Money. It’s a tricky subject at the best of times.
Despite the rise of personal finance content online and on social media, a lot of us still prefer privacy when it comes to talking about our salaries, credit scores and debts.
It’s in the British psyche that talking about money is impolite. It’s even more complicated when romance gets involved.
The first date might be a tad too early to reveal your buy-now-pay-later problem, but if you do have debt, isn’t it fair to let people know what they’re getting into?
When it comes to relationships, openness and honesty is key – but does that extend to financial information? Or do we have a right to keep our money matters to ourselves?
Could it even spark arguments, or resentment, if we know too much about our other half’s finances?
To unpick this sticky topic, we asked people about their attitudes towards financial openness in relationships, and whether we need to shake our awkwardness around talking money.
Nathaniel Cole is a freelancer who is projected to earn £30-£35,000 this year. His partner Jodie Yates is also a freelancer and she earns slightly less.
The pair started dating in 2019, and having spent lockdown together, they found that discussions about finances came up fairly quickly.
‘I personally struggled with having no furlough pay and going on Universal Credit,’ Nathaniel tells us.
‘But I’ve been fairly comfortable with talking about money over the last five years in an effort to remove the taboo from it.’
He said some men may avoid sharing how much they earn due to feelings of inadequacy.
‘There’s pressure to earn above average salaries and potential shame from earning a low to middle salary as a man,’ he adds. ‘Though we may not actually be able to provide, the expectation is we should be able to provide if need be.’
Money mentor Rob Moore says no one should feel pressured to be the breadwinner or show they can take care of the other person.
‘The person who always pays can do it to try and buy love and that doesn’t end well,’ he tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Too much sharing of financial information early in the relationship should also be avoided, as it can attract the wrong attention.’
Sharna-Jade, started a discussion on Twitter about whether couples should be sharing their finances with each other. Her initial comments sparked a lively debate, with strong opinions on both sides.
She says that as a high-earning woman, she has been burned before by sharing information about her finances too quickly.
‘Discussing actual figures, for me is on a need-to-know basis,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It can cause more problems than it’s worth if you out-earn your partner by a significant margin, which is usually the case for me.
‘It’s very easy for a man to feel emasculated.’
Maureen* is another woman who is wary of sharing her finances with a partner. After graduating university and living alone for a few years, she had some overdraft debt and student loans.
She felt shamed by her ex-partner who had been able to live with his parents, save and receive financial support – even though they split everything 50/50.
‘I earned less than him, and he made me feel bad if I bought us nice things for dinner, went out for drinks with friends or asked him to get a bottle of wine on the way back from work,’ she shares.
‘It made me feel like a burden.’
Still, Maureen thinks that feeling like you can’t talk about money might be a sign the relationship isn’t right.
Henna Khan-Hussain married her husband after three months. It meant she had to be frank about her debt, almost instantly.
‘Addressing this so early was embarrassing,’ she tells us.
‘Ultimately, it was good to be able to talk out loud about my financial situation. However my insecurities at the time made me question if I was the kind of person he wanted to be with in the long run.’
Dating and relationships expert Liam Barnett says this kind of openness can signal a strong partnership.
‘One or both might feel uncomfortable sharing their financial state for various reasons,’ he shares.
‘However, knowing where your partner is financially, and being able to support or be supported, understand or be understood, is definitely one of the healthy signs.’
Rachel Ayeh-Datey, who has been with her girlfriend for two years agrees.
‘I think if you are serious about building a life with someone, then money has to be spoken about. Transparency is important and a bare minimum,’ she says.
*Name has been changed to protect anonymity.
Credit: Original article published here.