January can be a big month for relationships. A record number of people head for online dating sites, and more babies are conceived than in any other month. Sadly, there’s also an increase in divorces.
As soon as you choose to comingle your finances with a romantic partner, there’s the potential for arguments about money, which are often intense and left unresolved. In fact, financial concerns are amongst the most common sources of disagreement for couples.
But rather than letting money problems tear your relationship apart, with the right attitude, money problems can actually strengthen a romantic bond. We’re not suggesting you test the theory by deliberately overspending and falling behind on your bills. But if you find your relationship is being tested by money troubles, it’s time to look at the positives!
Discussing money isn’t always easy. But if you’re going to get out of a financial hole, it is essential. Talking to your partner about money opens up an honest dialogue for understanding each other, which can improve your relationship all round. The key is to seek a solution, not focus on the blame.
One of the common causes of money disagreements in a relationship is when you have one “spender” and one “saver”. It can be difficult to make someone think the same way as you do about money. But you can agree on certain principles to create a path forward. The key is to use your personality differences to unite and become a stronger team. It might not sound very romantic, but couples who can budget wisely together will be stronger.
Agree a plan that works for you both. Decide together what you want to spend your money on. This will involve compromise, another valuable skill that, once mastered, will help avoid further arguments in the future. Creating this united front will help strengthen your relationship in more ways that just financially.
Come up with new ways to have fun without spending money. Get creative. Try cooking at home, dig out the old board games, go for a romantic stroll. You’ll probably find you have more quality time to spend together. Make that time filled with laughter, without relying on expensive crutches, and your whole relationship will benefit.
Remembering why you’re together
Whenever your relationship is put to the test, it pays to remember what brought you together in the first place. It probably wasn’t (solely) the promise of financial harmony. Focus on rediscovering what it was that first attracted you to each other. Reaffirming your commitment to each other, despite what you’re going through, can help to keep your priorities straight.
Removing other dramas
Shared financial concerns cause enough worry for any relationship on their own. Learn how to let other dramas go. Don’t let the little things niggle. If you’re annoyed that your other half has left their shoes in the middle of the floor AGAIN, just take a deep breath, pick them up and move on. Developing the attitude of not sweating the small stuff can be easier when you have big stuff happening. If you can carry that with you for life, it’ll make for a much more harmonious existence!
Developing new ways of coping
Accept that you can no longer buy your way out of a problem – an expensive gift or holiday isn’t an option! Instead, appreciate the little things. Making your partner a cup of tea or running them a relaxing bath can work just as well if you both change your expectations.
Focusing on the solution
Ultimately, mind set goes a long way in helping a relationship survive a financial struggle. Thinking positively and focusing on finding a solution, rather than blaming and arguing, is the solution. Planning, communicating, being honest and adapting your lifestyle will help resolve the issue, in time, if you work as a team.
Getting some expert advice may help you resolve any financial problems more quickly and efficiently. https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en can be a good place to start.