It’s the time of the year when finances are on everyone’s mind. Luckily, my husband is a financial wizard, so I can check in with him when I need input or expertise. Even so, tax time? Definitely not my favorite time of year!
Love and money aren’t always easy to talk about in the same conversation. How soon should you start discussing finances when a new man enters your life? That’s what Natalie wants to know:
I’ve been dating a man exclusively for 6 months. He’s hard working and successful, but also supports an ex-wife and two kids. I’m 35, have never been married, have a great career, own my home, don’t have any debt and feel financially secure. I’ve worked hard all my life and have always been very good with managing my budget and finances.
My question is, how long do you wait before having the “money” discussion with a new boyfriend? Shouldn’t I know his financial health now, before things become more serious? I’d like to know how much he makes (yikes, I don’t want to come off as superficial) and if he has savings/investments, because I want to protect myself. I’ve dated men in the past who leaned on me financially and I don’t want to go down that path again.
Natalie, I’m so glad you asked me this question! The money chat is always an awkward one. It’s especially tough for divorced men (and women for that matter), because divorce has a way of really hurting people financially.
I should also point out that although you’ve dated men in the past who were not at your financial level, they still should not have been “leaning” on you. There’s a difference between a man who doesn’t make a lot of money and a man who wants a woman to support him.
How Much Should You Know?
You’re nervous now, since you’ve been burned in the past, so you want to have the discussion — but unfortunately you’re going to have to wait and see. You’ve been dating 6 months, but the two of you aren’t talking about the future yet. He hasn’t asked you to marry him. So right now, although I hate to say it, his finances are none of your business. It’s a completely different matter if marriage is on the table. Then, finances must be discussed.
Until then, I suggest that you observe his spending habits, and also observe how he treats, respects and (potentially) adores you.
A few questions to ask yourself:
1. Does he spend recklessly?
2. Does he complain about money?
3. Does he ask you to split everything with him?
4. Does he seem to be taking good care of himself, and of his kids?
If you can answer the questions above, that will give you a good idea of whether or not this man’s life is “together” or in chaos.
What’s Your Take on Financial Honesty?
Now, I’d like to hear from readers. Women are more successful than ever before and this is a common problem that women face. On the other hand, you might be feeling like your own finances aren’t in order, and worry about when or if you should have a candid conversation with a new man in your life.
My question to you is, how do you feel about being financially honest? Have you held back in the past and wish you hadn’t? Let’s discuss! This is a great topic!
Your friend in love,