WATCH FOR THE RELATIONSHIP RED FLAGS
When we love often it’s through rose-colored glasses. We only see the best. We see what we want to see. But when assessing a potential life-time partner, we’d best take those glasses off or peek above the rim to assess how each approaches love and decision making. Doesn’t sound too romantic, but in the overall scheme of things, this is vital.
One MAJOR area to discuss and come to a consensus on is how to handle the money. If your ideas are vastly different, even though you’re very much in love, these differences could cause major problems down the road. Let me tell you about John and me.
We met and fell head-over-heels in love. All the vibes seemed to click: Shared common interests in politics, arts, sports, music. Same religion. Similar educational backgrounds. And neither had excess baggage from previous relationships. Perfect!
Not so fast. Let me tell you what happened later. After nine months or so of dating, John lost his job. Yet, we continued to eat out, go to movies, attend expensive sporting events, etc. “John,” I asked. “Shouldn’t we cut back a little until you find other employment?”
“Don’t worry,” he assured me, “I still have a year of unemployment checks coming in and something tells me, I’ll find a job soon.”
“Do you have any leads? Any interviews set up? How far-reaching is your resume circulating?” Shouldn’t you use the money you have now to tide you over until …?
He looked at me, and shrugged. “I have everything under control. It’s handled.”
When I pressed further, he changed the subject abruptly.
How People Make Decisions
- use the brain to consider data and facts,
- or rely on intuition based on gut feelings
Ah, a major difference. I prefer making money decisions based on facts and forethought. Savings and investment are of major concern to me. John based his decisions on gut feelings. He had a more laid back approach to spending. My words of concern fell on deaf ears. And spending continued unabated.
That approach would not at all, never ever work for me. After considerable discussion, over a period of time, delving into other areas of money management, neither could accept the other’s rationale.
Our approach to money management was vastly out of sync
Another instance occurred when John finally accepted a long-distance driving job. The job required use of his own truck as a contractor. So he makes arrangement with a friend to buy his used truck with the paperwork being completed within 3 days.
Then he took the truck in for tune-up and repairs to a mechanic who would give him a bargain price. Someone a friend of a friend told him about. This mechanic assured him all parts would be ordered and repairs completed within in 3 days before his first day on the job.
To make a long story short, after two weeks and counting, the truck was still not registered in his name and the repairs had not been completed. Needless to say, he lost that job before he even started.
What was he thinking? How did he arrive at making the decision to rely on this mechanic? Did he check references? Did he check the BBB?
Again, it was his gut feeling that the guy was legitimate and honest. “Did you check his background and reliability” I asked? “What led you to believe the car would be repaired in time?”
These incidents and others prompted me to question John’s decision-making ability based on gut feelings vs mine based on evidence and facts. I recognized his approach to decision making was entirely different from my own.
But you know love is long-suffering and patient. So, I suggested pre-marital counseling so we’d be on the same page with how to make decisions. John rejected the idea.
What would I do? What would you do?
They say love is blind. But now my eyes were opened to a major problem that would have kept us at odds. I noticed a pattern of gut feeling decision-making occurrences that I knew I could not live with.
Sadly, the relationship ended. Many would question that I would breakup with a man I dearly loved over money management. But research shows that finances play a major role in marriage. Bad money decisions have divided families—have caused loss of hard-fought money acquisitions including homes.
If compromise is possible, then fight to save the relationship; if there is no room for compromise, the chances of a marriage working successfully when decisions-making skills are at odds is low. Love and money must be in sync.
I wasn’t willing to take the risk.
However, I do suggest that all couples participate in pre-marital counseling to determine how each arrives at making decisions to ensure compatibility to avoid an incompatible marriage.
Do you want to learn more about how to find genuine love by dating with purpose and an action plan to the altar? Discover the six critical steps necessary to establish Committed Love FIRST, leading to genuine love and a husband as your best friend!
Until next time,