When people are dating, the early stages are frequently not the most genuine. Let’s get real, people are on their best behavior and often trying to either impress the other person, or at the very least not send them running away!
I’m convinced that not everyone is totally genuine when it comes to money and relationships in the early stages of dating. Let’s take two examples, which are admittedly stereotyped (and the reverse can be true in each, full disclaimer), but let’s go with them:
- A man might be interested in impressing a woman he really likes by taking her for an expensive dinner or event, or by purchasing gifts for her. He wants to show her that he can take care of her, that he has resources, and that he’s a catch. He thinks that he has to spend money to get her hooked on him. He doesn’t want to appear stingy, as that might be a turnoff.
- A woman might be interested in impressing a man she really likes by not acting like she cares about what kind of job he has, what car he drives, what career potential he has, etc. She wants to seem like she isn’t overly interested in his finances, so she doesn’t appear to be a gold digger. Clearly, she doesn’t want to appear money-minded, as that might be a turnoff.
In reality, the two people might have different thoughts behind the scenes. He might really prefer not to spend much money on his dates, and would rather save his money but still get a great girl anyway. She might really prefer to snag a guy who is motivated and has good career potential and will be generous with her. However, neither wants to portray this.
This got me thinking about a friend of mine who has taken a very genuine approach with his finances from day one with his wife. I remember him telling me in the past about how he didn’t like to go out too frequently to expensive places when dating, and didn’t like to buy her a lot of little gifts or other things some guys might do. In other words, he didn’t try to hide that he was a saver and not a spender.
I’m not even sure if he paid for the first date, and wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t. The way he described it, he didn’t want to pretend to be something he wasn’t. He didn’t like to spend, would never be somebody who would be living paycheck to paycheck, so he established that up front. He is a penny pincher and acted like it up front. The thinking is that if she liked him knowing how he was up front, then she would be less likely to have a problem with it later.
As I mentioned up front, just to reiterate, the roles could be reversed in terms of the man and the woman, and their motivations. Anyway, the whole point is that just like it’s best to discuss finances before marriage, it’s also a good idea to be genuine and transparent with your money habits when getting to know someone.
They been married for quite some time, and both seem very happy, by the way!
My Questions for You
Do you think that many people are less than transparent about money habits when dating?
Why is it so hard for some people to be up front about their spending/saving tendencies, or financial goals?
How genuine were you when dating?