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Love and Money! What You Need To Know But No One Ever Tells You

By: Dr. Aesha

Did you hear? Rumor has it that Beyonce wants to add a $5 million cheating clause to her pre-nup with Jay Z in view of the persistent rumors about his infidelity and the many women he’s allegedly seeing ona the side.

I usually stay out of grown folks’ business, but if the rumor is accurate, then it’s got me thinking even more deeply about the relationship between love and money. 

Money affects every area of our lives, especially our love lives. For example, think about all the friction finances can cause in dating, relationships and marriage:

70% of divorces are over money issues.

Even before a couple says I do, money can complicate romance. 

Who should pay for a date? Is it fair to expect men to carry the burden of courtship and pay for every date from Hello to I Do?  On the flip side, if women pay for dates, will it push a man away (like some gurus claim), will it make him appreciate her independence or will it make him dependent on the woman financially? 

In a recent conversation I had with a sista about Power Play Women–women who have high-salaries, powerful careers, and are highly educated–she shared that a guy she was dating started trippin’ when she casually mentioned the exotic vacation she was planning. He accused her of spending too much money, even though he knows nothing about her salary, spending habits or savings.

They eventually broke up because he said, “I can’t afford you.” This sista was confused because she had no expecation for the man to try to sustain the lifestyle she was already creating on her own. 

I’ve discovered that it’s not about the numbers of zeros on a person’s paycheck, the amount of debt or the credit score number that can cause the problems in a relationship. The issue is we all have a relationship with money and we attach emotions and beliefs to it.

For example, the man who broke up with the Power Play Woman may believe that men are supposed to be providers. He may be attaching an identity to his ability to support her lifestyle and makes the horrible assumption that she doesn’t have other needs for which he could provide.

The bottom line is you and your partner must be willing to have conversations about money early on in a relationship. I’m not suggesting you go crazy and ask for a person’s credit score on a first date (OMG!) Instead pay attention to the person’s spending patterns (just like you’d pay attention to how much effort he puts into the relationship) to discover more about him. Watch thier reactions to money problems. And be willing to look at your OWN patterns and recognize areas for growth. 

I’ll end with this quote from Zara Green and Alfred Edmond, Jr, creators of the Grown Zone, on the importance of discussing money before you say “I Do.”

Treat knowing financial history as seriously as knowing sexual history before you expose yourself. . . Look at it this way: commingling your finances without knowing one another’s financial (including credit) histories is like having unprotected sex without knowing one another’s HIV status. If you’re intimate in every way but financially, that’s a problem. In fact, if you can’t talk about money before you get married— openly, honestly and with emotional safety—do not get married.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories on this topic! What do you think? Share below!