You’ve been dating for two months now, and it’s feeling right. He gives you butterflies when he walks into the room. You think he could be “the one.”
The problem is that you’ve been withholding some information from him.
You’re not sure if you should even be bringing up such a topic so early on in a relationship — and quite frankly, this secret has the potential to make your new love interest run for the hills.
You have $35,000 in student loan debt and $10,000 in credit card debt. You’re not quite sure what his financial situation is, or if yours will scare him away. What do you do?
Disclose Your Financial Situation, or Forever Hold Your Peace
Face it: talking about finances early on in a relationship isn’t sexy, but it is necessary. Money problems are one of the leading causes of break-ups and divorce. If you’re not open about your finances now, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of stress and heartbreak in the future.
If you’ve been beating around the bush when it comes to disclosing your finances, here are three ways to go about it.
# 1 – Keep it Casual
During a casual conversation, playfully ask your new love interest about his views on money. If you’re talking about careers, ask him how he feels about student loans. If you’re talking about vacations, vehicles, or any other big ticket items, ask how he feels about consumer debt.
Your casual conversation could lead to a long, heartfelt talk in which you openly disclose your financial status.
# 2 – Observe
You can tell a lot about someone’s financial habits by simply observing what they do. By this point, you’ve probably spent enough time with this person to have a general idea of their money personality.
For example, if you’ve seen her use coupons, you probably think that she’s a frugal person. On the other hand, if she purchases expensive designer jeans at the drop of a hat, and charges them to her credit card, you might think she has money problems.
# 3 – Just Bring It Up
If you feel that your money issues are enough to put a hold on your new relationship, or that your love interest is the one in money trouble, just bring it up. If money’s an issue that’s been weighing heavily on your mind, it’s better to get everything out in the open.
This doesn’t have to be awkward. Try starting a conversation about your future goals. Disclose where you’re at now, and where you want to be in the coming years. Ask the same of your partner.
Keep Your Money Views In Mind
Love can be blinding, but debt can be binding. If you’re on a path to financial freedom — working hard to earn and save every dollar you get — then dating someone with major money issues will likely cause a lot of friction for you in the future.
Enjoy your new relationship, but make sure that you and your potential partner’s financial paths have similarities. You may not be concerned about money habits now, but they certainly will play a role in your relationship in the future.
Whatever your situation is, be completely honest about it. When it comes to relationships and money, honesty will always be the most important factor.
How has money affected your romantic relationships?