I was widowed at 47 and the thought of dating again absolutely frightened me. When I finally ventured out to start dating again, I was surprised by the financial issues I had to consider.
When first dating after a death or divorce, you can be overwhelmed and may not pick up on signals. Your date may not be someone you want to build a life with. It is best to cut the ties early with a potential mate dealing with financial issues.
He/she spends money foolishly. Flashiness is a red flag. He might be trying to impress you or he might be insecure. Either way it might signal that he is irresponsible with his money. That is not a good way to begin a relationship.
He/she has huge credit card debt. Life happens and often divorce or death causes financial issues, for a while. But long-term debt can destroy a marriage. The time to find out is before the nuptials. Look for the signs: credit cards being refused for a
purchase, using multiple credit cards on one transaction, asking if you can cover the bill because of a forgotten wallet, receiving calls from collection agencies.
His/her employment status is sketchy. Did he or she lose a job once? This can happen to anyone. But if he is always between jobs, or if she is continually looking or complaining about the company, it could be a pattern which could cause issues after you make a commitment. After all, those who are not reliable employees will likely not be reliable mates.
You have different attitudes on spending.
If you save aluminum foil and he thinks going to Bali for three weeks is no big deal, you need to have a talk. As future mates you need to be on the same page about financial matters to succeed, especially if the goal is to combine finances. You need to know your compatibility before you head to the altar. How you work the math out should be amenable to both of you. However, if one party has a huge income or large assets, it might be wise to consult an attorney about a prenuptial agreement.
You notice that he/she is high maintenance. The signs are there: showy cars, designer brands, first class all the way. If you don’t have the means to keep up, then perhaps it is time to consider a partner who is less materialistic.
Talk about it.
You need to discuss money!
Obviously not on the first date but certainly before you get into a committed relationship. Talking about money does not come easy, especially if you have some financial skeletons in your closet. The future success of your relationship depends on open and honest dialogue about finances. If your new paramour is dodging questions, or changing the subject, it might be time to walk away.
Some questions to pursue:
Are you in debt? The issue will always be the size of the number; a little debt is to be expected.
What is your credit score? Ask them to share their credit report; it is a straightforward picture of one’s financial situation.
What investments do you have? If there are none, it might be a bad sign.
What is your practice regarding budgeting/saving? The idea here is to see if your future mate’s standards match yours.
Everyone wants to live happily ever after. Beginning a new relationship should always leave you breathless, in a good way. Bad financial coupling will not allow your heart to go pitter patter over the long run.