Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Building Financial Intimacy

With Valentines Day coming up this weekend, I understand that your romantic plans with your sweetie probably do not include money talk -- yet. Let me make my case for the least understood, most unappreciated, yet totally romantic topic of them all.

After the intoxicating initial flush of love, financial cooperation and compatibility are one of the cornerstones of true intimacy. Money is tied to our most basic sense of security. When we can't trust our partner or we feel we can't be our own true financial self in the relationship, then the long-term prospects for the relationship are terrible. Chances are we will either blame, bolt, or cheat (financially speaking). You've heard the statistics about how conflict over money is the leading cause of divorce, right?

How do you boost the financial intimacy in your relationship?
Having different financial mindsets doesn’t have to be an issue. You simply need to communicate in order to play to the other person’s strengths. Next time you’re gazing at each other over candlelight (and maybe after a glass or two of wine), see what happens when you introduce a little money talk.

Here are the questions you should ask your partner:
  • After your regular bills are paid, what do you like to do with the rest of
    your money?
  • Do you have any financial goals in the next five years? What are you doing
    right now to work toward those goals?
  • How do you feel about debt?
My article for LearnVest on How to Have the Money Conversation with Your Significant Other has more on the right questions to ask whether you're just dating or moving toward marriage.