Valentine’s Day fever has come and passed. It was probably the most stressful day where both men and women everywhere stressed out over what to do or buy for his or her significant other.
Now that the occasion of candle lit dinners, roses, chocolates and expensive pocket-draining gifts has come to an end, don’t be mistaken that you are completely out of the woods. In fact, there was a research conducted by Facebook which showed breakups to be highest post-Valentine’s Day, this perhaps due to unmet expectations.
This says a lot about the relationship between love and finances showing that though the pressure of Valentine’s Day may be over, the financial pressures that come with love are not. Here are some tips on how you can manage money when you are in a relationship.
LAY EVERYTHING ON THE TABLE
If you are uncomfortable talking about money, this is something you need to start working on. Begin to share information on your current financial status. This naturally is not as easy to do when you first meet someone, and so disclose information that is appropriate to the time that you have spent together.
As you begin dating and you are observing whether you want to be with someone in the long run, watch and pay attention to your partner’s financial habits. This will give you a clue into how their relationship is with money, what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are.
DO NOT GO INTO DEBT
We are willing to go far and wide to show one that we care about them. Love tends to make us irrational at times, and while it is understandable that you would like to express your feelings towards them, it is not worth doing so if it will push you deeper into debt because it will eventually come back to affect your relationship.
Think before making an extravagant spend in the name of love. If you end up putting yourself in a compromising financial mess, you might end up adding extra stress to the relationship, which may lead to resentment towards your partner for sacrificing what you did not have in the first place. This then becomes a vicious cycle, bickering and fighting over an issue that easily would have been resolved if you were a little bit more frugal with your spend.
It can be extremely challenging bringing together two individuals with different backgrounds and expectations when it comes to matters finance. The best way to avoid disappointment, and resentment towards partners is to communicate what your needs and expectations are when it comes to money issues. Being honest and direct about your expectations no matter how uncomfortable.
It is also important to be honest about your abilities to meet these expectations so as to find a middle ground where you both can play your part. When communicating to your partner, be sure to be conscious of your tone as it can change how your partner perceives what you are trying to communicate. Avoid being sarcastic, and indifferent. Instead be sincere and assertive without being aggressive.
When you are on the receiving end of hearing your spouses concerns, listen and validate what their concerns are. Show that you care about their concerns, as this fosters deeper communication between the two of you.
FOR RICHER AND POORER
Time and time again we have heard how money is the one topic that couples fight over most. However, it is important to remember that finances are not the only thing that constitutes a relationship. There are a number of other aspects that should be considered and are worth appreciating which add value to the relationship.
To put things into perspective is it worth breaking up with your boyfriend or even girlfriend for that matter because of a gift that you did not receive. Are they there for you during hard times, do you share your financial responsibilities?
Sometimes we stress over such little things that do not make sense when you compare it to the bigger, more important things that have a greater impact in our lives. Take a moment to centre your thoughts and really think through the priorities that truly matter in your relationship. This perhaps, can reduce the little fights, and bring about more happy times.
DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
In this day and age where everyone plasters their life over social media, it sometimes gets difficult not to compare yourself with others on social media. In fact there are several psychological studies, which have been conducted showing there to be a great relationship between social media and depression. Do not let others dictate what your relationship should be.
Do not let social media define for you what your partner should or should not spend on you. People come from different socio-economic backgrounds, have different values and expectations, and you should therefore never measure your relationship satisfaction based on another person’s relationship.
Just the same way money constitutes a small part of your relationship, remember that it is also a small aspect of their relationship as well. There will always be a bigger house, more fancy clothes, fancier flowers and someone richer than you, but your partner can never be replaced. You will never find someone who has the exact personality and traits of your partner.