How important is the issue of money when you meet someone you like?
It’s VERY important.
Money is one of the biggest reasons relationships fail. Why? Because that green stuff is one potent thing to some people, while to others it isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. So, you get the picture, right? These greenbacks can be the constant source of conflict unless the value associated with them is shared.
This doesn’t mean both of you have to have the same amount of money in the bank, stock market or IRAs. What I mean by shared “values” is more subtle, but nonetheless still very powerful.
An example of “value” might be your view of what is important in life. Being a teacher, an entrepreneur, or working for a not-for-profit may have defined your career choices…and every day you worked, you were one happy camper. Your savings account and IRA may not show “wealth” in terms of dollars, but you wouldn’t have done it any other way.
Your new “love” wakes up looking at the stock market and Wall Street can either make his day or tank his happiness. Money matters to him and even if he wanted to be a teacher when he was young, he may have spent his life in a more “lucrative” profession. Happiness for him goes hand in hand with the sense of security that money brings to his life.
There are many scenarios that describe the complexity of money in people’s lives…and early on in the relationship is the time to talk to one another honestly and without judgment about the “value” of money.
Some of us have less money to offer in a relationship, but the things we bring to our partners are brimming with “value”. You may find a potential partner who is really happy to have someone in their life who brings happiness and companionship, even though you contribute much less to the shared expenses. But beware of assuming anything related to money. Ask, listen carefully and don’t assume things will “change”later on. Learn early about each other’s attitudes and values, especially about something as powerful as the “Almighty Dollar.”