First Love, Then Money; First You, Then Them

First Love, Then Money; First You, Then Them

What does self-love look like to you? How do you know when you’re practicing it? Do you think it is selfish to practice self-love? When I write, I fancy myself with the notion that I’m writing about topics you and I would actually discuss over coffee or a cocktail. I picture a lively conversation; I see us agreeing and disagreeing; I see us laughing, as well as being contemplative. Yet, there are times when I wonder if the conversations I’m initiating hit the mark – or if I’ve pushed the envelope a bit too far (like with last week’s post, “Head, Heart, Hormones“). Yes, I was slightly nervous about pressing “publish” on that one… But then I get private emails, and I know all is well. Based on the responses I received to last week’s post and to the week’s before about the false intimacy that ensues when people practice credit-card dating, it is even more evident that as individuals, couples, and a society, we have a lot of healing to do! First Love, Then Money One email I received put the whole credit-card dating ridiculousness in (historical) perspective with this: “…if potential mates were initially screened and selected based on financial status as measured by credit scores, the black race could be seriously at risk.” Man, talk about an emotional landmine. I could write an entire book about the social, economic, and familial issues raised in her less than 140 characters comment. In fact, her words remind me of one of the profiles in my book, Patrice: Her great-grandmother, who was born in the late 1800s, graduated college,...
Talking Love & Money: A Trend is Developing That Disturbs Me

Talking Love & Money: A Trend is Developing That Disturbs Me

There is a trend happening when it comes to the matter of talking about love and money. You may have noticed it as well. Heck, it may even be a bandwagon you’ve jumped on. It’s a trend, however, that I find disturbing. Because I believe it is causing couples to miss the whole point of the purpose and intent of talking about love and money. Paul Carrick Brunson, one of the people I follow on Twitter, who works as a modern-day matchmaker and is the co-host of LoveTown on the OWN network, shared a link to, “Bad Credit: A Deal Breaker for Many Singles.” It reminded me of a related piece that appeared in the New York Times almost a year ago – “Perfect 10? Never Mind That. Ask Her for Her Credit Score.” There have been countless other articles like these, recently — articles that put a spotlight on a particular number: one’s credit score. My problem isn’t with the question of asking about someone’s credit score. That is certainly important information to (eventually) know. My problem is with the timing and the seemingly associated judgment without context. False sense of intimacy People who proclaim they “won’t even give someone their digits until they know their date’s credit score,” are missing a critical point: intimacy is earned…over time! Intimacy – financial or otherwise – it is not something to which you are entitled from the other person. And the connection that leads to intimacy is formed from shared experiences. This is how intimacy is earned. Otherwise, at least in my opinion, it falls into the false sense of intimacy...
This Thing Called Love

This Thing Called Love

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...

How to (Realistically) Save For Your Wedding

Marriage rates may have fallen from its peak in the mid 1980s. But people are still getting hitched to the tune of approximately two million marriages a year according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since 1970, the cost of getting married has almost doubled to $24,000 – the average cost of a wedding in today’s dollars. Depending upon where you live and the financial resources available to you, you may consider this figure to be a lot of money to say, “I Do,” or a drop in the bucket. Either way paying for a wedding is a costly endeavor and saving for it can seem daunting. Here are a few suggestions to help you realistically save for your wedding: (Continue...