The Dating and Dough Solution. It’s actually simple…
Match’s Annual Singles in America Study hit my email box this morning. https://www.singlesinamerica.com/
One statistic jumped out at me – about FINANCES. Money, dough, cash, coin, loot, bread, wampum, scratch, coinage – call it what you like, but it’s a BIG, HAIRY, NASTY issue in dating and in relationships.
The Dating and Money Issue – my specialty. Let’s handle it. Right now.
Our dating culture is changing so quickly that I’ll suggest to Match, the online dating super-powerhouse that they might consider releasing their Annual Study quarterly. You know about acceleration and exponential change, right? Well, one of the reasons why I can’t seem to retire from my professional role as a Personal Matchmaker and Dating Coach is that we’re in the middle of massive and fundamental gender-role shifts in our social and relational culture. It’s messy and we need guides to help us get through the jungle that is today’s dating space.
Compatibility regarding Finances is as important as Attraction & Chemistry. Now, notice that I didn’t say EQUALITY in finances is important. It’s not. It’s fun for me to watch the eyes roll at the Matchmakers Alliance Conference when mention is made of the common request among single professional women, which is “He has to earn at LEAST as much as I do.” “He has to HAVE at least as much as I do.” To which this matchmaker always asks Why? The highly accomplished professional single woman’s response is always something along the lines of….
So I can respect him.
So the power dynamic will be in check.
Because I don’t want to support anyone.
My former relationships with men who earned (or had) less than I did neve worked out.
I’m tired of carrying the load.
My success (financial strength) intimidates men. That’s not it, ladies, it’s how we’re BEING about our success, our wealth, our strength that puts men off. They’re not intimidated, they’re just put off – entitlement is not sexy.
Knock, Knock. It’s time to wake up, Ladies and Gentlemen.
As Jimenez Law Firm pointed out, “for every 10 marriages that end in divorce, four of them are because of money.”
One thing I can tell you for sure – however you have the issue of MONEY wired in your brain – who should pay for what? – Each person you bump into along your dating journey has this issue wired differently. GONE are The Rules for dating and money, for relationship and money, for partnership and money, for marriage and money. Ladies, I say it’s time for what my colleague Alison Armstrong, might refer to as a “Cinderella Grows Up” realization.
It’s great news, actually. With maturity comes both responsibility and freedom.
How to ensure your financial safety and security. Follow these guidelines.
I know, it’s complex. And this Dating and Money thing is my specialty.
How did I become a Dating and Money Expert? I’ve learned SO much in my 30+ year marriage, with a man who’s …so tight he squeaks… and I’m a spoiled rotten, stubborn Taurus who loves nice things…
If Gil and I can do it, others can too. Even you.
Bottom Line Strategies for Dating and Money.
- Keep your own finances in order. Live within your means, so you consistently earn more than you spend. Downsize, consolidate, eliminate / minimize debt, prioritize, get real about what you truly need and what “stuff” can be let go.
- Be truly happy to fund ALL your own indulgences. “But, Julie, I like First Class Travel – it’s what I’m used to.” Lovely, plan to fund ALL of your own fancy travel adventures, and be prepared to bring a guest along with you, if the expense isn’t in his / her budget. Save your points for airfare upgrades, lodging. It’s perfectly fine to be a princess, as long as you’re cool paying for the castle. Lots of guys (wealthy and non) don’t want to spend dough on this stuff. If you love it, save for it. Bring with you anyone you want, or go solo and don’t whine about it.
- Practice Generosity. Ask early on, even on a first / second date what this person’s Love Languages are. How do they like to give AND receive love? Fortunately, I discovered early on with hubby, Gil, that he’s tight with the dough in SOME areas and I began adapting (travel expenses, pricey restaurants, even the entire down payment of our first home I funded!) Gil won’t spend much on travel and dining out, he’s never bought me a diamond or a Gucci purse, but this month I’ve seen him graciously, without fanfare pick up BIG bills for one son’s dental emergency, our other son’s home remodel project and another whopper invoice for the roofing contractor. He’s an Acts of Service guy. NOTE: I’m a total hotel snob; when I met Gil (remember, he sold me my dating service membership at his Great Expectations Video Dating Service office in St. Louis – I was a sales exec for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company…) Hotels? Gil’s happy at the Travelodge. I say, life’s too short for the Travelodge, so I’ve graciously, for 33 years, without resentment picked up the lodging expense for any and all fancy-pants hotels. It’s easy, if I remember to practice appreciation for all the ways in which Gil is very, very generous. And so long as I practice being generous myself, especially in the areas that matter to me, and not so much to him.
- Curb Your Expectations. Seriously, be flexible and adaptable about the nature of a first date, the second and third date. Whether it’s over lunch at a nice café, a cup of coffee, or a park bench date (I orchestrated hundreds of these simple, no-cost, low-pressure dates during the Covid lockdowns and continue to do so today.) I recommend that we all start each friendship and each relationship of any kind with a clarification chat about money. Lead with generosity, rather than expectation. If you see Key Criteria matching up nicely on the first date, continue exploring. The nature of the date is nowhere near as important as the person you’re meeting. “But Julie, my house is worth four times what his is worth!” So what? If you two stick, you only need one house; sell or rent out the other. Sell both and buy together. Think outside the piggy bank, folks. Love is SO much more important than STUFF. I’ll never forget the comment a gentleman client made to me once on the issue. He said, “If a woman expects something from me, it robs me of the joy in providing it.” Read that again…. And then one more time.
- Get GREAT at Communicating. Schedule a one-hour session with me, to sort this stuff out, and to craft the language for your profile and for your early dates, surrounding money and finances. I’m great at this and am happy to help you with it. https://calendly.com/julieferman/60-minute-consultation-with-julie-ferman?month=2023-11
- Get GREAT at Deal Making. Whip out a sheet of paper and make three lists. Expenses I’m HAPPY to cover in my romantic relationship. Expenses I’m WILLING to cover in my romantic relationship. Expenses I’m UNWILLING to cover in my romantic relationship. Here’s what’s KEY. Right around Date #3, before you hit the bedroom (where oxytocin is intentionally and masterfully confuse and confound you both) whip out that worksheet and see where you both are on these elements. Each of them. Make some deals early on, about just your dating expenses and you’ll set the stage for future, more serious financial decisions that will surely come later, if you keep turning toward each other to stay together.
If you can follow these simple guidelines for Dating and Finances, I predict that your future relationship won’t end up as a carcass on the side of the road (because you DIDN’T talk openly about all this early on.)
To receive personal introduction referrals and event invitations, be sure you’re privately registered with me, with your current / updated profile. I can’t match you if I can’t find you. From Free to VIP, I’m here to help. www.JulieFerman.com