The following post is from Melissa Batai
If you’re a millennial, you may already know about a new trend on the dating scene—asking about finances on the first date. While only 18% of people who are older than millennials would be comfortable asking about money on the first date, 35% of millennials are fine with it (Bankrate.com).
I know in my generation (Gen X), most people didn’t talk about finances on a first date, and some people didn’t even really discuss it before getting married! My husband and I talked about finances a lot, but it was after we had dated for a few months.
There are advantages to asking about your date’s finances on the first date, but is it too soon?
Benefits of Asking about Finances
There are is one major benefit of asking about finances on the first date.
Save Yourself Time and Heart Ache
The most important one is that you may save yourself time and emotional turmoil. If you’re in good financial shape and are responsible with money, do you want to date and potentially marry someone who is deep in debt and a spendthrift? Likely not, yet many people do and hope things will change at some point in the relationship. This may lead to heartbreak down the road. If you ask early on in the dating relationship, you can end the relationship if you’re financially incompatible without much emotional pain.
Drawbacks of Asking about Finances
While it’s good to know where someone stands financially and cut ties if need be early in the relationship before you get too attached, you may be missing out on a good partner. There are some strong reasons why it’s better to discuss finances until you’re a few dates or weeks into the relationship.
She May Be Going Through a Rough Patch
Perhaps the person is good with money but is going through a rough patch. Maybe she has $10,000 worth of debt, but it’s because of a medical issue that she had. If you dismiss a person immediately if you don’t like their finances, you may not learn the whole story.
He May Be Willing to Work with You
Some people are bad with money and openly admit it. My dad was frank with my mom that he was not good with money. After they married, he signed over his paycheck to her each month, and she paid the bills. He was fine with her assuming all control, so their relationship worked.
However, if the person is not good with money and wants to remain free to spend money recklessly, you’d likely want to exit this relationship as soon as possible.
Does Character Count?
Some people overlook a potential spouse’s bad money habits because the person is nice, has good character, and would or does make a good parent. Those traits are important, but you’ll need to decide if they outweigh any potential conflicts about money. Keep in mind, many relationships end in divorce because of financial incompatibility.
You May Intimidate the Other Person
Some people may consider asking about finances on the first date too much too soon and feel like they are at a job interview rather than a first date. Your forward manner may cause him or her to leave before you even have a chance to get to know the person.
Only you can decide if you feel comfortable talking about finances on a first date, but regardless, you’ll want to make sure to talk about finances and personal beliefs about money early on, within the first few months of dating, so you don’t waste time with someone whose values don’t align with your own.
My Question for You
Would you feel comfortable asking about your date’s financial situation on the first date? If you’re already married, when did the subject of finances come up in your relationship?