For some it makes the world go round and for others it is the root of all evil. Wherever you stand on the matter of money, I think we’d all have to agree that while copious amounts of it can’t buy happiness, it certainly helps us all function a little bit better. In today’s post I’m going to discuss whether money matters in dating and relationships. And at the risk of sounding like a heartless cow/gold digger I’m going to argue that money does matter in more ways than one.
Princesses and Paupers
In the happy clappy world of Disney a street urchin like Aladdin can hook up with Princess. But let’s be real – could you even begin to imagine a decidedly average middle class businesswoman dating a car guard? Not likely. Does it make her a bad person? Not really. People from different income groups occupy different worlds and while those worlds do cross (e.g when the lady quickly gives the car guard R5 for looking after her vehicle) these interactions are rarely meaningful. Sure maybe there are some instances where people from different walks of life have fallen in love and lived happily ever after but this is hardly the norm. The truth is we usually end up dating people that are part of our little reality, people who frequent the same places and who share similar interests – all of which we often only have access to because of cash money !!!!
Money Can’t Buy Love
If someone truly loves you, it’s not too much to expect them to stand through a financial crisis. Right? Of course, but everyone has their breaking point. Imagine dating a unemployed bum whose idea of a HOT date is inviting you over to Netflix and Chill at his folks house. This was fine when we were 12 (and also unemployed and broke) but everyone wants more in their 30s. Yes, we live in the 21st century where women can pay for a night out but remember he is jobless (and has been so for the past few years already) so she’ll likely be picking up the tab for evermore. Eventually, even the nicest of girls will call time of such a relationship.
Then there are those situations where both parties have similar incomes but it’s the way they choose to spend it that differs. She wants to explore the world and he wants to save up for a rainy day. Or he is the type of guy that enjoys spoiling the people he loves, while she counts every penny people owe her and always insist they go Dutch on the bill. Money is important to different people for different reasons – some enjoy looking at a fat bank balance and others enjoy the freedom that money can buy them. Neither party is wrong per se but can such relationships where one party is significantly more ‘stingy’ than the other really survive in the long-term? What happens when your significant other’s spending habits become a major source of irritation?
New Money vs Old Money
But money isn’t just money is it? Some are born in to wealth and grow up enjoying the finer things in life; they take these things in their stride without thinking too much of it all. Other people may have come into money through hard work and determination or some other twist of fate. Some people try to play down their wealth while others feel the need to make sure everyone knows they have ARRIVED by wearing the latest designer fashion, driving a fancy car and bragging about their R120, 000 Breitling watch. This type of wealth might be attractive to some people, while others may just think it’s downright tacky and cringe at such common behaviour.
So it’s pretty clear that money does matter in the world of dating and relationships. From the types of people we end up dating to the problems caused by the lack of money in a relationship, money does have the potential to make or break a couple. However, on closer inspection, I think that the thing that matters more than money itself is a person’s attitude towards it. Lack of money becomes less of an issue if you have a significant other who is out there every day looking for job opportunities. And on the flipside, someone could be a millionaire but if they constantly need to remind the world of their wealth by shouting about how much they earn their ‘million dollar’ existence becomes more of an embarrassment to everyone around them. So, essentially I don’t think it’s about how much money one has or doesn’t have but about two people having similar attitudes towards wealth and about them sharing certain visions for the future, that the cash will enable them to have.
Over to you rinsers. Does money matter in a relationship? Do people usually end up dating their financial equal? Have you had experiences where money (or lack thereof) has been the downfall of a relationship? Answers in the comments section below.