Do you see any financial red flags waving in your love life?
When you start seeing someone new, and you’re attracted to them, it’s easy to start wondering if the casual dates could turn into something deeper and more meaningful. When the possibility of a fulfilling romantic relationship feels exciting to you, it’s so hard for most people to notice red flags, and pay attention to any nagging doubts they might have about their love interest. This is incredibly common when it comes to a dating partner’s habits with money. So, are you starting to see any nagging financial red flags whipping in the wind of your romance sails?
Some financial red flags in your love life may include:
- Does he spend too much?
- Does he gamble?
- Are you concerned about his interest in ventures that seem aggressive or risky to you?
- What are his habits with credit cards and debt?
While these aren’t always fun or romantic answers to learn about your date, they are crucial to your relationship’s future success and happiness. It might be confusing if you wonder if you should choose a partner for love rather than money. Money is an emotional topic, and it can bring out massive insecurities and anxieties in both partners. Do you worry about being selfish or greedy if you reject him because of his financial habits? Are you afraid you’re too picky? Sometimes, it pays to be picky – no pun intended. Although you may try to talk yourself out of your concerns, you can’t make them disappear entirely.
Most people have financial deal-breakers for relationships, and you probably do too. And it’s okay to look out for your best financial interests in a romantic relationship. But it’s important to understand that these red flags and money issues aren’t simply about how much money your partner makes. It’s about whether your values, habits, and vision for the future when it comes to money are compatible. A partner’s bad money habits can really put a damper on your quality of life after you move in together or get married.
If you want to save for the future and your partner is an impulsive big spender who lives in the moment and is comfortable with no savings, you might not be a good match. These significant incompatibilities are huge financial red flags. Acknowledging a critical difference in values of this magnitude will save you from future heartache and money stress. Sure, sometimes opposites attract and work issues out, but you don’t want to ignore a major issue brewing. You may have different priorities in life.
If you think this shouldn’t be a big issue, let’s take a look at the research. A CNBC report showed that finances are the biggest cause of stress in long-term relationships. Many of the survey participants – 35% – said money was a significant cause of discord in their relationship.
A study conducted by Kansas State University of 4500 couples found that “arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce.” The researchers discovered that if a couple argued about money when they were first married, there was a higher risk that they weren’t going to have good relationship satisfaction. Arguing about money at the beginning of the relationship is often a waving, financial red flag. These early arguments tend to point to incompatibilities in the relationship.
So, what does a healthy relationship with money look like?
In an ideal world, you and your partner would both share the same values, habits, and vision for the future regarding money. You’re much less likely to have a lot of unresolvable conflicts and fights if you do. This involves whether you spend or save and how you invest your money as well. We all know that it’s hard enough to find a good man who you click with on an emotional and physical level. Adding a list of other money-related criteria to the mix can make dating and finding a good match even harder. But it’s not impossible to find a compatible partner on all important fronts – money included.
It’s okay if you don’t see eye-to-eye on every single point. As long as you aren’t too far apart from each other in these areas, and you are willing to communicate and compromise, you can probably work out your money differences. A big spender with a big saver leaves a lot of room for resentment to grow, so it’s worth taking the time to pay attention to any glaring warning signs and financial red flags that you may be able to catch early to save yourself a lot of emotional and financial pain and heartache.