Last month, the New York Times published an article called How to be Frugal & Still Get Asked on Dates. The article discusses various polls and reactions from online daters who find it completely unsexy if someone describes themselves as frugal. As we read with wide eyes, we thought to ourselves—who actually talks about money in their online profile or on a first date? Not to mention: why do so many people think that just because a person is frugal also means that they’re cheap?!
It turns out, many women find the idea of dating a potential penny pincher totally unappealing, while many men live in fear of falling for the woman who is looking to marry for money. Do these stereotypes still really exist? While we poke fun at the stereotypes of the tight wad and the gold digger, the reality is people’s attitudes and habits surrounding money are a huge factor in a relationship—even (or especially!) in the beginning.
Do you remember the game M.A.S.H ((Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House)? Whether you knew who Gloria Steinem was by the time you were ten years old or not, most of us girls well remember the paper folding game that predicted what kind of future we would have if we married our schoolyard crushes. Did you get upset when you learned that you were going to have to live in a shack for the rest of your life—even if it meant you’d live with the love of your nine-year-old life? Or were you relieved that, that even though you ended up with the dorky kid next door, at least you got to live in a mansion?
Of course it was just a fun silly game, but it’s astounding to think that even at such an early age, we were already judging the value of love and predicting the potential success & fate of our fictitious relationships. So, let us ask—do you know what’s important to you now? What are your money values, and how do you find a partner that feels the same?
Finding Your Money Match
Before you know if you’re financially compatible with your love interest, you must first understand what’s important to you! What are your ambitions for your career and having a family? How do you feel about being the breadwinner? Are you a saver or do you spend like there’s no tomorrow? Are you generous or stingy? Would it bother you if someone else was? Do you expect to stay home if you have kids, or do you plan to go back to work? Do you assume your offspring will attend prestigious private schools, or are you a public school kinda gal?
As your relationship grows, you need to think and talk about money matters, what makes you feel secure, and, of course, be honest about it! The better you understand yourself, the better you’ll be able to recognize when someone shares your similar value system. The key to avoiding serious disagreements about money and finances in the future, is to make sure your values are on the same page from the get go! We’ve all seen studies on money being the number one cause of divorce—don’t let yourself become another statistic!
So What’s Your Type?
Stereotypes are just that—but there is a sliver of truth in them, isn’t there? Maybe you are turned on by the thought of an unending expense account—or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of making a life with the inner-city teacher who is focused on making a difference in your community. Whatever your romantic dreams may be, when it comes to marriage, make no mistake—money matters!
Read the entire article at Fabulous & Frugal!