Financial Intimacy: How To Talk Money With Your Partner (And What Not To Do)

Money can be a major issue in a relationship, but it doesn't have to be. Discussing finances early on is important to ensuring your financial perspective is aligned with your partner's. This can also help spare you from potential heartbreak since debt and financial irresponsibility are major deal-breakers for many people. However, having the conversation can be tricky since it's common to be uncomfortable talking about money.

Discussing money matters should be normalized in a relationship since it involves setting your goals for the future. Unfortunately, talking about money remains taboo among many couples, sometimes even causing shame, fear, or conflict. In fact, a 2019 study in the Journal of Financial Therapy suggests that married couples have the fewest conversations regarding money matters. The research further revealed that people are more open to speaking about their finances with anyone other than their partners.

If you plan to spend your life with your significant other, it's time to drop your discomfort around discussing money and start being open with your partner about finances.

Have an open mind and be prepared prior to the discussion

MintLife suggests it's better to listen and observe your partner's money habits before having the discussion. Rather than asking intrusive questions, you can learn more about their financial perspective just by noticing things like how much they're willing to splurge on a date or what they like to buy. This will help you prepare and have an idea of potential issues to raise in your talk.

Learning about a person's money mindset can help you understand them better as a person, too. Know that every individual's perspective on money is shaped by several factors, including their upbringing, circle of friends, and past experiences. Instead of immediately judging your partner on their habits, it can help to understand where they're coming from. Both of you need to be open about your financial history and personal relationship with money. If your partner refuses to reveal this information, it could be a sign they're not the one.

Be honest and never hide anything about your finances

It's impossible to overstate the importance of being honest with your partner about your finances. The key to making it work is through open communication between both parties. According to a survey conducted by Forbes, people who make between $25,000 and $50,000 annually are the most likely to lie about their finances. The research further reveals that the top two reasons a person does so are because they feel ashamed about their spending habits and trying to avoid disputes with their partner.

Financial infidelity that ranges from simply hiding a credit card to an undisclosed pile of debts can make or break a relationship. Keeping such secrets can break your partner's trust, and deceit will only make the inevitable reveal that much more difficult.

In order to have a long and lasting relationship, full disclosure of finances is necessary, even if it's uncomfortable. After all, a lifetime partnership is more than just a romantic relationship, but an intertwining of your lives. In fact, comfortably discussing money matters can be a good sign that you are ready for marriage