Relationships & Money
This post is part of Women’s Money Week this week! Head on over to their site for more information!
When I first met T, we were in college. He had impressive savings for a college student year old and I had student loans, but we didn’t talk about money. Among a whole bunch of other things, I admired his intelligence, drive, and ambition. Still, even those character traits were overshadowed by the things more important to a 21 year old. Attraction, that special spark, sense of adventure, humor, and romance. Money didn’t play into things, and I just got super lucky to happen to fall in love with someone responsible with their finances and in sync with my views.
I sometimes wonder what dating would be like if I had to do it now, as a fully formed adult. Would I be willing to date someone who made a lot less money than I do? Would I even be interested in dating a PhD student like T? Or would I want to date someone who already had their career launched? I know I’d probably prefer to date someone who had an income similar to mine, but I hope I would be open minded enough to consider all options. The same goes for him – if he had to do it as an adult, would he have ever started dating someone who made significantly more than him?
This is all hypothetical. We met as financial equals (roughly) and we both pursued our ambitions in different ways. He works at least as hard as I do (and is more brilliant than me), so I don’t resent the fact that he generally makes much less in a year. I’m comfortable being the primary breadwinner by now, but I admit it will be nice when T shares the burden. I admit I’m kind of excited for his income to exceed mine (which it will). But the reason I look forward to it is because that means more money for us, more money to save, and faster increase to our assets. My income is still increasing, but there is a lot more potential energy in his income right now. So i’m excited for that potential to materialize!
Do I care that I currently pay more than my “fair share” sometimes? Not at all. And also, I forget that I do pay more. I just put a ton of money into retirement savings, which levels out our take home income a bit. We do pay different amounts towards our in rent, but I still pay less than I did on my own. Much less.
Money is both an important part of our relationship and also something not so important. It is important that we are both on the same page and we are both comfortable with our money situation. Since we have those two things going for us right now, the rest isn’t that important.