“Love will keep us alive,” or so the famous The Eagles song goes. However, you shouldn’t downplay the role that money plays in dating and relationships.
While first dates are tense enough, money etiquette is another nerve-racking aspect of dating as there are really no set rules.
“Money is important in relationships right from the get-go. It’s really symbolic of emotions and an area that can have tremendous meaning,” said couples therapist and relationship expert Tara Fields, Ph.D.
Money mistakes can even turn relationships topsy-turvy due to “financial infidelity.” According to Forbes, conflicting financial compatibility and materialism are some of the major causes of failed marriages.
Below are some truths and taboos about money and modern dating. Can you relate?
Who should grab the tab?
Tradition demands men to pay on first dates, but relationships nowadays allow everyone in the game to have a say.
“If they always insist on picking up the tab and never let you pay, are they being sweet and generous, or is it something they saw one of their parents do in a dysfunctional way? Is it their way of being in control of the situation—or worse, you?” Fields warns.
(Read: How Much Money Is Love Worth?)
Rule of thumb is the one who did the asking out should settle the bill. But even so, bring ample cash to at least to pay for yourself.
It doesn’t hurt to be mindful of your date’s financial behavior and play it fair and square. Pick a moderately-priced place and food choices just to be safe.
How to survive dating and relationships when broke
Nope, you won’t get penny-pinching tips for this. Being broke is unappealing for obvious reasons. Dating also requires financial effort.
As a responsible adult, learn to say no if you really can’t afford to go out on a date. Many people have a few financial woes of their own so there should be no judging or shame in admitting that you are on a budget.
If you’re thinking of moving beyond dating, remember that a relationship requires both. parties to be financially prepared to support each other when the going gets tough. A romantic relationship is also a financial partnership and comes with the responsibility of securing a roof over your heads too.
Financial stability, in reality, fortifies serious relationships. The amount of money you have dictates the kind of dates you’ll have, the kind of food you’ll eat, and the kind of place you’ll inhabit. Money sets the bar of the quality of life your relationship will revolve around.
Who is the ‘person in charge’?
Modern men and women take pride in being breadwinners and providers. Generosity is a highly appreciated love language to show you are invested in the person.
When going out on dates, opting to split the bill is a good way to signal that you are exerting an effort. If your date insists on picking up the tab, reciprocate by offering to treat the next time you hang out.
Double-income households have broken stereotypes and modern society has been open to diverse money management styles in marriages. Celebrity couple Solenn Heussaff and Nico Bolzico, for instance, handle their own money and keep their hands off on each other’s finances.
“We have a joint bank account for house dues, just for me to pay like groceries or stuff like that,” Solenn told PEP.ph.
Actor Ian Veneracion revealed that all his earnings go straight to his business-minded wife.
“Whatever I have, my money, is her money. Ini-invest ko doon [business],” he told Inquirer.net.
Point is, there is no single formula but a mutual agreement on how to effectively manage finances.
Money and mistrust
These are hard times to find true love and genuine partnership—especially in the culture filled with prowling sugar babies and beauty-status exchanges. It’s understandable that wealthy people develop the fear to be wanted only for their money.
Send a clear message that your interest is in enjoying great company and getting to know a new person better. Make sure your date (or your partner) does not feel you’re just down for the free dinner and ride.
Reach for your purse or pocket and offer to pay or split the bill when the tab reaches the table. Also, suggest date ideas that involve middle-of-the-road costs. Importantly, give the person a pair of listening ears, a healthy conversation, and moral support.
Other sources: Time, Bustle, Style Caster, Forbes