It begins with a handshake and a smile. And at a some point the question is asked: “Would you like to go out?” And the response: “Why yes, I would!”
Okay, okay, maybe it didn’t/doesn’t go down exactly like this, but you get my drift: You meet; there’s a spark; and a desire for more beyond that moment in time.
These elements (or some variation thereof) set everything in motion. And if things go well, the next thing you know – you’re in love. To paraphrase renowned biological anthropologist and love researcher Dr. Helen Fisher, you’ve invited in one of the most powerful sensations on earth — romantic love.
On a biological level, all kinds of things are going on with each of you chemically. There are probably cultural reasons for your attraction as well.
Something else is brewing, too: The intersection of love and money.
Even though, in the beginning, money is almost certainly the furthest thing from your mind. More likely, you have other questions (or fantasies) going through your head. But money…that ain’t at the top of the list – even if you’re the one picking up the tab.
Money – The Silent Third Party
And yet, there “it” is. Initially, you can’t see its impact on you; in fact, you barely sense its presence. However, “it” is the silent partner that shows up before the beginning begins and never, ever goes away!
On its own, love is complex. Factor in the dynamics of money and you have a – “wholly molly Batman!” – concatenation.
At the risk of stating the obvious, when you’re in a romantic relationship, love and money is an intersection you bump up against every. single. day. It shows up in ways “large” and “small;” it shows up in subtle and not so subtle ways.
The intersection may be inevitable, but the consequences of this crossroads tends to surprise most couples. Plus, many couples come to the table woefully unprepared for managing this (loaded) intersection that both has everything and absolutely nothing to do with money!
When you think about the very first time a money issue surfaced in your relationship, were you surprised – either by the issue unearthed or how you and your sweetie responded?
Usually when money rears its head, as it eventually will, you and your sweetie focus on the numbers. This is natural and understandable, but it’s just the wrong place to start.
Before you begin to deal with the numbers, you each have to first unpack the elements that make up your money story, respectively – you know things like:
- Beliefs about money
- Behavior with money
- Emotions surrounding money
- Thoughts about money
- Feelings and experiences
And the above are just the human elements…then you have the family dynamics and what you:
- Witnessed growing up
- What beliefs, habits, choices, you inherited (or consciously rejected)
Think we’re done? Um…not quite…you then have to layer on top of everything else social factors like:
- Peer pressure
- Shifting and evolving family dynamics
Yeah, these are some of the ways “money” complicates this thing called love!
That is why the intersection of love and money is SO emotional!
You and I get tricked into the thinking that the money part of the intersection is just about the money when in fact it is about all the “stuff” behind the money.
Today begins a series of posts for couples regarding love + money. And if you’re willing, I’d so appreciate if you would share this post with people who matter to you. Many, many thanks!
p.s. because I am so committed to money becoming the tool that strengthens relationships, I’m putting on a special free webinar in a few weeks. You can’t sign up yet, but stay tuned for details. If you’re in a relationship and have ever experienced a hiccup because money got in the way, you’re going to want to be there…trust me!
p.p.s click here to anonymously share your biggest challenge when it comes to love + money.