that in years 1-3 of marriage, couples have arguments about money. If you are going into a relationship with debt, talk about it. If you are already in a committed and serious relationship but avoid the topic of money any chance you get, now is the time to talk about it.

I am usually the partner that earns the lesser money. The problem is, society usually doesn’t “look down” upon a woman who make less money than her man. If the tables were on the other end, is where society (not me), says that this is a problem. I had a conversation about this topic recently with my boyfriend because we are always talking about money: cash, debt, credit, investments and so forth. Although we both get stressed at times, given that he’s the breadwinner and I’m constantly working on ways to increase my income, we still talk about money without upsetting each other.

I really want you to understand that having a partner that earns less money than you is not, a terrible thing or deal breaker, it’s really about how you both feel about money and the goals you set as a couple to earn additional money when needed, save money for emergencies and always have a line of communication available to each other to discuss money issues as they arise. If your partner uses controlling tactics because they make more money than you, you’re in an unhealthy relationship and seek help, ASAP!

Here are my 5 tips for dating someone who makes less money than you:

1. Try not to get upset when you spend most of your money on bills. If you are the breadwinner in the relationship and cohabitating, face it, you will more than likely be the person paying the majority of the bills. Your partner who makes less money than you, can contribute to the household bills by paying the smaller bills (i.e., groceries, cable, electric bill(s). By doing this, you both are contributing something towards your shared responsibilities.

2. Manage your money well. No matter which income bracket you fall under, you need to manage your money well. Don’t point fingers at your partner for making less money than you and your finances aren’t in order. My boyfriend told me that because he makes more money than me, it pushes him to continuously make sure that he manages his money well. Usually in relationships, there’s one partner who is more fiscally responsible than the other. Instead of complaining or competing with that partner’s strength, use their wisdom, learn from them and grow financially together. Teach your partner the skills you’ve learned on how to manage your money well. Don’t enable your partner’s reckless spending habits, instead consider sitting down with them and go over a realistic budget that will help them spend money wisely.

3. Be patient. Just because you want your partner to think and act like you, doesn’t mean that they will right away. It takes time to learn new habits so be patient. Your partner has spent years in debt, or spending money on a moment’s notice or at their discretion because they were living their best life, alone. So be patient with your partner who makes less money than you. In order for them to change their spending habits or become debt free, they have to change their mindset about how they feel about money first.

4. Have open communication about budgets, savings, bills, etc. You can’t get to the root of your money issues or concerns, if you don’t talk about them with your partner. Having open discussions will help save the relationship instead of avoiding the much needed conversations, fearing that your partner will get mad.

5. For the partner who makes less money, pay something no matter what. Although you make more money than your partner, they should still be contributing financially in some type of way. If you pay for dinner, they can pay for parking and leave a tip. If you pay for the hotel and flights for a vacation, they should pay for all of the meals if it’s not an inclusive package.

Having a partner that makes less money than you is not a deal breaker, to me, as long as you and your partner are headed towards the same financial goals. There will be stressful times if you’re the breadwinner but be patient and teach your partner new habits about how they spend money or direct them to other external resources such as a financial guru you follow on social media, a book, a course on that particular challenging financial area in their life, etc. Humble yourself because you never know, one day your partner can make more money than you someday and will remember how you treated them. Don’t put off discussing money issues and concerns with your partner, it won’t get better, it will definitely get worse.

Staff Writer; Felicia T. Simpson

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