Word on the street is that “Money cannot buy love, and love does not pay bills”! Literally, a balance is needed when it comes to money and love.
Today being Valentine’s Day, many couples, whether married or in a relationship look forward to getting that special treatment on this special day. And with that comes spending money to buy gifts, go for a special dinner, or even getaway, all in the name of honoring love.
For those who fail to get any special treatment, it may feel like they are not loved, or they are not reciprocated in the way they would want.
A 2019 study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville reported that regardless of the happiness level within the relationship, money is a topic that couples consistently disagree on.
“The relationship between love and money is complex and often considered a source of tension in relationships. While love is typically seen as an emotional connection and a feeling of affection, money is a practical and tangible aspect of life that can impact many aspects of a relationship, such as financial stability and security,” says Allan Lawrence (pictured), relationship coach and author.
“Some people believe that money can’t buy love, while others hold the notion that financial stability is necessary for a healthy relationship. Ultimately, the relationship between love and money is unique to each individual and can vary greatly depending on personal values, beliefs, and life experiences,” he adds.
The truth is that money is a major factor in many relationships and can have a significant impact on the stability and happiness of a partnership and differences in financial priorities, can lead to tension and conflict.
Janet Benter believes that money plays a big role in marriage and if not handled well, it can easily break the relationship or marriage.
“As a couple, while dating, we talked about money and how we would handle our finances after getting married. However, after marriage, that is when you have the actual practical and if you are not careful how you handle your finances, it can either break you or bring you closer,” says Janet.
“We just got married recently, hence we are still adjusting. But one secret we learned along the way is that we are stronger as a team than individually, so we handle our finances together as a family. I must say so far so good,” she adds.
Since Valentine’s Day is on a working day, Janet reveals her husband is at work. Janet offers: “We haven’t set a budget for it, but we will do something to celebrate our love. I hope my husband is working on something exciting.”
Allan says it is important for partners to work together to establish shared financial values and find ways to support each other’s financial well-being.
“How money affects a relationship depends on many factors, including individual attitudes towards money and the level of financial compatibility between partners. A relationship based solely on money can be shortlived and unsustainable. While money can provide temporary comfort and security, it cannot fulfill the emotional and psychological needs that are essential to a healthy and long-lasting relationship,” he explains.
Determining financial compatibility when one partner is earning more than the other involves open and honest communication about financial goals, values, and expectations. Both partners should agree on a budget and how their earnings will be split between living expenses, savings, and personal spending.
They should also discuss their long-term financial plans, including retirement, investing, or major purchases.
“One word is key transparency. When both partners are honest and disclose their financial status, goals, and needs without the fear of being judged or shamed by each other, they are in a better position to walk a fruitful financial journey together. This is as opposed to when each individual in the relationship works out their finances in isolation,” Victoria Riki, a clinical psychologist.