Dating in college is exciting. While many are still in their "exploring" phase of dating and hookups, others are getting ready to settle down with that special someone. A big part of settling down with someone is getting over some pretty big marks in your relationship. Whether that's going to the bathroom while they brush their teeth or finally letting one rip in front of the other, you have to be comfortable with your significant other in order to take it to the next level.
There's many things you should go over when moving into a "serious" relationship. The most important one, is often shoved in the back of the closet because people don't want to talk about it— finances.
That's right. Finances. You need to be able to talk to your significant other about finances on both sides.
The stereotypical "don't tell people what you make" phrase, needs to get thrown out the window.
In order to start a life with someone, (a.k.a. living together) you need to be able to discuss finances together. You need to know what they make. They need to know what you make. Without the knowledge of finances, you won't be able to balance the payments needed of living together.
How to pay for groceries, how to pay the mortgage or rent, how to pay utilities, and everything else you can imagine.
When you're with someone and want to continue being with them for a long time, you need to be comfortable to talk about anything and everything. If you can't, your relationship really won't progress into a happy and healthy state. I understand if you've only been dating for a short time. But if you've been dating for a couple years and plan on living together or even getting married, you need to talk about it.
Neither of you should care if one makes more money than the other. It's no longer a one-way street. You two are becoming a team and you need to work like one. You have to combine forces and both of your knowledge and use it to your advantage. Without that necessary knowledge, you're going to go day by day wondering how things are going to get done.
I know it seems silly. But it's becoming real life. This is adulthood and a part of that is learning to tackle life on your own. The bright side is that, you don't have to do it alone.
So grab your partner, sit them down and pop the question.
"How much do you make? And how can we make life easier?"
Here are 5 tips for how to pop the finance question:
1. Pick a night where neither of you have anything planned.
You want to be able to sit down and talk about it without constantly looking at the clock.
2. Make sure it's just to the two of you.
Nobody needs to have their best friend or parents involved. Only you two.
3. Have examples ready.
When my boyfriend and I talked about finances, he was a little confused at first. I specified that one of us could take care of the mortgage payments, the other could take care of groceries/cable, etc. Having examples of how to split it up can be an eye opener.
4. Don't pry.
Yes, you should talk about your finances, but if it's still too early for them to talk about it, don't harass them. Let them know that it's something you two should think about and that for a well growing relationship, this will help. But if you pry at them you may push them away.
5. Remember: this is to make BOTH your lives easier.
If you're the one bringing up the conversation of finances, I can see how it can be nerve wracking to either sides. While it may seem like their trying to control your life, all you're doing is making life easier for the both of you. You are a team, nobody is in control of the other and that is the BIGGEST thing to remember!