Author: Mary Ambrose, CPA/MBA
If you look in any forum where people are free to post comments about money and relationships, you can see a number of guys say that they can only “go Dutch” because they don’t want their dates to “free-load” on them. No matter how justified these guys feel they are, if you’re currently dating anyone like that, run!
Read more to understand why you need to avoid guys like that at all costs.
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Yes, we’re in the 21st century and the “feminist” movement has been calling for equal pay and equal rights for women for quite a few decades now. As women gain more financial independence and more prestigious positions in politics, businesses and other social settings, some men also start to expect or even request women to pay for their own share of the expenses.
This spirit or mentality of going 50/50 between a couple is not just limited to money. That could include household chores, child care, everything else under the sun that could be “split”.
Although it sounds fair on the surface for a couple to have an equal share or burden of everything, it’s never a good idea to share your life with someone who is only willing to put in his 50% and nothing more.
The “50/50” spirit is rooted in selfishness
If someone can only agree to foot 50% of the bill even if he has the ability to take care of everything and pay for both, he might just be selfish instead of “fair”. Think about it, only paying half of the common costs while enjoying the companionship is really not “giving” to the relationship more than what he has to pay for himself without the relationship anyways.
A giver will never only pay for himself. A taker, on the other hand, might even ask you to pick up the tab for him!
Because of high divorce rates in the past two decades, it is understandable that people want to protect their own assets just in case things go south. But that doesn’t give people the excuse to be selfish and only worry about his or her half of the territory.
If he loves you, he won’t mind paying for you
Have you ever heard of the story that Steve Jobs shared himself about a woman that he dated before he got married? He really wanted his girlfriend at the time to buy a dress in display at a store and thought it would look great on her.
But she wasn’t enticed by that dress herself and suggested that unless Steve buys it for her, she’s not going to pay out of her own pocket. The tech guru deliberated on this quite a bit and eventually decided not to buy the dress after all.
Years later, when Steve looked back on this incident and this ex-girlfriend, he realized that the true reason behind his decision back then was simply because he didn’t really love that woman enough to buy that dress for her!
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If a guy values his money more than he values you, then he doesn’t love you.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not suggesting that a guy definitely loves you just because he’s generous with money and gives you all kinds of gifts.
For a rich dude, maybe his most valuable asset is his time, not his bank account. If your significant other only spends time with you when he needs you, then I’m afraid he’s not giving you his 100 percent, either.
Do not waste time with either kind. You deserve someone who wants to treat you like a queen.
Marriage is a commitment for life
There are so many uncertainties/challenges in life and in marriage itself that it requires sacrifices from both parties to maintain the commitment for life. Before tying the knot, the couple need to have serious and honest conversations about finances and see if they’re truly compatible for the long-run.
Depending on each other’s role in the relationship, sometimes one spouse can contribute more in finances, and the other can spend more time taking care of the house and the kids.
For a traditional family, there will only be joint bank accounts instead of separate accounts. But younger generations, especially “millennials”, have the tendency to have separate accounts for most of their individual savings while having a joint account for common expenses.
Based on a 2016 TD Bank survey, about 60% of millennial indicated that they keep at least some assets in separate accounts or don’t share at all. Apparently, the majority prefer to maintain their own financial independence and identity. That’s all good as long as the couple are not splitting hairs for shared expenses.
The bottom line is that the married couple is a union. The key focus between the two should be “us”, instead of “me, myself and I”.
When one spouse’s earning capability is temporarily or permanently impaired, the other should step up and handle all financial matters for the family. This is the “worse” and “poorer” part of the wedding vow, remember?
If your significant other isn’t even willing to pay for your expenses when necessary, how can you expect him to go through other more challenging situations in life?
Meet someone who is willing to and capable of rising above the “this is mine and that’s yours” kind of mentality. He shouldn’t limit himself to just his 50% contribution in the relationship. Anything or anyone who falls short of that may not be the right fit for a life-long commitment.
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