Money is a major cause of marital problems and fights in the USA. Don't avoid the topic as you date.
Whether you're scouring dating apps or meeting people organically, first dates can be awkward enough. Do you really want to bring money into the mix?
There are a few reasons why it's a good idea to talk about finances early on in the relationship...maybe even on the first date!
Money usually comes up on the first date regardless.
You're going to talk about what you do for a living. You're probably going to talk about what you do for fun. And unless you're just going for a walk in the park, there will be a moment when there's a bill for the coffee or drinks or dinner. In this moment you actually engage in your first-ever financial decision as a couple--maybe without realizing it. Who will pay? Will you both reach for the check? Will only one person? The way that this small interaction is handled can teach you a lot about your date.
Whether you bring it up explicitly or not, the topic is there right in front of you.
Your date is probably wondering the same thing about you.
So...give the people what they want! Now, this isn't a free pass to ask ultra-personal questions about salary or debt, but you do want to find out more about the person and how they look at the world. So ask!
Questions about finances can open up a world of conversation. Try asking things like:
- What's your financial philosophy?
- What are some goals you have for the next 5 years?
- What's something that makes you excited about your career right now?
- What's your dream for the future?
If your date has a lot to say, you'll learn all you need to know. If they have nothing to say, that shows you something about them as well. But no matter what you learn, keep one thing in mind: someone's financial situation does not make them any more worthy or unworthy of a successful relationship. However, their attitude and philosophy toward finances could set them apart as someone who is compatible with you or as someone who might really clash with your way of life.
It's always a good idea to be yourself, even if it's scary.
There's a quote that you should keep at all times...but especially at the beginning of a relationship:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”― Bernard M. Baruch
If the person you're on a date with is completely turned off by your conversation, or if they are weirded out that you brought up something that's important to you, they probably aren't your person. Have confidence knowing that if you bring your true self to the table with respect, kindness, and regard, you really have nothing to lose.
The Bottom Line:
Dating can be a complicated process, but making small adjustments to your approach can benefit you--and your relationship--for years to come!
How do I talk about money on a date?
1. Don't talk numbers, talk values. Someone might have an enormous salary, but that doesn't mean they don't have discipline. Talking about values around money can give you all the information you need to start.
2. Be respectful and understanding. It's not the easiest topic, so make sure to watch how your date is reacting to the conversation and respond accordingly. People can feel pretty awkward talking about financial topics for a number of reasons, so do your best to put them at ease.
3. Share first. Being vulnerable first can open up the conversation and help your date to understand where you're coming from.
Need help walking yourself through the process? Financial coaching is a resource that will give you confidence and security every step of the way. Sign up for a free and remote consultation today.