We’re all busy. Between work, school, our families, our love lives, and our social life, we’re caught up. We swear one day we’ll settle down and relax, take time to finally stop and smell those flowers outside the corner store on the way to work, take the dog down to that lake Grandpa always talks about, pick up that guitar that’s been collecting dust in the closet, you know, actually slow down and start living
Not this week though, because this week is hectic, but you know, next week. We all know next week becomes next month and next month is put off to “maybe this summer”.
I’m writing to you, my friend, to encourage you to stop and smell the flowers, to slow down a bit, to not live the same year 75 times and call it a life.
Money vs Love
Let’s face it, money is important and unfortunately, not having lots of it tends to make life more difficult.
It can be very sensitive to open up to your significant other about your finances. It’s no secret that money is closely related to personal vulnerabilities and self-esteem. Money plays an important part in many aspects of day-to-day life, but it may be getting in the way of things that really matter to you; love and relationships. Never allow your love of money ruin your good relationships with the love of your life.
Ask yourself the following questions and be honest. If your answer is yes, it’s time to reassess your relationship goals and talk with your partner.
Does your love of money come before your partner?
If you make money your top priority, then your relationship is going to take the back seat, no matter what how you want to justify or make up to it. Chapter 1 of The Missing Manual by JD Roth states that it’s more important to be happy than rich.
What you focus on is what you are going to get.
If you spend more time and energy on accumulating wealth and neglect your partner’s wants and needs, your relationship will suffer. Money is there for convenience to enjoy the benefits money ultimately brings… hopefully with your partner.
If your life revolves around money, you give money the power to control you and your relationship. Don’t be surprised how quickly it will tear you apart.
Did you choose your partner for money?
Money can be icing on the cake in a healthy relationship. It can help you pay for a nice vacation together or buy a house to start a family. However, if you decide to be with someone because he or she is financially well-off and able to provide you and your family, forget the true love or having a fulfilling relationship.
Little by little, you will end up feeling empty inside and money won’t fill that void for you.
No matter how corny it sounds, money can’t buy love. Millions of dollars just can’t make you feel butterflies in your stomach and desire to commit to someone for life.
You want someone to fall in love with you for who you are, not with your wallet.
Are you in competition with your partner over income?
Your partner is not your competitor. There is no need to claim who earns more money. If you are making more than your partner but don’t recognize your partner’s hard work, he or she won’t feel appreciated and will become resentful.
It doesn’t matter how small his or her contribution is, be supportive and work on the goal to improve each other’s overall well-being.
Are you upset that your partner keeps spending your money?
It’s best to come up with some spending or saving rules as early as possible in the relationship. Otherwise, you risk having a big argument and feeling resentful or angry, which can start a fight and eventually harm your relationship.
When you have different family histories or approaches to using the money, there can be problems. You tend to expect your partner to handle money by the way money was handled in your home growing up.
Try to get an understanding of your partner’s financial upbringing to bridge the gap and come to a solution that serves both of you.
Do you fight over money too often?
Have you argued with your partner about something minor or tedious and found it actually has something to do with money problems? If you find yourself lashing out at your partner over things that you truly aren’t angry about because you are harboring secret venom over money issues, deep down you have trouble in your relationship and it’s time to talk it out with your partner.
Remember, you are having a heated discussion over money to see the bigger picture and what’s more important to you and your partner.
Do you keep secrets about your finances?
If you truly trust someone, and you have them trust you, then you need to be open and transparent with them about most things, especially your finances.
It’s important to discuss where you are financially, particularly if you plan to move in together or eventually get married. Not only will simply failing to tell your partner about your financial position, potentially cause a lack of trust but if you wait too long, you may later find out that you and your partner are on completely different paths as far as finances go.
This can be devastating to the relationship because money issues can cause feelings of shame, fear, and resentment, which are sometimes hard to get past.
In conclusion, free yourself from your chaotic schedule from time to time and just notice things, appreciate more, look at the world through wider eyes.
Be no stranger to hard work, hard work builds character, but do not allow yourself to be a slave of money until you die. People first, then money, then things.
Please remember to enjoy yourself, to stop and smell the flowers, to pick up your guitar once and a while, to imagine and create, most importantly, to make time. Money is simply a tool. It’s not about money vs love, it’s about making time for people, for the ones you love and for the ones you have yet to know. People first, always.