Dating is complicated — and it gets even more complicated when the finances are introduced. You’re going to need to make sure that you really try to figure out not only your finances, but how your money interacts with your partner’s money. Of course, if you’re in a causal relationship, you might not think about money in this manner. You keep yours, and they keep theirs. Everything works out for the good, right?
Well, things get a little more complicated when you try to live with someone. Instead of it being just about your finances, things can grow to where you’re planning for a future together. If you’re dreaming about a wedding, then both of you will undoubtedly want to contribute to that. What about getting a house? If one of you has less than perfect credit, the music might stop earlier than what you would like.
This is because credit plays a strong role in our everyday lives. It’s not just enough to hope that everything will be fine. What you will have to do is have a long talk with your partner. You need to know their credit score and what their financial goals are. Again, this is definitely for a serious relationship only. If you’re not going to be serious with them, then there’s really no point at all in indulging much of anything with them. You’re just going to end up making yourself upset, and who really wants to put themselves through something like that?
Be prepared for the fact that they really don’t want to discuss their finances with you. They don’t want to hear you tell them anything different about money. They want to make sure that you’re controlling only your money and not theirs. Money is a subject where people feel like you’re automatically going to be judging them. That’s not the case, but it can certainly feel like that. It can certainly feel that you’re stepping on some toes when you just want to make sure that you’re building a solid future. However, the truth is that if they are that leery about sharing financial information with you before you’re even married, chances are good that they’re not going to just give you what you’re looking for after the marriage. We would recommend marrying someone who understands the importance of being financially open.
Getting with someone that sees eye to eye with you about budgeting and financial matters is very important. Remember that if you do decide to raise children with that person, you will be passing on your thoughts about money to the kids. What you teach them is very powerful, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Why not make sure that the lessons you give them are going to be the ones that really do make the most sense?
Do yourself a favor — start the conversation. Don’t just show credit reports without saying anything. Explain where you were at that part of your life. Sure, you might of had credit card debt, but what about the fact that you were taking care of a sick parent? What about the fact that you just lost a grandparent? These factors do play into how debt is perceived and received in the eyes of other people. Stick to your own heart and be as honest as you can. If the other person walks away, well… they probably weren’t a good fit anyway. Good luck!