Don’t Tell the Person You Just Started Dating How Much Money You Have.
If you think you are making more money than the person you just started dating, it might be a good idea to keep that to yourself – at least for a while.
Yes, I know millennials are more likely to start talking about their finances right away and that a good third of us want to talk about money on our first date. However, just because talking about money is trending doesn’t mean you have to disclose everything at once.
In The Financial Diet, Nikki Viscilla explains how it literally cost her by sharing her financial situation early in the relationship.
He knew how much money I had saved by then, and just as I hadn’t seen my mom work to improve our financial situation after her divorce, he hadn’t seen the effort that went into saving that money. When deciding who would pay for lunch, he often referred to my bank account: “But you have so much money!” At first I answered, “That’s right, because I don’t spend them.” But when it became obvious that my reasoning was not heard, my refutations became few, and in the end I paid the bill in more than half of the cases. That summer I ended up spending $ 1000 in my checking account.
Viscilla writes about how she and her boyfriend tried to live as if they were in a long-term relationship – pro-rata spending, making career decisions based on the other person’s needs – even though their relationship was far from “long-term.”
Was my ex-boyfriend intentionally manipulating me into paying more because he knew I had opportunities, or if he also exaggerated the depth of our connection and believed that we should live as a married couple who takes on the other’s weakness, the end result remains the same. I lost more money than I should have, and as everyone around us could clearly predict, we parted ways.
I fully understand this urge to get too serious financially too early, because I myself have been there. When I was 20, and a few months after starting my first “can this be the only ” relationship, I learned that the person I was dating had a little debt. (Just a couple if I remember correctly.) I was making more money than him, and I remember how much I wanted to say, “Let me help you pay off this.” We were young! We were in love! We were going to support each other and share our resources! We … were going to break up for a year.
Of course, I was also on the other side of the financial picture, when the person I just started dating offered to pay for everything (or almost everything) because they were making more than me – and that was a little weird too. and sometimes a little manipulative. (“Don’t worry, I’ll pay for this” is not the best answer to “no.”)
So when should you take money into a relationship? You may have to do the hard work of tackling this topic in a natural way – “this is not in my budget” – while still modestly speaking how much you have in your paycheck or savings account. You can also use the person who asks, pays principle, giving each of you the opportunity to suggest dates that are within your price range.
You can even follow the somewhat old-fashioned advice of dating someone for “four full seasons” (aka “one year”) before making any major relationship decisions, including whether to reveal how much money you actually have. …
But whatever you do, do not lay out all of your financial affairs in the early stages of a new relationship, because both you and the other party can assume that these beans are what will fund the next few months of dating.